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Irish debut novelist Esther Campion tells us about Leaving Ocean Road, a heart-warming tale of love and loss that follows Ellen O’Shea as she mourns the death of her beloved husband and is reunited with a former lover.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • When she’s not training her inquisitorial blowtorch on politicians and other people who have questions to answer, ABC reporter and presenter SARAH FERGUSON loves to delve into a book. Her new book, The Killing Season Uncut, recounts the behind-the-scenes tales of the television program about the tumultuous Rudd–Gillard years. We asked the multi-award winning Four Corners reporter to tell us about the books that have influenced her. Read on >
  • We chat to aspiring astronaut and sci-fi writer S J Kincaid on haunted graveyards, Star Trek, and her new YA galactic thriller, The Diabolic.  Read on >
  • LUCY DURNEEN lectures in creative writing in Plymouth, England, and is the assistant editor of the literary journal Short Fiction. We asked her about the apparent resurgence of interest in short stories, her beginnings as a writer, and the blending of realism and fantasy in the stories in her new collection, Wild Gestures. Read on >
  • 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 >
  • Aristotle said that metaphor consists in giving a thing a name that belongs to something else. Shakespeare used metaphor when he wrote ‘All the world’s a stage’, drawing parallels between the planet and a theatrical performance space so that we might more easily understand what the world is like. Metaphors, by likening one thing to another, help us to understand things, or aspects of them, that might otherwise be difficult to comprehend. In Metaphors Be With You, DR MARDY GROTHE takes a historical look at how metaphors have been used to understand a huge range of topics, from adversity, beauty and curiosity through to love, war and vanity. 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 >
  • Paul Mitchell is a poet, short story writer, and now a novelist with the release of We. Are. Family. Read on to find out about Paul's poetry, writing, and the way he explores family trauma and masculinity in Australia.  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 >
  • 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 >
  • I switched on to watch ABC TV’s The Drum one evening and discovered Jodi Picoult sitting on the panel discussion.What a great performer she is – not only an impressive writer but also an impressive speaker.The discussion at the table was raging around whether a white author has the right, or could even have the understanding, to write about black characters. As a white woman, how could she really know what’s it’s like to be a black woman, let alone a black man? How could she write black characters and make them authentic without knowing how they feel? Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • 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 >

  • The Sunshine Sisters is a great read and a reminder of the importance of sibling relationships and family. Sometimes the parent that causes the most trouble and is the biggest nuisance can leave the largest hole in a child’s life when they are gone. Read on >

  • This first novel has good bones for its plot. It’s just a pity they are not fleshed out to their full potential.  Read on >

  • This fairytale-inspired thriller has been touted as a breakthrough for Karen Dionne, who has five previous books (including two TV show tie-ins) on her resume. Interspersed with snatches of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale of the same name. Read on >

  • Forgotten will keep you on the edge of your seat. You’ll be anxious, sad, angry and hopeful almost all at once as you get an insight into every parent’s nightmare. Read on >

  • The pacing of this survival tale at times feels laboured, but there is an undercurrent of urgency.  But Year of the Orphan – a compelling take on post-apocalyptic fiction – holds its own. Read on >

  • There’s an immediacy to her writing that keeps you reading, even though the story is confronting. Read on >

  • This is the memoir of a strong-willed, articulate, humorous woman. One can only wonder about what this 60-year-old artist will do next. Read on >

  • Silly Isles reminds me that television is about entertainment as well as information, and it often struggles to communicate much more than a brief survey of a situation illustrated with moving pictures. Read on >

  • Sunrise and sunset have long been known by photo experts as among the best times of day to get great images, and to that end Nick recommends an app called The Photographer’s Ephemeris, which tells you when the sun rises and sets anywhere on the planet. There are tips on the type of gear you need to take, the importance of planning – for the whole trip as well as for individual shots – and hiring a guide. It might seem like an extravagance, but Nick says that a good local guide who understands a photographer’s needs knows things that could take you days to find yourself. Get this book. Read on >

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