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Beauty in Thorns, a reimagining of the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ set in the 19th-century world of the Pre-Raphaelites, is told in the voices of four women intimately involved with four famous artists. KATE FORSYTH, author of the novel, recounts the life stories of these muses, mistresses, wives and daughters.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • A Melbourne woman proud of her 7000-year-old Persian heritage shines a light on family violence in a memoir covering three generations. SOHILA ZANJANI, author of Scattered Pearls, speaks with JENNIFER SOMERVILLE. 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 >
  • Read this and the ordinary world disappears,’ says Stephen King of
‘The Passage’ series. ANGUS DALTON talks with bestselling author JUSTIN CRONIN about his post-apocalyptic trilogy, the vampiric creatures he created to end humanity, and the last instalment of the series, The City of Mirrors. Read on >
  • Alison Evans is a genderqueer writer, lover of bad movies, and co-founder of the zine Concrete Queers. Here Alison tells us about her new spec-fic novel, Ida, and non-binary identities in YA fiction. 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 >
  • JANINE
 BURKE is an
 Australian
art historian,
author,
biographer,
photographer and
award-winning novelist.
Her latest book, Kiffy Rubbo,
which she has co-edited with Helen Hughes, collects contributions 
from leading figures in the artistic community that all focus on the dynamic figure of Kiffy Rubbo (1944-80), a pioneering curator
in Melbourne in the 1970s. We asked Janine to tell us about this new book and the books that have shaped her 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 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 >
  • Communicating the most exciting new developments in science to non-scientific readers can be a challenge. But Know This: Today’s most interesting and important scientific ideas, discoveries, and developments, takes up the challenge and lets dozens of eminent scientists tell us what they think are the most interesting recent developments in science. Here are two extracts from the book. 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 >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • He’s had a university, a lake, a bank and much more named after him. But Lachlan Macquarie, the fifth governor of the colony of New South Wales, is  an equivocal figure who seems to have been forgotten in recent years. Author MICHAEL SEDUNARY set out to dig up the old chap and take another look at him in his new book, The Startling Story of Lachlan Macquarie. Read on >

  • This superb novel is beautifully written, thought-provoking and a truly magical door to the minds and experiences of those who seem very different but who are, as we discover, just like us. Read on >

  • Next time you use your smartphone camera to snap a cute baby, a glorious sunset or – quelle horreur! – a selfie, take a moment to think about Louis Daguerre, one of the founding fathers of photography. This novel, a mix of history and imagination, takes the reader to Paris in the first half of the 19th century. Read on >

  • Whether you’re a fan of historical fiction, or just looking for something different, give Beauty in Thorns a go. Read on >

  • In a world where the power of the media and other traditional establishments is being weakened by ‘disruption’ and ‘innovation’, where clickbait articles about celebrities generate hits while corruption or secret deals go unreported, Orwell’s vision feel as fresh and relevant today as when he was writing in the mid-1940s. Read this and then re-read Nineteen Eighty-Four. Read on >

  • If I had to sum up Hinterland in a couple of words, I would describe it as uniquely Australian. Steven Lang paints a vivid Australia of scorching landscapes and curious, eclectic characters shaped by diverse experiences. He cleverly explores the power that place has over people’s lives, embedding personal stories with descriptions of cities, landscapes and streets. Through this little town he manages to explore a large, diverse Australia. Read on >

  • Adrian Goldsworthy is a respected ancient historian and also the author of the very entertaining ‘Napoleonic Wars’ series, which started with True Soldier Gentlemen. Vindolanda draws on his expertise in Roman military history and, in particular, on the fabulous find of hundreds of everyday letters, written on thin, postcard-sized pieces of wood in the late first century CE. These priceless documents have been excavated in the eponymous Roman fort in the vicinity of what became Hadrian’s Wall. Read on >

  • The Last Garden is beautifully written and will doubtless evoke a quiet fascination in the discerning reader, provided they don’t expect much action or resolution in the narrative. Read on >

  • Being a book reviewer can be a tough life because reviews, like the books on which they are based, attract varying levels of invective and approval. Author David Free, himself a reviewer, has written a novel about a book reviewer at the centre of a murder investigation. Read on >

  • Anyone who has ever visited the Argyle Diamond Mine in the eastern Kimberley region of Western Australia, or flown over it on the way from Kununurra to the Purnululu National Park (formerly known as the Bungle Bungles), will be fascinated by this novel. Read on >

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The Good People