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The Fix: Beauty and bravery

In this new Interpreter feature, we’re inviting short observations about issues or resources that might otherwise be missed.

Kimberly Farmer/Unsplash
Kimberly Farmer/Unsplash
Published 19 Jul 2023   Follow @becstrating

We’re asking contributors to put together their own short collected observations like this one – as always, if you’ve got an idea to pitch for The Interpreter, drop a line via the About page.

Anyone who followed the captivating Ben Roberts-Smith defamation trial will enjoy journalist Nick McKenzie’s Crossing the Line, which provides an insiders take on the accusations against the former SAS solider, the high-profile trial, and the pressures of conducting investigative journalism in Australia. I took McKenzie’s advice on Twitter to grab the book “before the next legal challenge sees it pulled” – an effective marketing strategy!

An image showing a collection of Bec Strating recommendations

In a different vein, I enjoyed Elise Hu’s Flawless, an eye-opening examination of the culture and politics of the Korean beauty industry. It did help me understand why, of all the places to which I have travelled, it’s only Seoul that I returned from with a suitcase heaving with skin care products.

My favourite new podcast If Books Could Kill skewers non-fiction airport bestsellers. The best episodes target some of the most infamous international politics texts such as the End of History and Clash of Civilisations, which – despite their obvious flaws – continue to find prominent places on undergraduate reading lists.

Finally, on a nautical theme [Eds note: Told you], I’m part way through Isaac Kardon’s exceptionally well-researched China’s Law of the Sea, a must read for those seeking to understand maritime disputes in East Asia and how China seeks to assert itself as a great power.

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