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Good Reading Podcast LogoWelcome to the Good Reading Podcasts.

Browse our podcasts by genre or check out our most recent podcasts below.

Crime /Thrillers                 Contemporary Fiction          Historical Fiction          

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General Non-Fiction          Young Adult        


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LISTEN TO OUR MOST RECENT PODCASTS 

 

Heather Rose on sand, sunburn and building a bridge to Bruny

 

Award-winning author of The Museum of Modern Love, Heather Rose, is a sixth-generation Tasmanian. In this episode, Emma Harvey sits down with Heather to talk about the importance of engaging with those we disagree with, how she learned to rid ego and romanticism from her craft, and why her explosive new satire Bruny is proving more prophetic by the day.


 

'Dude, it was like an exorcism': Holden Sheppard on writing his YA LGBTQI+ novel Invisible Boys

[CONTENT WARNING: This podcast discusses issues of mental health and suicide]

In a small town, everyone thinks they know you: Charlie is a hardcore rocker, who's not as tough as he looks. Hammer is a footy jock with big AFL dreams, and an even bigger ego. Zeke is a shy over-achiever, never macho enough for his family. But all three boys hide who they really are. When the truth is revealed, will it set them free or blow them apart?

Invisible Boys is the debut novel of WA author Holden Sheppard, which draws upon his adolescence growing up as a gay man in the regional town of Geraldton. In this episode, Holden chats to Max Lewis about the trials and tribulations of writing such a personal book, looking back on the same-sex marriage plebiscite two years on, and what he would say to a young man struggling with his sexuality.


 

'I will always be sad when I read those chapters': Mary Moody on cancer, compost and cracking on 

If you'd told Mary Moody when she was 21 that she was going to grow up writing columns about compost, she would have thrown her hands up in horror.

In 1971, off the back of a cadetship at Women's Weekly, Mary wanted to become a TV news reporter. Unfortunately for her, in those days, only men were afforded that gig. Instead she forged a diverse career as a 'show-biz' journalist, a 'hippy-dippy' stay-at-home mum, host of ABC TV’s Gardening Australia, bestselling memoirist and finally, an 'accidental tour guide.'

The latter is the inspiration for her latest book, a memoir and adventure story about leading botanical treks in France, Morocco, Spain, Mongolia and the Himalayas. In this episode, Mary talks to Gregory Dobbs about learning, loving and losing a life partner.


 

Katherine Johnson on the hidden history of 19th century human zoos

Paris Savages is a fictional account of events from the late 19th century when human zoos were big business across Europe. It follows the journey of three Indigenous Australians from the Badtjala tribe of Fraser Island who make the perilous journey to Germany and France where they are admired, feared and exploited for mass entertainment masquerading as science and education.

In this complex and powerful story, layers of history are carefully peeled back to reveal a hidden world driven by profit and racism. Gregory Dobbs talks to award-winning author Katherine Johnson about the real people behind the story of Paris Savages.


Heather Morris on the woman who survived Auschwitz and a Siberian Gulag

Cilka Klein is just sixteen years old when she is sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Constantly in the shadow of death she quickly learns that survival comes at a price. She eventually finds herself imprisoned in the Russian gulag where survival is no less easy.

In this sequel to the international best-seller The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris explains how this heart-breaking story came to be. Gregory Dobbs talks to Heather about the research, how she found the story and the real person behind Cilka's Journey.


 

Jamil Jivani on why young men are being turned to violence, and what we can do to stop it

The day after the 2015 Paris terror attacks, twenty-eight-year-old Canadian Jamil Jivani opened the newspaper to find that the men responsible were familiar to him. He didn’t know them, but the communities they grew up in and the challenges they faced mirrored the circumstances of his own life.

His book, Why Young Men traces Jivani’s education as an activist fighting one of today’s most dangerous and intractable problems: acts of violence by angry young men. Jivani relates his personal story, his work with disenfranchised people of colour in North America and at risk youth in the Middle East and Africa, and his experiences with the white working class. He profiles a diverse array of young men – and those trying to help them – drawing parallels between these groups, refuting the popular belief that they are radically different from each other, and offering concrete steps towards countering this global trend.

