Read This and Be Smarter

The State Library of Western Australia promotes reading for all ages. Reading really does make you smarter, reduces stress and can even prolong your life. To this end the ‘Read this and be Smarter’ project kicked off on 2 September. 

Every day, Monday to Friday the Library will provide a link through our Facebook and Twitter feeds to a great piece of writing.

The content will be provided by a range of quality publications including Granta, Westerly, Ted, NextDraft, Fremantle Press, Centre for Stories and a special series on young writers curated by a talented young Western Australian poet, Anthea Yang.


6 July `The Conservation of the Stars’ by Michalia Arathimos. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

3 July `Before the Rain' by Lianne Spidel. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

30 June `You’re sitting wrong - and your back knows it. Here’s how to sit instead' by Mary Halton. Supplied by TED Ideas.

29 June `The Frogeries' by Robyn Mundy. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

26 June `The Great Indian Tee and Snake' by Kritika Pandey. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

25 June `Ode to Patrick Swayze' by Tishani Doshi. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

24 June `Recalling City Sounds During a Quarantine' Supplied by JSTOR Foundation. 

23 June `How To Tame Your Inner Advise Monster'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

21 June `The Gardener' by Raelee Chapman. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

18 June `The Aim Was Song' by Robert Frost. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

16 June `Mind Going a Million Miles a Minute? Slow Down With This Breathing Exercise'. Supplied by TED Ideas. 

12 June `Citizen' by Claudia Rankine. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

11 June `Truth' by Gwendolyn Brooks. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

9 June `What Does Hope Look Like to You? See How These Artists have Depicted It'. Supplied by TED Ideas. 

1 June 2020 Three poems - ‘Vaka Moana', 'Casualties' and ’Being Silent is an Art' by Omar Musa. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

27 May 2020 Australian Aishwaryas - Todd Annetts. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

22 May 2020 `Thick Legs' by Natalia Borges Polesso. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

21 May 2020 `Words are Birds' by Francisco X Alarcón. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

20 May 2020 Australian Aishwaryas - Sukhi Krishnan. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

19 May 2020 `To tackle the world’s big problems, this is the kind of imagination you must have'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

18 May 2020 ‘Fortunata’ by Sally-Ann Jones. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

15 May 2020 `Thrive: A Lyric Sequence' by Jill Bialosky. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

14 May 2020 `Hard Night' by Christian Wiman. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

13 May 2020 Drag Life  - Sassie Cassie. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

12 May 2020 `Want to Grow Your Own Food? 9 Tips to Help You Get Started'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

11 May 2020 `Desert Journey' by Henrietta Drake-Brockman. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

8 May 2020 `Forest as Metaphor' by John Vink. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

7 May 2020 `In This Short Life That Only Lasts an Hour' by Emily Dickinson. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

6 May 2020 Roaring Nineties - Vern Gooch. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

5 May 2020 `The #1 block to teamwork is defensiveness. Here’s how to defuse it'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

4 May 2020 `Valley of the Tears' by Chris Mansell. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

1 May 2020 `Words for Woman' by Susana Moreira Marques. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

30 April 2020 `Earth Day' by Jane Yolen. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

29 April 2020 `How to grow your own tiny forest'. Supplied by TED Ideas. 

28 April 2020 `These days, adaptability is a must-have trait. Here’s how to spot it — and increase it'. Supplied by TED Ideas. 

27 April 2020 ` The Sapling Barricades Of Trugernanner’ by Alison Whittaker, ‘Past Tense’ by Jannali Jones, and ‘Weather Patterns, Jimadilung’ by Edwin Lee Mulligan. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

25 April 2020 `A New War' by local writer and nurse Jennifer Jane Lester.

24 April 2020 `The Smart House of Mrs O' by Lincoln Michel. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

21 April 2020 `CSI: Mummy!' Supplied by TED Ideas. 

20 April 2020 `The Thirty World' by Kate Whitfield. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

17 April 2020 `Plague Diary: March' by Gonçalo M. Tavares. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

16 April 2020 `Home [“Often I had gone this way before”]' by Edward Thomas. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

15 April 2020 `Australian Aishwaryas' - Jen Nie Chong. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

14 April 2020 `Jola Can' by Bel Woods. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

10 April 2020 `About the Cover' by Slinkachu & Daniela Silva. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

9 April 2020 `Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

8 April 2020 Roaring Nineties - Lois Griffiths. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

7 April 2020 `How to keep quarantine from ruining your marriage'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

6 April 2020 `Still Life' by Kate Lyons. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

2 April 2020 `"Hope" is the thing with feathers' by Emily Dickinson. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

1 April 2020 `City of Pigs' by David Hayden. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

31 March 2020 `3 steps to having difficult - but necessary - conversations'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

30 March 2020 `Hague' by John Saul. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

27 March 2020 `The Dialectic' by Zadie Smith. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

26 March 2020 `A Blessing' by James Wright. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

25 March 2020 16 Days, 16 Stories Sheree Lucas Neto. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

24 March 2020 `Disasters and crises bring out the best in us'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

23 March 2020 `On the Wallaby Track' by Siobhan Paget. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

20 March 2020 `The Knowledge' by Barclay Bram. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

19 March 2020 16 Days, 16 Stories Amber Williams. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

18 March 2020 `Mighty Forms' by Brenda Hillman. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

17 March 2020 `Every kid needs to feel seen - here are 2 ways you can do this'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

16 March 2020 `Not Sweet, Not Sweet At All' by Rosie Barter. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

13 March 2020 `A Source' by Frances Leviston. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

12 March 2020 `The Applicant​' by Sylvia Plath. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

11 March 2020 `Phenomenal Woman​' by Maya Angelou. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

10 March 2020 `How to mentor and support other women - and help them succeed'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

9 March 2020 `Sigh-Co’ by Josephine Taylor. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

6 March 2020 `The Third Rainbow Girl' by Emma Copley Eisenberg. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

5 March 2020 `Wings of Desire'by Amy King. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

4 March 2020 `What is the ideal age to retire? Never, according to a neuroscientist.' Supplied by TED Ideas.

28 February 2020 `Sing Stone, Speak Fire' by Dan Bradley. Supplied by Granta.

27 February 2020 `America' by Allen Ginsberg. Supplied by Poetry Foundation.

26 February 2020 `How to be kinder to yourself'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

25 February 2020 `Saga Sisterhood - Eat Pray Work' by Maya-Rose Chauhan. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

24 February 2020 `Running Bear' by Annabel Smith. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

21 February 2020 `The Taste of the Feeling' by Peter Mishler. Supplied by Granta.

20 February 2020 `After a nuclear disaster, then what? A surprising look at the animals of Chernobyl and Fukushima' Supplied by TED Ideas.

19 February 2020 `Drag Life'. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

18 February 2020 `To make change happen at your organization, here’s the first step to take'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

13 February 2020 `Japan's Lost-and-Found System is Insanely Good' by Allan Richarz. Supplied by Next Graft.

12 February 2020 `There’s an art to happy memories — you can make more by experiencing more “first”s'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

11 February 2020 'What is Left Over, After' by Natasha Lester. Supplied by Fremantle Press.

10 February 2020 ‘Jack and Ruby’ by Jeannie Morrison. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

7 February 2020 'Fanciphobia' by Colin Herd. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

6 February 2020 'Why we fall for phishing emails — and how we can protect ourselves'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

5 February 2020 '10 Schools of Philosophy that should be better known (in the West)' by Julian Baggini. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

3 February 2020 'Blood Love' by Elfie Shiosaki. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

31 January 2020 'Rhubarb' by Craig Silvey. Extract supplied by Fremantle Press.

30 January 2020 'On Being French and Chinese' by Tash Aw. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

29 January 2020 'Being vulnerable about vulnerability: Q&A with Brené Brown'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

28 January 2020 'Invisible Boys' by Holden Sheppard. Extract supplied by Fremantle Press.

27 January 2020 'Happiness is a simple thing' by Zdravka Evtimova. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

24 January 2020 'On High Heels and Lotus Feet' by Summer Brennan. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

23 January 2020 'There’s an art to happy memories — you can make more by experiencing more “first”s'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

22 January 2020 Selected poems from 'Burnt Umber' by Paul Hetherington. Supplied by UWA Publishing.

21 January 2020 Extract from Avan Judd Stallard's novel 'Spinifex & Sunflowers'. Supplied by Fremantle Press.

20 January 2020 ‘Flick Chick’ by Joanne Riccioni. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

17 January 2020 'Her Left Hand, The Darkness' by Alison Smith. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

16 January 2020 'Quake of the Earth' by Kirli Saunders. Supplied by Magabala Books.

15 January 2020 Centre for Stories interviews Australia writer Monica Tan.

14 January 2020 'Why do so many incompetent men become leaders? And what can we do about it?' supplied by TED Ideas.

13 January 2020 ‘Love In Two Parts’ by Donna Mazza. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

10 January 2020 'Red Can Origami' by Madelaine Dickie. Supplied by Fremantle Press.

9 January 2020 'The Chelsea Effect' by Arthur Miller. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

8 January 2020 Centre for Stories presents an interview with Dr Joan Arakkal.

7 January 2020 'How games make kids smarter' transcript. Supplied by TED Ideas.

6 January 2020 ‘T’ by Elizabeth Tan. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

3 January 2020 'Don’t Look at Me Like That' by Diana Athill. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

31 December 2019 'What if Martin Luther King, Eartha Kitt and others were on Facebook in 1968?'.Supplied by TED Ideas.

30 December 2019 ‘The Yellowing Pages of the Almanac’ by M.G. Michael. Supplied by Westerly Magazine

24 December 2019 An interview with Australian Writer Kirli Saunders.Supplied by Centre for Stories.

23 December 2019 'A Refreshing Sleep' by Kim Scott.Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

20 December 2019 'Borderland' by Olga Tokarczuk. Supplied by Granta.

19 December 2019 Extract from Anne-Louise Willoughby’s biography 'Nora Heysen: A Portrait'. Supplied by Fremantle Press.

18 December 2019 'Helpful advice for aspiring writers of all ages'. Supplied by TED Ideas.

17 December 2019 Interview with writer Ruby Porter. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

13 December 2019 'Envy' by Kathryn Chetkovich. Supplied by Granta Magazine.

12 December 2019 How poetry can educate and illuminate us on the tense relationship between humans and the Western Australian coastline - poetry by Caitlin Maling. Supplied by Fremantle Press.

11 December 2019 A selection of poems from 'The Tiny Museums' by Carolyn Abbs. Supplied by UWA Publishing.​

10 December 2019 Interview with Tiffany Tsao, a writer and literary translator. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

9 December 2019 ‘Bond Cleaning’, ‘Plot’, and ‘Pay It Forward’ by Ella Jeffery, Mags Webster, and Siobhan Hodge. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

6 December 2019 'Making' by Esther Rutter. Supplied by Granta.

5 December 2019 'Want to be less distracted? Try this: Find the fun in tedious tasks'. Supplied be TED Ideas.

4 December 2019  An interview with Fiona Burrows - a children's book author and illustrator. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

3 December 2019  ‘A Dream within a Dream’ by Edgar Allan Poe.

30 November 2019 ‘The Semantics of Starvation’ by Lianda Burrows. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

29 November 2019 'Stasiland' by Anna Funder. An extract supplied by Granta.

28 November 2019 'a love like Dorothea’s' by Alison Whittaker. Supplied by Magabala Books.

27 November 2019 'Snake Like Charms' by Amanda Joy. Supplied by UWA Publishing.

26 November 2019 Interview with author Paul Collis. Provided by Centre for Stories.

25 November 2019 ‘Spirit Places’ by Richard Rossiter. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

22 November 2019 'Squish me Tender' by D. Mortimer. Supplied by Granta.

21 November 2019 'How do you make the world’s biggest connect-the-dots?' Supplied by TED Ideas.

20 November 2019 'What does it feel like to be a woman on the other side of 40?' extract from ‘Everyday Sadness’ by international acclaimed author Liz Byrski. Supplied by Fremantle Press.

19 November 2019 'Wayne Vinten is your local surfer who’s always in for a good laugh. He shares the story of growing up surfing the waves in Falcon Bay, and then accumulating well over 500 surfboards—and counting!'. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

18 November 2019 ‘The Moment in the Draughty Church at Smokefall’ by Joanne Riccioni. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

15 November 2019 'Scissors' by Karina Sainz Borgo, translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer, Supplied by Granta.

14 November 2019 'Trần Thị Nga shares the story of when she opened up her shop on on 314 William Street Northbridge 'Golden Gate Asian Gifts'. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

13 November 2019 'True West' by David Whish-Wilson. Supplied by Fremantle Press.

12 November 2019 'What Makes Us Human?' Supplied by TED Ideas.

11 November 2019 ‘The Shouting in the Dark & other southern writing’ Two Excerpts by Elleke Boehmer. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

8 November 2019 Three poems by Anthony Anaxagorou. Supplied by Granta.

7 November 2019 'Remember people’s names once and for all — by using this technique from memory champs' Supplied by TED Ideas.

6 November 2019 'Art Was Their Weapon: The History of the Perth Workers' Art Guild' by Dylan Hyde. Supplied by Fremantle Press

5 November 2019 'Port City' - A collection of Fremantle stories. Supplied by Centre for Stories.

4 November 2019 'Dancing' by Rachel Robertson. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

1 November 2019 'A clean, well lighted place' by Peter Stamm and Michael Hoffmann. Supplied by Granta.

31 October 2019  Young Writer's Series 'Repossession' by Anthea Yang

30 October 2019 Spend a moment pondering our past, present and future world, poems from 'The Future Keepers' by Nandi Chinna. Supplied by Fremantle Press.

