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I had to have a giggle. It just seemed so silly. I saw a link to an article on Google that mentioned audiobooks and dogs. I can’t help myself, as you know. I am a sucker for anything to do with dogs. The link led me to a video featuring Cesar Millan, the well-known Mexican American dog trainer, sitting on a plush couch, looking dapper – as usual – his flawless skin and his glowing, white-toothed smile. By his side is a beautiful, placid, perfectly behaved dog, who looks lovingly at Cesar.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • The BBC released a survey earlier this year in which they asked readers to name the books they had lied about having read. You can see the list below. I think I have read around half, as some I may have read in my youth that I’ve forgotten about (more about that later). How many of them have you read? The truth, please! 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 >
  • RITU MENON loves to travel and she loves to sample the local fare of the places her journeys take her to.Her new book, Loitering with Intent: Diary of a happy traveller, is derived from over a decade of travel journal writing. Here she recounts how she came to write the book and recalls a couple of fabulous Italian feasts. Read on >
  • The 1970s and 80s saw DAVE WARNER lead two influential punk-rock bands. His demanding musician’s lifestyle left little time for writing anything but his next single. Nowadays Dave is a full-time screenwriter, novelist and playwright, but he still takes to the stage every so often for a good old-fashioned rock-out. ANGUS DALTON finds out more about Dave’s life and his latest crime novel, Before It Breaks. Read on >
  • Former pop-punk rocker LEN VLAHOS tells Good Reading about his new YA novel, Life in a Fishbowl, and how Marcus Zusak inspired him to write from the perspective of a brain tumour. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • American author and hairdresser DEBORAH RODRIGUEZ lived in the Afghan capital of Kabul for five years, and in that time she founded her own beauty salon and coffee shop. On her return to the US, she wrote a bestselling novel based on the bustling cafe, and now she’s taking us back to Afghanistan in Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >
  • Following on from her two-million-selling historical novel Orphan Train, CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE has delved into the backstory of a famous painting by Andrew Wyeth to write her new novel, A Piece of the World. ANGUS DALTON talks with the author.  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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