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Welcome to the Good Reading Podcasts.

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

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'You are your baby's favourite rockstar' - Anita Collins on The Music Advantage

Ground-breaking music educator Dr Anita Collins' new book The Music Advantage draws on the latest international neurological research to reveal the extraordinary and surprising benefits of children learning music. Music plays an important role in brain development that promotes learning, concentration and the ability to persevere with challenging tasks.

Gregory Dobbs talks to Anita about the value of singing to your baby and why sound is one of the most valuable senses in cognitive development. Discover why learning music as a child supports and promotes learning and is a critical component in learning to read. 'Music learning', says Dr Collins, 'promotes confidence and persistence, and creates a culture of lifelong learning that has benefits right through to adulthood.'



Alan Carter on returning to Sergeant Nick Chester and the Wakamarina Valley in Doom Creek
Sergeant Nick Chester has dodged the Geordie gangsters he once feared and is out of hiding and looking forward to the quiet life. But gold fever is creating ill feeling between prospectors, and a new threat lurks in the form of trigger-happy Americans preparing for doomsday by building a bolthole in the valley. As tensions simmer, Nick finds himself up against an evil that knows no borders and no depths.

In this episode, Alan Carter joins Max Lewis to talk about his experiences living in the Wakamarina Valley of New Zealand inspired the latest chapter in the Sergeant Nick Chester series, Doom Creek.


Ronni Kahn on finding her calling in A Repurposed Life
As the owner of a successful events company, throwing away huge volumes of leftover food at the end of the day came with the territory. But when Ronni Kahn hit midlife, she found herself no longer able to turn a blind eye to her food waste problem. Hand delivering the untouched food to homeless shelters around Sydney became her renegade solution. Little did she know that fixing her small problem at work would lead her to unlock a hidden purpose at the very core of her inner life.

Now founder and CEO of the food rescue organisation OzHarvest, Ronni leads hundreds of staff and thousands of volunteers with the goal to nourish Australia. She serves in an advisory capacity to government and is an instrumental leader in changing federal laws to improve social justice and environmental policies.

A Repurposed Life is the story of how Ronni found her voice, her heart and her deepest calling. From her early years growing up under the brutal system of apartheid South Africa, to a socialist commune in Israel, Ronni finally settled in Australia to discover a profound new way of living. Shared with the humour, warmth and energy that have made her an internationally renowned keynote speaker, this heartfelt exploration of the choices that define us will speak to anyone seeking a more passionate expression of being alive.

In this podcast, Ronni joins Greg Dobbs to chat about finding her calling in OzHarvest, and the process of co-writing the memoir with her daughter-in-law, Jessica Chapnik Kahn.


Heather Morris on the art of listening in Stories of Hope
Heather Morris, author of the internationally bestselling novels The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka's Journey, grew up on a farm in rural New Zealand. On her way back across the paddocks from school, Heather would visit her great-grandfather and listen to his experiences of war - stories he told only Heather. From a young age Heather discovered that people would tell her their stories if she stopped and listened.


In Stories of Hope, Heather Morris will explore the art of listening - a skill she employed when she met Lale Sokolov, the Tattooist of Auschwitz. It was her ability to listen that led him to entrust her with his story. Stories of Hope will examine Heather's extraordinary journey, in the form of a series of beautifully rendered tales of the people she has met, the remarkable stories they have shared with her, and the lessons they hold for us all.

In this episode, Greg Dobbs chats to Heather Morris about why she wanted to write Stories of Hope, and the experience of writing her first memoir.


Stella Budrikis on the 1907 trial that gripped Perth, The Edward Street Baby Farm 
 In 1907, Alice Mitchell was arrested for the murder of five-month-old Ethel Booth. During the inquest and subsequent trial, the general public was horrified to learn that at least 37 infants had died in Mitchell's care in the previous six years. It became clear that she had been running a 'baby farm', making a profit out of caring for the children of single mothers and other 'unfortunate women'. The Edward Street Baby Farm retraces this infamous tragedy and a trial which gripped the nation and led to legislative changes to protect children's welfare.


Ian McGuire unpacks his gritty story of revenge and the past, The Abstainer
Manchester, 1867.

