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Archive Discoveries

  • Aristotle said that metaphor consists in giving a thing a name that belongs to something else. Shakespeare used metaphor when he wrote ‘All the world’s a stage’, drawing parallels between the planet and a theatrical performance space so that we might more easily understand what the world is like. Metaphors, by likening one thing to another, help us to understand things, or aspects of them, that might otherwise be difficult to comprehend. In Metaphors Be With You, DR MARDY GROTHE takes a historical look at how metaphors have been used to understand a huge range of topics, from adversity, beauty and curiosity through to love, war and vanity. 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 >
  • Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has inspired all kinds of fan fiction and adaptations, such as the 1966 prequel Wide Sargasso Sea. But in this new novel by Sydney resident JENNIFER LIVETT, the lives of Jane Eyre characters become entwined with those of real 19th-century Tasmanians, including doomed Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin. Here Jennifer tells us how she came up with the idea for Wild Island. 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 >
  • Following on from her two-million-selling historical novel Orphan Train, CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE has delved into the backstory of a famous painting by Andrew Wyeth to write her new novel, A Piece of the World. ANGUS DALTON talks with the author.  Read on >
  • This first foray into crime fiction by Australian author Melina Marchetta, best known for her award-winning fiction for young adults, is a cracking read.   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 an officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series, set in New Jersey in 1915, based on Constance and her two sisters. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, ANGUS DALTON finds out more. Read on >
  • From an investigation into the scandals of the Catholic Church by Tom Keneally to Jeffrey Archer’s thrilling last instalment in the ‘Clifton Chronicles’ series or a tale of a shrewd female locksmith in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, these books will delight you over the long, languid days of summer. Read on >
  • I switched on to watch ABC TV’s The Drum one evening and discovered Jodi Picoult sitting on the panel discussion.What a great performer she is – not only an impressive writer but also an impressive speaker.The discussion at the table was raging around whether a white author has the right, or could even have the understanding, to write about black characters. As a white woman, how could she really know what’s it’s like to be a black woman, let alone a black man? How could she write black characters and make them authentic without knowing how they feel? 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 >
  • Think of the typical problem drinker, and we usually imagine alcoholics, drink-drivers, underage drinkers and the perpetrators of one-punch attacks. The brother of Brisbane writer ELSPETH MUIR was none of these things. But three days after a heavy night of drinking, he was found dead in the Brisbane River – his blood alcohol level was 0.25 at his time of death. Elspeth tells us about her memoir, Wasted, an investigation into Australia’s drinking culture, and what might have been done to prevent Alexander’s death.  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 >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue

Books for Boys