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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.

We’ve been Australia’s literary magazine of choice for more than 16 years, bringing the finest titles from across the country and around the world into your home. We’ve spotlighted authors from Britain, Pakistan, Canada, Sweden and more, expanding our reader’s minds and broadening their horizons. From page-turning thrillers to heart-wrenching dramas, historical analyses and intimate memoirs, we offer up a diverse and carefully curated selection of texts to our readers, offering something to suit all tastes.  

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  1. Preservation

    Preservation, based on the true story of the wreck of the Sydney Cove, sees master storyteller Jock Serong turn his talents to historical narrative. On a beach not far from the isolated settlement of Sydney in 1797, a fishing boat picks up three shipwreck survivors, distressed and terribly injured. They have walked hundreds of miles across a landscape whose features—and inhabitants—they have no way of comprehending. They have lost fourteen companions along the way. Their accounts of the ordeal are evasive. It is Lieutenant Joshua Grayling’s task to investigate the story. He comes to realise that those fourteen deaths were contrived by one calculating mind and, as the full horror of the men’s journey emerges, he begins to wonder whether the ruthless killer poses a danger to his own family.

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  2. The Arsonist

    On the scorching February day in 2009 that became known as Black Saturday, a man lit two fires in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, then sat on the roof of his house to watch the inferno. In the Valley, where the rates of crime were the highest in the state, more than thirty people were known to police as firebugs. But the detectives soon found themselves on the trail of a man they didn’t know. The Arsonist takes readers on the hunt for this man, and inside the strange puzzle of his mind. It is also the story of fire in this country, and of a community that owed its existence to that very element. The command of fire has defined and sustained us as a species – understanding its abuse will define our future. A powerful real-life thriller written with Hooper’s trademark lyric detail and nuance, The Arsonist is a reminder that in an age of fire, all of us are gatekeepers.

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  3. Unbreakable Threads

    The remarkable true story of an Australian mother's fight to free an unaccompanied Hazara boy from detention, and include him in her family. An extraordinary story of courage and kindness and the ultimate triumph of family over what, at times, seem like insurmountable odds. 'Abdul is dignified, defiant even, but his poise is beginning to wear thin in this place. He needs surgery for a chronic shoulder injury sustained when he was hit by a car in Kabul. Like the others in detention with him, he faces an uncertain fate, and years in limbo. Most of the people in the centre have already had their spirits broken.' When psychiatrist and mother of three Emma Adams travels to Darwin as an observer of conditions for mothers and babies in the immigration detention centres there, she expects the trip to be confronting. What she doesn't expect is to return to Canberra consumed by the idea that she must help a sixteen-year-old unaccompanied Hazara boy from Afghanistan - Abdul. The premise was simple: Wouldn't any teenage boy be better off staying with a family rather than locked behind a wire fence? In this brutal and bureaucratic system, freedom was a hopeless dream. Emma and Abdul's connection, and her fight to get him out and provide him with an Australian home, a family and a future, forms an important testimony in Australia's appalling treatment of asylum seekers. Their story is a beacon of hope and humanity.

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  4. Books That Saved My Life: Reading for Wisdom, Solace and Pleasure

    Here are forty texts to read at some stage in your life- forty texts that can enrich you in all manner of ways. Some are recent, like Harry Potter; some ancient, like Homer and Lao Tzu. There are memoirs (Nelson Mandela), poetry (Les Murray) and many of the world's great novels, from George Eliot's Middlemarch to Toni Morrison's Beloved. Our guide, in entertaining short essays about personal encounters with each of these works, is Michael McGirr- schoolteacher and former priest, reviewer of hundreds of novels and lifelong lover of literature. His humour and insight shine through in stories that connect the texts he has selected with each other, and connect us to them. Never prescriptive, and often very funny, this book is an invitation to reflect on-and share with others-the extraordinary gift of reading. 'It is a gift that is taking me a lifetime to unwrap,? McGirr writes. 'The excitement has never worn off.?