Stephen Doyle arrives in Manchester from New York. He is an Irish-American veteran of the Civil War and a member of the Fenians, a secret society intent on ending British rule in Ireland, by any means necessary. Now he has come to seek vengeance.

James O'Connor has fled grief and drink in Dublin for a sober start in Manchester as Head Constable. His mission is to discover and thwart the Fenians’ plans. When his long-lost nephew arrives on his doorstep, he never could have foreseen how this would imperil his fragile new life – or how his and Doyle's fates would come to be intertwined.

In this episode, Booker Prize longlisted author Ian Mcguire joins Max Lewis to unpack his gritty new historical fiction novel, The Abstainer.


Leon Silver on the true family story of love and survival in his book The Miracle Typist

Conscripted into the Polish army as Hitler’s forces draw closer, Jewish soldier Tolek Klings vows to return to his wife, Klara, and son, Juliusz. However, the army is rife with anti-Semitism and Tolek is relentlessly tormented. As the Germans invade Poland, he is faced with a terrible dilemma: flee home to protect his family – and risk being shot as a deserter – or remain a soldier, hoping reports of women and children being spared by the occupying forces are true.

What follows is an extraordinary odyssey that will take Tolek – via a daring escape from a Hungarian internment camp – to Palestine, where his ability to type earns him the title of ‘The Miracle Typist’, then on to fight in Egypt, Tobruk and Italy. A broken telegram from Klara, ending with the haunting words, ‘We trouble’, makes Tolek even more determined to find his way home and fulfil his promise.

In this episode, Leon Silver joins Greg Dobbs to tell the true story of his father-in-law Tolek Klings that inspired his book The Miracle Typist.


Petronella McGovern unpacks her tense psychological thriller The Good Teacher

Every evening, Allison watches her husband's new house, desperate to find some answers. Every morning, she puts on a brave face to teach kindergarten. She's a good teacher, everyone says so - this stalking is just a tiny crack in her usual self-control.

A late enrolment into her class brings little Gracie. Allison takes the sick girl under her wing, smothering Gracie with the love she can't give her own son. When Gracie has a chance to go to America for treatment, Allison whips up the community into a frenzied fundraising drive.But as others start to question her judgement and the police arrive at her door, Allison wonders if she can trust herself. Has she crossed a line? How far will the good teacher go to save a life? And whose life will that be?

In this episode, Greg Dobbs joins Petronella McGovern to chat about her latest psychological thriller, The Good Teacher.


Kate Mildenhall talks dystopia, motherhood & the sailing trip of a lifetime in The Mother Fault

Mim’s husband is missing. No one knows where Ben is, but everyone wants to find him – especially The Department. And they should know, the all-seeing government body has fitted the entire population with a universal tracking chip to keep them ‘safe’.But suddenly Ben can’t be tracked. And Mim is questioned, made to surrender her passport and threatened with the unthinkable – her two children being taken into care at the notorious BestLife.

Cornered, Mim risks everything to go on the run to find her husband – and a part of herself, long gone, that is brave enough to tackle the journey ahead. From the stark backroads of the Australian outback to a terrifying sea voyage, Mim is forced to shuck off who she was – mother, daughter, wife, sister – and become the woman she needs to be to save her family and herself.

In this episode, Kate Mildenhall joins Max Lewis to chat about living in an almost-dystopia while writing 'The Mother Fault', the influences of her own motherhood on her writing, and almost dying while researching for the book.



S L Lim on desire, art and the power of resistance in Revenge: Murder in three parts

A family favour their son over their daughter ... Shan attends university before making his fortune in Australia while Yannie must find menial employment and care for her ageing parents. After her mother’s death, Yannie travels to Sydney to become enmeshed in her psychopathic brother’s new life, which she seeks to undermine from within …

Revenge is a novel that rages against capitalism, hetero-supremacy, mothers, fathers, families – the whole damn thing. It’s about what happens when you want to make art but are born in the wrong time and place. S L Lim brings to vivid life the frustrations of a talented daughter and vengeful sister in a nuanced and riveting novel that ends in the most unexpected way. It will not be easily forgotten.

In this episode Max Lewis joins S L Lim to talk the fiery follow up to 'Real Differences', the 'grubby compromises' we make in order to create art, and the inspiring work of the brit-pop band Pulp.


