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From bestselling author SARAH VAUGHAN comes Little Disasters, a complex and gripping novel about the darker impulses of motherhood and friendship. gr quizzed Sarah on her personal investment in the book, and her research in portraying parental anxiety with honesty. 

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Lynda La Plante changed the face of crime fiction and television with Prime Suspect and its stoic lead character, DCI Jane Tennison. Her new series details how Tennison cut her teeth on London’s crime-ridden, gang-ruled streets in the 80s. We asked the queen of crime 10 questions ahead of her new book release, Hidden Killers. 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 >
  • RITU MENON loves to travel and she loves to sample the local fare of the places her journeys take her to.Her new book, Loitering with Intent: Diary of a happy traveller, is derived from over a decade of travel journal writing. Here she recounts how she came to write the book and recalls a couple of fabulous Italian feasts. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • For many of the families of servicemen killed in World War I, a terse telegram from the government was never going to be enough to assuage their grief. Families wrote back in their thousands, seeking more information about the fate of their loved ones. It was the task of James M Lean to reply to these families and, as author CAROL ROSENHAIN outlines in The Man Who Carried the Nation’s Grief, he did so with extraordinary empathy and sensitivity. Read on >
  • The mystery surrounding Agatha Christie’s 1926 disappearance provided the inspiration for On the Blue Train, the second novel of US-based Australian author KRISTEL THORNELL. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN how her research led her to parts of England where the celebrated mystery author lived – and to the North Yorkshire hotel wher she spent jer 'lost' days. 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 >
  • Ed Yong – science reporter for The Atlantic and blogger for National Geographic – has just published his first book, I Contain Multitudes: The microbes within us and a grander view of life. We asked him to tell us about his reading life.   What are you
reading now?
 Patient H.M. by 
Luke Dittrich, because 
my editor for my own 
book sent me a galley
 copy! I’m glad she
 did. Henry Molaison 
was arguably the most
influential patient in
all of neuroscience.
 After an operation to
cure his epilepsy, he lost the ability to form new memories – think Memento – and so taught us much about how our memories work. Dittrich is the grandson of the surgeon who operated on Molaison, and he brings a deeply personal flavor to the incisive reporting and colourful writing that characterise this book. What are your three favourite books?
 The Song of the Dodo: Island biogeography in the age of extinctions by David Quammen is natural history writing at its finest – a witty, insightful tour of the planet’s islands and what they tell us about our increasingly fragmented world. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell offers genre-hopping stories but delivers a deep fable about hope and nihilism; I stared silently out a window for the longest time when I finished 
it. Being Wrong: Adventures in the margin of error by Kathryn Schulz is a wondrous study of human error that blends literature, science and philosophy. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Keneally has opened a window onto an aspect of Australian life. It could be suggested that, like Charles Dickens, he might be regarded as our own ‘Great Magician’ and ‘Dazzling Civiliser’ - tributes once paid to the great English writer. Read on >

  • Speechwriter and award-winning author Leah Swann’s debut novel Sheerwater is an interesting one that signals great future potential. It takes emotional subject matter – family violence and the abduction of two young children – and plays some elements out deftly and others in ways that don’t quite fulfil their promise. Read on >

  • If you love stories about Scandinavia or the 19th century, you’ll love The Bell in the Lake. Through deft and delicate prose, Mytting delivers an enchanting story of love, integrity, hardship and sorrow that is a pleasure to read. Thankfully, The Bell in the Lake is the first of a trilogy. And even better, I’ve no idea where Mytting will take this story; I’m just delighted that there’ll be more of his elegant and evocative prose coming to us soon. Read on >

  • This book is such interactive fun. Great big illustrations of all sorts of vehicles and a very happy family and their dog joining in the fun. I’m looking forward to reading it to the littlies in our family. Read on >

  • The author, Helen Milroy, a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia, is a born storyteller and a very talented artist. Every page is so beautifully presented with the colours of our bushland and the eyes of the animals’ faces speaking to us. Don’t miss this book as I’m sure there will be another Willy Wagtail story very soon from the Bush Mob. Read on >

  • This is a perfect picture book to share with your children. Big exuberant illustrations fill each double-page spread with lots of loud, but short, exclamations. It’s a book that can be read over and over and each time discovering something new. Read on >

  • There are so many pages in this book with so much information about these little creatures who, it seems, do a wonderful job recycling the nutrients in our soil and providing us with a healthier Earth. And every page is full of Philip Bunting’s hilarious and quirky illustrations which are such fun. After reading this book I now look at the ants in my kitchen and on the garden path in a very different way. Read on >

  • There are plenty of stories that rely on the obligatory boogers and farts, but there are also lots of others that rise above that level of humour. From funny poems, to cartoon characters; from tackling climate change to fitting in at school; there is something here for everyone. Read on >

  • Rankine’s illustrations are a lot of fun and help the story come to life. Timmy finds himself in some very awkward situations, which are highly entertaining. There’s only one problem: he’s just not likeable. When he gets into bother, the reader can’t help thinking that he deserves some of the trouble. In fact, he’s probably the cause of most of his difficulties. The most sympathetic character in the story is Lorraine, the stalker! Hopefully, in the next instalment, Timmy gains some humility and sensitivity. Read on >

  • Another riotous tale of Ancient Egypt, one that we wouldn’t find in any of the history books. It’s an entertaining and humorous story of good winning out over evil. If you enjoy a sense of the ridiculous you will certainly enjoy this zany book. Read on >

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