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In D M CAMERON’s Beneath the Mother Tree, squashed mosquitoes serve as paragraph breaks, a dark mystery is afoot on an island off the coast of Queensland, and two ancient mythologies from opposite sides of the globe interweave.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • We chat to aspiring astronaut and sci-fi writer S J Kincaid on haunted graveyards, Star Trek, and her new YA galactic thriller, The Diabolic.  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 >
  • Church attendance has been plummeting for decades, yet enrolments for church-based schools are soaring. Nearly all non-churchgoers say that they like having a church in their suburb – although they never go inside it. Leading social researcher HUGH MACKAY takes a look at our contradictory attitudes to religion in his new book, Beyond Belief. In this article, Hugh recounts a part of his own spiritual journey and how he came to write the book. Read on >
  • RITU MENON loves to travel and she loves to sample the local fare of the places her journeys take her to.Her new book, Loitering with Intent: Diary of a happy traveller, is derived from over a decade of travel journal writing. Here she recounts how she came to write the book and recalls a couple of fabulous Italian feasts. 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 >
  •  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 >
  • Kentucky-based writer KAYLA RAE WHITAKER tells gr about her debut novel, The Animators, which follows the turbulent creative partnership between two indie animators in New York City. Read on >
  • The stories of SUSAN PERABO have been likened to the work of George Saunders and Raymond Carver. Her latest novel, The Fall of Lisa Bellow, kicks off when school student Meredith is kidnapped together with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow. Meredith is set free – but Lisa remains. We asked Susan to tell us about short stories versus novels, her love of baseball and writing advice she has received. Read on >
  • KIRI FALLS was introduced to the works of English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65) when she saw the 2004 BBC production of North & South. Last year, the 150th anniversary of Gaskell’s death, Kiri decided to make a pilgrimage to the newly renovated Manchester home of the great lady. 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 >
  • gr highlights cookbooks to buy for the discerning foodies in your life. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Throughout We See the Stars, Simon must struggle with the tragic things that have happened around him and try to process them. With the help of Superman (an imaginary friend) and Cassie, Simon must decide on the best course of action to try and protect the people he loves. Read on >

  • I loved this deliciously creepy Gothic tale of murder and the supernatural. Laura Purcell conjures up Victorian England, with its jarring worlds of genteel wealth and grinding poverty. The flimsy beauty of frocks for wealthy ladies masks the relentless work and oppressive conditions suffered by the poor seamstresses who make them. Ruth is apprenticed to Mrs Metyard, whose beautiful dress shop hides a hellish, miserable place. Dorothea recoils from Ruth’s crimes but sympathises with her plight, questioning whether criminality is something someone is born to or forced into through life circumstances. Read on >

  • Kate and Nova are two women negotiating changed circumstances that have upended their lives and set them on new paths. They become friends, with the promise of something more, and tender hope unfurls as they support each other. But a sense of menace grows as Kate’s past jeopardises their future. The tense reality of domestic violence explored in this book is balanced by the quirky, engaging love story about two women who are stronger than they think. The insights into a blind person seeing the world for the first time, and the things that sighted people take for granted, were especially interesting. A strong and original debut by Joe Heap. Read on >

  • This is one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read. There’s plenty of action, entertaining dialogue, and sensual description alongside a philosophy of life. Bishop’s quote from Camus sets the dilemma: ‘Without beauty, love or danger, it would be almost easy to live.’ Read on >

  • I really didn’t think I was going to like this novel but Nagaland surprised me in more ways than one. The lyrical stories, legends, and myths seemed to have more in common with the American Indians rather than the Asian Indians that they are. The conflicted identity of this man who struggled to feel at home either in his native Nagaland or in the cities of India where he oscillated between, caused a tension that mirrored his environment. The politics, the discrimination and the unfairness of the way he and his people were treated, rankled my sense of justice. The two stories of Augustine’s life merged to a climatic end. Read on >

  • This is the book to have wrapped up as a present for any child or fact-devouring adult. It’s a great gift for children who are reluctant readers. You’ll find them reading without them even knowing it. And they’ll be learning and finding enthusiasm for the world around them at the same time too. Then they’ll be driving you crazy sprouting, ‘Did you know ... ?’ Read on >

  • Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion has been a staple of kitchens since it was first published in 1996. Now as a type of companion to her first companion she has published The Cook’s Apprentice. Read on >

  • This is a story well worth telling, and not just because A Bridge Too Far is a pretty good war movie. The Arnhem campaign was a significant Allied defeat – at a time when the Germans had no right to be winning anything – and that defeat was the result of stupendously bad planning. Given that the Allies had just pulled off the most difficult of all military feats, the successful amphibious landing of a large army against stiff opposition in Normandy, the reasons for the Arnhem disaster are well worth pondering. Read on >

  • Now if the author’s name seems familiar to you, yes, he is the award-winning writer who wrote The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. He has dedicated this latest book to ‘the thousands of refugees who have perished at sea fleeing war and persecution.’ This may be a small book in size, but the impact it will have on its readers is huge, especially as the words are perfectly complemented by Dan Williams’ stunningly evocative watercolour illustrations. Read on >

  • A lot like Jane Harper, a little bit like Emma Visic, Sally Piper has joined a group of Australian writers offering up the Australian landscape as a character in its own right. Importantly coupled with this is a compelling plot and contemporary commentary. It may not stick with you forever, it’s an entertaining and satisfying read. Read on >

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