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The 99th Koala is a plea for wildlife, it’s a tribute to the volunteers who strive to save animals and rehabilitate them. It’s an emotional rollercoaster which shows the brutal destruction and damage. It is overwhelming. But it’s a tale of love and dedication.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • The jazz era of the 1920s in America was
 filled with exuberant music, fast cars and young men and women determined to have a good time. But at the same time in working-class Far North Queensland, life wasn’t lived at quite the same level of opulence.
In a new novel, Treading Air, Queensland author ARIELLA VAN LUYN uses fiction to investigate the life of a real young woman from Townsville named Lizzie O’Dea, who shot another woman in 1924. Read on >
  • ARMANDO LUCAS CORREA is the Editor-in-Chief of People En Espanol,  the top-selling Hispanic magazine in the U.S. Here he writes of his personal connection to a group of Jewish refugees that departed from Hamburg, Germany in 1939 seeking refuge in Cuba. His novel The German Girl is a fictional account of the doomed voyage. Read on >
  • Find out about the inspiration behind the bestselling brilliance of Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project, his new novel The Best of Adam Sharp, and how he made a name for himself by dressing as a duck. Read on >
  • ALL IS GIVEN: A MEMOIR IN SONGS by LINDA NEIL She’s a Brisbane-based songwriter and an awardwinning producer of radio documentaries, and in this memoir LINDA NEIL travels the world, playing music and meeting people along the way. In this extract she recalls as a teenager being given the seemingly tedious duty of reading books to a blind neighbour. But what happened next surprised both the reader and the listener. Read on >
  • Best known to TV audiences as Goliath fromthequiz show The Chase, MATT PARKINSON was also one half of the Empty Pockets comedy duo. He cleaned up as a champion on Sale of the Century in the 1990s and since then he has served as the brains trust on ABC TV’s The Einstein Factor. We asked this big man (he’s nearly two metres tall) with a big brain about the books that have made him the brainiac that he is.  Read on >
  • RICHARD ROXBURGH has been extraordinarily versatile over the
decades of his acting career. The Albury-born actor has played both Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty, appeared as Count Dracula in the 2004 movie Van Helsing and played the lead role in Rake, a TV show he co-created. But he’s just as talented
on the page as he is on screen and stage; Roxburgh has written and illustrated a new kids’ book, Artie and the Grime Wave. We asked him about his influences and what lead him to this new project. Read on >
  • Australian historical novelist Pamela Hart tells us about her latest novel, A Letter From Italy, and Australia's first female war correspondent.  Read on >
  • The nose is a wonderful thing. A new study has found that the human nose can distinguish between at least one trillion different smells. I love nothing more than sticking my nose inside a blooming rose as I walk Baxter along the street. But I also have a passionate hatred of the choking diesel fumes disgorged from nearby cruise ships. So even though I may be able to detect over a trillion odours, there are many of them I don’t want to smell! Kate Grenville’s new book, The Case against Fragrance, has had me pondering the aromas, the scents and odours that enter my nose – whether I want them to or not. In 2015 Kate started to get frequent headaches and other signs of ill health and, strangely, they seemed to get worse when she was on tour to promote her latest book.After some effort to isolate the cause, she discovered that it was perfumes or other fragrances that were the culprits. She felt debilitated. She loved to meet her readers but was bombarded with fragrances in crowded rooms. She was compelled to find out what it was about perfumes that could be causing her these health problems. She opened a can of worms. Read on >
  • ABC journalist and science writer IAN TOWNSEND cut his teeth as a novelist in 2007 with Affection, which told the story of a plague outbreak in 1900. His next novel, The Devil’s Eye, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2009. Now with Line of Fire, he turns his pen to narrative non-fiction to tell the story of Richard Manson, an 11-year-old boy who was accused of espionage and shot by the Japanese during World War II in New Guinea. 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 >
  • 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 >

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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The Paris Collaborator