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Jacky Colliss Harvey, in The Animal’s Companion: People and their pets, a 26 000-year-old love story says that the earliest evidence of a human having a pet was in 26 000 BC in a cave in France where a young boy’s feet and those of his ‘canid’ friend were pressed into in a muddy cave floor leaving impressions that would last a millennia. Since then humans have been the only animal to keep another animal as a pet.
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Archive Discoveries

  • PEPPER HARDING is the pen name of a writer from San Francisco. The Heart of Henry Quantum, Pepper’s new novel, follows a scatterbrained husband’s erratic journey through the streets of San Francisco as he hunts down his wife’s Christmas present – a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Along the way he runs into his former lover, Daisy. We asked the author about his new novel and the eccentric thought journeys that appears throughout its pages. Read on >
  • 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 >
  • The rugged beauty of England’s Lake District looms large in the latest psychological thriller by Perth-based author SARA FOSTER. She shares her passion for the natural world and her concerns about the potential impacts of electronic media with MAUREEN EPPEN. Read on >
  • In her latest novel, Melbourne author JANE RAWSON adds an air of otherworldliness to the story of her ancestor who survived a 19th-century shipwreck. She talks to MAUREEN EPPEN about history, aliens and the benefits of having been a ‘hack writer’ for 25 years.  Read on >
  • FIONA CAPP is the internationally published, award-winning author of three works of non-fiction, including her memoir That Oceanic Feeling – which won the Kibble Award – and five novels, including Gotland, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Queensland Literary Awards. Fiona lives in Melbourne and works as a freelance writer and reviewer. Her latest novel, To Know My Crime, is a story of blackmail, risk, corruption, guilt and consequences set on the Mornington Peninsula. We asked Fiona to tell us about the books that have shaped her view of the world. Read on >
  • SABRINA HAHN has been WA’s go-to dispenser of green-thumb advice to radio listeners for more than 20 years. Now, in Sabrina’s Dirty Deeds, she shows you what to do in your garden and when to do it. In this extract she outlines how to encourage good predatory insects. Read on >
  • This book might have the word ‘tax’ in its title, but don’t let that dreary term fool you. The Great Multinational Tax Rort tells the intriguing tale of how, for decades, multinational corporations have been slithering out of their obligations to pay their fair share of tax, leaving governments with shrinking funds to pay for essential services for their citizens. In this extract, MARTIN FEIL, also the author of The Failure of Free-Market Economics, outlines some of the techniques these business behemoths use to cunningly avoid paying tax – leaving us all the poorer. 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 >
  • If you set out to write a thriller, you’re going to have to do some research. And while your story will be fiction, you’ll probably uncover more than a few fascinating real-world facts, as Australian thriller author L A LARKIN discovered while researching for her latest novel, Devour. Read on >
  • JIM OBERGEFELL led a class action in the US Supreme Court that established marriage equality nationwide for Americans. Love Wins, co-written with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist DEBBIE CENZIPER, is the story of the love that inspired the fight for justice. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >
  • Thirteen-year-old gamer Beth loves fighting beasts and solving riddles in her favourite online game, Tordon. But she soon faces her own adventure when she and her gaming nemesis are sucked into a new adventure filled world where they have to fight for their own survival. Into Tordon is a collaborative novel by 9 authors, written under the pseudonym of Z F Kingbolt. Good Reading talks to Editor-in-Chief Zena Shapter about the collaborative writing process, gaming and the adventures in the real world that mimic those found on the screen. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This gripping story ranges from the late 19th century in Finland to 1930s Oregon, taking in WWI; industrial unrest; farming and logging; salmon fishing; bootlegging during Prohibition; births, deaths and marriages; and, always, the importance of family in Aino’s life. Those fictional Finns who tamed the wilderness, coping with family tragedy as well as extreme weather, did it all with ‘sisu’ that Finnish concept described as stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness. Finns themselves believe it expresses their national character. Read on >

  • The Secrets We Kept is enjoyable and the characters are interesting. The film rights for this novel have been sold, and I imagine it will make a splendid and entertaining movie. Read on >

  • This author’s first bestselling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, was variously described as self-indulgent or marvellous. In a nod to some critics who found that contentious memoir portrayed an indulged, privileged white woman, Gilbert has this novel’s narrator to be just that, and what’s more, eventually realises it. Read on >

  • Quichotte is a fabulist tale that is satirical, speculative and sometimes bewildering. You’re either going to love Rushdie’s verbosity or you’ll take violently against it. Quichotte is for people who like their sentences long, their characters complex and gravitate to high-concept narrative themes. It’s highly unlikely you’ll read anything quite like it. Read on >

  • Lucy Treloar has conjured a world that is not so different from our own but the political, social, environmental and legal consequences that climate change has brought are slowly revealed. The best and worst of human nature is on display: from suspicious bystanders to trigger-happy vigilantes to those who offer help, even if it is in small ways. Kitty is a tough character and her journey is memorable. Part The Road, part western, part mystery, this is a brilliant novel. Read on >

  • The littlies will love the rhythm and rhyme in this enchanting tale. And the beautiful woodland paintings on each page bring such magic to the story. And there’s a lovely little twist at the end. A perfect bedtime story. Read on >

  • Today, at 10 Pomegranate Street, there are delicious smells coming from each apartment. You see, everyone at Number 10 is preparing a special dish to share with their neighbours. Mister Ping is stir-frying broccoli with sesame and soy while across the hall Maria is mashing avocados for her guacamole. Upstairs Senora Flores is cooking up a black bean soup while on the third floor Miss Ishida is making Oyako Don which is chicken & egg rice. And way up on the fifth floor there are wonderful smells of Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cookies and Strawberry Crumble. Read on >

  • This is such a clever little story that is so easy to relate to especially as the author’s illustrations are so evocative. And the colours he uses help to tell us exactly how Ravi is feeling. There’s a tiger in all of us isn’t there, especially when we are children. Read on >

  • From the Great White Shark wickedly smiling at you on the first page to the big, friendly Green Sea Turtle on the last, it’s a delight from beginning to end. Don’t miss it. The kids will love it and drive you crazy with all the new facts they’ve learnt. Read on >

  • Many stories are a journey in self-discovery and Abi Elphinstone’s first novel in the ‘Unmapped Chronicles’ is no exception. Elphinstone has presented an enjoyable, exciting and at times humorous story. I look forward to the next instalment. Read on >

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