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  5. The Skinny Girl

    A story of silence that must be told. Shy, petite Daisy Croucher lives in other people's shadows and is practically invisible, even in her own family. She is surprised and flattered when popular pub local Jeff Singleton looks her way. 'Skinny Minnie, ' he calls her. Jeff has a golden rule when it comes to women - never keep one for more than thirty days. Then he meets Daisy. Life with Jeff is a roller-coaster ride, the likes of which Daisy never imagined. She soon discovers that marriage consists of more than playing happy families in the suburbs. Daisy's marriage has its secrets. Raw, powerful and confronting, 'The Skinny Girl' positions the reader to walk a mile in Daisy's shoes. Can Daisy step out of the shadows and shine?

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  6. The Waiter

    Welcome to The Hills, Oslo’s most esteemed restaurant, an institution stewed in tradition and clinging to the faded grandeur of old Europe. A neurotic waiter tends to the desires of his regular – and irregular – clientele. Aristocrats and artistes, wealthy widows and roguish entrepreneurs, he observes all their dramas with a wit as sharp as a filleting knife. At table ten sits the impeccable Mr Graham, the most demanding of them all, impatiently awaiting a special guest. When at last she arrives – young, beautiful, mysterious – she will prove a challenging new flavour, throwing into disarray our waiter’s nerves, and the delicately balanced ingredients of the room. Exquisitely observed and wickedly playful, The Waiter is a novel for lovers of food, wine, and of European sensibilities, but also for anyone who spends time in restaurants, on either side of the service.

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  7. Evening in Paradise

    The publication of A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin’s dazzling collection of short stories, marked the rediscovery of a writer whose talent had gone unremarked by many. The incredible reaction to Lucia’s writing – her ability to capture the beauty and ugliness that coexist in everyday lives, the extraordinary honesty and magnetism with which she draws on her own history to breathe life into her characters – included calls for her contribution to American literature to be as celebrated as that of Raymond Carver. Evening in Paradise is a careful selection from the remaining Berlin stories – a jewel box follow-up for Lucia Berlin’s hungry fans.

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  8. Girl They Left Behind

    Inspired by a true story, this haunting tale of love and survival spans two decades of war and revolution, from war-torn Romania in 1941 to New York in 1960. On a freezing night in January 1941, a little Jewish girl is found on the steps of an apartment building in Bucharest. With Romania recently allied with the Nazis, the Jewish population is in grave danger, undergoing increasingly violent persecution. The girl is placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As she assimilates into her new life, she all but forgets the parents who were forced to leave her behind. They are even further from her mind when Romania falls under Soviet occupation. Yet, as Natalia comes of age in a bleak and hopeless world, traces of her identity pierce the surface of her everyday life, leading gradually to a discovery that will change her destiny. She has a secret crush on Victor, an intense young man who as an impoverished student befriended her family long ago. Years later, when Natalia is in her early twenties and working at a warehouse packing fruit, she and Victor, now an important official in the Communist regime, cross paths again. This time they are fatefully drawn into a passionate affair despite the obstacles swirling around them and Victor’s dark secrets. When Natalia is suddenly offered a one-time chance at freedom, Victor is determined to help her escape, even if it means losing her. Natalia must make an agonizing decision: remain in Bucharest with her beloved adoptive parents and the man she has come to love, or seize the chance to finally live life on her own terms, and to confront the painful enigma of her past.

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  9. The Waters of Eternal Youth

    In The Waters of Eternal Youth, the twenty-fifth instalment in the bestselling Brunetti series, our Commissario finds himself drawn into a case that may not be a crime at all.

    Brunetti is investigating a cold case by request of t... More about this book
  10. When the Music's Over

    The new DCI Banks book by Number One bestseller Peter Robinson has the team investigating two highly contemporary crimes - each echoing and illuminating the other.

    When the body of a young girl is found in a remote countrysi... More about this book

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