Meg Keneally on confronting (and escaping) the past in her colonial-era novel The Wreck

In 1820 Sarah McCaffrey, fleeing arrest for her part in a failed rebellion, thinks she has escaped when she finds herself aboard the Serpent, bound from London to the colony of New South Wales. But when the mercurial captain's actions drive the ship into a cliff, Sarah is the only survivor. Adopting a false identity, she becomes the right-hand woman of Molly Thistle, who has grown her late husband's business interests into a sprawling real estate and trade empire. As time passes, Sarah begins to believe she might have found a home - until her past follows her across the seas ...

In this episode, Meg Keneally joins Greg Dobbs to chat about her new historical fiction novel The Wreck.

Andrew Boe on Australia's flawed justice system in The Truth Hurts

Drawing on his experiences as a child of Burmese migrants fleeing a military junta and his evolution from a naive law clerk, too shy to speak, into a lawyer whose ponytailed flamboyance and unbridled willingness to speak truth to power riled many within the legal establishment, Andrew Boe delves into cases he found unable to leave behind. These cases have shaped who he has become.

Taking us from a case of traditional punishment gone wrong in the Gibson Desert to deaths in police custody on Palm Island and in Yuendumu in the Northern Territory - places where race relations are often stalled in a colonial time warp - to an isolated rural home, and the question of what is self-defence after decades of domestic abuse; to cases of children abandoned, 'stolen' and then fought over; and into prison interview rooms and courthouses around the country where Boe defended serial killers, rapists, child sex offenders, murderers as well as the odd politician - he holds fast to the premise that either every one of us is entitled to the presumption of innocence or none of us are.

In this episode, Andrew joins Max Lewis to expand on The Truth Hurts - explaining our misconception that the justice system is designed to find the truth, and the effect of the Black Lives Matter movement on this country's tragedy of Indigenous deaths in custody.


Jess Scully on how a better world is possible in Glimpses of Utopia

It’s hard to be excited about the future right now. Jess Scully asks, What can we do? The answer is: plenty! All over the world, people are refusing the business-as-usual mindset and putting humans back into the civic equation, reimagining work and care, finance and government, urban planning and communication, to make them better and fairer for all.

Meet the care workers reclaiming control in India and Lebanon, the people turning slums into safe havens in Kenya and Bangladesh, and champions of people-powered digital democracy in Iceland and Taiwan. There are radical bankers funding renewable energy in the USA and architects redesigning real estate in Australia, new payment systems in Italy and the Philippines that keep money in local communities, and innovators redesigning taxation to cut pollution and incentivise creative solutions.

Glimpses of Utopia is a call for optimism. Humans everywhere are rising up to confront our challenges with creativity, resilience and compassion. Harnessing technology and imagination, we can reshape our world to be fair and sustainable. Jess Scully shows us how.


Rose Carlyle on exciting twists and evil twins

Beautiful twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of open-hearted Summer's seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband, Adam. Called to Thailand to help sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes.

Now is her chance to take what she's always wanted - the idyllic life she's always coveted. But just how far will she go to get the life she's dreamed about? And how will she make sure no one discovers the truth?

Written with the chilling suspense of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go to Sleep, The Girl in the Mirror is an addictive thriller about greed, lust, secrets and deadly lies.

In this episode, Rose joins Erin Christie to discuss what it's been like writing her first novel and releasing it during a pandemic, and how it was to create a family of siblings who share an intense rivalry, despite the lovely and supportive relationship she shares with her own sister.


AUGUST BOOK CLUB - A chat with Charlotte McConaghy

How far you would you go for love? Franny Stone is determined to go to the end of the earth, following the last of the Arctic terns on what may be their final migration to Antarctica.

As animal populations plummet and commercial fishing faces prohibition, Franny talks her way onto one of the few remaining boats heading south. But as she and the eccentric crew travel further from shore and safety, the dark secrets of Franny’s life begin to unspool. A daughter’s yearning search for her mother. An impulsive, passionate marriage. A shocking crime. Haunted by love and violence, Franny must confront what she is really running towards – and from.

In this episode, Erin Christie speaks to Charlotte McConaghy about The Last Migration - and the incredible amount of research that went into it - launching a book in a pandemic, and leaning into the climate crisis.


