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In What My Father Taught Me, well-known Australians - such as Em Rusciano, George Calombaris and Anthony Callea - tell journalist Claire Halliday how their fathers have shaped their lives. In this extract, Matthew Reilly, who has sold over 7.5 million books, talks about his prison-guard father who had a penchant for musical theatre and once played a gangster in Guys and Dolls. 
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • A Melbourne woman proud of her 7000-year-old Persian heritage shines a light on family violence in a memoir covering three generations. SOHILA ZANJANI, author of Scattered Pearls, speaks with JENNIFER SOMERVILLE. Read on >
  • I switched on to watch ABC TV’s The Drum one evening and discovered Jodi Picoult sitting on the panel discussion.What a great performer she is – not only an impressive writer but also an impressive speaker.The discussion at the table was raging around whether a white author has the right, or could even have the understanding, to write about black characters. As a white woman, how could she really know what’s it’s like to be a black woman, let alone a black man? How could she write black characters and make them authentic without knowing how they feel? Read on >
  • Find out about the inspiration behind the bestselling brilliance of Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project, his new novel The Best of Adam Sharp, and how he made a name for himself by dressing as a duck. Read on >
  • JIM OBERGEFELL led a class action in the US Supreme Court that established marriage equality nationwide for Americans. Love Wins, co-written with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist DEBBIE CENZIPER, is the story of the love that inspired the fight for justice. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >
  • A young woman named edie channels the dead through her work with the shady Elysian Society in a dytopian first novel from SARA FLANNERY MURPHY. The Oklahoma-based author tells EMMA STUBLEY about her encounters with ghosts and Greek mythology and how they influened The Possessions. Read on >
  • Lynda La Plante changed the face of crime fiction and television with Prime Suspect and its stoic lead character, DCI Jane Tennison. Her new series details how Tennison cut her teeth on London’s crime-ridden, gang-ruled streets in the 80s. We asked the queen of crime 10 questions ahead of her new book release, Hidden Killers. Read on >
  • Novelist and journalist MAGGIE ALDERSON spent her gap year as a ‘ferocious punk rocker’ working at an advertising agency and starting her own punk fanzine, for which she interviewed Bob Geldoff and Billy Idol. She went on to become the editor of Evening Standard and Elle in London. She also spent eight years in Australia as editor of Cleo and Mode, and covering fashion shows in Milan and Paris for The Sydney Morning Herald. Now back in the UK, Maggie has just released a new novel, The Scent of You. She tells us why reading fairy stories is good training for any writer, who her literary crush is, and why War and Peace is the most emotionally involving books she's ever read. Read on >
  • ABC journalist and science writer IAN TOWNSEND cut his teeth as a novelist in 2007 with Affection, which told the story of a plague outbreak in 1900. His next novel, The Devil’s Eye, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2009. Now with Line of Fire, he turns his pen to narrative non-fiction to tell the story of Richard Manson, an 11-year-old boy who was accused of espionage and shot by the Japanese during World War II in New Guinea. Read on >
  • Who would have thought that in the largely homogeneous country of China that there could be a group of people who could trace their lineage back to invading Romans? TONY GREY uncovered this intriguing bit of information while travelling in China, and here he tells how he came to write his historical novel, The Tortoise in Asia, which tells the story of Romans travelling along the Silk Road in ancient times. Read on >
  • The mystery surrounding Agatha Christie’s 1926 disappearance provided the inspiration for On the Blue Train, the second novel of US-based Australian author KRISTEL THORNELL. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN how her research led her to parts of England where the celebrated mystery author lived – and to the North Yorkshire hotel wher she spent jer 'lost' days. Read on >
  • Read this and the ordinary world disappears,’ says Stephen King of
‘The Passage’ series. ANGUS DALTON talks with bestselling author JUSTIN CRONIN about his post-apocalyptic trilogy, the vampiric creatures he created to end humanity, and the last instalment of the series, The City of Mirrors. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Shock, tension and humour characterise this novel, whose narrative is built on revealed emotions and stories told by characters that enter and exit but who leave behind issues, acts and decisions that will leave the reader changed on account of their profundity. Read on >

  • Celeste Ng weaves the themes of family and morality into a poignant and entertaining story.  Read on >

  • The interest of book lovers will be piqued by Carroll’s numerous literary references, though their limited purpose may disappoint.  Read on >

  • This story is filled with politics and suspense, and the writing is accessible and vivid.  Read on >

  • My eyes were full of tears when I finished The Choke. There is great emotional depth to Sofie Laguna’s writing, and her characters are alive in their vulnerability and beauty. Sofie Laguna is one of the most gifted writers in Australia right now. Don’t miss this. Read on >

  • Having experienced the ups and downs of the Australian agricultural industry first-hand, Michael Trant must have found it easy to write about rural life in his debut novel, Ridgeview Station. Read on >

  • Birch has published several novels and short stories, and this collection of short and punchy stories showcase his skill to great effect. Read on >

  • A thread of mystery weaves its way through the story, presenting plenty of surprises to keep the pages turning. Read on >

  • This book raises many timely questions, on the smaller scale of individual lives and also on the global scale of potential environmental catastrophe. Read on >

  • Danielle Steel’s latest novel, The Duchess, begins like so many others of its kind: a young woman, innocent to the ways of the world, is forced out of the family estate by her older brother, who inherits her father’s fortune. Read on >

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