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PAUL KELLY's songs are steeped in poetry. In the new anthology Love Is Strong as Death, the beloved Australian singer-songwriter collates over 300 of his most treasured poems, from all genres and eras, both renowned and obscure. We asked Paul about the books he cherished as a child, his favourite Aussie poets, and how poetry finds its way into his music.

Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • 'Books, and lovers or friends, mark and change us. And we, in turn, mark and change them.' Melbourne novelist CATH CROWLEY writes about her longtime love of secondhand bookshops, and how the histories she found and imagined there led her to write Words in Deep Blue. Read on >
  • The exact percentage of people with dyslexia is unknown, but it’s estimated at between 5 and 17 per cent of the population. And many people may not even be aware that they have the condition. There’s no cure for it, but now there’s a new way to help people overcome dyslexia – and it’s as simple as using a new font. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • It’s often said that whatever happens in our childhoods resonates throughout the rest of our lives – for good or for ill. This was certainly the case for TIM ELLIOTT, who grew up with a father who suffered from bipolar disorder. TIM GRAHAM spoke to him about the lingering effects of a tumultuous childhood and his memoir ofpaternal madness, Farewell to the Father. Read on >
  • Australian film director BRUCE BERESFORD (Driving Miss Daisy, Paradise Road) and film producer SUE MILLIKEN (Black Robe and Sirens) have collaborated on several films over their long careers. Their new book, There’s a Fax from Bruce: Edited correspondence between Bruce Beresford & Sue Milliken 1989- 1996, collects the communications – full of industry gossip, news and thoughts on books and films – from a pre-email era between these two filmmaking luminaries. They tell us here about the books that have influenced them. Read on >
  • Who would have thought that in the largely homogeneous country of China that there could be a group of people who could trace their lineage back to invading Romans? TONY GREY uncovered this intriguing bit of information while travelling in China, and here he tells how he came to write his historical novel, The Tortoise in Asia, which tells the story of Romans travelling along the Silk Road in ancient times. Read on >
  • When she’s not training her inquisitorial blowtorch on politicians and other people who have questions to answer, ABC reporter and presenter SARAH FERGUSON loves to delve into a book. Her new book, The Killing Season Uncut, recounts the behind-the-scenes tales of the television program about the tumultuous Rudd–Gillard years. We asked the multi-award winning Four Corners reporter to tell us about the books that have influenced her. Read on >
  • She might have had an isolated outback upbringing, but LYNETTE NONI believes that it was the vast, sparsely populated spaces made her a storyteller. The author of a YA fantasy series, Lynette talks with us about building worlds, why she would never want to visit the world of ‘The Hunger Games’, and her new book, Draekora: The Medoran Chronicles 3. Read on >
  • The town of Sorrento in southern Italy sits high on a clff above the Tyrrhenian Sea, whose waters are sobuoyant and warm that you can doze off while floating on its surface. But as author KATE FURNIVALL found, the nearby city of Naples is steeped in a history of danger and wartime poverty. The UK author tells gr her latest novel, The Liberation, was inspired by the secret tunnels, mafia strongholds and the of child street gangs she encountered on a recent visit to the Bay of Naples. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This beautifully illustrated book is quite a deep read. It has made me realise the importance of telling our stories to our families, whether they be ones we are proud of or others we would prefer to forget. Our stories will be different from any other generation’s and will help those who follow us to understand us and respect us for who we are. Read on >

  • This is a story with heart, celebrating the wonderful world of imagination, with age as no barrier. And the soft, fantastical illustrations will draw you and the children into Mabel’s wonderful world. Read on >

  • This book is not only a riot of fun but a hearty thank you from Mr Chicken to all the boys and girls who write to him. Many of their letters cover the inside front and back covers of this book and I can imagine how thrilling it would be for the children if Mr Chicken writes about their town where they live. Read on >

  • Gregory Goose is on the loose and this time he’s off to the moon. But how will he get there? Will he catch a rocket or maybe a falling star? We don’t really know where he is or how he’s going to go that far, but if we turn the pages and look very carefully we might find him hiding somewhere. Maybe he might be in his space balloon or visiting Mars. Read on >

  • Golden Unicorn is the first in ‘The Rise of the Mythix’ series, another created by Anh Do, an accomplished and multifaceted author. This engaging story is easy and enjoyable to read even for reluctant readers. The story is supported by graphic novel style, black-and-white illustrations from Chris Wahl. It would have been enhanced if some of the illustrations were in colour, especially when colour features importantly in the story. Read on >

  • The ‘Yinti’ series is an insightful collaboration between Jimmy Pike and his wife, Pat Lowe. The stories are ones that Jimmy recalls from his childhood and gives a rare insight into the traditional life and culture of First Nations people. Read on >

  • This book is for all those train buffs out there, whether you are four or 24; whether you love the smell of a coal-fired steam train, the speed of your intercity train or dream of the luxury of those trains you haven’t travelled on yet. It’s a story of the first steam engine replacing the horse-drawn trains in the English and Welsh coalmines. The Rocket built by father and son, George and Robert Stephenson, the first passenger train, setting a speed record of 47 kph. Read on >

  • The book is colour coded by continents, making it a breeze to find a specific country, or to simply flip through and marvel at all the history behind these flags. Read on >

  • Illuminightmare is an utterly unique historical picture book with a supernatural twist. It explores the most haunted places in the world, such as Salem in America, Bran Castle in Romania, and even Picton in Australia, sharing facts, urban legends and ghost stories from these unique places. For a child or even an adult not too faint of heart, Illuminightmare is a fascinating way to learn the history of some of the world’s most fascinating places. You could spend hours peering through the pages to find what’s hidden within. Read on >

  • This Is My World is a fascinating book that gives kids an insight into what it’s like to be a child in another country. There are 84 kids from over 70 different countries packed into the book, each with colourful pages where they describe their day-to-day life and what they want to be when they grow up. Readers can flick through the book at their leisure and learn about a unique child on every page. There’s also a map at the front of the book that will let them search for specific countries, colour coded by continent. Read on >

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Great Love stories