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The prospect of using an off-camera flash can cause many photographers – even professionals – to tremble in fright. But a new guide, The Flash Book, by photographic guru SCOTT KELBY will make you a confident user of this handy piece of photo kit, writes TIM GRAHAM.

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Archive Discoveries

  • Serious social issues, including the plight of unwed mothers, domestic violence and the place of women in Australia's history are wrapped up in poignant romace in VICTORIA PURMAN's new novel, The Three Miss Allens. She spekas with MAUREEN EPPEN about the inspiration behind the family saga set on the South Australian coast. Read on >
  • 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 >
  • Sydney-based novelist LAUREN SAMS, author of She’s Having Her Baby, has worked for magazines such as Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan. Her new book, Crazy Busy Guilty, reprises the heroine Georgie Henderson, who tries frantically to juggle work and family. We spoke recently with Lauren, who talked about the US election, writer’s block and wacky parenting strategies.  Read on >
  • ALL IS GIVEN: A MEMOIR IN SONGS by LINDA NEIL She’s a Brisbane-based songwriter and an awardwinning producer of radio documentaries, and in this memoir LINDA NEIL travels the world, playing music and meeting people along the way. In this extract she recalls as a teenager being given the seemingly tedious duty of reading books to a blind neighbour. But what happened next surprised both the reader and the listener. Read on >
  • SABRINA HAHN has been WA’s go-to dispenser of green-thumb advice to radio listeners for more than 20 years. Now, in Sabrina’s Dirty Deeds, she shows you what to do in your garden and when to do it. In this extract she outlines how to encourage good predatory insects. Read on >
  • Creativity is often thought of as a special gift bestowed on only a handful of lucky people. But as Australian novelist SUE WOOLFE points out, it’s a skill that you can cultivate. Here are five tips she used to create her latest collection of stories, Do You Love Me or What? Read on >
  • He has worked as a wilderness guide, a ranch hand and a dogsled musher – and he’s also a skilled marksman. But ERIK STOREY, a lover of the great outdoors, has come in out of the wild for long enough to turn out his first novel, Nothing Short of Dying. A thriller set in the mountainous landscape of western Colorado, it features Clyde Barr, a man with a military past who is fresh out of prison. We talked with Erik recently about dealing with rejection, the lure of western Colorado and his number-one tip for surviving in the wild. Read on >
  • Best known for his role as a team captain on ABC TV’s Spicks and Specks, ALAN BROUGH has also worked as a radio presenter,
actor and stand- up comedian. In the 1990s he also appeared in a series of TV commercials as a drag queen called Marge. He had always wanted to write, and now he has fulfilled that ambition with his new children’s book, Charlie and the War Against the Grannies. He tells us about the books that have made him the reader and writer that he is today. Read on >
 BURKE is an
art historian,
photographer and
award-winning novelist.
Her latest book, Kiffy Rubbo,
which she has co-edited with Helen Hughes, collects contributions 
from leading figures in the artistic community that all focus on the dynamic figure of Kiffy Rubbo (1944-80), a pioneering curator
in Melbourne in the 1970s. We asked Janine to tell us about this new book and the books that have shaped her 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 >
  • Recent research has revealed the astonishing capabilities of dogs. We know that they can help vision- impaired people, but they can also sniff out cancer and even help to locate missing people. CAT WARREN in What the Dog Knows recounts how she adopted an unruly German shepherd puppy, Solo, who is eventually trained to locate human corpses. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • The Last Train primarily tells the story of two strong women who have been deceived but are determined to take control of their futures, whatever path they may take. Sue Lawrence creates an intricate and suspenseful plot that is a great read. Read on >

  • In the near future, the residents of a small Australian coastal town awake to find that the ocean has disappeared, the shoreline has receded to the horizon, and the land is littered with decaying corpses of marine life. They are confused, their pet dogs are hysterical and they wonder about the impact it will have on their community. Read on >

  • The poems are undeniably simple, but they are also engaging and give platform to a voice that has previously been on the fringe of the literary canon: the experience of a young migrant woman making sense of the world and her place in it. Read on >

  • In 15 beautifully crafted lines, Brooks takes us inside on a cool, rainy night, watching the night begin to fall outside. It left me with goosebumps. Read on >

  • I really enjoyed The Woman in the Window and its Hitchcockian sense of suspense, and the references to the films of the great director. The story took a little while to get going, but it wasn’t long before I was hooked, and by halfway I couldn’t stop. Read on >

  • This new series also draws on many characters and events from the ‘Powder Mage’ series so, while you could read it as a stand-alone, I would strongly advise reading the previous series first, as this will provide greater context, depth and enjoyment, particularly when old characters from the earlier series make their welcome reappearances. Read on >

  • The subtitle and the image on the dust jacket of this hardcover book say it all; the subtitle is ‘A celebration of a great Australian love affair’, and the image is a reproduction of Russell Drysdale’s 1945 painting, The Drover’s Wife. The whole collection is fascinating and has obviously been a labour of love for its editor. Read on >

  • It’s truly a wonderful book about friendship, true love and, most of all, hope. It’s also for young people who find the pressures of life a little too heavy and for those who need to understand them. Read on >

  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt was first published in 1989 and has now become a much-loved classic. This new edition is beautifully produced with a ‘swirling whirling snowstorm’ gracing the cover. I can see a whole new generation of little fans singing the refrain and joining in the bear hunt. Read on >

  • Molly doesn’t live anywhere near the sea but she’s always wanted to be a pirate. So today she puts on her eyepatch, her pirate hat, grabs her sword and rows out to the pirate ship. She frightens Captain Chicken, scares the crew with her backflips and even climbs right up to the top of the rigging. Her mum finds her asleep in the clothes basket under the clothes line. She’s had a busy day. Read on >

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