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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. 
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 stories of SUSAN PERABO have been likened to the work of George Saunders and Raymond Carver. Her latest novel, The Fall of Lisa Bellow, kicks off when school student Meredith is kidnapped together with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow. Meredith is set free – but Lisa remains. We asked Susan to tell us about short stories versus novels, her love of baseball and writing advice she has received. 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 >
  • After reading a few thrillers lately I got to thinking about writers in the crime and thriller genres and the research they need to do to make their books seem real. Research can be an exciting part of writing any book. Determining how a killer might think and how their victim could become entrapped is one thing, but I can’t imagine looking at dead people or reading detailed reports of the methods that serial killers use to stalk and murder their prey.That’s the sort of awful stuff police deal with and psychologically struggle with for the rest of their lives. But could even researching this sort of thing affect a writer?  Read on >
  • Creativity is often thought of as a special gift bestowed on only a handful of lucky people. But as Australian novelist SUE WOOLFE points out, it’s a skill that you can cultivate. Here are five tips she used to create her latest collection of stories, Do You Love Me or What? Read on >
  • For many of us, the streets of London or New York are more familiar
than the towns and settlements of the remote north and centre of our own country. But non-Indigenous artist and writer KIM MAHOOD, who spent many years of her childhood on a cattle station amid Indigenous lands, knows these parts of Australia well. In her new book, Position Doubtful, she recounts
 her frequent journeys from her home in Wamboin, near Canberra, back to Indigenous communities in NT and WA. We caught up with Kim in Alice Springs just as she was preparing to head out on a 1000 km road trip. Read on >
  • From an investigation into the scandals of the Catholic Church by Tom Keneally to Jeffrey Archer’s thrilling last instalment in the ‘Clifton Chronicles’ series or a tale of a shrewd female locksmith in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, these books will delight you over the long, languid days of summer. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • The mystery surrounding Agatha Christie’s 1926 disappearance provided the inspiration for On the Blue Train, the second novel of US-based Australian author KRISTEL THORNELL. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN how her research led her to parts of England where the celebrated mystery author lived – and to the North Yorkshire hotel wher she spent jer 'lost' days. 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

  • Lovely big, doggy illustrations and just a few lines of text on each page make this a perfect book for the littlies – especially if they have a four-legged friend at home.   Read on >

  • You’ll love Piggy and his ove rsized red glasses. And the big, bright and happy illustrations filling every page must surely make for a happy ending. Read on >

  • The details about how to use the app are on the book’s back cover. There is also an informative website – wordhunters.com.au – that includes helpful tips for teachers. Read on >

  • This involved tale has many twists and turns that sometimes leave the reader a little puzzled. The narration has an old-fashioned quality, reminiscent of Gothic European fairytales. Read on >

  • Chris Riddell has created a world of whimsy and charm, brought to life by his quirky illustrations. Ottoline is a resourceful and creative young lady who, despite missing her parents, manages to cope very well. Of course, having a friend like Mr Munroe is a bonus. Read on >

  • This is not a tale of triumph. At the end of six weeks, Japanese and Australian losses from air combat were about equivalent. The subsequent and much more famous Kokoda campaign was, in fact, a symptom of imperial Japanese desperation. Read on >

  • The short, blunt sentences in Leah’s narration seem jolting at first, but they create a flat and deliberate pace that sets the dull and desperate tone for the book and the lives of its residents. If you like bleak snapshots of small-town America, this book is for you. Read on >

  • Saltwater is a memoir of sorts written by a Queensland lawyer. It recounts her time working for the Aboriginal Legal Service in North Queensland. Read on >

  • Reading this book made me realise the need to make better choices to improve our collective health and to make a personal contribution to the earth’s future sustainability on every level. Read on >

  • The energy in James Rollins’s writing is palpable. He draws readers in to the action from the outset, creating enough twists and turns in the events to maintain a level of intensity that carries through to the final page. Read on >

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