Books
Explosive new book reveals relationship between George Michael and Princess Diana
Michael Wolff speaks out as White House hits back about Fire and Fury revelations
Donald Trump blasts Michael Wolff and his sources over his new Fire and Fury book
‘I bet I can make your tits move’: Author Kathy Lette on first job interview at major TV network
Mum wants Sleeping Beauty banned over “non-consensual” kiss
Crime, Women, and Outsider Perspectives
2017 Stella Prize for women's writing: Heather Rose wins for Marina Abramović novel
AI's grades are improving but computers still can't read between the lines
2018-01-17 06:37:32 When computer models designed by tech giants Alibaba and Microsoft this month surpassed humans for the first time in a reading and comprehension test, both companies celebrated the success as a historic milestone. Luo Si, the chief scientist for natural-language processing at Alibaba's artificial intelligence research unit, struck a poetic note, saying, "Objective questions such as 'what causes rain' can now be answered with high accuracy by machines   Read More ...
Victorian writers dominate Indie Book Awards shortlists
2018-01-15 21:14:02 Victorian-based writers have made a clean sweep of spots in the two adult-fiction shortlists for Indie Book Awards, which were announced on Monday. The awards, which are presented by Australia's independent booksellers to the best books published last year, come in six categories: fiction; non-fiction; debut fiction; illustrated non-fiction; children's, and young-adult. Victorian writers occupied the four spots both in fiction and debut fiction   Read More ...
A political manifesto on the liberation of women
2018-01-10 20:00:25 Maltese-Australian author Lou Drofenik (centre) pictured with her publisher upon winning the National Book Prize for novels published in Malta in 2016 Lou Drofenik is not a new name in the Maltese literary scene. A Maltese-Australian author based in Melbourne, Drofenik, who writes in English, started by self-publishing her first novel Birds of Passage in 2005 and so far has written eight novels   Read More ...
Explosive new book reveals relationship between George Michael and Princess Diana
2018-01-08 06:05:10 AN EXPLOSIVE new book reveals the special bond George Michael shared with Princess Diana, and claims the two were confidantes who shared intimate meetings. GEORGE Michael claimed his close pal Princess Diana made it “very clear” she fancied him, an explosive new biography reveals. The pop megastar said they “clicked” and formed a special bond after meeting backstage at a World Aids Day concert in Wembley in 1989, reports   Read More ...
Michael Wolff speaks out as White House hits back about Fire and Fury revelations
2018-01-07 06:33:37 THE author of a controversial book about the White House has come out swinging against Trump, calling him the “least credible” person on Earth. The publisher of a scathing tell-all about the first year of the Trump Administration rushed the book to stores Friday, citing 'unprecedented demand,' and after the president's lawyers threatened legal action. THE author of an explosive new book detailing an insider account of President Trump’s White House has slammed his subject as a “child” who has “less credibility than perhaps anybody who has ever walked on Earth at this point”   Read More ...
How to get your hands on Fire and Fury this week
2018-01-06 15:09:02 American author Michael Wolff's new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House has already become a No.1 bestseller just a few days after it was published in the US. The book details the first year of Donald Trump's presidency and has already been the centre of controversy with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying the book was "filled with false and misleading accounts"   Read More ...
Donald Trump blasts Michael Wolff and his sources over his new Fire and Fury book
2018-01-06 15:06:33 DONALD Trump has continued to unleash his anger at the author behind the explosive book which claims to blow the lid off the White House, as some inaccuracies reportedly emerge. The publisher of a scathing tell-all about the first year of the Trump Administration rushed the book to stores Friday, citing 'unprecedented demand,' and after the president's lawyers threatened legal action   Read More ...
Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert’s partner Rayya Elias dies of cancer
2018-01-05 20:07:09 Gilbert shocked many when she announced 16 months ago that she was leaving her second husband Jose Nunes — who she wrote about in her book Eat Pray Love — for her best friend. She was my love, my heart, my best friend, my teacher, my rebel, my angel, my protector, my challenger, my partner, my muse, my wizard, my surprise, my gift, my comet, my liberator, my rock star, my completely impossible non-cooperator, my otherworldly visitor, my spiritual portal, and my baby   Read More ...