'Beyond the Pale': Adrian Tame on his time at Australia's most notorious paper in The Awful Truth

Hailed as ‘a fearless exposer of folly, vice and crime’ when it first hit the streets in the 1890s, Truth was later condemned by a High Court Judge as ‘a wretched little paper, reeking of filth, injurious to the health of house servants and young girls’.

Adrian Tame knows that better than anyone as he worked for Truth for more than a decade as a reporter and news editor. In the years it was owned by the Murdoch family he worked alongside young Rupert as he cut his teeth on the shock horror scandals that graced the pages of Truth when it was selling a whopping 400,000 copies a week.

Funny, often outrageous and always thoroughly entertaining, The Awful Truth is a rollercoaster ride through an colourful era of newspapers and larger-than-life reporters that we will never see the like of again.

In this episode, Adrian joins Max Lewis to chat about revisiting his scandalous time at 'Truth' (including a Bikie story too shocking for the book), and his opinions on journalism today.


Paddy Manning shares the human cost of climate change in Body Count

Suddenly, when the country caught fire, people realised what the government has not: that climate change is killing us. But climate deaths didn’t start in 2019. Medical officers have been warning of a health emergency as temperatures rise for years, and for at least a decade Australians have been dying from the plagues of climate change – from heat, flood, disease, smoke. And now, pandemic.

In this detailed, considered, compassionate book, Paddy Manning paints us the big picture. He revisits some headline events which might have faded in our memory, and brings to our attention less well-publicised killers. In each case, he has interviewed scientists to explore the link to climate change and asks how – indeed, whether – we can better prepare ourselves in the future.

In this episode, Paddy joins Max Lewis to open up about his experience in writing the book, and how the current climate disaster and COVID-19 pandemic have more in common than we might think.


Julie Sprigg on the life of a physiotherapist in Ethiopia in Small Steps

As a child, Julie dreamed of being somewhere else, of making a difference. Now, she can’t wait to meet the nuns she will live with and the children she will provide physiotherapy for in Ethiopia.

But Julie has trouble sticking to convent rules and soon finds herself wondering how much difference a single physio can make anyway.

When she takes a teaching role at a university, Julie finally feels closer to fulfilling her dreams – training Ethiopia’s first physiotherapists, treating paediatric patients, and losing her heart to a handsome colleague.

Then civil unrest reaches the university, forcing Julie’s students to choose between their safety and their future. When it comes to being a part of change, why do all steps feel like small steps?

In this episode, Max Lewis joins Julie as she reflects on her time in Ethiopia.


Greg James & Chris Smith on the exciting finale of the Kid Normal series

Murph Cooper is famous … and he's not happy about it.Kid Normal and the Super Zeroes used to save the day in secret. But suddenly everyone knows who they are.

Oily villain Nicholas Knox has told the public that superheroes are dangerous. He wants to lock them all up and take over the world! *Cue evil cackling*

Murph must expose Knox's evil plan, or the world of heroes is doomed forever!

In this episode, Max Lewis joins Greg and Chris to chat about the Kid Normal series, and its thrilling final book.


'Fear isn't just natural, it's necessary': Eva Holland on the science behind phobias in Nerve

In 2015, Eva Holland was forced to confront her greatest fear when her mother unexpectedly had a stroke and passed away. After the shock and grief subsided, Holland was sent on a deep dive into the science of fear, digging into an array of universal and personal questions.

On her journey, Holland meets with scientists who are working to eliminate phobias with a single pill, she explores the lives of the few individuals who suffer from a rare disease that prevents them from ever feeling fear, and she immerses herself in her own fears, including hurling herself out of a plane.

In this episode, Max Lewis chats with Eva Holland about her debut Nerve, to find out more about her journey into her own fears, and how she came out the other side.





Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick on changing Australia's history in On a Barbarous Coast

On a night of raging winds and rain, Captain Cook's Endeavour lies splintered on a coral reef off the coast of far north Australia. A small disparate band of survivors, fracturing already, huddle on the shore of this strange land - their pitiful salvage scant protection from the dangers of the unknown creatures and natives that live here.

Watching these mysterious white beings, the Guugu Yimidhirr people cannot decide if they are ancestor spirits to be welcomed - or hostile spirits to be speared. One headstrong young boy, Garrgiil, determines to do more than watch and to be the one to find out what exactly they are.

