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Throughout the book are images of Finlay doing movements and poses with instructions. There’s no mistaking that this is a serious stuff. But I couldn’t help but have a giggle at the pictures of a very well-built, ruggedly handsome Scottish man dressed only in his kilt looking so serious in the Scottish wilds as he was striking yoga poses.
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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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • The BBC released a survey earlier this year in which they asked readers to name the books they had lied about having read. You can see the list below. I think I have read around half, as some I may have read in my youth that I’ve forgotten about (more about that later). How many of them have you read? The truth, please! Read on >
  • In the early 1900s, the luminescent properties of radium – a highly radioactive metal – had just been discovered, and entrepreneurs were quick to identify its marketing potential. They flooded supermarket shelves with radium-based products, and thousands of young women in North America were hired to paint clock dials with radium. The girls would go home with their hands aglow, oblivious to the bone-destroying radiation they had been exposed to. We spoke with London-based author KATE MOORE about these workers’ stories, which appear in her new book, The Radium Girls. Read on >
  • FIONA CAPP is the internationally published, award-winning author of three works of non-fiction, including her memoir That Oceanic Feeling – which won the Kibble Award – and five novels, including Gotland, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Queensland Literary Awards. Fiona lives in Melbourne and works as a freelance writer and reviewer. Her latest novel, To Know My Crime, is a story of blackmail, risk, corruption, guilt and consequences set on the Mornington Peninsula. We asked Fiona to tell us about the books that have shaped her view of the world. 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 >
  • For many of the families of servicemen killed in World War I, a terse telegram from the government was never going to be enough to assuage their grief. Families wrote back in their thousands, seeking more information about the fate of their loved ones. It was the task of James M Lean to reply to these families and, as author CAROL ROSENHAIN outlines in The Man Who Carried the Nation’s Grief, he did so with extraordinary empathy and sensitivity. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Fresh Complaint is sheer joy to read. These stories may be short, but they are so perfectly sequenced and homogenous in style and content that they leave the impression of a beautifully crafted novel. Read on >

  • Jane Harper’s first book, The Dry, emphasised drought; this time the action is concentrated in a rainforest. It’s an area where four young female hikers went missing some years ago. Three bodies have been found and Martin Kovac, a serial killer, was arrested. One bushwalker, Sarah Sondenberg, is still missing. Her parents have accepted that she’s unlikely to be alive but they would like her body to be found. They want to give her a proper burial. Read on >

  • This is a story of love, friendship and the bonds between women, all of whom are extraordinary in their own way. It’s also a reminder that not all lives are as they appear; passions, fears and complexities lie behind every facade. Read on >

  • If you relish Gothic mystery then this novel is for you. Set in London and a country house known as The Bridge in the 1600s and the 1800s, the story centres on the Bainbridge family. Elsie Bainbridge lives in a late 19th-century mental asylum. Mute and described as a murderess, she has a new doctor who encourages her to write her story. Read on >

  • This absorbing novel reads unsettlingly like the story of the colonial conquest of this land hundreds of years ago, with deep and bitter truths and parallels throughout. Read on >

  • While some events are predictable, there are enough shocks to keep the interest high. The creative ending is unpredictable. A partial redemption comes in a shocking way – but it was a long time coming. A great read if you enjoy psychological thrillers. Read on >

  • It’s easy to see why Now Let’s Dance has critics atwitter. First published in the original French last year, it’s already become a bestseller overseas and has been compared to The Little Paris Bookshop and The One-Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. Whether you’re a Francophile or just looking for an escapist story, Now Let’s Dance may be the tonic you need for life’s ups and downs. Read on >

  • The story of teenage girls Debbie Vickers and Sue Knight – as first outlined in the bestselling 1979 novel Puberty Blues – has captivated millions. With brutal honesty, it shined a light on how teenage Australian girls grew up in the 1970s. Puberty Blues became an Australian cult classic that has been adapted for film and TV, and many fans have wanted to know what happened to the girls beyond the story. Kathy Lette now gives the answer in After the Blues. This is a good novel. It’s a combination of Lette’s original and current writing styles, and fans of her previous work will no doubt devour it. Read on >

  • This novel is equally intriguing and confusing. But if you like your historical fiction quirky and mysterious, full of ideology, theology, political unrest and intrigue, you will find this book a delight. While based on real events, I recommend you suspend any notions of reality. Read on >

  • Comedian Tony Martin has written a very funny satirical novel inspired by actual letters to an editor of a suburban newspaper. The misunderstandings, unforgettable characters and cynical media figures generate a host of laugh-out-loud moments. Read on >

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