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Welcome to the Good Reading Podcasts.

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

Crime / Thrillers                 Contemporary Fiction          Historical Fiction          

Food & Wine                      Biography / Memoir             Current Affairs          

General Non-Fiction          Young Adult        

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LISTEN TO OUR LATEST PODCASTS

 

The Housemate by Sarah Bailey

 

Sarah Bailey on the thrill of the cold case in The Housemate

Three housemates. One dead, one missing and one accused of murder.

Melbourne journalist Olive 'Oli' Groves is obsessed with the 'Housemate Homicides' a story that set career in motion nine years earlier. When the one missing housemate suddenly turns up dead the whole story comes flooding back for Oli.

Paired with enthusiastic and tech-savvy millennial Cooper Ng to reinvestigate the case, Oli is forced to confront both her past and the present in a new media landscape that's turned digital. Oli soon discovers that her search for the truth may find the answers lie much closer to home.

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Sarah Bailey about the life of a cold case in the news cycle, exploring the friction in generational differences and the challenges of creating a new character.



Daring to Fly by Lisa Millar

 

Lisa Millar on conquering fear and hitting a deadline in Daring to Fly 

As a child growing up in country Queensland Lisa Millar dreamed of having a big life. Now with years on the road as an ABC Foreign Correspondent behind her, she shares her moments of joy among the reporting on grief and tragedy.

Lisa battled a debilitating fear of flying that threatened her life and career but only now has she been able to reflect on a joyful childhood, the journey that brought her here, and the change she has witnessed along the way. 

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Lisa Millar about growing up in an aviation-obsessed family, facing her fears and embracing the big and the small moments in life.

 


The Final Cut by Robert Jeffreys

 

Rosalba Jeffreys on bringing the story together for Robert Jeffrey's The Final Cut

Back after suspension, Detective Sergeant Robert Cardilini is immediately tasked with solving domestic violence cases. To complicate matters, his new partner is the eager and idealistic young Detective Lorraine Spencer.

When a young woman is found bleeding and tied to a chair it leads to a sinister game of exploitation reaching the highest echelons of society. When Spencer goes out on a limb to unravel the mystery, the question is: will Cardilini be there to catch her?

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Rosalba Jeffreys about Perth in the 1960s, the return of Detective Sergeant Robert Cardilini and turning her husband's manuscript into a book.

 

 

The petticoat Parade by Leigh Straw
Leigh Straw on Madam Monnier and Perth's notorious Roe Street brothels in The Petticoat Parade

Josie de Bray was a brothel madam who owned most of Roe Street, Perth from World War I up to the 1940s. This immensely readable social history uses the life of Josie de Bray as conduit into the lives of her friends and competitors – the many women who paraded in their petticoats on the verandas of Roe Street, and who were kept from the public view and were secret keepers themselves in the seamier side of town.

In this episode, author and researcher Leigh Straw chats to Heather Lewis about the stigma of sex work past and present, and the process of writing The Petticoat Parade.

 

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Double Deal by John M Green
John M Green on the third book in the 'Dr Tori Swyft' international spy thriller series, Double Deal
 

Tori Swyft wakes up in a Barcelona hotel room to a gruesome murder scene. With a splitting headache and no memory of the night before, her world is in turmoil. Could she really have done such a thing? If she didn't then who did?

A man known only as The Voice phones her with revelations of a shocking video proving Tori is the murderer. Set within the seedy world of global politics and counter-espionage, Tori soon finds herself in a race against time to prove her innocence.

In this episode, Gregory Dobbs chats to John M Green about the new breed of female spy, the real threat of technology in the arena of geo-politics, and his love affair with the city of Barcelona.

 


 

Long half-Life


P
rofessor Ian Lowe on the complexities of the nuclear industry in Australia in Long Half-life.

Australia has been directly involved in the nuclear industry for decades: from the establishment of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission in 1953 to the secret tests at Maralinga and the decision to export uranium in the 1970s and 1980s. Whether we like it or not we are part of the global nuclear industry and bear a moral obligation as guardian of around 30% of the world's uranium deposits. In Long Half-life, Professor Lowe exposes the fundamental challenges politicians and decision-makers face when their own time horizons rarely go beyond next year's budget or election.

