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Historians Arthur der Weduwen and Andrew Pettegree, authors of  The Library: A fragile history, say that libraries have had a very chequered history. In recent times the death of the library has been pessimistically predicted but does this prediction carry any truth? In the first of a special series of articles about libraries, KAREN WILLIAMS discovers the significant role played by libraries in the NSW Corrective Services.

Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • In her latest novel, Melbourne author JANE RAWSON adds an air of otherworldliness to the story of her ancestor who survived a 19th-century shipwreck. She talks to MAUREEN EPPEN about history, aliens and the benefits of having been a ‘hack writer’ for 25 years.  Read on >
  • After reading a few thrillers lately I got to thinking about writers in the crime and thriller genres and the research they need to do to make their books seem real. Research can be an exciting part of writing any book. Determining how a killer might think and how their victim could become entrapped is one thing, but I can’t imagine looking at dead people or reading detailed reports of the methods that serial killers use to stalk and murder their prey.That’s the sort of awful stuff police deal with and psychologically struggle with for the rest of their lives. But could even researching this sort of thing affect a writer?  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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Australian historical novelist Pamela Hart tells us about her latest novel, A Letter From Italy, and Australia's first female war correspondent.  Read on >
  • 'Books, and lovers or friends, mark and change us. And we, in turn, mark and change them.' Melbourne novelist CATH CROWLEY writes about her longtime love of secondhand bookshops, and how the histories she found and imagined there led her to write Words in Deep Blue. Read on >
  • Stretching across generations and set on the Atherton Tablelands where she lives, the latest novel from prolific Australian author BARBARA HANNAY is a saga of loss, love, secrets and salvation. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN 
about her writing life, and how The Grazier's Wife evolved.   Read on >
  • Communicating the most exciting new developments in science to non-scientific readers can be a challenge. But Know This: Today’s most interesting and important scientific ideas, discoveries, and developments, takes up the challenge and lets dozens of eminent scientists tell us what they think are the most interesting recent developments in science. Here are two extracts from the book. Read on >
  • A young woman named edie channels the dead through her work with the shady Elysian Society in a dytopian first novel from SARA FLANNERY MURPHY. The Oklahoma-based author tells EMMA STUBLEY about her encounters with ghosts and Greek mythology and how they influened The Possessions. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Kassab writes with consummate skill. Perhaps the greatest acclamation might come from these regional communities, when they see themselves rendered with such care and compassion.  Read on >

  • It might take some time to read; it will take much longer to digest, but every second invested in this epic novel will be worthwhile.  Read on >

  • The way Sherborne takes the reader into the mother’s dissolving mind is tremendous.  Read on >

  • From these simple beginnings, a story of the power of love and possibility emerges. Evelyn’s past lives are briefly mentioned. This is not reincarnation, but a decisive move to make a fresh start. Read on >

  • Jones’s writing is quite beautiful, lyrical and poetical, with some parts written in verse. I enjoyed this novel just for the writing. Read on >

  • Throw into the mix his son’s problems and John’s own retrospective shortcomings and, like a train wreck, it’s hard to look away.  Read on >

  • Death can be a difficult topic to read about, especially when it’s a younger person, but don’t be put off. This moving story follows Viv to the end – have some tissues handy.  Read on >

  • Dinner with the Schnabels shines with Jordan’s trademark wit and humour as she offers her readers a glimpse into the life of a family experiencing some very contemporary challenges.  Read on >

  • Spellbinding literature from the very top shelf. Read on >

  • The characters were the backbone of this book, convincingly portrayed and three-dimensional, and it is as much a book about family as historical fiction. Read on >

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