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Archive Discoveries

  • Meet the author who won the ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year 2015, and find out about her latest title, The Art of Keeping Secrets. Read on >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Most of Lonely Planet’s publications can fit snugly at the bottom of a backpack, but The Travel Book is a volume best left at home on the coffee table to inspire adventures.  Read on >
  • If you set out to write a thriller, you’re going to have to do some research. And while your story will be fiction, you’ll probably uncover more than a few fascinating real-world facts, as Australian thriller author L A LARKIN discovered while researching for her latest novel, Devour. Read on >
  • RITU MENON loves to travel and she loves to sample the local fare of the places her journeys take her to.Her new book, Loitering with Intent: Diary of a happy traveller, is derived from over a decade of travel journal writing. Here she recounts how she came to write the book and recalls a couple of fabulous Italian feasts. Read on >
  • ANGUS DALTON meets British historian, journalist and author L S HILTON as she publicises the most hotly anticipated thriller of 2016, Maestra. 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 >
  • Australian historical novelist Pamela Hart tells us about her latest novel, A Letter From Italy, and Australia's first female war correspondent.  Read on >
  • The nose is a wonderful thing. A new study has found that the human nose can distinguish between at least one trillion different smells. I love nothing more than sticking my nose inside a blooming rose as I walk Baxter along the street. But I also have a passionate hatred of the choking diesel fumes disgorged from nearby cruise ships. So even though I may be able to detect over a trillion odours, there are many of them I don’t want to smell! Kate Grenville’s new book, The Case against Fragrance, has had me pondering the aromas, the scents and odours that enter my nose – whether I want them to or not. In 2015 Kate started to get frequent headaches and other signs of ill health and, strangely, they seemed to get worse when she was on tour to promote her latest book.After some effort to isolate the cause, she discovered that it was perfumes or other fragrances that were the culprits. She felt debilitated. She loved to meet her readers but was bombarded with fragrances in crowded rooms. She was compelled to find out what it was about perfumes that could be causing her these health problems. She opened a can of worms. Read on >
  • Australian film director BRUCE BERESFORD (Driving Miss Daisy, Paradise Road) and film producer SUE MILLIKEN (Black Robe and Sirens) have collaborated on several films over their long careers. Their new book, There’s a Fax from Bruce: Edited correspondence between Bruce Beresford & Sue Milliken 1989- 1996, collects the communications – full of industry gossip, news and thoughts on books and films – from a pre-email era between these two filmmaking luminaries. They tell us here about the books that have influenced them. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • 4 Star Review Nutshell is probably unlike any other thriller you have read, largely because it is narrated by a foetus. This is an original novel that will resonate with anyone familiar with the story of Hamlet. Enjoy the Shakespearean undertones and the elegant prose. Read on >

  • 4 star review Hill’s dense, satisfying storytelling shines a critical and satirical light on contemporary America culture and introduces a cast of quirky characters – some strangely beguiling, others despicably toxic – all caught up in a series of bizarre events and experiences. Read on >

  • 2 star review Take a fiercely intelligent, ambitious, and profoundly naive college student. Add a brilliant physics professor and a dash of infatuation, and bake slowly in the stifling social mores of mid-20th century small-town USA.     Read on >

  • 3 star review Abel is dying, and the disembodied voice of a nurse is asking him to give a full account of himself. In dreamlike stream-of-consciousness prose, Abel tells the story of his life.     Read on >

  • 4 star review The title (based on a quote from Martin Luther King Jr: ‘If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.’) is what drives Ruth to take on the big issue of racism that she has pushed to the back of her mind for too long. Read on >

  • 4 star review This collection of short stories is a skilful exploration of characters who seem to inhabit a nebulous world: visible, present and yet somehow adrift on the margins of society. After the Carnage is a fine collection of stories and bodes well for her next novel, due out later this year. Read on >

  • 2 star review In this sixth book of the ‘Ancient Egypt’ series, Pharaoh Tamose is dead, leaving Taita, his chief advisor, in charge of the remnants of Pharaoh’s army, which faces an overwhelming Hyksos army. Their defeat seems unstoppable until succour arrives from a most unexpected source, and Taita emerges the victor. Read on >

  • 1 star review The college narrative presents Charlie, a wannabe entrepreneur who is trying to start a business, and Ellie, who is attempting to finish a dissertation on Nietzsche. Read on >

  • 4 star review The Rules of Backyard Cricket is an astute exploration of character and family. Serong takes us from ’70s suburbia through to a brutal present in which ex-cricketer Darren Keefe is cable-tied and lies wounded in the boot of a car. During his frightening ride, Darren remembers the life that has led him to this point. Read on >

  • 4 star review A tightly written thriller with enough twists and turns to keep you reading until the last page. Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue