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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

  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Heart surgeon PROFESSOR STEPHEN WESTABY has worked for 35 years to save ailing hearts and, in many cases, give his patients a second chance at life. In his new memoir, Fragile Lives, Westaby recounts remarkable and poignant cases, such as the baby who had suffered multiple heart attacks before reaching six months of age. We asked him to tell us a bit about his life as a surgeon. 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 >
  • The Sound, the second book from novelist SARAH DRUMMOND, is set around Western Australia’s King George
Sound. Based on a true story, the novel tells of Wiremu Heke, a Maori man from across the Tasman who sails from Tasmania to WA in 1825 on a mission of vengeance. We asked Sarah to tell us about Wiremu and about The Sound. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Creativity is often thought of as a special gift bestowed on only a handful of lucky people. But as Australian novelist SUE WOOLFE points out, it’s a skill that you can cultivate. Here are five tips she used to create her latest collection of stories, Do You Love Me or What? 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 >
  • CATHY BURKE is the CEO of The Hunger Project Australia, an organisation that aims to end hunger in every part of the world by 2030. She has raised tens of millions of dollars to help empower people in Africa, India, Bangladesh and South America to feed themselves. We asked Cathy about the books that she has enjoyed reading and which have shaped her life, and we also talk about her own book, Unlikely Leaders. 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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