In On a Barbarous Coast, Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick tell a story of what might have been if things went a little differently. The pair joined Max Lewis to chat about creating fiction from reality, and the importance of Indigenous perspective when it comes to the discovery of this land.





Hayley Katzen on bushfires and belonging in her memoir Untethered
When urban academic Hayley Katzen moves to a remote Australian cattle property to live with her farmer girlfriend, she hopes, at last, to find home.

But this is no happy-ever-after tree change. Lecture halls, law reform and the arts are replaced with castrating calves, shovelling manure, fire-fighting and anti-gas blockades. In a place that attracts people who live by their own rules, Hayley must confront her limitations and preconceptions to forge her own identity.




Lucy Worsley on a lifetime of loving Jane Austen in The Austen Girls

Anna Austen has always been told she must marry rich. Her future depends upon it. While her dear cousin Fanny has a little more choice, she too is under pressure to find a suitor.

But how can either girl know what she wants? Is finding love even an option? The only person who seems to have answers is their Aunt Jane. She has never married. In fact, she's perfectly happy, so surely being single can't be such a bad thing?

The time will come for each of the Austen girls to become the heroines of their own stories. Will they follow in Jane's footsteps?

In this episode, historian Lucy Worsley chats to Erin Christie about her love of history and Jane Austen, and how she plans to pass this on to the next generation of young girls through her writing.



Jon Doust on the misadventure of a lifetime in Return Ticket
It’s 1972. When hot-headed, impetuous Jack Muir gets off the ship in Durban, he fails to get back on. Instead, he sails into misadventure, fleeing the stifling town of Genoralup to try to lose himself in South Africa at the height of apartheid. But the past has a way of catching up with you, and soon Jack is running again, this time to a kibbutz in Israel.

In the course of a lifetime, Jack will travel far, always caught between fleeing from and seeking those things he needs: a mother’s precious gift, a lover in a time of war, the loss of a child, a kind and steady woman.

And, across time and across continents, old Jack Muir will remember those who helped him become a decent man, a better father and a friend.

In this episode, Western Australian author Jon Doust chats with Greg Dobbs about Return Ticket, the final book in his trilogy that began with the Booker longlisted Boy on a Wire.


Fiona Harris & Mike McLeish on tackling schoolyard drama in their parental comedy The Drop-Off
Lizzie, Megan and Sam became accidental friends over good coffee, banter and wrong-world jokes at school drop off. Lizzie is a part-time midwife with four kids and a secret past. Sam is an ex-chef and stay-at-home dad with an absent, high-flying corporate wife. Megan is an ex-model single mum with a thriving online business and no time for loneliness. None of them have much interest in their school community, but when tragedy deals Baytree Primary's reputation a potentially crippling blow, this unlikely trio have to step up. Forced out of their respective comfort zones, Lizzie, Megan and Sam learn more about each other, the school and themselves than they thought possible.

Beginning as a short-form web series, The Drop-Off by performing/writing duo Fiona Harris and Mike McLeish has been adapted to a full length novel. Max chatted about the journey from screen to page, and working together as a married couple.



Shannon Molloy on 'Fourteen', his memoir of growing up gay in Central Queensland
 [CONTENT WARNING: This podcast features discussions of homophobia, mental health and suicide. Furthermore, the intro contains homophobic slurs/language, violence and references to suicide. If you'd like to skip this section, skip to 1:20 in the podcast.]

The debut book of Sydney-based Journalist and reporter Shannon Molloy, Fourteen is a story about his fourteenth year of life as a gay kid at an all-boys rugby-mad Catholic school in regional Queensland. It was a year of torment, bullying and betrayal – not just at the hands of his peers, but by adults who were meant to protect him.

Shannon joined Max Lewis to chat about the cathartic process of writing the book, the unfortunate fate of Safe Schools and how it may have helped a teenager like him, and the best pop bangers of the late 90s.




Lauren Chater on telling the untold story of a classic in 'Gulliver's Wife'

From the author of 'The Lace Weaver' comes a new historical fiction novel, drawing from the unseen character of a Jonathan Swift's classic 'Gulliver's Travels'.