Melbourne 2017 in review: The most read stories on The Age
2017-12-31 01:07:02 2017 is a year Melbourne will never forget. Only weeks into the new year, Bourke Street became the scene of unspeakable horror. Just under 12 months later, the city again shuddered as a car slammed into pedestrians in Flinders Street. The twin attacks book-ended a year in which an alleged siege in Brighton, a balcony collapse in Doncaster, and a plane crash at Essendon airport also gripped readers and left families grieving   Read More ...
Sue Grafton, bestselling crime writer known for Kinsey Millhone Alphabet series, dies aged 77
2017-12-30 00:07:38 Crime novelist Sue Grafton, whose Kinsey Millhone Alphabet series became world-wide best sellers, has died after a two-year battle with cancer, her daughter said. Key points: Sue Grafton wrote the bestselling Kinsey Millhone Alphabet series She won numerous honours from crime writing associations Grafton died after a two-year battle with cancer Grafton, 77, died in Santa Barbara, California, on Thursday surrounded by her family, her daughter Jamie Clark said in a note on Grafton's website   Read More ...
What to read in 2018: A selection of the big books on the shelves next year
2017-12-29 04:07:26 We live in spooky times, and writers are worried. Books for 2018 tackle North Korea, climate change, and the plight of the refugee, including a Manus story written on a smuggled cell phone. A former US president has co-written The President is Missing, but fortunately that's fiction. For comfort, publishers are offering us detective stories and thrillers, inspiring memoirs, dramatic debuts and a novel narrated by a galah   Read More ...
Tinkering review: Katherine Wilson investigates the modern-day tinker
2017-12-28 06:09:15 SOCIETY. Tinkering. By Katherine Wilson. Monash University Press, $29.95 Review by Frances Atkinson. IT IS difficult to read Tinkering and not think about how stuff comes into the world. Not the shiny, plastic, mass-produced variety that washes up on the post-Christmas tide, or the mountains of electronic waste, but the handmade, often labour-intensive objects that begin life as an idea, and are made real by a mix of obsession, ingenuity and a drive to create   Read More ...
Ten books for your holiday reading
2017-12-28 02:08:58 There have been so many fine books published in the past year, it is almost impossible tor recommend only 10 for holiday reading. And if these don't tickle your fancy, you might try new novels by Michelle de Kretser, Sofie Laguna, or Richard Flanagan. Then of course there's ... too many to mention. LINCOLN IN THE BARDO. George Saunders. Challenging, original, ventriloquial, engaging, audacious and, ultimately, deeply compassionate, Saunders' novel deservedly won the Man Booker prize   Read More ...
A look back at the top 10 most read WA stories in 2017
2017-12-28 00:12:04 WA local Scott Ludlam kicked off the federal citizenship crisis while Labor leader Mark McGowan became WA's 30th Premier. We lost an even bigger share of the GST, and Perth was named "the most dangerous city in the world". But what were the stories WAtoday readers really cared about? We dug through the stats to bring you the top 10 most read stories on WAtoday   Read More ...
Santa, polar bears and goblins: Tolkien's Christmas letters to his children
2017-12-20 17:16:19 London: A previously unseen series of illustrated Christmas letters written by the author J.R.R Tolkien to his children, featuring Santa Claus and his helper Polar Bear, are to go on show next year. The letters start in 1920 after Tolkien's three-year old son John asked him who Father Christmas was and where he lived. Tolkien decided to assume the identity of Father Christmas in a written reply, and told stories of the North Pole via handwritten text and illustrations   Read More ...
The curious tale of the Marvel comics editor who pretended to be Japanese
2017-12-20 06:11:28 As comic book writers go, Akira Yoshida boasts an impressive resume. In two years, he went from complete obscurity to working on popular titles such as Thor: Son of Asgard and X-Men: Age of Apocalypse. The latter was made into a major mainstream movie in 2016 that grossed more than a half a billion dollars. There's just one issue. "Akira Yoshida" was a pen name used by C   Read More ...
