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Australian author Sarah Epstein has written an impressive page-turner in her debut novel about 17-year-old Tash, who witnessed her imaginary friend Sparrow lure young Mallory Fisher away from a carnival. Nine years later, Tash is trying to leave her troubled past behind. When disturbing memories resurface and Tash starts to see Sparrow again, she starts to question everything. Is Sparrow real or is Tash more dangerous to others than she thinks?
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • JANINE
 BURKE is an
 Australian
art historian,
author,
biographer,
photographer and
award-winning novelist.
Her latest book, Kiffy Rubbo,
which she has co-edited with Helen Hughes, collects contributions 
from leading figures in the artistic community that all focus on the dynamic figure of Kiffy Rubbo (1944-80), a pioneering curator
in Melbourne in the 1970s. We asked Janine to tell us about this new book and the books that have shaped her life. Read on >
  • We talk with PATRICK HOLLAND, a longlist nominee for the 2011 Miles Franklin Award for his novel The Mary Smokes Boys, about his new novel, One, which tells the story of the real-life Kenniff brothers. These two late-19th-century Queenslanders were Australia’s last bushrangers, and vPatrick questions the extent of their supposed villainy. Read on >
  • Australian author of literary and crime fiction DOROTHY JOHNSTON writes about the real-life kidnapping of a camel, coming home to Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula, and how she came to write Through a Camel’s Eye. Read on >
  • GEORGIA BLAIN is a novelist and journalist who lives in Sydney. Her first novel, Closed for Winter, was adapted into movie in 2009. LEONIE DYER asked Georgia about her latest novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog. Read on >
  • Best known to TV audiences as Goliath fromthequiz show The Chase, MATT PARKINSON was also one half of the Empty Pockets comedy duo. He cleaned up as a champion on Sale of the Century in the 1990s and since then he has served as the brains trust on ABC TV’s The Einstein Factor. We asked this big man (he’s nearly two metres tall) with a big brain about the books that have made him the brainiac that he is.  Read on >
  • Most of Lonely Planet’s publications can fit snugly at the bottom of a backpack, but The Travel Book is a volume best left at home on the coffee table to inspire adventures.  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 >
  • 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 >
  • The changing moral code and shift in gender roes of World War II provide the backdrop for JENNIFER RYAN's debut novel The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN about the people and events that inspired the story. Read on >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • A charming novel, its narration across characters and time is deft and often very moving. I thoroughly enjoyed it and shall look for other works by this author. Read on >

  • It is indeed a tribute to Murakami’s skill as a writer that he can keep deploying these same elements to create fascinating stories. He is nothing if not reliable. If you are a Murakami fan, this is well worth a look and if you are not familiar with his work this would not be a bad starting point. Read on >

  • Miss Burma opens during the titular contest in 1956, when the beautiful 15-year-old Louisa sweeps across the stage. There is something about Louisa, it could be her mixed heritage ( Jewish father, Karen mother), it could be her almost unnatural beauty or it could be something else. The narrative then shifts back in time to 1926 and to Louisa’s father, Benny. Read on >

  • The stories begin and end quickly, but still manage to be intimate and fulfilling. Some are easily digested – read, enjoyed and put aside. But a memorable few will sit in the back of your mind, asking to be untangled further. We leave behind the characters, feeling privileged to have known them, even for a short time, and hopeful for how their lives will unfold beyond the pages. Read on >

  • Tom Hope is broken-hearted, but as his name suggests, he is optimistic and carries on stoically. His wife, Trudy, leaves him after a short marriage. She hates living on his farm in Victoria and Tom doesn’t take enough notice when she regularly sighs and says, ‘Another day in Paradise’. He makes a second-chance list of 34 things to do if she comes back. Read on >

  • In 16th-century Carcassonne, 19-year-old Minou Joubert lives with her widowed father, caring for her two younger siblings and working in the family bookshop as her father’s health declines. There she receives an anonymous letter, sealed with a family crest that she does not recognise, that says simply, ‘She knows that you live.’ Read on >

  • When your life is ruined, you look for some sense of renewed purpose. This is what A Stolen Season is all about – three lives that demand re-examination. Each focal character takes their turn as narrator, and the book is sectioned into chapters around these, each interspersing through the other’s narrative. Read on >

  • Almost Love is an incredibly raw look at messy relationships and the way the people in our lives contribute to who we are. The book is shocking and sobering in the way O’Neill forces you to connect with Sarah and even find yourself relating to her in the most obscure ways. Almost Love is a challenging read, but not one that I regret reading. Read on >

  • This moving, engrossing story of a traditional Italian family enduring the worst of times is written by an Italian-Australian author now living in the UK, for whom migrants and migration have always been at the heart of her storytelling. Read on >

  • Despite being a little banal and wordy at times, this book is a fascinating look at an African country in different times. Read on >

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