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In our second extract from JANELLE MCCULLOCH’s book London Secrets, we step inside eight more independent bookshops in the English capital. No bookshops in the English-speaking world can match those of London for their quirky charm.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • We talk with PATRICK HOLLAND, a longlist nominee for the 2011 Miles Franklin Award for his novel The Mary Smokes Boys, about his new novel, One, which tells the story of the real-life Kenniff brothers. These two late-19th-century Queenslanders were Australia’s last bushrangers, and vPatrick questions the extent of their supposed villainy. Read on >
  • UK journalist and editor MARINA BENJAMIN looks at the joys, losses and opportunities of middle age in her new book, The Middlepause. In this extract she writes about the secret misogynistic history of HRT.   Read on >
  • While researching for a non-fiction book about the botanical history of some of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks, US author AMY STEWART stumbled across a gin smuggler’s altercation with an officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series, set in New Jersey in 1915, based on Constance and her two sisters. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, ANGUS DALTON finds out more. Read on >
  • The stories of SUSAN PERABO have been likened to the work of George Saunders and Raymond Carver. Her latest novel, The Fall of Lisa Bellow, kicks off when school student Meredith is kidnapped together with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow. Meredith is set free – but Lisa remains. We asked Susan to tell us about short stories versus novels, her love of baseball and writing advice she has received. Read on >
  • PEPPER HARDING is the pen name of a writer from San Francisco. The Heart of Henry Quantum, Pepper’s new novel, follows a scatterbrained husband’s erratic journey through the streets of San Francisco as he hunts down his wife’s Christmas present – a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Along the way he runs into his former lover, Daisy. We asked the author about his new novel and the eccentric thought journeys that appears throughout its pages. Read on >
  • JOHN KINSELLA is the author of 30 books and is the three-time winner of the WA Premier's Book Award for Poetry. He's a fellow at Cambridge's Churchill college and the editor of international literary journal Salt. The self-described vegan/anarchist/pacifist tells Good Reading asked him about his new short story collection, Old Growth.   Read on >
  • Born in London, retired doctor TONY ATKINSON spent the first years of his life in a cage dangling out of a window. But he went on to serve the Queen and Winston Churchill during his early career as a footman and waiter, which he recalls in hilarious stories in he memoir, A Prescribed Life. Read on >
  • The exact percentage of people with dyslexia is unknown, but it’s estimated at between 5 and 17 per cent of the population. And many people may not even be aware that they have the condition. There’s no cure for it, but now there’s a new way to help people overcome dyslexia – and it’s as simple as using a new font. Read on >
  • CATHY BURKE is the CEO of The Hunger Project Australia, an organisation that aims to end hunger in every part of the world by 2030. She has raised tens of millions of dollars to help empower people in Africa, India, Bangladesh and South America to feed themselves. We asked Cathy about the books that she has enjoyed reading and which have shaped her life, and we also talk about her own book, Unlikely Leaders. Read on >
  • gr highlights cookbooks to buy for the discerning foodies in your life. Read on >
  • For many of the families of servicemen killed in World War I, a terse telegram from the government was never going to be enough to assuage their grief. Families wrote back in their thousands, seeking more information about the fate of their loved ones. It was the task of James M Lean to reply to these families and, as author CAROL ROSENHAIN outlines in The Man Who Carried the Nation’s Grief, he did so with extraordinary empathy and sensitivity. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This superb novel is beautifully written, thought-provoking and a truly magical door to the minds and experiences of those who seem very different but who are, as we discover, just like us. Read on >

  • The Sunshine Sisters is a great read and a reminder of the importance of sibling relationships and family. Sometimes the parent that causes the most trouble and is the biggest nuisance can leave the largest hole in a child’s life when they are gone. Read on >

  • This first novel has good bones for its plot. It’s just a pity they are not fleshed out to their full potential.  Read on >

  • This fairytale-inspired thriller has been touted as a breakthrough for Karen Dionne, who has five previous books (including two TV show tie-ins) on her resume. Interspersed with snatches of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale of the same name. Read on >

  • Forgotten will keep you on the edge of your seat. You’ll be anxious, sad, angry and hopeful almost all at once as you get an insight into every parent’s nightmare. Read on >

  • The pacing of this survival tale at times feels laboured, but there is an undercurrent of urgency.  But Year of the Orphan – a compelling take on post-apocalyptic fiction – holds its own. Read on >

  • There’s an immediacy to her writing that keeps you reading, even though the story is confronting. Read on >

  • This is the memoir of a strong-willed, articulate, humorous woman. One can only wonder about what this 60-year-old artist will do next. Read on >

  • Silly Isles reminds me that television is about entertainment as well as information, and it often struggles to communicate much more than a brief survey of a situation illustrated with moving pictures. Read on >

  • Sunrise and sunset have long been known by photo experts as among the best times of day to get great images, and to that end Nick recommends an app called The Photographer’s Ephemeris, which tells you when the sun rises and sets anywhere on the planet. There are tips on the type of gear you need to take, the importance of planning – for the whole trip as well as for individual shots – and hiring a guide. It might seem like an extravagance, but Nick says that a good local guide who understands a photographer’s needs knows things that could take you days to find yourself. Get this book. Read on >

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