‘I bet I can make your tits move’: Author Kathy Lette on first job interview at major TV network
2017-12-18 05:33:24 “A group of about five men sat there and one slapped ten dollars on the table and said, ‘I bet I can make your tits move without touching them’. And then he leant over and mauled my breasts and said, ‘Haha, you won’,” she said. “I replied, ‘I bet you 20 bucks I can make your balls move without touching them’   Read More ...
How To Read Body Language | Studio 10
2017-12-12 05:02:51 Body language expert Louise Mahler tells us how your actions can speak louder than words. Studio 10 | 8:30 AM - 12 PM weekdays on Channel TEN Network Ten’s morning show Studio 10 is hosted by Sarah Harris, Joe Hildebrand, Jessica Rowe, Ita Buttrose and Denise Drysdale, along with Jonathan Coleman and reporter David (Robbo) Robinson. Find out more about 'Studio 10' here: To add to the discussion on topics and share your opinions on 'Studio 10', head to one of our social media platforms below. Facebook: Twitter: (@studio10au) Instagram: (@studio10au) Tag us using the hashtag: Subscribe to the 'Studio 10' Channel here: Join our LIVE studio audience at our studio in Sydney, Australia   Read More ...
Comedy, war, and jazz chickens: Here are Bill Gates’ top five summer reading recommendations
2017-12-07 00:29:36 As the days get warmer and Aussie entrepreneurs start to form their summer reading stacks, Microsoft co-founder-turned-billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has released his latest list of five book recommendations to make your choice a little easier. Gates’ book suggestions are a regular occurrence these days, with the entrepreneur posting them bi-yearly on his personal blog GatesNotes every year since 2012. He tries to keep his recommendations diverse, and even with the wonders of the internet, he still thinks books are one of the best ways curious minds can expand their thinking   Read More ...
Australia's reading levels improve significantly, but only for the top readers
2017-12-05 22:12:42 Australia's year 4 students have made significant improvements in their reading skills and have leapfrogged several countries in the latest international testing, but students with the lowest literacy levels still have not made any gains, new results show. The latest results from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), released on Tuesday, show that Australia was one of 18 countries to improve its reading levels   Read More ...
Trench Town reading centre in Jamaica
2017-12-05 12:31:14 While literacy rates may be low in Jamaica, Trench Town Reading Centre is harnessing these local kids' creative talents to inspire the next generation. Watch more here: https://youtu.be/-dCsq0qH6Jo.   Read More ...
Australia's reading levels improve significantly, but only for the top readers
2017-12-05 10:13:09 Australia's year 4 students have made significant improvements in their reading skills and have leapfrogged several countries in the latest international testing, but students with the lowest literacy levels still have not made any gains, new results show. The latest results from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), released on Tuesday, show that Australia was one of 18 countries to improve its reading levels   Read More ...
ACT slides backwards in Progress in International Reading Literacy Study
2017-12-05 10:13:05 Canberra was the only Australian jurisdiction to slip backwards in an international study of reading literacy, with a new report revealing the ACT has lost top spot to Victoria and recorded a greater number of students below the proficiency standard than in the same test five years ago. The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study showed that although 20 per cent of ACT year four students reached the advanced benchmark - the highest rate in the country - a further 18 per cent were ranked low or below low standard   Read More ...
Australia shoots up international rankings in reading
2017-12-05 10:12:50 among Year 4 students By education reporter Natasha Robinson and the National Reporting Team's Meredith Griffiths Australia has shot up the international rankings in reading, reversing a decade of underperformance in literacy achievement in the country's schools. Key points: Australia's Year 4 students ranked 21 out of 50 countries for reading, up six places since the last study in 2011 Australia outperformed countries including France, New Zealand and Spain Federal Education Minister says the results indicate teacher and school reforms are paying off The Progress in International Reading Study (PIRLS) ranked Australia 21 out of 50 countries among Year 4 students   Read More ...
