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Archive Discoveries

  • KIRI FALLS was introduced to the works of English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65) when she saw the 2004 BBC production of North & South. Last year, the 150th anniversary of Gaskell’s death, Kiri decided to make a pilgrimage to the newly renovated Manchester home of the great lady. Read on >
  • Former pop-punk rocker LEN VLAHOS tells Good Reading about his new YA novel, Life in a Fishbowl, and how Marcus Zusak inspired him to write from the perspective of a brain tumour. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • We talk with PATRICK HOLLAND, a longlist nominee for the 2011 Miles Franklin Award for his novel The Mary Smokes Boys, about his new novel, One, which tells the story of the real-life Kenniff brothers. These two late-19th-century Queenslanders were Australia’s last bushrangers, and vPatrick questions the extent of their supposed villainy. Read on >
  • Kentucky-based writer KAYLA RAE WHITAKER tells gr about her debut novel, The Animators, which follows the turbulent creative partnership between two indie animators in New York City. Read on >
  • Novelist and journalist MAGGIE ALDERSON spent her gap year as a ‘ferocious punk rocker’ working at an advertising agency and starting her own punk fanzine, for which she interviewed Bob Geldoff and Billy Idol. She went on to become the editor of Evening Standard and Elle in London. She also spent eight years in Australia as editor of Cleo and Mode, and covering fashion shows in Milan and Paris for The Sydney Morning Herald. Now back in the UK, Maggie has just released a new novel, The Scent of You. She tells us why reading fairy stories is good training for any writer, who her literary crush is, and why War and Peace is the most emotionally involving books she's ever read. Read on >
  • AOIFE CLIFFORD is the winner of the Scarlet Stiletto Award for one of her crime stories, but All These Perfect Strangers is her first novel. The Melbourne-based crime novelist talks with us about New Year’s resolutions, her Irish poet grandfather and the similarities between writing a novel and creating a papier-mâché puppet.  Read on >
  • Marine biologist SHANNON LEONE FOWLER was embracing her fiancé, Sean, in the ocean off the coast of Thailand when a box jellyfish stung and killed him.Thai authorities tried to dismiss his death as a drunk drowning. Traveling with Ghosts follows the months Shannon spent on a strange trajectory through Eastern Europe, fleeing from the ocean and from grief. She tells us how her memoir came to be, 14 years after Sean’s death. Read on >
  • JOHN KINSELLA is the author of 30 books and is the three-time winner of the WA Premier's Book Award for Poetry. He's a fellow at Cambridge's Churchill college and the editor of international literary journal Salt. The self-described vegan/anarchist/pacifist tells Good Reading asked him about his new short story collection, Old Growth.   Read on >
  • Church attendance has been plummeting for decades, yet enrolments for church-based schools are soaring. Nearly all non-churchgoers say that they like having a church in their suburb – although they never go inside it. Leading social researcher HUGH MACKAY takes a look at our contradictory attitudes to religion in his new book, Beyond Belief. In this article, Hugh recounts a part of his own spiritual journey and how he came to write the book. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • In 1997, Sara Morgan was brutally murdered in the woods near her college at the hands of her boyfriend, Blake Campbell. But Blake is acquitted, after being declared temporarily insane. The whole community has been impacted by the crime, many seeking justice, revenge, forgiveness, the need for complete answers or just the desire to move on. Nothing Can Hurt You is a beautiful but unnerving thriller, that goes to the heart of violence and its impacts. Read on >

  • Goldin does a good job weaving the two stories together, as Rachael covers the rape trial but is simultaneously compelled to investigate the past death of Jenny Stills. The subject matter is tough, being that of rape, which makes it an emotional read but it is a solid thriller. I was expecting the book to start off at a faster pace, but it builds as you head towards the middle and, although the ending was not unexpected, it was vivid writing and I was compelled to get to the very last page. Read on >

  • The Daddy Animal Book is all about Daddies and their babies. Every page has a daddy and one adorable little baby, and sometimes more, especially when it’s a daddy turkey or daddy goose. We probably know that a daddy goose is a gander and his baby is a gosling but did you know that a daddy turkey is a gobbler and his baby is a poult? There are lovely stories about how the Daddies protect their families. My favourite is how the Daddy Penguin balances his egg on his toes next to his tummy and away from the cold ice, while his mate goes out to look for food. This is another perfect little book for the littlies, or maybe a fun present for a dad? Read on >

  • This is a very important book about a serious subject but the author and illustrator, Thomas Mayor and Blak Douglas, have written it so simply and illustrated it so beautifully that it should speak to the hearts of all of our children. Hopefully it will find its way into the hands of every child.  Read on >

  • This is an intriguing and entertaining, magical adventure. At first, it seems the children have no possible way out of their dilemma. The spell on the house has strict rules, which make it even more difficult for them and yet they find ways to circumvent those restrictions. Children are often good at finding ways to get around the rules. Williams draws the reader into the story and makes even the most preposterous ideas seem utterly plausible. It’s a wild ride with plenty of tension and surprising twists, and with a very satisfying ending. Read on >

  • This long novel may look daunting for the average reader. However, there’s plenty of action to keep the pages turning and the excellent artwork adds to the Edwardian ambience of the tale. The reader is taken on an adventure around London, and to Paris, with its Eiffel Tower, the mausoleum of Bonaparte and the catacombs, full of old bones. The only jarring note is the age of the children. Teenagers wouldn’t still share a nursery. They vacillate between behaving as young children, to being the age the author gives them, in an era when most 14 year olds worked for a living. Otherwise, it’s a gripping historical fantasy that steam-punkers, in particular, will love. Read on >

  • The Republic of Birds is an amazing tale of risk and adventure. I think Olga’s character is what makes this story so special, as her relationship with her father, stepmother and sister is something everyone can understand. I would specifically recommend this story to teen and pre-teen girls, or to anyone who enjoys an easy and compelling read. Read on >

  • Cultural differences can mask the fact that, beneath it all, we’re much the same. Lochie’s family’s problems aren’t because they’re Australian but because of the way they handle life. Fusillo shows us that the things that matter – the things we all need – are love, respect, understanding and compassion. Hopefully, this story will help young readers look past the things that make us different and recognise the things we share, and to see that our country is the richer for the diversity and colour that newer Australians bring. Read on >

  • That it would all end badly was fairly obvious, but the Ribbon Boys, as they called themselves, being younger than the rebel Ribbonmen of Ireland, had some fine old adventures on the way. It’s a ripping read. Read on >

  • The Space Between nails a perfect balance of being thought-provoking and enlightening as well as hilarious.  Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue

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