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Angus Dalton chats to Ryan O'Neill about his novel, Their Brilliant Careers.
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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • In the early 1900s, the luminescent properties of radium – a highly radioactive metal – had just been discovered, and entrepreneurs were quick to identify its marketing potential. They flooded supermarket shelves with radium-based products, and thousands of young women in North America were hired to paint clock dials with radium. The girls would go home with their hands aglow, oblivious to the bone-destroying radiation they had been exposed to. We spoke with London-based author KATE MOORE about these workers’ stories, which appear in her new book, The Radium Girls. Read on >
  • We chat to aspiring astronaut and sci-fi writer S J Kincaid on haunted graveyards, Star Trek, and her new YA galactic thriller, The Diabolic.  Read on >
  • Meet the author who won the ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year 2015, and find out about her latest title, The Art of Keeping Secrets. Read on >
  • The Sound, the second book from novelist SARAH DRUMMOND, is set around Western Australia’s King George
Sound. Based on a true story, the novel tells of Wiremu Heke, a Maori man from across the Tasman who sails from Tasmania to WA in 1825 on a mission of vengeance. We asked Sarah to tell us about Wiremu and about The Sound. Read on >
  • Communicating the most exciting new developments in science to non-scientific readers can be a challenge. But Know This: Today’s most interesting and important scientific ideas, discoveries, and developments, takes up the challenge and lets dozens of eminent scientists tell us what they think are the most interesting recent developments in science. Here are two extracts from the book. Read on >
  • Ed Yong – science reporter for The Atlantic and blogger for National Geographic – has just published his first book, I Contain Multitudes: The microbes within us and a grander view of life. We asked him to tell us about his reading life.   What are you
reading now?
 Patient H.M. by 
Luke Dittrich, because 
my editor for my own 
book sent me a galley
 copy! I’m glad she
 did. Henry Molaison 
was arguably the most
influential patient in
all of neuroscience.
 After an operation to
cure his epilepsy, he lost the ability to form new memories – think Memento – and so taught us much about how our memories work. Dittrich is the grandson of the surgeon who operated on Molaison, and he brings a deeply personal flavor to the incisive reporting and colourful writing that characterise this book. What are your three favourite books?
 The Song of the Dodo: Island biogeography in the age of extinctions by David Quammen is natural history writing at its finest – a witty, insightful tour of the planet’s islands and what they tell us about our increasingly fragmented world. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell offers genre-hopping stories but delivers a deep fable about hope and nihilism; I stared silently out a window for the longest time when I finished 
it. Being Wrong: Adventures in the margin of error by Kathryn Schulz is a wondrous study of human error that blends literature, science and philosophy. Read on >
  •  Looking for an engrossing historical fiction read? gr has rounded-up eight of the best for you to try.   The books in Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ series have undergone a renaissance recently after
being adapted into a BBC
TV series that has gained a cult following. When Claire Randall is thrown back in time from 1945 to 1743 she finds herself in a very different Scotland, where she is branded as an outlander or Sassenach (a derogatory word for an English person) in a country run by clans and invaded by Redcoats. Try this series if you like a well-researched historical sagas that have swashbuckling adventure and a bit of romantic romping. 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 >
  • Best known to TV audiences as Goliath fromthequiz show The Chase, MATT PARKINSON was also one half of the Empty Pockets comedy duo. He cleaned up as a champion on Sale of the Century in the 1990s and since then he has served as the brains trust on ABC TV’s The Einstein Factor. We asked this big man (he’s nearly two metres tall) with a big brain about the books that have made him the brainiac that he is.  Read on >
  • The changing moral code and shift in gender roes of World War II provide the backdrop for JENNIFER RYAN's debut novel The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN about the people and events that inspired the story. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Fresh Complaint is sheer joy to read. These stories may be short, but they are so perfectly sequenced and homogenous in style and content that they leave the impression of a beautifully crafted novel. Read on >

  • Jane Harper’s first book, The Dry, emphasised drought; this time the action is concentrated in a rainforest. It’s an area where four young female hikers went missing some years ago. Three bodies have been found and Martin Kovac, a serial killer, was arrested. One bushwalker, Sarah Sondenberg, is still missing. Her parents have accepted that she’s unlikely to be alive but they would like her body to be found. They want to give her a proper burial. Read on >

  • This is a story of love, friendship and the bonds between women, all of whom are extraordinary in their own way. It’s also a reminder that not all lives are as they appear; passions, fears and complexities lie behind every facade. Read on >

  • If you relish Gothic mystery then this novel is for you. Set in London and a country house known as The Bridge in the 1600s and the 1800s, the story centres on the Bainbridge family. Elsie Bainbridge lives in a late 19th-century mental asylum. Mute and described as a murderess, she has a new doctor who encourages her to write her story. Read on >

  • This absorbing novel reads unsettlingly like the story of the colonial conquest of this land hundreds of years ago, with deep and bitter truths and parallels throughout. Read on >

  • While some events are predictable, there are enough shocks to keep the interest high. The creative ending is unpredictable. A partial redemption comes in a shocking way – but it was a long time coming. A great read if you enjoy psychological thrillers. Read on >

  • It’s easy to see why Now Let’s Dance has critics atwitter. First published in the original French last year, it’s already become a bestseller overseas and has been compared to The Little Paris Bookshop and The One-Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. Whether you’re a Francophile or just looking for an escapist story, Now Let’s Dance may be the tonic you need for life’s ups and downs. Read on >

  • The story of teenage girls Debbie Vickers and Sue Knight – as first outlined in the bestselling 1979 novel Puberty Blues – has captivated millions. With brutal honesty, it shined a light on how teenage Australian girls grew up in the 1970s. Puberty Blues became an Australian cult classic that has been adapted for film and TV, and many fans have wanted to know what happened to the girls beyond the story. Kathy Lette now gives the answer in After the Blues. This is a good novel. It’s a combination of Lette’s original and current writing styles, and fans of her previous work will no doubt devour it. Read on >

  • This novel is equally intriguing and confusing. But if you like your historical fiction quirky and mysterious, full of ideology, theology, political unrest and intrigue, you will find this book a delight. While based on real events, I recommend you suspend any notions of reality. Read on >

  • Comedian Tony Martin has written a very funny satirical novel inspired by actual letters to an editor of a suburban newspaper. The misunderstandings, unforgettable characters and cynical media figures generate a host of laugh-out-loud moments. Read on >

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