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What’s more exciting than a storm? A symbolic storm, of course! Better brush up on your high-school English because we’re forecasting quite the whirlwind in this month’s quiz. Test your knowledge of fiction’s famous rainy days and wild weather events. We hope lightning hits!
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • Communicating the most exciting new developments in science to non-scientific readers can be a challenge. But Know This: Today’s most interesting and important scientific ideas, discoveries, and developments, takes up the challenge and lets dozens of eminent scientists tell us what they think are the most interesting recent developments in science. Here are two extracts from the book. 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 >
  • The 1970s and 80s saw DAVE WARNER lead two influential punk-rock bands. His demanding musician’s lifestyle left little time for writing anything but his next single. Nowadays Dave is a full-time screenwriter, novelist and playwright, but he still takes to the stage every so often for a good old-fashioned rock-out. ANGUS DALTON finds out more about Dave’s life and his latest crime novel, Before It Breaks. 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 >
  • Meet the author who won the ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year 2015, and find out about her latest title, The Art of Keeping Secrets. 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 >
  • Most of us think of Australia as a sunny land filled with straightforward, open and candid people. But in ANNA ROMER’s version of the country, it’s a place filled with secrets and people who will do anything to keep them concealed. She talks with ALEX HENDERSON about her new book, Beyond the Orchard, Victoria’s haunted Otway Coast and the power of fear. 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 >
  • KIRI FALLS was introduced to the works of English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65) when she saw the 2004 BBC production of North & South. Last year, the 150th anniversary of Gaskell’s death, Kiri decided to make a pilgrimage to the newly renovated Manchester home of the great lady. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Like many young women with ambitious career plans, Bernadette Agius hadn’t exactly factored a child into her life plan when she fell pregnant. The usual anxieties of motherhood were only further compounded when, moments after giving birth, she was told that her newborn son, Richard, had Down syndrome. Read on >

  • Colin Thompson has written this story so subtly and emotionally. I’ve turned the pages many times to look at the incredibly sensitive, detailed and sometimes fun illustrations. Five stars is not enough for this book. It is a work of art. Read on >

  • This picture book is irresistible as it’s all written in verse with big, full-page real-life illustrations. And the story of this earthquake is added which helps to make the whole incredible story real. My problem is, how did those cows keep their balance? Read on >

  • The children will love this book as Diane Jackson Hill tells the story through a baby Shearwater called Hope. Hope has a little metal band on her leg so Ranger Phil and his team can track her flights. The beautiful illustrations by Craig Smith bring the whole remarkable story to life and we are left to wonder how these little birds find their way by just using their own instincts on the same day every year. Read on >

  • This book, with its exquisite illustrations, is an excellent introduction to Aboriginal people’s culture and language. Read on >

  • This is an insightful study of a family affected by mental illness and the effect would be similar no matter what the family’s ethnicity or cultural background. Of course, there are some permutations that are distinctive to people of Chinese heritage, and Wai Chim beautifully captures these in warm and sensitive ways. Read on >

  • This is a confronting and challenging story which describes the pain of growing up gay in a small, conservative small-town community. It doesn’t matter whether the reader is straight or gay; it gives an important insight in what it’s like to grow up ‘different’. There are some explicit sex scenes, which might shock some readers and which pushes the book into the much older teenage category. However, the characters are believable and one can’t help being moved by their tragic circumstances. Sheppard has given us a brave book which deserves attention. Read on >

  • This is a joyous romp, in which mayhem is piled upon mayhem and Tom, his family and friends, find themselves in all sorts of ridiculous situations. Reed’s illustrations add to the fun. It’s a story guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Read on >

  • Robertson skilfully synthesises the moral and legal aspects of this debate to make a fervent plea for the return of stolen treasures to their homelands, and also provides a legal framework for how museums and looted nations might approach reparations. Read this book and you’ll see some cultural institutions in a darker, bloody light. You’ll also hope that the stolen Marbles will soon find their way home to Athens. Read on >

  • These 28 Australian stories of summer, sun and swimming will stir many memories. Mine were of the municipal pool in my Far North Queensland hometown which hosted cane toads when it was emptied to just a puddle. And after having unkempt curly hair following early morning training in the pool, I stood in front of a mirror at home, wet my hair, then cut it so it looked good wet (and of course, looked vile when dry!) Read on >

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