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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

  • 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 >
  • GEORGIA BLAIN is a novelist and journalist who lives in Sydney. Her first novel, Closed for Winter, was adapted into movie in 2009. LEONIE DYER asked Georgia about her latest novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog. Read on >
  • This book might have the word ‘tax’ in its title, but don’t let that dreary term fool you. The Great Multinational Tax Rort tells the intriguing tale of how, for decades, multinational corporations have been slithering out of their obligations to pay their fair share of tax, leaving governments with shrinking funds to pay for essential services for their citizens. In this extract, MARTIN FEIL, also the author of The Failure of Free-Market Economics, outlines some of the techniques these business behemoths use to cunningly avoid paying tax – leaving us all the poorer. Read on >
  • Thirteen-year-old gamer Beth loves fighting beasts and solving riddles in her favourite online game, Tordon. But she soon faces her own adventure when she and her gaming nemesis are sucked into a new adventure filled world where they have to fight for their own survival. Into Tordon is a collaborative novel by 9 authors, written under the pseudonym of Z F Kingbolt. Good Reading talks to Editor-in-Chief Zena Shapter about the collaborative writing process, gaming and the adventures in the real world that mimic those found on the screen. Read on >
  • ANGUS DALTON meets British historian, journalist and author L S HILTON as she publicises the most hotly anticipated thriller of 2016, Maestra. Read on >
  • Heart surgeon PROFESSOR STEPHEN WESTABY has worked for 35 years to save ailing hearts and, in many cases, give his patients a second chance at life. In his new memoir, Fragile Lives, Westaby recounts remarkable and poignant cases, such as the baby who had suffered multiple heart attacks before reaching six months of age. We asked him to tell us a bit about his life as a surgeon. Read on >
  • PEPPER HARDING is the pen name of a writer from San Francisco. The Heart of Henry Quantum, Pepper’s new novel, follows a scatterbrained husband’s erratic journey through the streets of San Francisco as he hunts down his wife’s Christmas present – a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Along the way he runs into his former lover, Daisy. We asked the author about his new novel and the eccentric thought journeys that appears throughout its pages. Read on >
  • Adelaide writer STEPHEN 
ORR, whose book The Hands
 was longlisted for the 2016 
Miles Franklin Award, likes to
travel the world inspecting
 sites of literary interest – when 
he’s not writing about cattle 
stations and small towns. Here 
he recounts a recent journey to
 the British Isles and Germany on 
which he visited the homes and
 haunts of some of the world’s best known authors. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >

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