Welcome to the bumper holiday edition of Side View, in which my Crikey colleagues have joined me to curate their favourite pieces of writing, talking, reporting or filmmaking of 2018 (or, for some of us who cheated, other years). Whether you've got your feet up enjoying a break, or are back at it already, we hope you'll find plenty of entertainment in our recommendations, and we'll see you all in a couple of weeks.
In Australia: What Happened?, Ben Pobjie explores our country's humble beginnings as a cosy corner of the supercontinent Pangaea, to its current status as one of the world's most middling powers.
Publishers are furious that Melbourne Writers Festival isn't about the printed word anymore, but the knowledge class' dirty secret is they would rather sink into Netflix than the printed word anyway.
The first two are essentially quick-fix drugs or peppy self-help. Only the third has the power to heal and instruct over the long term.
Australian authors Jackie French and Mem Fox respond to yesterday's article on parallel import restrictions on books.
Parallel import restrictions are a ridiculous protectionist holdover, and their time is up, writes Evan Mulholland, media and communications manager at the Institute of Public Affairs.
Publishers, predictably, want to keep Australia's restrictions on importing books as they are. But savvy customers and e-book sales mean it soon might not matter anyway.
Tony Abbott nudes up (almost) ... is the government going to sell the ABC? ... Shaun Menegola jumping ship to Seven? ...
A group of literature organisations has written an open letter to Arts Minister George Brandis, claiming they have been shut out of consultations for an books industry council announced last year.