London, 1702. When her husband is lost at sea, Mary Burton Gulliver, midwife and herbalist, is forced to rebuild her life without him. But three years later when Lemuel Gulliver is brought home, fevered and communicating only in riddles, her ordered world is turned upside down.




'Australia saved me': Ayik Chut Deng on life as a Sudanese child soldier in 'The Lost Boy'

[CONTENT WARNING: This podcast contains descriptions of war and mental illness that may upset listeners. Discretion is advised. In addition, the intro contains descriptions of violence against a child; skip to 1:34 in the podcast if you'd like to avoid this.]

As a boy living in the Dinka tribe in what is now South Sudan, the youngest country in the world, Ayik Chut Deng was a member of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). During his time as a child soldier, he witnessed unspeakable violence and was regularly tortured by older boys. At age nineteen, he and his family escaped the conflict in Sudan and resettled in Toowoomba, Australia.

Overcoming a childhood filled with torture and war was a process of lifelong learning, choices and challenges that included a remarkable chance encounter with a figure from his past, and an appearance on national television.

In this episode, Ayik Chut Deng joined Max Lewis to chat about the writing of his memoir The Lost Boy: Tales of a Child Soldier, and how he overcame unimaginable trauma to become the man he is today.



'Are some deceptions necessary?': Suzanne Leal on betrayal and family secrets in 'The Deceptions'

Prague, 1943. Taken from her home in Prague, Hana Lederova finds herself imprisoned in the Jewish ghetto of Theresienstadt, where she is forced to endure appalling deprivation and the imminent threat of transportation to the east. When she attracts the attention of the Czech gendarme who becomes her guard, Hana reluctantly accepts his advances, hoping for the protection she so desperately needs.

Sydney, 2010. Manipulated into a liaison with her married boss, Tessa knows she needs to end it, but how? Tessa's grandmother, Irena, also has something to hide. Harkening back to the Second World War, hers is a carefully kept secret that, if revealed, would send shockwaves well beyond her own fractured family.

In this episode, Suzanne Leal joins Max Lewis to share the true story of wartime betrayal that inspired the decade-spanning twists and turns of her latest novel, The Deceptions.


The Dictionary of Lost Words


Pip Williams on missing words and forgotten women in The Dictionary of Lost Words

In 1901, the word bondmaid was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it.

Motherless and irrepressibly curious, Esme spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of lexicographers are gathering words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary.

Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day, she sees a slip containing the word bondmaid flutter to the floor unclaimed. Esme seizes the word and hides it in an old wooden trunk that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. She begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.

In this episode, Pip Williams joins Greg Dobbs to share the true stories (and real women) behind the first Oxford dictionary, and how they informed her latest book.



Laura Jean McKay on crafting a talking animal apocalypse in 'The Animals in That Country'

Hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, and allergic to bullshit, Jean is not your usual grandma. She’s never been good at getting on with other humans, apart from her beloved granddaughter, Kimberly. Instead, she surrounds herself with animals, working as a guide in an outback wildlife park. And although Jean talks to all her charges, she has a particular soft spot for a young dingo called Sue.

As disturbing news arrives of a pandemic sweeping the country, Jean realises this is no ordinary flu: its chief symptom is that its victims begin to understand the language of animals — first mammals, then birds and insects, too. As the flu progresses, the unstoppable voices become overwhelming, and many people begin to lose their minds, including Jean’s infected son, Lee. When he takes off with Kimberly, heading south, Jean feels the pull to follow her kin.

In this episode, Laura Jean McKay joins Max Lewis to chat about the process behind her apocalyptic/speculative fiction debut, and what animal she'd most like to talk to.


When Time Stopped Ariana Neumann


Karina Kilmore on merging journalistic drama with docklands crime in 'Where the Truth Lies'
When investigative journalist Chrissie O’Brian lands a senior job at The Argus, she is desperate to escape the nightmares of her past. Her life has become a daily battle to numb the pain. But her job is something she can do better than anyone else – and the only thing that keeps the memories at bay.

A face-off on the waterfront between the unions and big business is just the kind of story to get her career back on track. But after a dockworker who confided in her turns up dead, Chrissie becomes obsessed with unravelling the truth. When a gruesome threat lands on her desk, it's clear someone is prepared to do anything to stop her.