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Professor Ian Lowe about landmarks in the political debate around nuclear power, the importance of ordinary people in the decision-making process, and the continuing existential threat to the human race the nuclear industry poses.


 

Lisa Jewell on inventing characters and solving a crime as you write in The Night She Disappeared

Scarlett Jacques is the girl everyone wants to be – charismatic, wealthy and desirable but also dangerous and manipulative. She's the coolest kid at Maypole House, a secondary college for the offspring of the wealthy. When she befriends teenage mother Talullah Murray, things get weird.

When Talullah suddenly goes missing, her mother Kim is thrown into a panic. Meanwhile Sophie Beck, an author of thrillers and recent arrival at Maypole House, stumbles on clues that lead to very dark places. In this tense psychological thriller, people are never what they seem. As relationships form and splinter the past is reawakened and a cold case broken open.

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Lisa Jewell about the process of invention, exploring complex relationships and getting to the dark places of crime writing.



Tim Ayliffe on the rise of the white supremacy movement in The Enemy Within

Battle scarred investigative journalist and former war correspondent John Bailey is picking up the pieces of his life after the death of the one woman who helped him hold it all together. He's got a new job, he's given up the drink and he's somehow even acquired a four-legged companion.

When Federal Police raid his home armed with a warrant granting unprecedented powers, Bailey is determined to get to the truth. While investigating the rise of a global white supremacist group, it becomes clear that Bailey himself is now a target and a deadly enemy emerges from the shadows.

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Tim Ayliffe about the alt-right movement, politics and the pressures on investigative journalism in a world where opinion often triumphs over truth.



Nikki Gemmell on love, female creativity and finding your voice in Dissolve

In this deeply personal reflection on women's lives and creative desires Nikki Gemmell explores the struggle she experienced in finding her own creative space. Dissolve is a meditation on those difficult times in establishing herself as a writer, but also a conversation with all young women who are seeking to fulfil their own creative desires.

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Nikki Gemmell about emerging from the humiliation of heartbreak in her early twenties, building confidence as a writer and how to 'un-lady' yourself.

 


In my defence i have no defenceJohn Doyle on an Australian sporting legend in Blessed: The Breakout Year of Rampaging Roy Slaven

It's 1967 in Lithgow (the 'arsehole of the universe') and a young Roy Slaven is a promising student at the De La Salle Academy. He is already demonstrating early evidence as a sporting savant. Blessed with uncanny abilities with the ball, Roy experiences a moment of religious enlightenment when Uncle Baz presents him with an Australian Rugby League team jersey.

John Doyle was right there beside Slaven during this formative year and when Slaven approached him to record those momentous times in book form, he could hardly refuse. The result is Blessed - an honest and truthful account of the life and loves, the trials and tribulations, and the triumphs and tragedies of the boy who was to become the man, Rampaging Roy Slaven.

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to John Doyle about the genius behind the torpedo pass, what constitutes 'Catholic values' and the making of Rampaging Roy Slaven.


In my defence i have no defence

Tim Richards on the joys of Australian train travel in Heading South

Tim Richards is a freelance travel writer and Lonely Planet guidebook contributor who loves chasing down a story with an historical angle. He decided to shake up his life by embarking on an epic train journey across Australia.

Covering some 7,000 kilometres, his train journey began in far north Queensland and boarding iconic trains like the Indian Pacific, Overland and Spirit of Queensland. Along the way Tim encounters giant crocs, archetypal Australian publicans and the ghosts of Australia's pioneering past

In my defence i have no defence

Auntie Di on forgiving the past and discovering her true identity in Daughter of the River Country

Dianne O'Brien (Auntie Di) grew up believing her Irish adoptive mother Val was her birth mother. When Val died while Dianne was still a teenager her whole life changed. Raped at the age of 15 and sentenced to time at the notorious Parramatta Girls Home, Auntie Di suffered years of horrific domestic abuse and a cruel betrayal.