Jamil joined Max Lewis to chat about the process of writing the book and revisiting his adolescence, the role of the media in shaping identity, and what parents can do to make sure their sons aren't going down a dangerous path.


I'm Staying at Richard's

'We had no idea what life was going to be': Bernadette Agius on raising a son with Down syndrome

 ‘It was cathartic, it was sad, it was humbling, it was joyful. I feel very exposed. But I don’t regret it.’ – Bernadette Agius on writing I’m Staying at Richard’s, a heartwarming memoir on the joys and challenges of raising a son with Down syndrome.

 In this episode, Bernadette breaks down misconceptions, shares some hilarious memories (like that time Richard unwrapped the entire family’s Christmas presents) and recalls how Richard reacted when he first read the book.

 


Snow Ondine Sherman

 

Ondine Sherman on Alaskan hunters, bad grammar and a bustling backyard zoo

When she was a young girl, author and animal rights advocate Ondine Sherman wrote a letter to the editor of Animal Liberation magazine vowing that she would dedicate her life and career to improving the lives of animals. In 2019, she has more than made good on that promise, having co-founded the Australian animal protection institute, Voiceless, and published the Animal Allies series, a collection of young adult novels that inspire teenagers to question essential ethical issues. In this episode, Ondine talks with Emma Harvey about the incredible Alaskan wilderness, her favourite animal encounters, and the father-daughter relationship at the heart of her latest book, Snow.


Tidelands Philippa Gregory

 

Philippa Gregory: 'It’s extraordinary how little ordinary women have been recorded in history.'

Join Emma Harvey as she chats with the cover star of our September issue, Philippa Gregory, about her spectacular new series that exchanges the prosperity of the royal courts for the tidal marshes of 15th century Southern England.


The Tiger Catcher Paullina Simons

 

Paullina Simons: 'This isn't a romance. It's a love story.'

Paullina Simons fans have been waiting in eager anticipation for another book from the prolific and internationally bestselling author of the Tatiana and Alexander series. Now she’s rolling out three at once.

In this episode, hosted by Emma Harvey, Paullina shares memories of growing up in Leningrad, drinking raspberry moonshine, and challenging readers' expectations in her genre-defying new trilogy, The End of Forever series.

 


 A Stolen Life Tony Buti 

'This man was broken': Tony Buti on Australia's only successful Stolen Generations claimant 

On Christmas Day in 1957, Ngarrindjeri man Joe Trevorrow admitted his 13-month old son, Bruce, to Adelaide Hospital. Within days, Bruce was living with another family, and Joe would never see his son again. In his new book A Stolen Life: The Bruce Trevorrow Case, writer and politician Tony Buti meticulously and empathetically chronicles the story of Australia’s first and only successful Stolen Generations claimant, the irreversible anguish of a broken family, and a 13-year battle for justice.

In this episode of the Good Reading podcast, Tony chats with Pip Leason about the harrowing life of Bruce Trevorrow, the reverberations of his case, and the work that remains to be done.


While You Were Reading

 

Melbourne co-authors Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus have never had an argument

Last year, Melbourne co-authors Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus enchanted readers everywhere with their hilarious debut rom-com The Book Ninja. Now the powerpair are back to chat about their new book, While You Were Reading, a warm and witty tale of friendship, first dates and beloved second-hand books.

In this episode, Ali and Michelle talk to gr's Emma Harvey about balancing friendship with co-authorship, sharing a Kindle account, and sneaking their new novel onto Melbourne's public transport.


 

JAMES DUNK on illness, chaos and delusion in Australia's early colonies

What was life really like in the early years of the colony of Botany Bay?

Upon arrival, convicts and free settlers faced the perils of an unknown continent, thousands of miles from home and with a very uncertain future. This new Australian history shines a light on the illness, the chaos, the delusion and the terror experienced by everyone who arrived on these shores.