In this episode, Greg Dobbs chats to Karina Kilmore about how she weaved her decades of experience as a journalist, and her family history of unions and dock workers, into her debut crime novel 'Where the Truth Lies'. Out now via Simon & Schuster

When Time Stopped Ariana Neumann


'He would wake up screaming': Ariana Neumann on uncovering her father's past in When Time Stopped
In When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father's War and What Remains, Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father’s past: years spent hiding in plain sight in wartorn Berlin, the annihilation of dozens of family members in the Holocaust, and the courageous choice to build anew.

Ariana Neumann joined Gregory Dobbs to chat about the process of uncovering her father's past.


Below Deck by Sophie Hardcastle


Sophie Hardcastle on the colours of the sea and reclaiming your body Below Deck
Below Deck is the highly anticipated debut contemporary novel from author Sophie Hardcastle. A heartbreakingly poetic and haunting story about the vagaries of consent, about who has the space to speak and who is believed.

In this episode, Greg Dobbs chats to Sophie about the themes of consent and reclaiming the body, and how her Synesthesia influenced the novel's vivid prose.


Displaced: A Rural Life by John Kinsella


John Kinsella on dialogue, rapacity and living a rural life in his memoir Displaced: A rural life 
John Kinsella's memoir of his rural life takes us deep into the heart of what it means to belong and unbelong. The joys and travails of childhood, adult addictions, missteps and changing directions are acutely captured in poignant and poetic detail.

In his most intimate prose work to date, Kinsella never shies from writing about the violence and intolerance of those scared of difference, and the ways in which his ethics have sometimes been met with disdain or outright hostility. But with nuance and humour he also celebrates rural community and its willingness to lend a hand.

In this episode, John joins Max Lewis to chat about belonging, creating a dialogue, decolonisation and anti-consumerism, and the best vegan meal.

The Darkest Shore by Karen Brooks


Karen Brooks on unearthing forgotten women in her bewitching historical novel The Darkest Shore
1703: The wild east coast of Scotland.

Returning to her home town of Pittenweem, fishwife and widow Sorcha McIntyre knows she faces both censure and mistrust. After all, this is a country where myth and legend are woven into the fabric of the everyday, a time when those who defy custom like Sorcha has are called to account.

Based on the shocking true story of the witch hunt of Pittenweem, The Darkest Shore is a beautifully written historical tale of the strength of women united against a common foe, by one of Australia's finest writers - Karen Brooks.

Emma Harvey chatted to Karen about how her history in the army inspired her love of maps, representing the women ignored by history, rude Scottish booksellers, and the novelty mug her step-mother hates.


The Killing Streets by Tanya Bretherton


Tanya Bretherton on the serial murders that gripped Sydney in The Killing Streets
In December 1932, as the Depression tightened its grip, the body of a woman was found in Queens Park, Sydney. It was a popular park. There were houses in plain view. Yet this woman had been violently murdered without anyone noticing. Other equally brutal and shocking murders of women in public places were to follow. Australia's first serial killer was at large.

Tanya Bretherton is the acclaimed author of The Suitcase Baby and The Suicide Bride, and her latest book The Killing Streets unpacks Australia's first serial murders and the panic that followed. In this episode, Max Lewis chats with Tanya about the social history of the case, and what gave her the true crime bug.




Anita Abriel on the true story of survival and hope in The Light After the War

Anita Abriel based The Light After The War on her mother Vera's experiences of surviving the holocaust and carving out a new life for herself in Naples, Venezuela and finally Sydney.

Max Lewis chatted to Anita about the personal story behind the book, her experiences in writing her first historical fiction novel, and the powers of love and fate in her writing.




Emily Clements on sex, self and travel in her memoir The Lotus Eaters

The Lotus Eaters is a sharply written story of self-redemption from an exciting young voice in Australian memoir that dissects the patterns of blame and shame women can form around their bodies and relationships.

In this episode, Emily chats with Emma Harvey about the process of re-visiting her tumultuous time in Vietnam, the intersection between beauty standards, self esteem, and language, and her favourite Vietnamese phrases. 


