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The book’s aim is to slap us out of our complacency about climate change and every page acts as a stinging blow. This book is an extremely difficult read at times, but it’s also a definitive text on the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced that completely shifts your worldview. 
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Archive Discoveries

  • The nose is a wonderful thing. A new study has found that the human nose can distinguish between at least one trillion different smells. I love nothing more than sticking my nose inside a blooming rose as I walk Baxter along the street. But I also have a passionate hatred of the choking diesel fumes disgorged from nearby cruise ships. So even though I may be able to detect over a trillion odours, there are many of them I don’t want to smell! Kate Grenville’s new book, The Case against Fragrance, has had me pondering the aromas, the scents and odours that enter my nose – whether I want them to or not. In 2015 Kate started to get frequent headaches and other signs of ill health and, strangely, they seemed to get worse when she was on tour to promote her latest book.After some effort to isolate the cause, she discovered that it was perfumes or other fragrances that were the culprits. She felt debilitated. She loved to meet her readers but was bombarded with fragrances in crowded rooms. She was compelled to find out what it was about perfumes that could be causing her these health problems. She opened a can of worms. Read on >
  • In the early 1900s, the luminescent properties of radium – a highly radioactive metal – had just been discovered, and entrepreneurs were quick to identify its marketing potential. They flooded supermarket shelves with radium-based products, and thousands of young women in North America were hired to paint clock dials with radium. The girls would go home with their hands aglow, oblivious to the bone-destroying radiation they had been exposed to. We spoke with London-based author KATE MOORE about these workers’ stories, which appear in her new book, The Radium Girls. 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 >
  • Find out about the inspiration behind the bestselling brilliance of Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project, his new novel The Best of Adam Sharp, and how he made a name for himself by dressing as a duck. 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 >
  • Biographies have long fascinated readers, serving as guides for how to live our own lives or often just giving us an intriguing peek into the world of extraordinary people. In this round-up we look at a comedian with a disability, a magician with a learning disorder, the real man behind Walter White of Breaking Bad and more. But we’re bending the biography rules a bit by also including a book by a philosopher that will prompt you to think about living a better life, a book about Aussies at war and an account of Queensland police leading lives of corruption. 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 >
  • gr highlights cookbooks to buy for the discerning foodies in your life. 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 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 >
  • After reading a few thrillers lately I got to thinking about writers in the crime and thriller genres and the research they need to do to make their books seem real. Research can be an exciting part of writing any book. Determining how a killer might think and how their victim could become entrapped is one thing, but I can’t imagine looking at dead people or reading detailed reports of the methods that serial killers use to stalk and murder their prey.That’s the sort of awful stuff police deal with and psychologically struggle with for the rest of their lives. But could even researching this sort of thing affect a writer?  Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Bridge of Clay is a story about stories, about love and brothers and redemption, and how every little person in every suburban corner is living a life worthy of a Homeric retelling. Commit to this book and the Dunbar boys and the world they inhabit will stay with you forever. Read on >

  • Chris Womersley is wonderfully descriptive writer. I often found myself rereading some of his sentences simply for the pleasure of it. Some of the stories like ‘The Very Edge of Things’ have that underlying creepiness to them that is satisfying and compelling.  Read on >

  • Jaclyn has a cult following from her work as a children’s fantasy writer, and while Gravity is the Thing is set squarely in the adult world of reality, this book carries a dusting of magic. Read on >

  • The Things We Cannot Say is ultimately a novel about doing what you can with whatever life hands you, both today and in times of war. Disappointingly, both storylines had completely predictable endings.  Read on >

  • Rohan Wilson has conjured a completely believable dystopian society, one that could easily come to pass.  Read on >

  • Home Fires intertwines their stories both before and after the devastating event, which irrevocably changed their lives and intensifies the drama of the action. This well-written, emotionally evocative novel had such powerful scenes I could easily imagine this translated onto the big screen. Read on >

  • This is a difficult book to read. There are long sections where very little happens, and almost nothing in the narrative really delves into the psychology of the runaways.        Read on >

  • This is a well-researched and beautifully crafted novel in which Gillham has imagined Anne’s story as a way to tell the stories of the millions whose potential was lost when they perished. Highly recommended. Read on >

  • This is an adorable, fable-like story that carries an ecological message and provokes a rush of empathy in the reader for the creatures we Yumans displace on such a massive scale. This would be a great book to read with kids, who’d have a fun time trying to guess what Fox 8 is trying to say (both metaphorically and literally, as his spelling really is atrocious - ‘fast and nated’ translates to fascinated, for example). George Saunders’s writing can be dark, but there is always a warm and emphatic appeal in his stories for empathy and hope. Read on >

  • Her detailed descriptions of the ghostly underwater environment, the food gathered from the seabed, the equipment and clothes used for diving, and the rituals carried out before the haenyeo dive are fascinating. Read on >

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