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GRAEME SIMSION, author of The Rosie Project, and ANNE BUIST, psychiatrist and author of novels about forensic psychiatrist Natalie King, have collaborated on Two Steps Forward, a novel about two people who set out alone to walk Spain’s pilgrimage route of Camino de Santiago. We asked this husbandand-wife writing team to tell us about their reading lives.
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Archive Discoveries

  • It’s often said that whatever happens in our childhoods resonates throughout the rest of our lives – for good or for ill. This was certainly the case for TIM ELLIOTT, who grew up with a father who suffered from bipolar disorder. TIM GRAHAM spoke to him about the lingering effects of a tumultuous childhood and his memoir ofpaternal madness, Farewell to the Father. Read on >
  • If you think of the German navy in World War II, then you probably conjure up images of grand-scale conflicts such as the Battle of the Atlantic or the Baltic Sea campaigns. But not so many people are aware that German ships were also on the prowl down in the South Pacific and in the Indian Ocean, where they disguised themselves as ordinary freighters before launching their deadly assaults on unsuspecting Allied craft. False Flags, a new account by Canberra author STEPHEN ROBINSON, tells the story of four German raiders, including the infamous attack by one of them, the Kormoran, on the HMAS Sydney in 1941. GRANT HANSEN reports. 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 symptoms of boredom, loneliness and heartache can often be alleviated by exposure to a good novel. But poetry can also have a similar healing effect. If you suffer from any of the following undesirable conditions, try these three poetic prescriptions that might just do the trick. Read on >
  • After reading a few thrillers lately I got to thinking about writers in the crime and thriller genres and the research they need to do to make their books seem real. Research can be an exciting part of writing any book. Determining how a killer might think and how their victim could become entrapped is one thing, but I can’t imagine looking at dead people or reading detailed reports of the methods that serial killers use to stalk and murder their prey.That’s the sort of awful stuff police deal with and psychologically struggle with for the rest of their lives. But could even researching this sort of thing affect a writer?  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 a officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series based around Constance and her two sisters, set in New Jersey in 1915. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, Angus Dalton finds out more. 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 >
  • Thirteen-year-old gamer Beth loves fighting beasts and solving riddles in her favourite online game, Tordon. But she soon faces her own adventure when she and her gaming nemesis are sucked into a new adventure filled world where they have to fight for their own survival. Into Tordon is a collaborative novel by 9 authors, written under the pseudonym of Z F Kingbolt. Good Reading talks to Editor-in-Chief Zena Shapter about the collaborative writing process, gaming and the adventures in the real world that mimic those found on the screen. Read on >
  • Biographies have long fascinated readers, serving as guides for how to live our own lives or often just giving us an intriguing peek into the world of extraordinary people. In this round-up we look at a comedian with a disability, a magician with a learning disorder, the real man behind Walter White of Breaking Bad and more. But we’re bending the biography rules a bit by also including a book by a philosopher that will prompt you to think about living a better life, a book about Aussies at war and an account of Queensland police leading lives of corruption. Read on >
  • Australian novelist NICOLA MORIARTY is the youngest of six siblings, two of whom – Jacyln and Liane – are also accomplished novelists. Her latest novel, The Fifth Letter, examines the relationships of a group of friends after a letter-writing dare uncovers a festering cache of secrets andr esentment. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >
  • When she’s not training her inquisitorial blowtorch on politicians and other people who have questions to answer, ABC reporter and presenter SARAH FERGUSON loves to delve into a book. Her new book, The Killing Season Uncut, recounts the behind-the-scenes tales of the television program about the tumultuous Rudd–Gillard years. We asked the multi-award winning Four Corners reporter to tell us about the books that have influenced her. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • The Life to Come is the sixth novel by Michelle de Kretser, whose books The Lost Dog and Questions of Travel won a host of awards and caused a stir in the publishing world. I expect The Life to Come will be just as well received. Read on >

  • I enjoyed the variety of emotions and the rich imagery in Aman’s anthology. Read on >

  • The story begins in 1987 when Nat – the third wheel in a trio of teenage misfits – is pressured into participating in a séance with her friends. The girls attempt to invoke the spirit of bushranger Ned Kelly. But, unwittingly, they instead call forth Edward Kelley, an Elizabethan scryer and alchemist who worked with Dr John Dee, astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I. What follows is a tale of possession that spans three timelines – Edward Kelley and John Dee in 1587, Nat and her friends in 1987, and Nat’s son, Jo, in 2087 – that are all linked by that fateful night. Read on >

  • Bridget Crack, an assured debut from a new Tasmanian voice, is an intriguing and insightful look at life through the eyes of a female convict in 1820s Van Diemen’s Land. Read on >

  • Vivid but flawed characters – such as stewards, soldiers, aristocrats and priests – rise from the page. The chapters are interspersed with insightful extracts from Lady Anne’s journal, which touches on topics such as the degradation of women, class inequality and conflicting moral and ethical viewpoints on religion. This renowned crime writer has shifted to historical fiction without faltering. Read on >

  • Meredith Jaffé’s intricate exploration of relationships and the revelation of the full impact of toxic encounters is enthralling. Jaffé doesn’t let you off the hook easily, and after the climax she brings the loss and bitterness of these broken relationships back to everyday existence and examines how her characters carry on. I couldn’t put it down. Read on >

  • The lovely thing about this book is that it’s simply written in diary form, just like a child would. And the illustrations are so lifelike and complement the text beautifully. The long boat trip and the excitement of being in a new country are told in such a positive way that children reading this book will understand a little of what it was like to leave a homeland and start again in a new country. What a wonderful way to learn our history. Read on >

  • This stunning book, with its sumptuous illustrations on every page, will draw you in and bring the mysterious story of Tutankhamun to life. It will fascinate all children and adults who have ever wanted to visit Egypt and sail down the Nile. Read on >

  • If you’re a fan of Pig the Pug then you’ll love Aaron Blabey’s latest laugh-out-loud story, Pig and his long-suffering friend, Trevor, are dressing up for a photo shoot. As you can imagine, Pig has to be the centre of attention, hogging all the best costumes while poor Trevor looks on. But, as usual, Pig’s dreadful antics get him into big trouble. Maybe he won’t be such a show-off from now on. Read on >

  • Just imagine if ‘Mum went out to buy a new pair of gumboots, but came home with a rabbit’. In this book, The Great Rabbit Chase by Freya Blackwood, she did. And guess what he’s called? Gumboots. Gumboots is so soft and cuddly, but he’s also so good at escaping. And if you have a long rabbit hole to escape into and out of, then a runaway rabbit is hard to catch. I love this great rabbit chase, as Freya Blackwood has the whole town joining in, and her delightfully detailed artwork helps to tell the story. And if you like surprises then there’s a great big one at the end. Read on >

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