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I hate mosquitoes. Truly, I really do. Unfortunately they just love me in return. Now I know why. In a new book, The Mosquito: A human history of our deadliest predator, Timothy Winegard tells us that mosquitoes have killed nearly half of all the people who ever lived: about 52 billion of 108 billion humans during our 200 000 years of existence.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • 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 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 >
  • 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 >
  • He has worked as a wilderness guide, a ranch hand and a dogsled musher – and he’s also a skilled marksman. But ERIK STOREY, a lover of the great outdoors, has come in out of the wild for long enough to turn out his first novel, Nothing Short of Dying. A thriller set in the mountainous landscape of western Colorado, it features Clyde Barr, a man with a military past who is fresh out of prison. We talked with Erik recently about dealing with rejection, the lure of western Colorado and his number-one tip for surviving in the wild. 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 >
  • Recent research has revealed the astonishing capabilities of dogs. We know that they can help vision- impaired people, but they can also sniff out cancer and even help to locate missing people. CAT WARREN in What the Dog Knows recounts how she adopted an unruly German shepherd puppy, Solo, who is eventually trained to locate human corpses. Read on >
  • From an investigation into the scandals of the Catholic Church by Tom Keneally to Jeffrey Archer’s thrilling last instalment in the ‘Clifton Chronicles’ series or a tale of a shrewd female locksmith in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, these books will delight you over the long, languid days of summer. Read on >
  • The jazz era of the 1920s in America was
 filled with exuberant music, fast cars and young men and women determined to have a good time. But at the same time in working-class Far North Queensland, life wasn’t lived at quite the same level of opulence.
In a new novel, Treading Air, Queensland author ARIELLA VAN LUYN uses fiction to investigate the life of a real young woman from Townsville named Lizzie O’Dea, who shot another woman in 1924. Read on >
  • Australian historical novelist Pamela Hart tells us about her latest novel, A Letter From Italy, and Australia's first female war correspondent.  Read on >
  • Perth crime writer David Whish-Wilson reveals how the history of organised crime in WA and his many encounters with criminals, from teaching writing to inmates to meeting biker gangs, has influenced his novels.  Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • When one’s choices are so limited, can one be blamed for the choices one makes? Koe’s first novel is primarily focused on three characters: the anti-Nazi German actress, Marlene Dietrich; the German actress-director, Leni Riefenstahl (whose films were supported by Hitler); and the Chinese-American actress, Anna May Wong. Though the book’s historical gaze may have been sharpened if its length was shortened ( perhaps by limiting some of its tangential narratives), this novel is undoubtedly a stunner. Read on >

  • I loved this stunning book so much. Augusta and Parfait learn that home isn’t necessarily the place where we’re born. Sometimes you must leave your home behind to find your real home. Both Augusta and Parfait blame themselves for the tragedies that occur in their lives and wonder if they could have done more to prevent them. But life can’t be rewound and they must continue on, overcoming their grief and finding joy again. Augusta is a captivating narrator and this is a story of hope and love as much as loss, with the characters lingering in your mind long after you finish the book. Read on >

  • The Blue Rose is a guilty pleasure; it offers much and asks for little in return. I imagine it would be the perfect summer read – when these cold days give way to lazy afternoons on the beach, The Blue Rose will be a perfect companion. Read on >

  • There is a wonderfully generous Australian flavour to this novel. The characters are authentic, there’s Henry Lawson poetry quoted during public speeches, and there’s even an optimistic ending. Read on >

  • As psychological thrillers go, this is clever and fastpaced. At the beginning I was unsure I would like it, as seemingly the twist in the tale (Abbie’s artificial intelligence) is sprung at the very beginning. But Abbie’s uncertainty about her former life and what she doesn’t remember gives the novel a fine sense of suspense, and the ethics of replacing someone with a robot is very interesting. Read on >

  • Lippman has forged a sublime, suspenseful tale that flows along so wonderfully that it perhaps obscures its own genius. A stylish, rich novel from one of crime’s very best. Read on >

  • This book is justifiably receiving massive hype. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before and it’s utterly engrossing. You may empathise with these women or you may disagree with their choices but you will be swept up in their stories and not be able to forget them. Read on >

  • It’s strong stuff, as are his unflinching descriptions of his gay sexual encounters during his travels in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and the Philippines; his own violence; suicidal tendencies and psych ward notes, right to the end of the book. He’s a fine writer, making this book equally fascinating and depressing, but definitely not for sensitive souls. Read on >

  • Hertmans advises the book is a mixture of detailed research and enthusiastic imagination. Hamoutal’s story is in the documents,. The author has imagined what she was like with some reverence and interspersed his own adventures in retracing her steps. This was a time when society was in a great deal of flux, and it doesn’t always make for easy reading, but it is very well done. Read on >

  • This story is of a road-trip that takes place over 10 days. Daphne, the central character and narrator, is close to an emotional breakdown and, on a whim, abandons her stable life and heads for the Californian desert with her toddler, Honey. Early on, we learn that her husband, a Muslim who had been legally living in America, has been sent back to Turkey by the American immigration authorities and Daphne’s efforts to secure his return have stagnated in opaque bureaucracy. Read on >

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