Gregory Dobbs talks to JAMES DUNK about his new book Bedlam at Botany Bay which traces the history of madness in the early colony of Sydney and how the early settlers grappled with the challenges of a new country, taken from its Indigenous inhabitants, and ruled by the weight of imperial justice.


 

 The death-defying adventures of KATHERINE RUNDELL

KATHERINE RUNDELL has tiptoed along tightropes, piloted small planes, illegally strutted across the rooftops of Oxford, galloped through herds of zebras in Zimbabwe and hunted for tasty piranhas in the Amazon. The Costa Award-winning author tells Angus Dalton how her daring adventures inspire her children’s novels including The Explorer and her new book about a daring heist in 1920s New York, The Good Thieves.


 

'We prefer to forget': Armando Lucas Correa on the doomed voyage of the S S St Louis

When he was ten years old, Armando Lucas Correa’s grandmother told him: ‘Cuba is going to pay very dearly for what they did to the Jewish refugees.’

She was referring specifically to the 1939 voyage of the St. Louis, an ocean liner that transported 937 Jewish refugees out of Nazi Germany to Havana, Cuba. Upon their arrival, the Cuban government refused to accept the passengers, and the United States and Canada also denied them entry. When the war broke out, 254 St. Louis passengers were killed in the Holocaust.

In this podcast, award-winning journalist and writer Armando Lucas Correa talks to Gregory Dobbs about the second instalment in his bestselling historical fiction trilogy, The Daughter’s Tale, which continues to chronicle one of the most harrowing atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II.


 

Alli Sinclair on how scaling mountains turned her into a storyteller

In 1994, location scout Claire Montgomery is trying to secure permission to shoot a TV show at a historic art deco cinema near a country town in Northern Queensland. In 1950, we meet Lena Lee, an ambitious Hollywood actress holding out for bigger roles and better characters, who is challenged by the male-dominated film industry and a scandalous affair.

In her decade-spanning new novel The Cinema at Starlight Creek, author Alli Sinclair asks one question: 'How far would you go to follow your dream?' In conversation with Angus Dalton, Alli tells us about exploring Hollywood in two different decades, scaling mountains, and writing romance.


 The Warming by Craig Ensor

Craig Ensor's literary love story set in an Australia ravaged by climate change

Two hundred years from now, people are migrating en masse to the poles to escape soaring temperatures. Fifteen-year-old Finch lives with his father in a near-deserted coasted town south of Sydney. Soon they must follow the great migration south, but before they go, a newly arrived couple become a point of infatuation for young Finch.

Craig Ensor's The Warming is a beautifully written story about love and migration, set in an overheated world we could very well be heading towards. The author joins Angus Dalton.

 

 


 

Crossings by Alex Landragin

 

ALEX LANDRAGIN didn’t write the most daring debut novel in decades – he stole it 

Crossings, the novel billed as the most daring debut in decades, is made up of three compelling stories: a letter written by lyric poet Charles Baudelaire to an illiterate young girl, a noir romance story in wartime Paris that begins in a graveyard and a tale about a woman with paranormal powers. They all weave together to create a stunningly imaginative story about seven lifetimes and two souls.

Author Alex Landragin joins Angus Dalton to tell us about his travel writing days in Africa, how he 'stole' this stunning story, and why literature is 'a form of recorded empathy’.

 

 


 

Australia's First Naturalists

 

PENNY OLSEN and LYNETTE RUSSELL on how Aboriginal peoples brought Australian animals to the attention of the world

 The so-called 'discovery' of Australia's world famous fauna is overwhelmingly associated with European men like John Gould and Joseph Banks. But Indigenous Australians had been living alongside these animals for tens of thousands of years, and it was their sophisticated zoological knowledge that allowed European naturalists to bring the attention of the world to Australia's bizarre and brilliant wildlife.

