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IRVIN D YALOM grew up reading books above his parents’ grocery store in Washington, DC. He’s known as the creator of the widely practised existential therapy model of psychiatry and has written fiction and non-fiction about psychology and philosophy. In his new memoir, Becoming Myself, Yalom puts himself under his own psychoanalyst’s gaze. In the following extract, the now 86-year-old author writes on Charles Dickens and childhood.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • ARMANDO LUCAS CORREA is the Editor-in-Chief of People En Espanol,  the top-selling Hispanic magazine in the U.S. Here he writes of his personal connection to a group of Jewish refugees that departed from Hamburg, Germany in 1939 seeking refuge in Cuba. His novel The German Girl is a fictional account of the doomed voyage. Read on >
  • As a teenager, GAYLE FORMAN was so obsessed with ‘80s movie star Molly Ringwald that she started to imitate the actress’s trademark nervous lip bite – and now she has a permanent scar. After seven bestselling YA novels and a successful movie adaption of one of her books, she talks with ANGUS DALTON about her first book for adults, Leave Me. 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 >
  • A young woman named edie channels the dead through her work with the shady Elysian Society in a dytopian first novel from SARA FLANNERY MURPHY. The Oklahoma-based author tells EMMA STUBLEY about her encounters with ghosts and Greek mythology and how they influened The Possessions. Read on >
  •  Looking for an engrossing historical fiction read? gr has rounded-up eight of the best for you to try.   The books in Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ series have undergone a renaissance recently after
being adapted into a BBC
TV series that has gained a cult following. When Claire Randall is thrown back in time from 1945 to 1743 she finds herself in a very different Scotland, where she is branded as an outlander or Sassenach (a derogatory word for an English person) in a country run by clans and invaded by Redcoats. Try this series if you like a well-researched historical sagas that have swashbuckling adventure and a bit of romantic romping. 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 >
  • Marine biologist SHANNON LEONE FOWLER was embracing her fiancé, Sean, in the ocean off the coast of Thailand when a box jellyfish stung and killed him.Thai authorities tried to dismiss his death as a drunk drowning. Traveling with Ghosts follows the months Shannon spent on a strange trajectory through Eastern Europe, fleeing from the ocean and from grief. She tells us how her memoir came to be, 14 years after Sean’s death. Read on >
  • This book might have the word ‘tax’ in its title, but don’t let that dreary term fool you. The Great Multinational Tax Rort tells the intriguing tale of how, for decades, multinational corporations have been slithering out of their obligations to pay their fair share of tax, leaving governments with shrinking funds to pay for essential services for their citizens. In this extract, MARTIN FEIL, also the author of The Failure of Free-Market Economics, outlines some of the techniques these business behemoths use to cunningly avoid paying tax – leaving us all the poorer. Read on >
  • 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 >
  • 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 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 >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This is both a very Australian story and a universal one. I was genuinely taken aback by how affected I was by this concise yet powerful story. It is a journey of self-discovery, endurance in the face of horrific odds and ultimately the triumph of resilience. Read on >

  • Titch and Irene Bobs and their neighbour, Willie Bachhuber, the three main characters in A Long Way Home live in Bacchus Marsh, 60 km north-west of Melbourne, Australia. Celebrated author Peter Carey was born in Bacchus Marsh. Read on >

  • Flights is a very strange book. In fact, I’m certain the author intended it that way. It is concerned with all manner of odd things: the psychology of restlessness, missing and broken people and the anatomy of our bodies, to name a few.  Read on >

  • This is a profoundly moving novel, such is the power with words and depth of feeling by the leading Taiwanese author Wu Ming-Yi.  Read on >

  • Salman Rushdie’s The Golden House is an intriguing, if not completely absorbing, tale.  Read on >

  • This novel explores sexual identity, underage sex, societal double standards and the accessibility of pornography and considers their impacts on friendship and personal development. While Cole is an unsympathetic though credible protagonist, Handler imbues him with a trace of vulnerability, to remind us that we were once self-centred, hormonal teenagers, too. Read on >

  • What an entertaining novel.  Read on >

  • Flanagan creates a thought-provoking story with a searching look into Australia, its authors, its history and future, its admiration of anti-heroes and the persona or masks we can all wear. Read on >

  • Connolly really makes you feel for Stan and his lost love, his only real true (platonic) love – Oliver Hardy.  Read on >

  • The Boat Runner follows Jacob over the course of four years, as he navigates the unfamiliar rituals of the Hitler Youth, the fear and sorrow of loss, sabotage with his uncle in the dead of night and his perceived betrayal of the British as they rain bombs down upon everything he ever knew. Read on >

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