At the age of 36 Auntie Di discovered she was a victim of the 'stolen generation' and is actually a Yorta Yorta woman. This revelation reawakens her fighting spirit and helps her come to terms with a traumatic past.

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Auntie Di about surviving child abuse and domestic violence, the power of forgiveness, and finding pathways to a better future.



In my defence i have no defence

Larissa Behrendt on the mother-daughter trip of a life time in After Story

When Indigenous lawyer Jasmine takes her mother Della on an historical tour of the UK's most revered literary sites, Jasmine hopes it will heal old wounds and help them reconcile their past. While Jasmine immerses herself in her literary idols, Della rediscovers the wisdom of her own culture and storytelling. As both women grapple with their place in others' lives, a powerful reminder of a mysterious family tragedy, buried in their past, propels old secrets to the surface.

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Larissa Behrendt about the joy of fiction, her journey to the top echelons of the law and academia, and the bright future of Indigenous storytelling.



In my defence i have no defence

 Dr Norman Swan takes on wellbeing 'bullshit' in So You Think You Know What's Good For You?

For over three decades Dr Norman Swan has been answering the questions Australians have been asking about the medical and lifestyles issues that concern all of us. With his trademark honest, straightforward approach Dr Norman Swan brings it all together in this one-stop handbook that helps us get to the truth.

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Dr Norman Swan about the real Mediterranean diet, living younger longer and the importance of a wholistic approach to health and wellbeing.



In my defence i have no defence

 

Sinéad Stubbins on achieving self perfection, and her debut book In My Defence I Have No Defence

Sinéad Stubbins has always known that there was a better version of herself lying just outside of her grasp. That if she listened to the right song or won the right (any) award or knew about whisky or followed the right Instagram psychologist or drank kombucha, ever, or enacted the correct 70-step Korean skincare regime, she would become her ‘best self’.

In My Defence, I Have No Defence raises the white flag on trying to live up to impossible standards. Wild and funny and wickedly relatable, it is one woman’s reckoning with her complete inability to self-improve and a hilarious reprieve for anyone who has ever struggled to be better.

In this episode, Sinéad joins Heather Lewis to chat about revisiting all the awkward moments of her life, and how to avoid being too self deprecating.



Year of loving kindness to myself

Brigid Lowry on kindness, honesty and nourishing the soul in A Year of Loving Kindness to Myself

It's not easy to maintain grace and good humour through the peaks and troughs of modern living. Throw in a pandemic, political upheaval and environmental disaster and you've got a recipe for a life of endless worry.

In a time when mental health is more important than ever, Brigid Lowry offers thoughts on living simply and learning how to nourish yourself and those around you. Informed by contemporary psychology and Zen Buddhism, Brigid provides insights into everything from grief and loss to love and friendship, and the importance of self-care.

In this episode, Gregory Dobbs chats to Brigid Lowry about maintaining a positive mind-set, finding joy in life, and cultivating a greater appreciation for hot and cold running water.



Helen Vines on separating fact from fiction in Eve Langley and the Pea Pickers

In 1942 Eve Langley published her first novel The Pea Pickers to critical acclaim. Hailed as a tour de force, it tells the story of two feisty sisters who wander the Australian countryside dressed as men.

In Eve Langley and the Pea Pickers, Helen Vines deftly unravels the threads of a life story that became curiously entangled with the author's works of fiction. This compelling new biography paints a portrait of a complex family constellation plagued by mental illness and obscured by a veil of secrecy.

In this episode, Gregory Dobbs chats to Helen Vines about piecing together a story from previously unexamined letters and repositioning The Pea Pickers as a landmark in Australian literature.



Brian Herd on planning for your ageing parents in Avoiding The Ageing Parent Trap

Most of us fail to confront the reality facing our ageing parents. Our inclination is to wait and see what happens but when a simple thing like a fall occurs, it can precipitate a crisis which can be devastating both for parents and the whole family.