Penny Olsen and Lynette Russell join Angus Dalton to chat about their new book, Australia's First Naturalists.


 

55 by James Delargy

 

‘Majestic, murky, malevolent and magnificent’: Irishman JAMES DELARGY on the outback

When nomadic Irish author James Delargy experienced the Western Australian outback, something about the landscape enthralled and terrified him.

He channelled that awe into 55, a new thriller with a terrifying premise. Two men turn up to a police station with the exact same story of being kidnapped by a serial killer - and each accuses the other of being the murderer.

Angus Dalton chats with James to find out how he came to imagine this gripping story.


Digital Cash by Finn Brunton

 

 

FINN BRUNTON on what you need to know about cryptocurrency

If you’ve ever wondered just what Bitcoin is and why you should care about it then Finn Brunton’s new book, Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, And Technologists Who Built Cryptocurrency, is essential reading for the modern citizen.

 Gregory Dobbs talks to Finn about the genius and the madness behind the development of cryptocurrency.

 



Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

 

 

MARKUS ZUSAK: 'We are all made of stories'

In Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak, there are five Dunbar brothers living a chaotic suburban existence alongside a border collie, a cat, a pigeon, a mule and a furious goldfish named after the King of Men. Their father, the Murderer, has fled, and their mother, the Mistake Maker, is dead.

The Book Thief author joins Angus Dalton to talk about the decade it took to write Bridge of Clay, his reverence for books, and the stories that have made him.


 

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity Mclean

 

FELICITY MCLEAN on Australian Gothic, missing children and Jatz Crackers

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is a sharply written literary mystery infused with nostalgia that leaves its readers guessing.

Journalist and author Felicity McLean joins Angus Dalton to talk 90s cuisine, the art of ghostwriting, Australian Gothic, and which iconic Aussie actor accidentally catalysed the writing of her novel.

 


 

The Time is Now Monica Sparrow

 

MATT HOWARD's accidental life in books

Now the author of four novels who works in one of Australia's biggest publishing houses among blockbuster titles like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Boy Swallows Universe, Matt Howard never planned to make a life surrounded by books.

In this episode of the Good Reading podcast, Angus Dalton pays a visit to Matt's office to talk about his latest novel, The Time is Now Monica Sparrow, which centres on an aspiring writer, an accidental death, and a guy who takes Marie Kondo way too seriously.

 


 

Truthteller

 

STEPHEN DAVIS on how we can win the War on Truth

There's a war on truth, and the liars are winning.

So goes the warning of veteran investigative journalist Stephen Davis about the state of our media landscape. In his new book, Truthteller, Stephen reveals the 'toolbox' of methods used by governments and corporations to mislead the public and dodge accountability.

Here he tells Angus Dalton fascinating stories from his life as a journalist, from M16 agents and Russian threats to an unresolved case of alleged murder in Sydney, and how we foot-soldiers can contribute to the War on Truth.

 


 

Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

 

JACLYN MORIARTY: 'I think I'm a bit hopeless at life'

In her first book for adults since 2004, Gravity is the Thing, treasured children's author Jaclyn Moriarty writes about a mysterious self-help book called 'The Guidebook' that is sent to selected mailboxes one chapter at a time.

Jaclyn joins Angus Dalton in this episode to talk about getting sucked in to self-help, why she would like an external committee to be in control of her life, and why she has a bone to pick with her sister, Liane Moriarty.

 

 


 

Hunter by Jack Heath

 

Would JACK HEATH mind being eaten?

In his first series for adults, Canberra writer Jack Heath has created a compelling character who works as a consultant for the FBI and has a very peculiar palate ...

In this episode, Jack sits down with Angus Dalton to talk about Hangman and its new sequel, Hunter, getting published as a teenager, the ethical questions that surround cannibalism, and whether he'd mind being devoured upon dying. Yeah, things get weird. 


