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Three high school students, Katelyn, Dyandra and Marisa from Year 9 of Brigidine College in Sydney’s St Ives, took the reins of the Good Reading podcast and quizzed WANDA WILTSHIRE about her YA fantasy romance series, ‘Betrothed’. Read on for an edited extract of the interview. 

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Archive Discoveries

  • Australian film director BRUCE BERESFORD (Driving Miss Daisy, Paradise Road) and film producer SUE MILLIKEN (Black Robe and Sirens) have collaborated on several films over their long careers. Their new book, There’s a Fax from Bruce: Edited correspondence between Bruce Beresford & Sue Milliken 1989- 1996, collects the communications – full of industry gossip, news and thoughts on books and films – from a pre-email era between these two filmmaking luminaries. They tell us here about the books that have influenced them. 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 >
  • UK journalist and editor MARINA BENJAMIN looks at the joys, losses and opportunities of middle age in her new book, The Middlepause. In this extract she writes about the secret misogynistic history of HRT.   Read on >
  • Alison Evans is a genderqueer writer, lover of bad movies, and co-founder of the zine Concrete Queers. Here Alison tells us about her new spec-fic novel, Ida, and non-binary identities in YA fiction. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Lynda La Plante changed the face of crime fiction and television with Prime Suspect and its stoic lead character, DCI Jane Tennison. Her new series details how Tennison cut her teeth on London’s crime-ridden, gang-ruled streets in the 80s. We asked the queen of crime 10 questions ahead of her new book release, Hidden Killers. Read on >
  • Think of the typical problem drinker, and we usually imagine alcoholics, drink-drivers, underage drinkers and the perpetrators of one-punch attacks. The brother of Brisbane writer ELSPETH MUIR was none of these things. But three days after a heavy night of drinking, he was found dead in the Brisbane River – his blood alcohol level was 0.25 at his time of death. Elspeth tells us about her memoir, Wasted, an investigation into Australia’s drinking culture, and what might have been done to prevent Alexander’s death.  Read on >
  • 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 >
  • For some women, bad men cast an irresistibly magnetic spell. Melbourne-based author LAURA ELIZABETH WOOLLETT examines this often fatal attraction in  The Love of a Bad Man, a collection of 12 stories based on the lives of real women who sought the love of criminals. In this extract from ‘Eva’, the author imagines the post-coital thoughts of Eva Braun, who met Adolf Hitler when she was 17. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • I found this book mesmerising. I was absolutely appalled by the main character’s thoughts and behaviour, yet blown away by John Boyne’s literary skills. To me it is an unforgettable read. Read on >

  • Transcription tells the story of Juliet Atkinson, a resourceful girl who is whisked away from the dull hours at her typewriter transcribing for MI5 to become an active participant in the investigation of Nazi sympathisers in 1940s London. Transcription is definitely worth a look for the prose alone, although it’s not as good as Life After Life. I’m yet to pick up A God in Ruins, but this read makes me more likely to do so. Read on >

  • Paris Echo centres around the lives of Hannah and Tariq, who are living in Paris. Hannah is an American academic on a fellowship to research women’s lives during the German occupation in the 1940s. Tariq is a 19 year old from Morocco who illegally stows away on a quest for adventure and to learn about his dead French mother. Hannah and Tariq’s lives soon become intertwined and Hannah begrudgingly allows Tariq to lodge in her apartment. The novel charts their personal journeys as they navigate the city and learn the nuances of its history. Read on >

  • The Apology is an unsettling read. Watkins deals sensitively and deeply with sexuality, sexual misconduct, and the guilt that follows. Read on >

  • My Purple Scented Novel is bright and light – some of his earlier works earned him the name ‘Ian Macabre’. But it still bears his careful characterisation and restrained yet lively prose. It’s easily devoured on a short bus ride or over morning coffee. Read on >

  • In The Mere Wife, Headley finds a whole ecosystem under the formative tale of Beowulf by re-centring the narrative on just about everything other than Beowulf himself. Headley is a seasoned fantasy writer and we get to hear from the mountains, the lakes, the animals, the children, the women, and the monsters, as perspective shifts each chapter. Read on >

  • The Wounded Sinner is the name of an old, decaying house which has been in the Andrews family for generations. Henderson personifies it as a dying being with hard, dry skin of paint peeling away, and loose window panes rattling in shrunken gums. The first inhabitant, Nathaniel Andrews, was an unrepentant rake, so Reverend Stone called him a ‘wounded sinner’ in need of God’s redemption. Read on >

  • Briseis is an interesting narrator, cool, calm and very matter of fact. She breathes life into the women who are at the edges of the Trojan Wars – women who are barely mentioned in history’s recounting of events, yet it was the women who loved, hated, fed, tended to and buried these famous men. An interesting new take on a very old tale. Read on >

  • French Exit is a satire with touches of light humour and fans of the author will be delighted that he has again put pen to paper. I, however, did not enjoy reading the book. I thought the peripheral characters were far more intriguing than Frances or Malcolm … and the cat should’ve been euthanised by page three. It’s a slim novel with short chapters and just 244 pages. Read on >

  • This is a charming novel that deftly portrays the relationship between the women with skill and care. It is, however, entirely predictable; nothing happened that I could not see coming. Having said that, I found it a pleasant read, and an enjoyable way to while away an afternoon. Read on >

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