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Book Club

Discover the Best Australian & International Authors

Follow the Good Reading Magazine book club. We’re dedicated to helping people around the country discover the hidden gems and smash hits that belong on their book shelf. Every month we publish a magazine full to the brim with incisive, relevant and entertaining articles about books and interviews with Australian and international authors, breaking down what makes their stories and their lives so unique and so engaging.

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  1. Allegra in Three Parts

    I can split myself in two... something I have to do because of Joy and Matilde. They are my grandmothers and I love them both and they totally love me but they can't stand each other. Eleven-year-old Allegra shuttles between her grandmothers who live next door to one another but couldn't be more different. Matilde works all hours and instils discipline, duty and restraint. She insists that Allegra focus on her studies to become a doctor. Meanwhile free-spirited Joy is full of colour, possibility and emotion, storing all her tears in little glass bottles. She is riding the second wave of the women's movement in the company of her penny tortoise, Simone de Beauvoir, encouraging Ally to explore broad horizons and live her 'true essence'. Allegra is left to orbit these three worlds wishing they loved her a little less and liked each other a lot more. Until one day the unspoken tragedy that's created this division explodes within the person they all cherish most.

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  2. Chief Inspector Gamache : Kingdom of the Blind Chief Inspector Gamache : Book 14

    When Armand Gamache receives a letter inviting him to an abandoned farmhouse outside of Three Pines, the former head of the Surete du Quebec discovers that a complete stranger has named him as executor of her will. Armand never knew the elderly woman, and the bequests are so wildly unlikely that he suspects she must have been delusional - until a body is found, and the terms of the bizarre document suddenly seem far more menacing. Armand sets about investigating, but meanwhile he is taking increasingly desperate measures to rectify the recent events that led to his suspension. As he does, he begins to see his own blind spots - and the terrible things hiding there . . .

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  3. Hitch

    Winner of the inaugural Penguin Literary Prize. Amelia stands beside a highway in the Australian desert, alone except for her dog and the occasional road train that speeds past her raised thumb. After her mother's funeral, Amelia was confronted by Zach and reminded of the relationship they had when she was a teenager. She feels complicit and remains unable to process what happened. So she ran. Her best friend, Sid, is Zach's cousin and the one person in the world she can depend upon. But, of course, the road isn't safe either. Amelia is looking for generosity or human connection in the drivers she finds lifts with, and she does receive that. But she is also let down. Hitch is a raw exploration of consent and its ambiguities, personal agency and the choices we make. It's the story of twenty-something Amelia and her dog Lucy hitchhiking from one end of the country to the other, trying to outrun grief and trauma, and moving ever closer to the things she longs to escape. Kathryn Hind, winner of the inaugural Penguin Literary Prize, writes with acuity, empathy and wisdom. She is a shining new light on the Australian literary scene.

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  4. Imperfect

    By the time she was eleven and living in Russia, Lee Kofman had undergone several major operations on both a defective heart and injuries sustained in a bus accident. Her body harbours a constellation of disfiguring scars that have shaped her sense of self and her view of the world. But it wasn't until she moved from the Soviet Union to Israel and later Australia that she realised these markings weren't badges of honour to flaunt but were, in fact, imperfections that needed to be concealed. In a seductive mix of memoir and cultural critique, Kofman casts a questioning eye on the myths surrounding our conception of physical perfection and what it's like to live in a body that deviates from the norm. She reveals the subtle ways we are all influenced by the bodies we inhabit, whether our differences are pronounced or noticeable only to ourselves. She talks to people of all shapes, sizes and configurations and takes a hard look at the way media and culture dictates how bodies should and shouldn't be. By turns illuminating, confronting and deeply personal, IMPERFECT challenges us all to consider how we exist in the world and how our bodies shape the people we become.

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  5. Crossings

    I didn't write this book. I stole it... A Parisian bookbinder stumbles across a manuscript containing three stories, each as unlikely as the other. The first, 'The Education of a Monster', is a letter penned by the poet Charles Baudelaire to an illiterate girl. The second, 'City of Ghosts', is a noir romance set in Paris in 1940 as the Germans are invading. The third, 'Tales of the Albatross', is the strangest of the three: the autobiography of a deathless enchantress. Together, they tell the tale of two lost souls peregrinating through time. An unforgettable tour de force with echoes of Roberto Bolaño, David Mitchell and Umberto Eco, Crossings is a novel in three parts, designed to be read in two different directions, spanning a hundred and fifty years and seven lifetimes.

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  6. The White Girl

    Odette Brown has lived her whole life on the fringes of a small country town. Raising her granddaughter Sissy on her own, Odette has managed to stay under the radar of the welfare authorities who are removing Aboriginal children from their communities. When the menacing Sergeant Lowe arrives in town, determined to fully enforce the law, any freedom that Odette and Sissy enjoy comes under grave threat. Odette must make an impossible choice to protect her family. In The White Girl, Tony Birch has created memorable characters whose capacity for love and courage are a timely reminder of the endurance of the human spirit.

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  7. Bright Swallow: Making Choices in Mao's China

    Bright Swallow, a young girl labelled as of 'bad origins' in Mao's Cultural Revolution, becomes motherless at fifteen in 1972. Determined to live a full life like her mother had known, she seizes every chance, creates choices where there appear to be none and finally has the world open up to her. The memoir distinguishes itself from other accounts of this period in being a story of hope. It celebrates resilience, the power of literature, music and the imagination; and pays tribute to the people who retained the fundamental decency that can easily disappear in adverse circumstances. Mao's China is now history, but similar dark regimes and mad ideologies still exist. There is much suffering from discrimination, humiliation and injustice at this moment. This is why this memoir has been written.

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  8. Maestra

    Sex. Murder. Shoes. A shockingly original and darkly decadent thriller - Gone Girl meets The Talented Mr Ripley.

    Judith Rashleigh works as an assistant in a prestigious London auction house, but her dreams of breaking into... More about this book
  9. An Isolated Incident

    When 25-year-old Bella Michaels is brutally murdered in the small town of Strathdee, the community is stunned and a media storm descends.

    Unwillingly thrust into the eye of that storm is Bella's beloved older sister, Chris, a barmaid a... More about this book
  10. Slaughter House Five

    Unstuck in time, Billy Pilgrim, Vonnegut's shattered survivor of the Dresden bombing, relives his life over and over again under the gaze of aliens; he comes at last to some understanding of the human comedy. The basis of George Roy's great 1972 film ... More about this book

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