 

Capturing Nature

CAPTURING NATURE: How photography at the Australian Museum aided Darwin's theories

Archivist and curator Vanessa Finney unearths Australia's earliest natural history photographs in Capturing Nature, her new book that reveals how scientific photography began at the Australian museum.

From tiny inch-long fish to whale skeletons as long as buses, the museum's camera captured thousands of extraordinary images that have never been seen by the public.

Angus Dalton heads to the museum to meet Vanessa and find out how photography revolutionised scientific understanding of nature and influenced the ideas of Charles Darwin.


 

The War Artist by Simon Cleary 

SIMON CLEARY on the artistry of tattoos and Australia's longest war

As a writer, Simon Cleary brings art and creativity up alongside experiences of war. In his latest novel, The War Artist, a Brigadier called James Phelan escorts the body of a young soldier home from Afghanistan. Struggling to adapt back to civilian life, an encounter with a tattoo artist named Kira changes Phelan permanently - both inside and out.

Simon joined Angus Dalton to talk about the legacy of the Afghanistan War, PTSD, and the significance of tattoos in this episode of the Good Reading Podcast.

 


 

PEGGY FREW on the novel she began as a teenager Islands by Peggy Frew

Peggy Frew's Hope Farm was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Stella Prize. The Melbourne writer and ARIA Award-winning musician is back with Islands, a novel about a family in crisis that covers many generations, viewpoints and timelines.

In this episode, Peggy tells Angus Dalton about creative doubt, running into the ocean in her undies, and 'the big, enormous, sprawling mess' of family.

 

 

 

 


Breaking and Entering

 

JEREMY N SMITH on befriending a powerful hacker called Alien

At a local playground where his daughter was playing, writer Jeremy N Smith met a woman who turned out to be a cybersecurity expert and a seasoned hacker. They got talking about her life and Jeremy quickly became fascinated.

His new book, Breaking and Entering: The extraordinary story of a hacker called Alien, is the result of that chance meeting. It's a fascinating profile of a daring hacker, a deep-dive into the history of cybersecurity, and a troubling wake-up call for those of us who'd rather not think about how vulnerable we are to hackers in our hyper-connected world.

Here Jeremy tells Angus Dalton about the death-defying form of hacking Alien was introduced to at MIT, and reveals why he's ditched using Google as a result of hanging out with hackers.


 

 

 JENNIFER SPENCE on slipping back into your own past

If given the chance, would you adjust the past to avoid a terrible tragedy in the future? And if you went back in time 20 years and tracked down a younger version of yourself, what kind of person would you find?

These questions are central to Jennifer Spence's new novel, The Lost Girls. Stella slips back in time to 1997 and must disguise herself in the past, resist changing her family's fate, and attempt to get back to the present.

We spoke to the author about time travel, the innocence of 1997, and gleaning writing advice from a famous parable.

 

 



Beyond Words

 

JACQUELINE KENT on falling in love with the man behind Wake in Fright

Jacqueline Kent was working as a book editor when she was assigned a set of humorous short stories by Kenneth Cook, author of the classic horror novel Wake in Fright.

Her dealings with Cook resulted in a 'volcanic' relationship and a brief marriage between two lovers of words. Jacqueline writes beautifully about her time with Ken in her new memoir, Beyond Words.

In this episode, Angus Dalton asks Jacqueline about the enduring legacy of Wake in Fright, a butterfly farm, and the changes she's watched unfold across the Australian book industry.


  

Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi

 

YOTAM OTTOLENGHI on why writing Simple was ‘excruciatingly difficult’ 

Yotam Ottolenghi is universally admired for a cooking style that is complex, layered, and brimming with freshness and colour. Unfortunately that can sometimes lead to a lot of preparation and even more washing up.

In his latest book, Simple, Ottolenghi proves that cooking his way doesn’t have to be so challenging. On the advice of his sister, Ottolenghi has created a book of recipes for the time poor or the outright lazy using a set of 10 fundamental ingredients.

Gregory Dobbs asks about the perils and pleasures of cooking Ottolenghi style and how Simple can help you get there.