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Archive Discoveries

  • American author and hairdresser DEBORAH RODRIGUEZ lived in the Afghan capital of Kabul for five years, and in that time she founded her own beauty salon and coffee shop. On her return to the US, she wrote a bestselling novel based on the bustling cafe, and now she’s taking us back to Afghanistan in Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul. ANGUS DALTON reports. 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 >
  • The changing moral code and shift in gender roes of World War II provide the backdrop for JENNIFER RYAN's debut novel The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN about the people and events that inspired the story. Read on >
  • If you think of the German navy in World War II, then you probably conjure up images of grand-scale conflicts such as the Battle of the Atlantic or the Baltic Sea campaigns. But not so many people are aware that German ships were also on the prowl down in the South Pacific and in the Indian Ocean, where they disguised themselves as ordinary freighters before launching their deadly assaults on unsuspecting Allied craft. False Flags, a new account by Canberra author STEPHEN ROBINSON, tells the story of four German raiders, including the infamous attack by one of them, the Kormoran, on the HMAS Sydney in 1941. GRANT HANSEN reports. Read on >
  • Former pop-punk rocker LEN VLAHOS tells Good Reading about his new YA novel, Life in a Fishbowl, and how Marcus Zusak inspired him to write from the perspective of a brain tumour. Read on >
  • The exact percentage of people with dyslexia is unknown, but it’s estimated at between 5 and 17 per cent of the population. And many people may not even be aware that they have the condition. There’s no cure for it, but now there’s a new way to help people overcome dyslexia – and it’s as simple as using a new font. Read on >
  • Find out about the inspiration behind the bestselling brilliance of Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project, his new novel The Best of Adam Sharp, and how he made a name for himself by dressing as a duck. Read on >
  • KIRI FALLS was introduced to the works of English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65) when she saw the 2004 BBC production of North & South. Last year, the 150th anniversary of Gaskell’s death, Kiri decided to make a pilgrimage to the newly renovated Manchester home of the great lady. Read on >
  • For some women, bad men cast an irresistibly magnetic spell. Melbourne-based author LAURA ELIZABETH WOOLLETT examines this often fatal attraction in  The Love of a Bad Man, a collection of 12 stories based on the lives of real women who sought the love of criminals. In this extract from ‘Eva’, the author imagines the post-coital thoughts of Eva Braun, who met Adolf Hitler when she was 17. 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 >
  • 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 >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Grief is an individual experience and one that most people cannot articulate. For Lucy Palmer, a journalist, editor and author, it was an intense, difficult, uplifting time, and this skilled wordsmith takes readers with her on every step of her physical, emotional and spiritual journey. Read on >

  • 2.5 Star Review The Kept Woman is a lurid melodrama that isn’t quite serious, or tongue in cheek enough to really satisfy on any level. Read on >

  • This novel has a strong narrative, a well-rounded principal character and a memorable supporting cast. Murder should result only from deep-rooted emotions and the author does not disappoint. I look forward to further books in the series. Read on >

  • Like Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, this book is an allegory that crosses several genres and consists of three stories that span generations. Read on >

  • 5 Star Review This book, which is anything but a dry history, brings the first 80 years of this settlement alive with its personal stories of love, hate and bravery, interspersed among the fascinating historical facts that I never learned. Robert Macklin calls Hamilton Hume ‘our greatest explorer’, and now that I’ve read this enthralling but at times shocking story, I totally agree. Read on >

  • 4.5 Star Review The smoothie has been around for several decades, but this book shows how they have evolved into a highly sophisticated beverage. Read on >

  • 5 star review This is historical fiction at its finest and most compelling. Read on >

  • 4 Star Review Once you start reading The Fence you’ll find it hard to put it down, and you just might feel more kindly toward those who live near you. Read on >

  • 3.5 Star Review I had never read any Jay McInerney before this novel, but I knew that he had a reputation for good, modern American writing. And if you like that kind of thing – realistic characters with true-to-life concerns – he is one to watch. His prose is crisp and poetic and his characters are finely drawn. Read on >

  • 5 star review There is so much to enjoy about this book; my tip is that it will become a firm favourite with book clubs. Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue

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