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 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.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • Born in London, retired doctor TONY ATKINSON spent the first years of his life in a cage dangling out of a window. But he went on to serve the Queen and Winston Churchill during his early career as a footman and waiter, which he recalls in hilarious stories in he memoir, A Prescribed Life. Read on >
  • Novelist and journalist MAGGIE ALDERSON spent her gap year as a ‘ferocious punk rocker’ working at an advertising agency and starting her own punk fanzine, for which she interviewed Bob Geldoff and Billy Idol. She went on to become the editor of Evening Standard and Elle in London. She also spent eight years in Australia as editor of Cleo and Mode, and covering fashion shows in Milan and Paris for The Sydney Morning Herald. Now back in the UK, Maggie has just released a new novel, The Scent of You. She tells us why reading fairy stories is good training for any writer, who her literary crush is, and why War and Peace is the most emotionally involving books she's ever read. 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 >
  • Following on from her two-million-selling historical novel Orphan Train, CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE has delved into the backstory of a famous painting by Andrew Wyeth to write her new novel, A Piece of the World. ANGUS DALTON talks with the author.  Read on >
  • Writer MIKE LUCAS and illustrator JENNIFER HARRISON tell gr about Olivia’s Voice, a new picture book about a deaf girl. 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 >
  • JOHN KINSELLA is the author of 30 books and is the three-time winner of the WA Premier's Book Award for Poetry. He's a fellow at Cambridge's Churchill college and the editor of international literary journal Salt. The self-described vegan/anarchist/pacifist tells Good Reading asked him about his new short story collection, Old Growth.   Read on >
  • Aristotle said that metaphor consists in giving a thing a name that belongs to something else. Shakespeare used metaphor when he wrote ‘All the world’s a stage’, drawing parallels between the planet and a theatrical performance space so that we might more easily understand what the world is like. Metaphors, by likening one thing to another, help us to understand things, or aspects of them, that might otherwise be difficult to comprehend. In Metaphors Be With You, DR MARDY GROTHE takes a historical look at how metaphors have been used to understand a huge range of topics, from adversity, beauty and curiosity through to love, war and vanity. Read on >
  • The symptoms of boredom, loneliness and heartache can often be alleviated by exposure to a good novel. But poetry can also have a similar healing effect. If you suffer from any of the following undesirable conditions, try these three poetic prescriptions that might just do the trick. 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 >
  • The author of The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: And other inspiring stories of pioneering brain transformation, busts long-held conceptions about how our minds function. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • 5 STAR REVIEW Ben and Grace Walker grew up surfing in an Australian coastal town. While Ben rode the swell all the way to surf sponsorships, Grace was always overshadowed by her twin.That is, until a wave comes crashing down on both of them, and Grace is left to wade in the ocean alone. Breathing Under Water is unequivocally Australian.  Read on >

  • 5 STAR REVIEW Imagine a perfect life where the great works of your career are acknowledged and you are given the status you deserve as a master of your craft. This is what any Chronicler would want and feel they deserved after writing what was considered to be one of the Great Tales. Read on >

  • It’s been a year since Tuesday’s father died, but the bleak cloud of gloom that settled on the house at that awful time has not yet lifted. Her mother’s typewriter is covered in dust and Tuesday’s notebooks lie unused. In the world of story, winter has come with a vengeance, covering everything with ice and snow. If something doesn’t happen soon, all the living creatures in that world, including Vivienne Small, will die of cold and starvation. Read on >

  • 4 STAR REVIEW Ona Vitkus is 104 years old and has accepted the fact that she won’t be alive for much longer. That is, until the boy starts visiting her. This child is, for all intents and purposes, a boy scout doing his bit for the community but who brings Ona so much more.  The boy’s life is centered on world records and, intrigued by Ona and her age, he decides that she needs to achieve her own world record. So begins an unlikely friendship that inspires Ona to start living again. Read on >

  • 4 STAR REVIEW Ye Xin is one of over 14 million high school graduates in Chine who were forced to leave the cities during the Cultural Revolution and work in rural areas, where they received re-education from the peasants. They were the zhiqing or ‘educated youth’. In the 1970s Ye Xin, along with masses of others, was allowed to return to his home city if he had no job in the rural area or if he were unmarried. He qualified, but others divorced their spouses and their children were left behind. Many of these zhiqing started new relationships in the city and kept their past lives undisclosed. Imagine the disturbance when, years later, a group of children come to look for their birth parents. Read on >

  • 4 STAR REVIEW Whisper to Me is written in the form of a letter from teenager Cassie to a boy she fell in love with over the summer but left broken-hearted. She is hoping her writing will redeem her and explain her behaviour. Always an outsider, Cassie has experienced a combinationof awkward social moments, accidents and bad luck that have firmly established her as a loner. But it’s the loss of her mother and the guilt Cassie carries around because of her death that triggers her descent into mental illness. Read on >