RN's best reads: Your guide for books to read in summer 2017
2017-12-03 00:08:28 Whether it's by the beach, an adventure or relaxing at home, here's our guide to getting lost in a good book this summer, from some of RN's biggest bookworms. If you love Greek mythology, this book is compulsory and addictive reading. Haynes retells the stories of Oedipus and Antigone, through the eyes of the marginalised and largely powerless women characters in these classics   Read More ...
PM's Awards: O'Neill's satire of the literary scene gets $80,000 approval
2017-12-01 03:07:35 It's been one of those weeks for Malcolm Turnbull. Stumbling into a royal commission into the banks and copping flak for feeble leadership, he wasn't even able to enjoy temporary sanctuary at the announcement of his own literary awards in Parliament House. The job of dishing out the prizes, the richest in Australian literary world, was left to Arts Minister Mitch Fifield and there was not a flip-flop in sight – unlike three years ago when then PM Tony Abbott indulged his prerogative to overrule the judges and split the fiction prize between Steven Carroll and winner Richard Flanagan   Read More ...
Jenny Slate and Chris Evans are Back On and she's writing a book
2017-12-01 01:11:24 Actress Jenny Slate, the quirky, funny, voraciously smart stoner we've all come to over-identify with is enjoying a fabulous holiday season. Not only is she back on with actor Chris Evans, (that's Captain America to you) she just announced she's releasing a book of feminist essays and fables. The unconventional memoir, (is there any other kind written by an actress?) will feature a story about a deer in a meadow; a "globe of fruit" and a haunted house   Read More ...
Ditch the exams says Leigh Hobbs, departing Children's Laureate
2017-11-28 06:12:53 At the end of Leigh Hobbs' tenure as Australian Children's Laureate, the creator of some of the most irascible characters of children's picture books has a message for educators and parents. Ditch the assessments and exams, Hobbs says. Let children draw, write and read for pleasure and give teachers the freedom to teach instinctively rather than to outcomes. "I think the kids are overly assessed at school and I think art and music are two things that are, in lots of instances, disappearing from primary school curriculum, which I think is crook   Read More ...
Alexis Wright named professor of Australian literature at Melbourne University
2017-11-27 08:09:22 Alexis Wright, the multi-award-winning writer, has been named the second Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne. Wright succeeds the inaugural professor, Tasmanian novelist Richard Flanagan. Wright, who won the Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel Carpentaria and whose new book, Tracker, a collective memoir of the Aboriginal leader, Tracker Tilmoth, was launched on Monday, said she wanted "to create some sort of vision of how Australians can celebrate our literature"   Read More ...
Canberra Times Letters to the Editor: Take care with reading of water bills or it could all end in tiers
2017-11-26 14:08:25 I write to warn Icon customers that if Icon makes a numerical mistake reading your water meter you must double-check that it subsequently corrects its overcharging properly in your next bill. Last August, evidently a simple mistake was made reading our water meter. I reckon (with hindsight) that 317kL was read wrongly as 377kL. In November, it was read correctly at 338kL (I did check the meter myself just after)   Read More ...
Melissa sought advice from author Rachael Johns - then provided unexpected help
2017-11-24 15:13:59 When Gold Coast-based egg donor Melissa Holman, 35, contacted West Australian author Rachael Johns, 37, for advice about getting published, she found herself giving the writer invaluable insights into infertility. RACHAEL: Mel contacted me 18 months ago as she wanted some advice on submitting her memoir to a publisher. She told me she was an egg donor. I had had an idea for a book about motherhood and infertility, and Mel provided the last piece of the puzzle   Read More ...
The Man Who Took To His Bed review: Alex Skovron's punchy short stories
2017-11-24 07:10:53 A writer who can't get his work published hits on the idea of becoming a combination plagiarist and collage artist, and swiftly becomes famous. A child maps the flat in which he lives with his family, his whole world contained there. A man who works in a piano store is drawn to the young woman who buys the best grand piano in the shop   Read More ...
Mum wants Sleeping Beauty banned over “non-consensual” kiss
2017-11-24 07:06:22 Sarah Hall from North Sheilds, in England, has argued that the story promotes unacceptable behaviour from a young age by normalising women being kissed while they are sleep and unable to give consent. Ms Hall, 40, said she first realised the fairytale was sending an inappropriate message to children when she was reading the schoolbook to her son, aged six. In the well-known story a princess falls into a deep sleep after being poisoned by the prick of a spindle and only a kiss from a prince can save her   Read More ...
