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 In the 20 years since Bill Granger published his first book of recipes, Sydney Food, the world has fallen in love with the joyfully casual Australian way of eating. As a self-taught cook, straight out of art school, Bill furnished his first street-corner eatery in minimalist style, serving a small but perfectly formed menu of domestic dishes around a central communal table. He captured the hearts of Sydneysiders and visitors alike, while setting an exciting new standard for cafe dining. Nowadays, from Sydney to Tokyo, and London to Seoul, queues form to enjoy ricotta hotcakes fluffy scrambled eggs, lively salads and punchy curries. It is a bright picture of Australian food that has travelled across the globe, packed with fresh flavours and local produce, healthy but never preachy, whose main ingredient seems to be sunshine itself. The plates at any of Bill's restaurants are more sophisticated today, reflecting decades of global experience and culinary creativity - but the warmth of atmosphere and joy of eating remain the same. In this extract from Bill’s new book Australian Food, he shares a recipe for delicious Kimchi, spinach and ricotta dumplings.

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Archive Discoveries

  • It’s often said that whatever happens in our childhoods resonates throughout the rest of our lives – for good or for ill. This was certainly the case for TIM ELLIOTT, who grew up with a father who suffered from bipolar disorder. TIM GRAHAM spoke to him about the lingering effects of a tumultuous childhood and his memoir ofpaternal madness, Farewell to the Father. 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 >
  • 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 >
  •  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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 symptoms of boredom, loneliness and heartache can often be alleviated by exposure to a good novel. But poetry can also have a similar healing effect. If you suffer from any of the following undesirable conditions, try these three poetic prescriptions that might just do the trick. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Who would have thought that in the largely homogeneous country of China that there could be a group of people who could trace their lineage back to invading Romans? TONY GREY uncovered this intriguing bit of information while travelling in China, and here he tells how he came to write his historical novel, The Tortoise in Asia, which tells the story of Romans travelling along the Silk Road in ancient times. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Despite its subject matter, the book is not without its humour and, in time-honoured tradition, the denouement has several twists. Agatha Christie-like it may be, but this is pure John Banville mastery. Read on >

  • The contrast between sun and shadow is one of many oppositional elements in the book. The most potent relates to gender. Men are superficially strong and warlike, but inwardly fragile and fearful. The women are perceived as weak, but have an inner ferocious strength. The interaction between Hirut and Ettore – captured prisoner and guard – is pivotal to the narrative. This powerful, sprawling, lyrical epic should be showered with accolades and awards. It deserves every single one. Read on >

  • There will be familiar elements within this narrative which remind you of Shakespearean plays. These are subtle, rather than overt, because O’Farrell’s writing is sublime. This is a magnificently rendered story of love, loss and grief. Read on >

  • This beautiful, bittersweet story offers a fascinating glimpse into contemporary Afghanistan. The world of Kabul and its people are alive on the pages. Sofia is dismayed by the poverty and discrimination but she admires the resilient spirit of the locals, especially the women, and she is always conscious of her Western outsider status. Read on >

  • Our Shadows is a character-driven, gentle story. There isn’t anything surprising or dramatic about it, but it’s a pleasant read carried along by well-crafted characters. I enjoyed it while I was reading it but not long after finishing it, there were aspects of it already fading from my memory. Read on >

  • This novel is beautifully crafted and provides a mature look into suicide and its impacts on those left behind. I felt that Goenawan dealt with themes of anxiety, isolation and trauma with sensitivity and I found her ability to familiarise these emotions and experiences incredibly perceptive. Read on >

  • The times are captured extremely well and the plot’s storylines crisscross each other with equal force. This is wonderful lyrical writing. Read on >

  • Hickey uses different voices in her first-person accounts, ranging from a woman returned from overseas to her old home in a fire-ravaged area, to a mother who uses her own salty language to describe how proud she is of her gay, theatrical son. There’s the healing provided by living in an isolated rural house; and one tension-filled story shows how danger and horror can be found on a desolate beach. Binding these 18 stories together is an over riding sense of family, with one of the most moving the story of the country football coach and his son. Read on >

  • This coming-of-age tale is a captivating read, with echoes of Huckleberry Finn. The courageous and resourceful children encounter cruelty, abuse, racism and despair but also kindness and hope. They learn about the terrible injustices inflicted on Native Americans and the devastating impact of the Great Depression. This is a lyrical, atmospheric saga about the importance of self and the search for home. Read on >

  • Glasgow in the time of Margaret Thatcher: grim, gritty and grey. ‘Rain is the natural state of Glasgow. It keeps the grass green and the people pale and bronchial.’ The mines were closing and Glasgow was a post-industrial wasteland. This is extremely well written but far from cheerful. If you have a loving home, feel free to count your blessings. Read on >

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