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On the back cover of THE WONDER DOWN UNDER it explains very succinctly what this book is about. ‘Everything you ever wanted to know about the vagina but didn’t dare ask.’ Written in an accessible style with touches of humour, the authors, who are also sex educators, inform us, bust the myths and break down the barriers to discussing those least openly discussed parts of a woman’s body. In this extract we follow the life of a woman’s eggs.

Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • The stories of SUSAN PERABO have been likened to the work of George Saunders and Raymond Carver. Her latest novel, The Fall of Lisa Bellow, kicks off when school student Meredith is kidnapped together with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow. Meredith is set free – but Lisa remains. We asked Susan to tell us about short stories versus novels, her love of baseball and writing advice she has received. Read on >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Paul Mitchell is a poet, short story writer, and now a novelist with the release of We. Are. Family. Read on to find out about Paul's poetry, writing, and the way he explores family trauma and masculinity in Australia.  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 >
  • gr highlights cookbooks to buy for the discerning foodies in your life. 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 >
  • PEPPER HARDING is the pen name of a writer from San Francisco. The Heart of Henry Quantum, Pepper’s new novel, follows a scatterbrained husband’s erratic journey through the streets of San Francisco as he hunts down his wife’s Christmas present – a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Along the way he runs into his former lover, Daisy. We asked the author about his new novel and the eccentric thought journeys that appears throughout its pages. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • This book might have the word ‘tax’ in its title, but don’t let that dreary term fool you. The Great Multinational Tax Rort tells the intriguing tale of how, for decades, multinational corporations have been slithering out of their obligations to pay their fair share of tax, leaving governments with shrinking funds to pay for essential services for their citizens. In this extract, MARTIN FEIL, also the author of The Failure of Free-Market Economics, outlines some of the techniques these business behemoths use to cunningly avoid paying tax – leaving us all the poorer. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Cleverly written, Unearthed alternates between the two narrators, Mia and Jules. The story moves along at a steady pace, sometimes reminiscent of Indiana Jones’s adventures and at other times more like the ‘Star Wars’ saga. The main characters are resourceful and brave but also awkward and vulnerable in their youthful naivety. Planet Gaia is a dangerous place, not only because of what is on it, but also because of what it could potentially mean for Earth. This is an absorbing tale. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the next instalment. Read on >

  • This is magical realism at its best and grittiest, and the ghosts have a particularly signficant role as the story draws to a close. Sing, Unburied, Sing is a brilliant book by a new luminary in US literature. Read on >

  • Sally Hepworth delves into the lives of four families living in a cul-de-sac of suburban Melbourne. Superficially, they characters are all friends, but the secrets they keep from each other poses the question, do we ever really know our neighbours, or even our own family? Read on >

  • Life on a cattle property enables Thomson to vividly describe experiences on the farm and in the garden. The themes of love and duty, the challenges in marriage, and friendship that can bridge generations make this an enjoyable true-to-life read for all ages. Read on >

  • The author wants his readers to be involved in this dark and violent novel. He invites them to take sides, take on board the ideas he has written and think about poverty, power, privilege, suicide and Aboriginal deaths in custody. But first they must meet some rather unattractive characters. Read on >

  • It’s hard to know what to focus on: Busi’s personal narrative of letting go or the political machinations within the town. Read on >

  • CeCe D’Apliese is one of seven sisters adopted from different parts of the world by a wealthy man. Although he gave her love, affection and security, she has never felt that she has fitted in with her family. Upon his death, he leaves her a clue as to her birthright, and with this scrap of information, she sets off to Australia in an effort to discover her roots. Unsure if she can face her past, she decides to kill a little time in Thailand, where she befriends a man who is not all that he seems. Read on >

  • Secrets emerge about the past, with troubling revelations about the natures of both of their parents. The lengths some of them go to get to the proffered inheritance provide entertaining and riveting reading. Read on >

  • This enthralling novel is extraordinarily rich in historical detail, made all the more fascinating because it’s based on a true story. Stephanie Parkyn vividly brings this world to life: the boredom and peril of ship life, the political undercurrents of the revolution that follow the ships as they traverse the world, and the people, flora and fauna the voyagers discover are all brilliantly evoked. Marie-Louise was possibly the first European woman to visit Van Diemen’s Land, but her amazing story encompasses so much more than this fact. Highly recommended. Read on >

  • This novel is brilliant. The story is compelling and addictive, and I continually questioned Royce’s and Vita’s motives and desires. Dovey’s richly detailed writing evokes both the interior and physical worlds of the two characters, from Royce’s memories of an archaeological dig in Pompeii to Vita’s struggles with the ethics behind her filmmaking. The book offers a profound insight into the nature of the human psyche, such as dealing with the burden of guilt, how the past can control the present and the motives behind creative output, control, desire and obsession.  Read on >

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