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IAN HOSKINS’ Rivers: The lifeblood of Australia is a detailed profile of Australia’s most beloved rivers, and the history of our connection with them. As MAX LEWIS writes, it’s a more damaging connection than you may realise.

Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • A young woman named edie channels the dead through her work with the shady Elysian Society in a dytopian first novel from SARA FLANNERY MURPHY. The Oklahoma-based author tells EMMA STUBLEY about her encounters with ghosts and Greek mythology and how they influened The Possessions. Read on >
  • The Sound, the second book from novelist SARAH DRUMMOND, is set around Western Australia’s King George
Sound. Based on a true story, the novel tells of Wiremu Heke, a Maori man from across the Tasman who sails from Tasmania to WA in 1825 on a mission of vengeance. We asked Sarah to tell us about Wiremu and about The Sound. 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 >
  • It’s 100 years since
 Roald Dahl’s birth on 13 September 1916. For many years now, 13 September has been celebrated as Roald Dahl Day.  I love all of Roald Dahl’s books. I love the naughty antics his characters get up to in so many of his stories. I love reading about the fascinating life he led – especially his wartime flying exploits – and I really loved how he made the nasty grandmother in George’s Marvellous Medicine just go ‘pop’ and disappear. I think we all have someone in our life we’d like that to happen to occasionally. If you are yet to read his memoirs – Boy and Going Solo – I can’t recommend them highly enough. 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 >
  •  Looking for an engrossing historical fiction read? gr has rounded-up eight of the best for you to try.   The books in Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ series have undergone a renaissance recently after
being adapted into a BBC
TV series that has gained a cult following. When Claire Randall is thrown back in time from 1945 to 1743 she finds herself in a very different Scotland, where she is branded as an outlander or Sassenach (a derogatory word for an English person) in a country run by clans and invaded by Redcoats. Try this series if you like a well-researched historical sagas that have swashbuckling adventure and a bit of romantic romping. 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 >
  • Kit, only 19 years old, works for Shen Corporation
as a phenomenaut – a person who projects their consciousness into the bodies of animals bred for research purposes. This is the strange and intriguing premise of The Many Selves of Katherine North. ANGUS DALTON puts some questions to EMMA GEEN, author of this new novel. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Perth crime writer David Whish-Wilson reveals how the history of organised crime in WA and his many encounters with criminals, from teaching writing to inmates to meeting biker gangs, has influenced his novels.  Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Each of these stories is a sweet snack – a jalebi for instance – and combine as a whole to give a radiance to the daily life of the (monetarily) poor in Mumbai. They were written from the 1980s to 2000s but without the attendant dates, you might not realise that. So little changes over time. With the sublime nature of these stories, it makes you wonder what else you might be missing out on with English as a mother tongue. Read on >

  • This quietly cerebral, emotional and atmospheric story is a gift of hope at a time when so many are struggling with seemingly insurmountable challenges. Read on >

  • This thought-provoking novel uses Egyptian history and archaeology, quantum physics, parallel universes and philosophy to examine questions of life, death, love, loss, choices and missed opportunities. A fascinating and profound read. Read on >

  • Graham Norton’s third novel is full of surprises. There are a confusing number of names and relatives in the first few chapters but the narrative soon settles down as we accompany Connor in his search for identity. Straight and gay characters interweave; shame and sadness give way to pride and contentment; and loneliness and longing are conquered. A thoughtful, accomplished saga of a community in crisis and the power of resilience. Read on >

  • Donald Trump goes to Florida Disneyworld to inspect the animatronic figure the Imagineers make for the Hall of Presidents attraction. He’s so impressed he orders them to make another for his personal amusement, and he feels so close to it they end up sleeping together, all while he protests he’s not gay. And that’s not even the weirdest idea in screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s novel. Not everyone will respond to the way Kaufman’s mind works and the way he expresses himself, but you might just find yourself on board and swept along despite your suspicions. Read on >

  • This is a really interesting book; a musical novel in composition and emotional intent. It’s an ambitious novel and, much like a complex jazz album, through tone and texture it tells a story that ends up being far more than the sum of its parts. Read on >

  • It’s about a woman – a millennial in her 30s – at a crossroads in her life. While those around her are marrying and having children, she doesn’t want to have kids. Read on >

  • This is an intriguing mystery, but a deeper layer is added by the well-drawn characters and their relationships. In a small town where everyone knows each other, suspicions are easily aroused. We care as much about what happens to the characters as we do about solving the crime. Like in her previous books, the setting is so strong that it’s almost a character in itself. For fans like me, a new Harper book is a treat and this is another cracking read. Read on >

  • We find out who Roald Dahl really was: a photographer, a fighter pilot, a medical inventor and even a spy! He was a toilet-seat warmer at boarding school and really did put a dead mouse in a sweets jar. We find out when his birthday was and how he tested chocolate for Cadbury’s when he was at school. Lots of pages have something to do with Roald Dahl’s fantastic stories. Read on >

  • Although I found the quick interchange of perspectives hard to follow at times, None Shall Sleep has a masterfully brilliant storyline and is definitely worth reading. It is not for the faint-hearted, but a refreshing extension into a more mature genre for teens. Chilling, captivating and suspenseful, it kept me in a constant state of alert. Read on >

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