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Archive Discoveries

  • Best known for his role as a team captain on ABC TV’s Spicks and Specks, ALAN BROUGH has also worked as a radio presenter,
actor and stand- up comedian. In the 1990s he also appeared in a series of TV commercials as a drag queen called Marge. He had always wanted to write, and now he has fulfilled that ambition with his new children’s book, Charlie and the War Against the Grannies. He tells us about the books that have made him the reader and writer that he is today. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Real-life historical figures and 18th-century court cases dealing with adultery inspired one of two interwoven storylines in The Wife’s Tale, a new novel by Australian author CHRISTINE WELLS. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN how the true events from the past inform her tale of scandal, intrigue, murder – and love.  Read on >
  • In the early 1900s, the luminescent properties of radium – a highly radioactive metal – had just been discovered, and entrepreneurs were quick to identify its marketing potential. They flooded supermarket shelves with radium-based products, and thousands of young women in North America were hired to paint clock dials with radium. The girls would go home with their hands aglow, oblivious to the bone-destroying radiation they had been exposed to. We spoke with London-based author KATE MOORE about these workers’ stories, which appear in her new book, The Radium Girls. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Recent research has revealed the astonishing capabilities of dogs. We know that they can help vision- impaired people, but they can also sniff out cancer and even help to locate missing people. CAT WARREN in What the Dog Knows recounts how she adopted an unruly German shepherd puppy, Solo, who is eventually trained to locate human corpses. Read on >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • My favourite part of the novel is the wonderful characters that Maguire has written. Read on >

  • His characters Stevie Fracasso (former rock star) and his younger brother, Rick McLennan (music journalist) leap off the page and burrow their way into the reader’s consciousness. Read on >

  • This is powerful writing.  Read on >

  • Baxter provides an informative and perceptive account of the kink subculture and highlights that while in the right setting it can be empowering for some, the culture’s lack of regulation is a source of much contention. Read on >

  • Taylor, a Nyoongar elder in Western Australia renowned as a poet and storyteller, recalls his childhood at the New Norcia Mission, north of Perth, in the 1950–60 period. This autobiography ranges from angry and accusatory to thoughtful and sardonic. Read on >

  • For anyone with the slightest interest in Australian literature, this book gives a wonderfully insightful glimpse behind the curtains of our publishing industry.  Read on >

  • Truth-Telling is a sophisticated argument for why non-Indigenous Australia should be interested in a treaty with the first nations. In making the argument Reynolds reminds us of the many uncomfortable truths about how we got to where we are.  Read on >

  • A Secret Australia is collection of essays, primarily by journalists and lawyers which forcefully plead the case for Julian Assange being a man most grievously wronged. Assange’s fate remains unclear. Read A Secret Australia and you won’t be indifferent to what that fate is. Read on >

  • I highly recommend Wonderscape. Once I picked the book up, I could not put it down. And it’s a great read for anyone in love with history. Read on >

  • Chasing the McCubbin is about searching for the thing of high value among the lesser things. Perhaps it’s found in friendship and the sense of belonging. It’s worth following the emotional, inspiring chase with Ron and Joseph.    Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue

Books for Boys