PM's Literary Awards: Four of this year's Miles Franklin shortlist compete again
2017-11-17 08:12:56 Malcolm Turnbull has had a pretty busy time of late so perhaps we can cut him some slack. But at last the organisers of the prizes dished out in his name, the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, have announced the shortlists for the six categories - fiction, non-fiction, young-adult fiction, children's fiction, poetry and Australian history. Four of the six novels shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award – The Last Days of Eva Langdon (Mark O'Flynn), Their Brilliant Careers (Ryan O'Neill), Waiting (Philip Salom) and the winner, Extinctions by Josephine Wilson – are joined by Steven Amsterdam's novel about assisted suicide, The Easy Way Out, on the fiction list   Read More ...
Getting boys to love literature and reading: One school's bid to improve English results
2017-11-15 20:20:44 There is a national focus on engaging girls in maths and science, but the underperformance of boys in literacy attracts little attention. Now, teachers are calling for a national campaign to counter boys' mass rejection of the English curriculum. Key points: Boys' performance in NAPLAN English tests lags well behind that of girls Canterbury Boys High in Sydney hoping to foster a love of literature A writer-in-residence works with boys on projects, such as Shakespeare slam poetry "What we need is some kind of government initiative that investigates why boys are not reading and provides role models of male readers," said Robyn Cox, president of the Primary English Teaching Association of Australia   Read More ...
Visionary inspired the young to read
2017-11-14 06:12:45 Agnes Nieuwenhuizen (born Agnes Matrai) was a fearless champion of youth literature whose work and life leave a lasting impression on Australian culture. She established the Australian Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria and the Schools Program at the Melbourne Writers Festival. Agnes was born in Tehran in 1939 to Hungarian Jewish parents. In the upheavals of World War II the family were declared stateless and spent time in Italy before being able to come to Australia   Read More ...
Beijing pressured Australian publisher into canceling book release, author says
2017-11-13 08:07:48 One of Australia's major publishers has backtracked on releasing a book detailing Chinese influence in the country -- amid threats of retaliation from Beijing, the book's author says. Clive Hamilton, a prominent Charles Sturt University professor, said Monday that publisher Allen & Unwin dropped his book “Silent Invasion” last week over fears of “retaliation from Beijing through a number of possible avenues including legal threats, orchestrated by Beijing,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported   Read More ...
Julia Baird's life of Queen Victoria shortlisted for the Walkley Book Award
2017-11-10 07:09:58 Is it the year of Queen Victoria? With a television series about her early days on the throne showing on the ABC and a film about her relationship with her Indian servant Abdul Karim at the time of her golden jubilee in cinemas around the country, it would appear so. So it somehow seems appropriate that Julia Baird's massive biography of the monarch who reigned for nearly 64 years, Victoria: The Woman Who Made the Modern World, which was published at the end of 2016, should be shortlisted for the Walkley Book Award   Read More ...
Letters to the Editor: Jewish settler played vital role in Beersheba success
2017-11-06 14:12:02 Many of the letters published in Saturday's paper (Letters, November 4) seek to distance Israel from any historic event and reject Israel's involvement in the Beersheba memorial. The authors should have regard to the comments made by Bill Shorten in Jerusalem on the eve of the commemoration. He said: "What is less well known ... is that one of the reasons Australian Light Horsemen were able to conduct this marvellous daring military tactic, was because of the work of a Jewish settler   Read More ...
Spanish poet Lorca get first major translation in decades
2017-10-31 04:15:26 The poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca is, after Cervantes, the most commanding figure in Spain's literature. He died young, executed at 38 by nationalist forces at the start of the Spanish Civil War. This early death has rendered him a permanent political and cultural object of desire. During his lifetime Lorca feared what he called "stupid fame". It's hard to say what he would make of the flourishing industry of works (ballets, operas, films, novels, pop songs, poems) that reference and adapt his life and work   Read More ...