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It was reported in January that ‘a rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone worth £40 000 (approx. $70 000 AUD) has been stolen during a burglary of a Norfolk bookshop.’
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • ANGUS DALTON meets British historian, journalist and author L S HILTON as she publicises the most hotly anticipated thriller of 2016, Maestra. Read on >
  • Following on from her two-million-selling historical novel Orphan Train, CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE has delved into the backstory of a famous painting by Andrew Wyeth to write her new novel, A Piece of the World. ANGUS DALTON talks with the author.  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 >
  • 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 >
  • Most of us think of Australia as a sunny land filled with straightforward, open and candid people. But in ANNA ROMER’s version of the country, it’s a place filled with secrets and people who will do anything to keep them concealed. She talks with ALEX HENDERSON about her new book, Beyond the Orchard, Victoria’s haunted Otway Coast and the power of fear. Read on >
  • The 1970s and 80s saw DAVE WARNER lead two influential punk-rock bands. His demanding musician’s lifestyle left little time for writing anything but his next single. Nowadays Dave is a full-time screenwriter, novelist and playwright, but he still takes to the stage every so often for a good old-fashioned rock-out. ANGUS DALTON finds out more about Dave’s life and his latest crime novel, Before It Breaks. Read on >
  • Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has inspired all kinds of fan fiction and adaptations, such as the 1966 prequel Wide Sargasso Sea. But in this new novel by Sydney resident JENNIFER LIVETT, the lives of Jane Eyre characters become entwined with those of real 19th-century Tasmanians, including doomed Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin. Here Jennifer tells us how she came up with the idea for Wild Island. Read on >
  • If you think of the German navy in World War II, then you probably conjure up images of grand-scale conflicts such as the Battle of the Atlantic or the Baltic Sea campaigns. But not so many people are aware that German ships were also on the prowl down in the South Pacific and in the Indian Ocean, where they disguised themselves as ordinary freighters before launching their deadly assaults on unsuspecting Allied craft. False Flags, a new account by Canberra author STEPHEN ROBINSON, tells the story of four German raiders, including the infamous attack by one of them, the Kormoran, on the HMAS Sydney in 1941. GRANT HANSEN reports. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • PEPPER HARDING is the pen name of a writer from San Francisco. The Heart of Henry Quantum, Pepper’s new novel, follows a scatterbrained husband’s erratic journey through the streets of San Francisco as he hunts down his wife’s Christmas present – a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Along the way he runs into his former lover, Daisy. We asked the author about his new novel and the eccentric thought journeys that appears throughout its pages. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Cleverly written, Unearthed alternates between the two narrators, Mia and Jules. The story moves along at a steady pace, sometimes reminiscent of Indiana Jones’s adventures and at other times more like the ‘Star Wars’ saga. The main characters are resourceful and brave but also awkward and vulnerable in their youthful naivety. Planet Gaia is a dangerous place, not only because of what is on it, but also because of what it could potentially mean for Earth. This is an absorbing tale. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the next instalment. Read on >

  • This is magical realism at its best and grittiest, and the ghosts have a particularly signficant role as the story draws to a close. Sing, Unburied, Sing is a brilliant book by a new luminary in US literature. Read on >

  • Sally Hepworth delves into the lives of four families living in a cul-de-sac of suburban Melbourne. Superficially, they characters are all friends, but the secrets they keep from each other poses the question, do we ever really know our neighbours, or even our own family? Read on >

  • Life on a cattle property enables Thomson to vividly describe experiences on the farm and in the garden. The themes of love and duty, the challenges in marriage, and friendship that can bridge generations make this an enjoyable true-to-life read for all ages. Read on >

  • The author wants his readers to be involved in this dark and violent novel. He invites them to take sides, take on board the ideas he has written and think about poverty, power, privilege, suicide and Aboriginal deaths in custody. But first they must meet some rather unattractive characters. Read on >

  • It’s hard to know what to focus on: Busi’s personal narrative of letting go or the political machinations within the town. Read on >

  • CeCe D’Apliese is one of seven sisters adopted from different parts of the world by a wealthy man. Although he gave her love, affection and security, she has never felt that she has fitted in with her family. Upon his death, he leaves her a clue as to her birthright, and with this scrap of information, she sets off to Australia in an effort to discover her roots. Unsure if she can face her past, she decides to kill a little time in Thailand, where she befriends a man who is not all that he seems. Read on >

  • Secrets emerge about the past, with troubling revelations about the natures of both of their parents. The lengths some of them go to get to the proffered inheritance provide entertaining and riveting reading. Read on >

  • This enthralling novel is extraordinarily rich in historical detail, made all the more fascinating because it’s based on a true story. Stephanie Parkyn vividly brings this world to life: the boredom and peril of ship life, the political undercurrents of the revolution that follow the ships as they traverse the world, and the people, flora and fauna the voyagers discover are all brilliantly evoked. Marie-Louise was possibly the first European woman to visit Van Diemen’s Land, but her amazing story encompasses so much more than this fact. Highly recommended. Read on >

  • This novel is brilliant. The story is compelling and addictive, and I continually questioned Royce’s and Vita’s motives and desires. Dovey’s richly detailed writing evokes both the interior and physical worlds of the two characters, from Royce’s memories of an archaeological dig in Pompeii to Vita’s struggles with the ethics behind her filmmaking. The book offers a profound insight into the nature of the human psyche, such as dealing with the burden of guilt, how the past can control the present and the motives behind creative output, control, desire and obsession.  Read on >

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