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In Capturing Nature, archivist VANESSA FINNEY brings together images of 11-metre whale skeletons, fossilised megafauna teeth, huge white sharks splayed on taxidermy tables, and specimens of wobbegong, phasmid and snake to tell the story of how photography revolutionised science and biology. Here Vanessa writes about the people behind these extraordinary photos at the Australian Museum.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • RICHARD ROXBURGH has been extraordinarily versatile over the
decades of his acting career. The Albury-born actor has played both Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty, appeared as Count Dracula in the 2004 movie Van Helsing and played the lead role in Rake, a TV show he co-created. But he’s just as talented
on the page as he is on screen and stage; Roxburgh has written and illustrated a new kids’ book, Artie and the Grime Wave. We asked him about his influences and what lead him to this new project. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • JOHN KINSELLA is the author of 30 books and is the three-time winner of the WA Premier's Book Award for Poetry. He's a fellow at Cambridge's Churchill college and the editor of international literary journal Salt. The self-described vegan/anarchist/pacifist tells Good Reading asked him about his new short story collection, Old Growth.   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 >
  • Stretching across generations and set on the Atherton Tablelands where she lives, the latest novel from prolific Australian author BARBARA HANNAY is a saga of loss, love, secrets and salvation. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN 
about her writing life, and how The Grazier's Wife evolved.   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 >
  • AOIFE CLIFFORD is the winner of the Scarlet Stiletto Award for one of her crime stories, but All These Perfect Strangers is her first novel. The Melbourne-based crime novelist talks with us about New Year’s resolutions, her Irish poet grandfather and the similarities between writing a novel and creating a papier-mâché puppet.  Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Atmospheric and aspirational – imagine sailing to Bermuda with John Lennon – I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. Read on >

  • The landscape descriptions are stunning, vividly evoking the majesty of old-growth forests. Read on >

  • This is a gentle but sad book of family loyalty, love, challenges and above all, the sea, the sea, the sea. Read on >

  • What a sweet, thoughtful novel this is, originally written in Japanese and translated by Meredith McKinney.  Read on >

  • ... this is an entertaining read, and if you liked the first ‘Vindolanda’ novel you will enjoy the same combination of strict historical accuracy and strong storytelling in this sequel. Read on >

  • This is an interesting tale of one of the lesser-known villains of the Nazi regime, although the novel is weakened by sparse character development and, at times, simplistic narration. It is, however, a timely reminder that personal ambition can trump all else. Read on >

  • This book was too long and too focused on the domestic detail of what appears to ultimately be an unsatisfactory relationship. Read on >

  • This is a book of pure escapism, taking readers from the modern world to the ancient myths and complicated bloodlines of the Greek gods and mortal heroes. His notes on almost every page are informative and full of down-to-earth humour. Read on >

  • I wanted so much to love this book, but I didn’t. The narrative chops and changes between timelines, and I found it occasionally confusing. Read on >

  • By the end of the collection, Schweblin’s writing will leave you with the feeling of a hot, sticky night spent dipping in and out of dreams, restless and prickling with dread. Read on >

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Books for Boys