Avoiding the Ageing Parent Trap is an essential guide for all families as their elders approach the years of inevitable physical and mental decline. Packed full of information, cautionary tales and practical strategies and solutions, this book is designed to help families avoid disaster.

In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Brian Herd about his more than 20 years experience working in Elder law, dealing with family crisis, and how commonsense planning can help you navigate for the best outcomes.



David Price on Western Australian frontier justice in Dark Tales from the Long River

From searches for serial killers and missing persons to the persecution of migrants and Aboriginal people, David Price takes us back to a time when the line between lawmakers and criminals was lightly drawn. Based on a wide array of contemporaneous accounts of life in the Gascoyne, these sometimes shocking, sometimes disturbing true crime stories depict an era when Australia’s laws served to maintain order rather than to secure justice. Dark Tales from the Long River offers a window into an evolving history of Western Australia that is still struggling into the light.

In this episode, David Price joins Heather Lewis to chat about the history of Western Australia's frontier days, and how his family history ties into the book.



Clare Moleta on writing her debut novel and bridging the real and imagined in Unsheltered

In an atmosphere of chaos where social structures and the environment have been shattered by the effects of climate change, Li is tracking her lost daughter Matti across a disintegrating country. Resourceful and determined but alone and on foot, Li will need to draw on every instinct just to survive.

In this relentless and utterly terrifying psychological thriller, Unsheltered poses questions we all dread and asks if our humanity is enough protection in a dystopian world where nothing and nobody can be trusted.

In this episode, Gregory Dobbs chats to Clare Moleta about what makes a refugee, imagining a post-apocalyptic world and how the future may already be here.



Kate Holden on the Croppa Creek killing that rocked NSW in The Winter Road

July 2014, a lonely road at twilight outside Croppa Creek, New South Wales: 80-year-old farmer Ian Turnbull takes out a .22 and shoots environmental officer Glen Turner in the back.

On one side, a farmer hoping to secure his family’s wealth on the richest agricultural soil in the country. On the other, his obsession: the government man trying to apply environmental laws.

The brutal killing of Glen Turner splits open the story of our place on this land. Is our time on this soil a tale of tragedy or triumph – are we reaping what we’ve sown? Do we owe protection to the land, or does it owe us a living? And what happens when, in pursuit of a legacy, a man creates terrible consequences?

In this episode, author Kate Holden joins Heather Lewis to talk about the research process of her first true crime novel, and how the events at Croppa Creek link back to Australia's colonial relationship with the land we reside on.



Kyle Mewburn on a life in transition in her memoir Faking It

Kyle Mewburn grew up in the sunburnt, unsophisticated Brisbane suburbs of the 1960s and '70s in a household with little love and no books, with a lifelong feeling of being somehow wrong – like ‘strawberry jam in a spinach can'.

In this book, Kyle describes this early life and her journey to becoming her own person – a celebrated children’s book author, a husband and, finally, a woman. She shares the dreams, the prejudice and the agony of growing up trans and coming out, the lengthy physical ordeal of facial feminisation surgery, and her experiences as a woman – good, bad and creepy.

In this episode, Heather Lewis chats to Kyle Mewburn about the process of writing her first book for adults and first memoir, and about the trans experience.



Kathryn Heyman on her memoir, Fury, and summoning the power to redraw the roadmap of her life

Kathryn Heyman's childhood was marked by violence, poverty and chaos. She was left with no real example of how to create a decent life but she had one thing in her favour – she was a reader. The power of stories provided a means of escape and a pathway to a reimagined life.

After experiencing the trauma of sexual assault as a young woman, Kathryn made the decision to put her past behind her. She found herself as a deckhand on board a fishing trawler in the Gulf country. Here, among tough working men and the treachery of the sea she rediscovered her true self.

Kathryn Heyman chats to Gregory Dobbs about writing a difficult memoir, rejecting the constrictions of patriarchy and the transformative power of words.


Rod Barton on his accidental entry into the world of espionage in The Life of a Spy

When Rod Barton applied for a job at the Australian Department of Defence he had no idea where it would lead. For the next few decades he found himself disarming militia in Mogadishu, flying to Baghdad