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In this month’s gr Book Club, you had the chance to ask ROBYN HARDING about her compulsive new book The Swap. Here’s what she said! Check out August's Book Club pick to find out how you can get involved (and even win a prize)!

Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • As a teenager, GAYLE FORMAN was so obsessed with ‘80s movie star Molly Ringwald that she started to imitate the actress’s trademark nervous lip bite – and now she has a permanent scar. After seven bestselling YA novels and a successful movie adaption of one of her books, she talks with ANGUS DALTON about her first book for adults, Leave Me. Read on >
  • He has worked as a wilderness guide, a ranch hand and a dogsled musher – and he’s also a skilled marksman. But ERIK STOREY, a lover of the great outdoors, has come in out of the wild for long enough to turn out his first novel, Nothing Short of Dying. A thriller set in the mountainous landscape of western Colorado, it features Clyde Barr, a man with a military past who is fresh out of prison. We talked with Erik recently about dealing with rejection, the lure of western Colorado and his number-one tip for surviving in the wild. Read on >
  • Real-life historical figures and 18th-century court cases dealing with adultery inspired one of two interwoven storylines in The Wife’s Tale, a new novel by Australian author CHRISTINE WELLS. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN how the true events from the past inform her tale of scandal, intrigue, murder – and love.  Read on >
  • Biographies have long fascinated readers, serving as guides for how to live our own lives or often just giving us an intriguing peek into the world of extraordinary people. In this round-up we look at a comedian with a disability, a magician with a learning disorder, the real man behind Walter White of Breaking Bad and more. But we’re bending the biography rules a bit by also including a book by a philosopher that will prompt you to think about living a better life, a book about Aussies at war and an account of Queensland police leading lives of corruption. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • '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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Writer MIKE LUCAS and illustrator JENNIFER HARRISON tell gr about Olivia’s Voice, a new picture book about a deaf girl. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This is an essential motif in the narrative. Darug words frequent the story. This is both wonderful and distracting. Every waibala reader should know Indigenous words, but taking the time to understand each word can disrupt the flow of the narrative. Don’t be put off by this, or that the depiction of waibala actions can make for uncomfortable reading. Swallow any misgivings and persist, because the need to know this colonial Australian history can’t be overstated. Read on >

  • Every day across Australia and around the world news broadcasts include reports of accidents and emergencies, often evoking an morbid curiosity among viewers. Fast-paced and fascinating, graphic yet never gratuitously so, The Application of Pressure is a perceptive examination of frontline emergency services, a homage to those individuals whose dedication and skills save lives every day, and a sensitive reflection on the restorative powers of friendship. Read on >

  • What’s Left of Me Is Yours is a commendable debut by Stephanie Scott. Set in Tokyo, the novel provides an in-depth look into the social and judicial workings of Japanese society in the 1990s. Scott carefully curates a world with immense nuance, integrating Japanese culture meticulously. While I thoroughly enjoyed her novel, I did find the running theme slightly unconvincing. Throughout her novel she explores the idea of whether love can justify acts of deceit, however I felt did not align with the tone of the ending. A beautifully written and executed novel. Read on >

  • Throughout our lives, we all have choices to make. Taryn Cornick made a bad choice. All of the characters, from either side of the reality curtain are forced to make choices. Faustian bargains are made. Only by disparate characters working together might satisfactory outcomes eventuate. This is a monster of a book on many levels, and outstanding … Absolutely outstanding. Read on >

  • This is a very entertaining novel, and quite the bodice ripper, but it is well done and, although it takes many liberties as many historical novels do, it feels a realistic narrative of Catherine’s entirely unlikely rise to power. She must have been quite some woman! Read on >

  • This is a simple story, full of the delights of mountain living, as well as its hardships. There is simple affection between the people, pleasure in preparing food from what they have grown and raised, and a pride in keeping yards and houses spotless. The village and its people may be ageing and dying, but there is more than a glimmer of hope for the future. Read on >

  • Love after Love starts with an act of domestic violence against Trinidadian Betty and her son, Solo. Betty’s husband dies shortly afterwards, falling down the stairs while drunk, saving the small family from further indignities. To help with the cost of living, Betty takes in a lodger, a man who states he will only stay a short while but ends up staying forever. Read on >

  • After ‘discovering’ what is now known as Botany Bay in 1770, Captain Cook and the Endeavour made an emergency stop on Guugu Yimidhirr land in far-north Queensland. On a Barbarous Coast tells a different story of what occurred there - a story where the balance of power between owner and invader is switched. With the 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing, this book is a great way to get an alternate perspective on the event. Read on >

  • Richard Ford is justifiably renowned for both his short and long-form fiction. This book has nine short stories of varying length, none of which is titled Sorry For Your Trouble. He might be apologising to his characters for their plight. Don’t think he’s apologising to his potential readers. That would be ridiculous. Reading Ford, in any length, is an unparalleled joy. Read on >

  • The Switch is a classic feel-good story. Although a little far-fetched at times, it had me laughing and smiling along with it. Set against the backdrop of Leena’s sister’s death from cancer, it has enough seriousness to feel raw and real, which had me tearing up but that is balanced by fun and light-heartedness. The Switch is a heart-warming, funny, romantic and a perfect distraction. Read on >

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Great Love stories