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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.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • Ed Yong – science reporter for The Atlantic and blogger for National Geographic – has just published his first book, I Contain Multitudes: The microbes within us and a grander view of life. We asked him to tell us about his reading life.   What are you
reading now?
 Patient H.M. by 
Luke Dittrich, because 
my editor for my own 
book sent me a galley
 copy! I’m glad she
 did. Henry Molaison 
was arguably the most
influential patient in
all of neuroscience.
 After an operation to
cure his epilepsy, he lost the ability to form new memories – think Memento – and so taught us much about how our memories work. Dittrich is the grandson of the surgeon who operated on Molaison, and he brings a deeply personal flavor to the incisive reporting and colourful writing that characterise this book. What are your three favourite books?
 The Song of the Dodo: Island biogeography in the age of extinctions by David Quammen is natural history writing at its finest – a witty, insightful tour of the planet’s islands and what they tell us about our increasingly fragmented world. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell offers genre-hopping stories but delivers a deep fable about hope and nihilism; I stared silently out a window for the longest time when I finished 
it. Being Wrong: Adventures in the margin of error by Kathryn Schulz is a wondrous study of human error that blends literature, science and philosophy. Read on >
  • Lynda La Plante changed the face of crime fiction and television with Prime Suspect and its stoic lead character, DCI Jane Tennison. Her new series details how Tennison cut her teeth on London’s crime-ridden, gang-ruled streets in the 80s. We asked the queen of crime 10 questions ahead of her new book release, Hidden Killers. Read on >
  • This first foray into crime fiction by Australian author Melina Marchetta, best known for her award-winning fiction for young adults, is a cracking read.   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 >
  • It’s often said that whatever happens in our childhoods resonates throughout the rest of our lives – for good or for ill. This was certainly the case for TIM ELLIOTT, who grew up with a father who suffered from bipolar disorder. TIM GRAHAM spoke to him about the lingering effects of a tumultuous childhood and his memoir ofpaternal madness, Farewell to the Father. Read on >
  • Australian author of literary and crime fiction DOROTHY JOHNSTON writes about the real-life kidnapping of a camel, coming home to Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula, and how she came to write Through a Camel’s Eye. 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 >
  • Stretching across generations and set on the Atherton Tablelands where she lives, the latest novel from prolific Australian author BARBARA HANNAY is a saga of loss, love, secrets and salvation. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN 
about her writing life, and how The Grazier's Wife evolved.   Read on >
  • In her latest novel, Melbourne author JANE RAWSON adds an air of otherworldliness to the story of her ancestor who survived a 19th-century shipwreck. She talks to MAUREEN EPPEN about history, aliens and the benefits of having been a ‘hack writer’ for 25 years.  Read on >
  • Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has inspired all kinds of fan fiction and adaptations, such as the 1966 prequel Wide Sargasso Sea. But in this new novel by Sydney resident JENNIFER LIVETT, the lives of Jane Eyre characters become entwined with those of real 19th-century Tasmanians, including doomed Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin. Here Jennifer tells us how she came up with the idea for Wild Island. Read on >
  • Adelaide writer STEPHEN 
ORR, whose book The Hands
 was longlisted for the 2016 
Miles Franklin Award, likes to
travel the world inspecting
 sites of literary interest – when 
he’s not writing about cattle 
stations and small towns. Here 
he recounts a recent journey to
 the British Isles and Germany on 
which he visited the homes and
 haunts of some of the world’s best known authors. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • 4.5 STAR REVIEW This novel, Jane Jago’s first, explores the seldom-discussed issue of violence perpetrated by children against children. It also looks at juvenile incarceration and rehabilitation, and to whom culpability should be ascribed when children commit crimes. Published at a time when the mistreatment of juvenile offenders in Northern Territory detention centres has hit the headlines and a Royal Commission is under way, The Wrong Hand is a disturbing yet relevant read. Read on >

  • 4 Star Review Isabelle Li’s 16 short stories immerse our senses in the depth of feeling, rhythms, and the mysterious elusiveness of poetry, while her easy conversational style focuses on events in the lives of a number of people who have emigrated from China. Set largely in China, Australia, Singapore and also in the Philippines and London, the stories oscillate from the tropics to the temperate zones, and from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere, where the moon in all its stages is the protagonists’ only companion. The stories reveal the emotional and cultural problems of the emigrants in a new land where they must deal with a new language. Read on >

  • 4 Star Review Britt-Marie’s husband, Kent, has a heart attack and his mistress is looking after him in a Swedish hospital. Britt-Marie is in shock. She thought her husband was on a business trip in Germany. She didn’t realise he had a mistress. Read on >

  • 4 Star Review The novel tells the story of two families over 50 years, one in Virginia and the other in California. When the father of one family divorces his wife to marry the mother of the other family, who divorces her husband, the scene is set for blended families at holiday times. Read on >

  • 4 Star Review At the centre of the novel is cricket, a national obsession in contemporary India. The Kumar brothers – handsome Radha, the prodigy who all the selectors are fighting over, and his younger brother, Manju – have been working all their lives under the diabolical gaze of their father to improve the family’s status through cricketing greatness. And it finally seems as if they have achieved it.  Read on >

  • 4 Star Review Jessie Burton’s debut novel, The Miniaturist, was published in 2014 to much fanfare but mixed reviews. It nonetheless became a bestseller. So it’s not surprising to discover that Burton struggled with the pressure that comes with writing a second novel. The Muse, however, is a solid achievement. Read on >

  • 5 Star Review What would you do if you knew you were the only person in America who could rescue the one man who could help bring the Manhattan Project to completion faster than the Nazi scientists could complete their own experiments with nuclear fusion? Read on >

  • 2.5 Star Review Bipolar psychiatrist Natalie King is recovering from a combination of PTSD and depression. She decides to relocate to a sleepy coastal town on the Great Ocean Road and complete her PhD at the local university. Her supervisor, Dr Frank Moreton, approaches her with a problem – his first wife died while pregnant, and now his second wife is pregnant and behaving erratically. Natalie reluctantly but irrevocably finds herself drawn in by Frank and his complex and tragic past. Read on >

  • 3 Star Review In this 14th ‘Charlie Parker’ thriller, John Connolly has again posited an ancient evil that prospers in a sleepy little backwoods American town. In this case, a cult-like group called the Cut (which is also the name of the area in which the group lives) worships an ancient totem, the Dead King, and for centuries they have lived off the proceeds of crime, rapine and murder. They live in isolation from the other inhabitants of the town and, generally, each side leaves the other alone. Read on >

  • 2.5 Star Review Sherlock Holmes is all very well, but lately we’ve see him and his knock-offs in so many books, movies and TV adaptations that it’s likely that some people are a bit sick of the Holmesian phenomenon. What to do then, if you’ve had enough of wise, inscrutable, mystery-solving young men? How about a wise, inscrutable, mystery-solving older woman? Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue