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More reading tips from writers at the Sydney Writer's Festival...

Brenda Maddox’s biography, Rosalind Franklin, The Dark Lady of DNA (Harper Collins) showed how Rosalind Franklin’s research, including her photo of the B form of the DNA double helix, was used by the scientists subsequently awarded the Nobel Prize for their research into DNA.
On the issue of whether Rosalind Franklin was cheated out of the Nobel Prize, Ms Maddox was fair, saying: “The only thing Rosalind was cheated out of was her life.” Rosalind Franklin died of ovarian cancer, aged 37.
Ms Maddox, who has written a number of biographies, said some of her favorite biographies were Richard Ellmann’s James Joyce (which she read researching her biography, Nora: a biography of Nora Joyce); Vita: The Life of V. Sackville-West by Victoria Glendinning; and Bernard Shaw by Michael Holroyd.
Thriller writer, Jeffrey Deaver (The Vanished Man: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel; The Bone Collector) said he liked to use suggestion rather than grossing-out people with bloody scenes. Instead of showing someone being stabbed, say, it was more effective to show the scene immediately before or after the event, for example someone coming across the body.
Also, suspense was created by putting the thought in the reader’s mind that something terrible was about to happen, and not by describing the actual terrible event. Like a lot of great writers, Mr Deaver was very helpful and respectful when you asked him questions. You can often tell great writers by this attitude, whereas average writers can get a bit rude sometimes – like they’re trying to fake greatness. Mr Deaver said he learned to plot by drawing a scheme, scene by scene, of novels that featured good plotting, and seeing how the overall mechanism worked. “You can’t do that enough,” he said. He recommended such well-plotted novels as Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris; the works of Ruth Rendell, Agatha Christie, and Barbara Vine.

Here are a few good reading tips from other people at the festival:
Australian media and arts all-rounder Annette Shun Wah said she liked Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World: A Novel.
Her co-author of the book Banquet (Doubleday), about 180 years of Chinese food in Australia, photographer Greg Aitkin, said he liked physicist turned author Neal Stevenson’s The Diamond Age.
Playwright Louis Nowra said he liked Nabokov’s Lolita for the clarity of the prose; and Pale Fire by the same author. He also liked Nathanael West’s The Day of the Locust; and William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!
Historian Inga Clendinnen in her session mentioned her admiration for Lolita by Nabokov, too. She also liked the diaries of Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1596), who pioneered the essay as a literary form, writing about his own life. There has been a Complete Works of Montaigne published in the past.