29 October 2019 Four poems by Crispin Best. Supplied by Granta.

28 October 2019 'Bollywood day' by Ankur Betageri. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

25 October 2019  'Little nothings: Nabokov's road notes' by Elsa Court. Supplied by Granta.

24 October 2019 Young Writer's Series (Curated by Western Australian poet Anthea Yang)​ 'Inter-nation-generatiional' by Zenatalla Ibrahim

23 October 2019 'Wow your friends with how much you know about Perth architecture' Supplied by Fremantle Press

22 October 2019 'Feel like you're about to lost it? It could be a good time for a Meta-Moment' Supplied by TED Ideas.

21 October 2019  'Wallpaper' by Laurie Steed. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

18 October 2019 'Sirens' by Jorge Consigli, translated from the Spanish by Carolina Orloff & Fionn Petch. Supplied by Granta.

17 October 2019 Young Writer's Series (Curated by Western Australian poet Anthea Yang) 'Wide Open Road' by Jakob Boyd

16 October 2019 'The Greatest, Fakest World Record. History’s best marathoner has broken a mythical time barrier. But it doesn’t count as a world record.' Supplied by NextDraft.

15 October 2019 'To be a great leader, you need to start by leading yourself' Supplied by TED Ideas.

14 October 2019 ‘Margaret River’ and other poems by Miriam Wei Wei Lo. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

11 October 2019 'Un Libre Favor' ('An Open Gift', or 'Abundance') by Chus Pato, translated from the Galician by Erín Moure. Supplied by Granta.

10 October 2019 Young Writer's Series (Curated by Western Australian poet Anthea Yang) 'Red Flowering Gum' by Scott-Patrick Mitchell

9 October 2019 'Turkey v Syria's Kurds: The short, medium and long story' Supplied by NextDraft.

8 October 2019 'How does impeachment work? A quick TED explainer' Supplied by TED Ideas.

7 October 2019 'The River Woman' by Shokoofeh Azaar. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

4 October 2019 'Grief in Moderation' by Diane Williams. Supplied by Granta.

3 October 2019 Young Writer's Series (Curated by Western Australian poet Anthea Yang) 'What whales might say' by Katie Bennett.

2 October 2019 'Nancy Pelosi: An Extremely Stable Genius' Supplied by NextDraft.

1 October 2019 'How to make your arguments stronger (hint: longer is not the answer)' Supplied by TED Ideas.

30 September 2019 'City of Ghosts' by Francesca Sasnaitis. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

27 September 2019 'Going Home' by Raja Shehadeh. Supplied by Granta.

26 September 2019 Young Writer's Series (Curated by Western Australian poet Anthea Yang) 'The Story So Far' by Taonga Sendama

25 September 2019 'This Is All Wrong,' Greta Thunberg Tells World Leaders At U.N. Climate Session Supplied by NextDraft.

24 September 2019 'The short list: 24 books, each under 200 pages, as recommended by TED speakers' Supplied by TED Ideas.

23 September 2019 ‘Walking in Old Shoes’ and ‘Remembering Artists’ by Paul Collis. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

20 September 2019 'To the Dogs' by Jianan Qian (warning: it includes 'adult' themes). Supplied by Granta.

19 September 2019 Young Writer's Series (Curated by Western Australian poet Anthea Yang) 'The Junction' by Justine Spencer and 'House Show' by Saoirse Nash

18 September 2019 'Ever wondered: “What if I’m buried when I’m just in a coma?” Supplied by TED Ideas.

17 September 2019 'The grandmaster diet: How to lose weight while barely moving' Supplied by NextDraft.

16 September 2019 ‘Mathematics’ and ‘The Kingsbury Tales: Li Hongzhang’s Tale, a Fragment’ by Ouyang Yu. Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

12 September 2019 'Facsimiles' by Linda Mannheim. Supplied by Granta.

11 September 2019 Young Writer's Series (Curated by Western Australian poet Anthea Yang) 'A Love Letter To My Grandparents' by Anastasia Julien-Martial.

10 September 2019 A Nobel-Winning Economist Goes to Burning Man. Supplied by NextDraft.

9 September 2019 The Black Shoes by Tess Williams Supplied by Westerly Magazine.

6 September 2019 ‘The Water Tower and the Turtle’ by Kikuko Tsumura Supplied by Granta.

5 September 2019  'Moonless' Supplied by young Western Australian poet Anthea Yang.

4 September 2019 Remember people’s names once and for all — by using this technique from memory champs Supplied by TED Ideas.

3 September 2019  The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History  Supplied by NextDraft. NextDraft is run by Dave Pell, and delivers each day 10 links to articles on the Internet that are handpicked as the most fascinating news items of the day.

2 September 2019 'Cat by Moonlight' by Ann Dombroski. Supplied by Westerly Magazine

27 August 2019 Nature can be as enganging as video games - how to help kids fall in love with the outdoors Supplied by TED Ideas

23 August 2019  Where is Kigali? This story is supplied by Granta – one of, if not the best publisher of contemporary writing in the World. It's reportage about the Rwandan genocide – originally published in 1995, shortly after the events themselves in 1994, and republished recently as part of Granta’s 40th-Birthday celebrations.

Last updated on: 6 July 2020