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In a new bi-monthly series CRAIG SISTERSON, author of Southern Cross Crime and long-time gr crime aficionado, will be introducing two writers who will be having their say. In the first in the series Craig invites two #1 bestselling Irish authors, who offer differing approaches to getting great thrillers onto the page.

Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Born in London, retired doctor TONY ATKINSON spent the first years of his life in a cage dangling out of a window. But he went on to serve the Queen and Winston Churchill during his early career as a footman and waiter, which he recalls in hilarious stories in he memoir, A Prescribed Life. Read on >
  • Most of Lonely Planet’s publications can fit snugly at the bottom of a backpack, but The Travel Book is a volume best left at home on the coffee table to inspire adventures.  Read on >
  • The BBC released a survey earlier this year in which they asked readers to name the books they had lied about having read. You can see the list below. I think I have read around half, as some I may have read in my youth that I’ve forgotten about (more about that later). How many of them have you read? The truth, please! 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 >
  • Novelist and journalist MAGGIE ALDERSON spent her gap year as a ‘ferocious punk rocker’ working at an advertising agency and starting her own punk fanzine, for which she interviewed Bob Geldoff and Billy Idol. She went on to become the editor of Evening Standard and Elle in London. She also spent eight years in Australia as editor of Cleo and Mode, and covering fashion shows in Milan and Paris for The Sydney Morning Herald. Now back in the UK, Maggie has just released a new novel, The Scent of You. She tells us why reading fairy stories is good training for any writer, who her literary crush is, and why War and Peace is the most emotionally involving books she's ever read. Read on >
  • Church attendance has been plummeting for decades, yet enrolments for church-based schools are soaring. Nearly all non-churchgoers say that they like having a church in their suburb – although they never go inside it. Leading social researcher HUGH MACKAY takes a look at our contradictory attitudes to religion in his new book, Beyond Belief. In this article, Hugh recounts a part of his own spiritual journey and how he came to write the book. 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 >
  • 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 >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Reddan celebrates the joys of family life, as well as the sisterhood of neighbours, while having a clear-eyed view of the unquestioned power of men and the Church in the 1960s and the destruction they made possible. It’s powerful stuff.  Read on >

  • For me, the thing that sets this novel apart is the genuine care I developed as a reader for Devon. A brilliant debut that may divide some readers, but I think it’s a cracker.  Read on >

  • Sudjic is a brilliant writer, who deals with issues of loss, grief and displacement skilfully. Incredibly engrossing but also disconcerting.  Read on >

  • This novel is very moving and highlights the enduring fear that many people continue to live through and the injustice of their lack of rights and security. The reality that nothing is truly infinite when there are borders. Read on >

  • This superbly crafted novel is a joy (and an easier way to enjoy Beckett).  Read on >

  • This novel is timely and profound and is delivered with the grace and poise of a master. Unarguably brilliant.  Read on >

  • We all need some magic in our lives, particularly if we are dealing with grief. This is a delightful, open-hearted book that gently looks at the beauty and mess of life and how grief is a natural part of the cycle of life and love. Read on >

  • The imagery throughout is exceptional. This, at the end of ‘Bulk’: ‘Above us and above the gulls, the morning’s just-visible moon pulled the sea an inch inwards as if for a waltz.’ Eley Williams is an extraordinary literary talent.  Read on >

  • The way the narrator sees the world and herself is dizzying and magical and, as an autistic woman myself, it was great to read the thoughts of someone who thinks and interacts with the world a bit like me. If you’re after a read to broaden your horizons, this is a great book.  Read on >

  • In November 1944, a German V-2 rocket hits a busy store in London’s New Cross. Of the resulting 168 dead, 33 were children. Spufford wonders what those children’s lives would have been like had they lived. Read on >

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The Paris Collaborator