How 25 years in the Victorian Police Force shaped D L Hicks' debut crime novel The Devil Inside

In a peaceful coastal town, a young woman is found brutally murdered, a piece of scripture held tightly in her hand. Local detective Charlotte Callaghan is put on the case, and she’s glad for the distraction – Gull Bay can be a hard place to keep a secret, and she’s holding on to a few.

A gripping crime novel about murder, betrayal and the monsters who hide in plain sight, The Devil Inside examines the line between good and evil, and how circumstance can alter a person’s life in the blink of an eye.

In this episode, Max Lewis chatted to D L Hicks about how his two-decades of service to the Victorian Police Force influenced the twists and turns of his debut novel.



Genevieve Gannon on the real case of an IVF mixup that inspired her family drama The Mothers 

What if the baby you gave birth to belonged to someone else?

Grace and Dan are in their forties and have been on the IVF treadmill since the day they got married. Priya and her husband Nick are being treated at the same fertility clinic, and while they don't face the same pressure as the Ardens, the younger couple have their own problems.

A year on, one of the women learns her embryo was implanted in the other's uterus and must make a devastating choice: live a childless life knowing her son is being raised by strangers or seek custody of a baby who has been nurtured and loved by another couple.

Emma Harvey chatted to journalist and writer of The Mothers, Genevieve Gannon, about the real cases of IVF mixup that inspired her book, and how Australia's IVF policy stacks up with the rest of the world.


Emma Viskic took a road trip with Jock Serong, Sulari Gentill and Robert Gott
Critically acclaimed and bestselling author of the ‘Caleb Zelic’ series, Emma Viskic, is back with book four: ‘Darkness for Light.’
In this episode of the Good Reading podcast, Emma shares the challenges of writing a deaf detective, Sulari Gentill’s favourite travel snack, and why she steers clear of supernatural horror.


 ‘It’s not beyond us to achieve this’: Peter Singer's plan to eradicate world poverty 

For the first time in history, it is now within our reach to eradicate extreme poverty on a global scale. In this episode, Peter Singer speaks to both the head and the heart, demonstrating how each of us has the opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of others, without diminishing the quality of our own.

The 10th anniversary revised eBook and celebrity-read audiobook of The Life You Can Save is out today and completely FREE:

Get involved and start giving:

'It wasn't pretty': Benjamin Gilmour on his darkest month working as a paramedic in Sydney

Benjamin Gilmour has been a paramedic for the past twenty years. He has seen his fair share of drama. But the summer of 2008 remains etched in his memory for the very worst reasons.

The Gap is a vivid portrait of the lead-up to Christmas; an unflinching, no-holds-barred look at what happens after the triple-zero call is made – the drugs, nightclubs, brothels, drunk rich kids, billionaires, domestic disputes, the elderly, emergency births, even a kidnapping.

In this episode, Max Lewis chats to Benjamin Gilmour about the arduous process of writing The Gap, and reflecting on his month from hell over a decade on.


 'Journalists have license to put their nose where it's not wanted': Chris Hammer on 'Silver'

For half a lifetime, journalist Martin Scarsden has run from his past. But now there is no escaping.

In Silver the follow-up to the bestselling Scrublands, Chris Hammer continues the story of Martin Scarsden as he returns to his hometown of Port Silver. Soon he and his new partner Mandy Blonde are embroiled in a brutal murder and a media storm, bringing them face to face with their past.

In this episode, Greg Dobbs chats to Chris Hammer fresh from winning the Crime Writers' Association New Blood Dagger Award, to find out how his decades of experience as a journalist gives his crime writing a unique spin.

'It's a sunny place for shady people': Michael Connelly on returning to LA in 'The Night Fire'

Back when Harry Bosch was just a rookie homicide detective he had an inspiring mentor, John Jack Thompson, who taught him to take the work personally and light the fire of relentlessness for every case. Now John Jack is dead and Harry inherits a murder book that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD 20 years before — the unsolved killing of a troubled young man in an alley used for drug deals.Bosch brings the murder book to Renée Ballard and asks her to help him find what about the case lit Thompson’s fire all those years ago. That will be their starting point.

The bond between Bosch and Ballard tightens as they become a formidable investigative team. And they soon arrive at a worrying question: Did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved?

In this episode, Greg Dobbs chats to best-selling author Michael Connelly about returning to the 'bleached noir' of LA with his latest book The Night Fire.



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.





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.