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Maya’s struggle with her parents impending divorce, as well as Jamie’s paralysing fear of public speaking alongside the expectation that he will speak at his sister’s upcoming bat mitzvah, adds a grounding sense of reality to Yes No Maybe So, with Albertalli and Saeed showing us that the experiences of teenagers are a lot more multi faceted than a lot of YA novels (particularly of my time) ever let us expect.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • ANGUS DALTON meets British historian, journalist and author L S HILTON as she publicises the most hotly anticipated thriller of 2016, Maestra. Read on >
  • While researching for a non-fiction book about the botanical history of some of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks, US author Amy Stewart stumbled across a gin smuggler’s altercation with a officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series based around Constance and her two sisters, set in New Jersey in 1915. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, Angus Dalton finds out more. Read on >
  • Best known to TV audiences as Goliath fromthequiz show The Chase, MATT PARKINSON was also one half of the Empty Pockets comedy duo. He cleaned up as a champion on Sale of the Century in the 1990s and since then he has served as the brains trust on ABC TV’s The Einstein Factor. We asked this big man (he’s nearly two metres tall) with a big brain about the books that have made him the brainiac that he is.  Read on >
  • 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 changing moral code and shift in gender roes of World War II provide the backdrop for JENNIFER RYAN's debut novel The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN about the people and events that inspired the story. 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 >
  • ABC journalist and science writer IAN TOWNSEND cut his teeth as a novelist in 2007 with Affection, which told the story of a plague outbreak in 1900. His next novel, The Devil’s Eye, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2009. Now with Line of Fire, he turns his pen to narrative non-fiction to tell the story of Richard Manson, an 11-year-old boy who was accused of espionage and shot by the Japanese during World War II in New Guinea. Read on >
  • ALL IS GIVEN: A MEMOIR IN SONGS by LINDA NEIL She’s a Brisbane-based songwriter and an awardwinning producer of radio documentaries, and in this memoir LINDA NEIL travels the world, playing music and meeting people along the way. In this extract she recalls as a teenager being given the seemingly tedious duty of reading books to a blind neighbour. But what happened next surprised both the reader and the listener. 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 >
  • 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

  • I completely loved the characters in this book – and how Lincoln dealt with everyday teenage issues amongst the more challenging ones. This is the kind of book where you laugh and cry with the characters, and look forward to picking it up in every quiet spare moment. Read on >

  • This thought-provoking, exquisitely realised character study speaks of the timeless and universal need for a place to call home and people to love. Read on >

  • I loved The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, where we first met Thaniel Steepleton, an unassuming young man, and Keita Mori, the talented watchmaker who remembers the future. I started this sequel with anticipation. This is a complex story, but the lyrical nature of the writing kept me absolutely enthralled. You will need to have read the first book to understand the characters, but it is worth the effort. Time, destiny and love collide to literally electrifying effect, and you are left with a deeply satisfying journey. Read on >

  • This book is simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny and soul-crushingly depressing, in a way I can only describe as reminiscent of Waiting for Godot. Grandma Jean is also one of the best protagonists I’ve read in forever – she’s almost an anti-hero at times but her connection to Kimberly and Sue is so human, and at times heartbreaking. Read on >

  • Booker Prize winning English writer Graham Swift is a contemporary of Ian McEwan. I found myself reminded of McEwan’s On Chesil Beach as the story evolved. Both are set in a similar period, as England moved into the 1960s and both focus on the minutiae of domestic drama and the eloquent writing styles create perfect, if at times heart-breaking, vignettes of young love. Read on >

  • The unusual style of the narrative in this novel made me wonder if it was a translation. Tomasz Jedrowski, born to Polish parents in Germany, wrote the novel in English, which is impressive even if he does gild the lily from time to time. In Swimming in the Dark we meet writer and scholar Ludwik Glowacki, exiled in Brooklyn and feeling depressed and alone as he opens the door to the past to reflect on his ‘summer of forbidden love’. Read on >

  • This is a thoughtful and humorous story, narrated by a clever and inquisitive dog. Tassen seems very human when he is meditating on friendship, ageing and death. But there are lighter moments too, such as Mrs Thorkildsen’s ‘hunting’ (shopping in supermarkets) and consumption of ‘Dragon Water’ (wine). Tassen proves more loyal to Mrs Thorkildsen than the humans in her life but the mutual joy and comfort they derive from each other as they battle life after The Major is uplifting. Read on >

  • This is a magnificent novel. Sharon Penman is a rare novelist who ensures that the story is historically accurate, while writing characters with all their flaws and strengths that resonate with modern readers. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Read on >

  • The Tiniest House of Time tells the story of a middle-class Indian family, ranging from 1930s colonial Burma to nationalist Malaysia in the 1990s, as well as Australia and contemporary Kuala Lumpur. Read on >

  • It’s the story of many lives – searching for a place to call home and finding where true value is. Zhang’s repeated sensual, poetic imagery and the action-packed narrative vividly re-imagines the history of that era through the struggle, hope, and courage of Lucy, Sam, and their parents. Inspirational. Read on >

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