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SOFIE LAGUNA, winner of the 2015 Miles Franklin Award, tells us about 10 books she has loved and her new novel, The Choke.
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Archive Discoveries

  • Perth crime writer David Whish-Wilson reveals how the history of organised crime in WA and his many encounters with criminals, from teaching writing to inmates to meeting biker gangs, has influenced his novels.  Read on >
  • Novelist and journalist MAGGIE ALDERSON spent her gap year as a ‘ferocious punk rocker’ working at an advertising agency and starting her own punk fanzine, for which she interviewed Bob Geldoff and Billy Idol. She went on to become the editor of Evening Standard and Elle in London. She also spent eight years in Australia as editor of Cleo and Mode, and covering fashion shows in Milan and Paris for The Sydney Morning Herald. Now back in the UK, Maggie has just released a new novel, The Scent of You. She tells us why reading fairy stories is good training for any writer, who her literary crush is, and why War and Peace is the most emotionally involving books she's ever read. Read on >
  • The Sound, the second book from novelist SARAH DRUMMOND, is set around Western Australia’s King George
Sound. Based on a true story, the novel tells of Wiremu Heke, a Maori man from across the Tasman who sails from Tasmania to WA in 1825 on a mission of vengeance. We asked Sarah to tell us about Wiremu and about The Sound. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • The rugged beauty of England’s Lake District looms large in the latest psychological thriller by Perth-based author SARA FOSTER. She shares her passion for the natural world and her concerns about the potential impacts of electronic media with MAUREEN EPPEN. Read on >
  • The author of The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: And other inspiring stories of pioneering brain transformation, busts long-held conceptions about how our minds function. Read on >
  • While researching for a non-fiction book about the botanical history of some of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks, US author AMY STEWART stumbled across a gin smuggler’s altercation with an officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series, set in New Jersey in 1915, based on Constance and her two sisters. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, ANGUS DALTON finds out more. 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 >
  • 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

  • Shock, tension and humour characterise this novel, whose narrative is built on revealed emotions and stories told by characters that enter and exit but who leave behind issues, acts and decisions that will leave the reader changed on account of their profundity. Read on >

  • Celeste Ng weaves the themes of family and morality into a poignant and entertaining story.  Read on >

  • The interest of book lovers will be piqued by Carroll’s numerous literary references, though their limited purpose may disappoint.  Read on >

  • This story is filled with politics and suspense, and the writing is accessible and vivid.  Read on >

  • My eyes were full of tears when I finished The Choke. There is great emotional depth to Sofie Laguna’s writing, and her characters are alive in their vulnerability and beauty. Sofie Laguna is one of the most gifted writers in Australia right now. Don’t miss this. Read on >

  • Having experienced the ups and downs of the Australian agricultural industry first-hand, Michael Trant must have found it easy to write about rural life in his debut novel, Ridgeview Station. Read on >

  • Birch has published several novels and short stories, and this collection of short and punchy stories showcase his skill to great effect. Read on >

  • A thread of mystery weaves its way through the story, presenting plenty of surprises to keep the pages turning. Read on >

  • This book raises many timely questions, on the smaller scale of individual lives and also on the global scale of potential environmental catastrophe. Read on >

  • Danielle Steel’s latest novel, The Duchess, begins like so many others of its kind: a young woman, innocent to the ways of the world, is forced out of the family estate by her older brother, who inherits her father’s fortune. Read on >

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