Friday, November 27, 2009

My Favorite Australian Books...So Far

I've decided to make a post about my favorite Australian books. I think I actually planned to do this before, but I didn't. I don't know why.

Anyway, here's my list of my books on Shelfari that I've rated 4 or 5 stars:

1. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson--Well, it's not written BY an Australian. But it's about Australia.

2. So Much To Tell You by John Marsden--beautiful young adult book by the guy who wrote the Tomorrow series. I personally prefer Marsden's other stuff (outside the series).

3. Coldwater by Mardi McConnochie--historical fiction about an overpowering father during the early days of the colony.

4. The Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney--I could really relate to aspects of the family in this book.

5. Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah--young adult book about a Palestinian-Australian.

6. My Place by Sally Morgan--a must-read (in my opinion) about an indigenous family.

7. The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty--fun Aussie chick-lit with a sensitive look at postpartum depression.

8. Me Myself I by Pip Karmel--more chick-lit. It's about the road not taken.

9. Misery Guts by Morris Gleitzman--children's book about a young boy wishing to move to Australia. How could I NOT like this?

10. Orpheus Lost by Janette Turner Hospital--thought-provoking novel about terrorism and those who fight terrorism.

11. Featherman by Rhyll McMaster--beautiful, but sad book about child molestation.

12. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta--Goodness. I actually don't remember what this book was about, but I guess I liked it. I'm confusing it in my mind with Marchetta's other book. Okay. Shelfari jogged my memory. It deals with the mental illness of a parent.

13. The Secret River by Kate Grenville--I don't remember this book that much either. I think it was about the early days of Australia....settlers and all that.

14. Due Preparations for the Plague by Janette Turner Hospital--Well, it's not a happy book. But it might get ya thinking......

15. Oyster by Janette Turner Hospital--about a religious cult in Australia

16. Letters from the Inside--another great John Marsden book.

17. Family Baggage and The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney--I liked these books but probably not as much as The Faraday Girls.

18. Writings on an Ethical Life by Peter Singer--controversial and thought-provoking

19. Playing Beattie Row by Ruth Parkes--fun children's book mixing fantasy and history

20 Custom of the Sea by Hanson Neil--It's about cannibalism. Need I say more?

21. Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks--A crazy fun young adult adventure. Jink's novels are a great antidote to the whole Twilight phenomena because they don't emphasis physical beauty. Not that I don't adore Edward, Bella, and Jacob, but sometimes we need a little something different.

22. The Dream Seekers by Patricia Shaw--historical fiction. I need to check out more of Shaw's stuff

23. Thursday's Child by Sonya Hartnett--about a boy who likes to dig. I don't remember much beyond that, but I do know I liked it.

24. Pants on Fire by Maggie Alderson--this is about a wild British party girl who spends some time in Sydney. I didn't expect to be able to relate to a party girl, but I ended up liking the book.

25. The Bride Stripped Bare by Nikki Gemmel--the only book I know of (outside of the Choose Your Own Adventure Series) that uses second-person narration.

26. Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta I liked this one but not as much as Marchetta's other book.

27. Guitar Highway Rose by Brigid Lowry--I kind of don't remember this book, but I rated it highly. It's young adult literature.

28. Storm Boy by Colin Thiele--children's book about a boy and a bird.

29. Toad Away by Morris Gleitzman--cute and clever children's book about the infamous cane toad

30. Leaving Jetty Road by Rebecca Burton--A young adult book. I liked how Burton dealt with the subject of eating disorders.

31. The Tiger in the Tiger Pit by Janette Turner Hospital--Yeah. I tend to like her books.

32. The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks A young adult book that makes us ask whether it's really that fun to be a vampire.

33. The True Story of Lilli Stubeck by James Aldridge--young adult novel about poverty and pride

34. A Fortunate Life by A.B Facey The inspiring autobiography of a man growing up in Australia.

I'm surprised I don't have any Tim Winton's book. Maybe I missed it. Anyway, I'd probably give most of his book three stars except for The Riders. I really liked that one.


  1. Just a correction: you've written "Does My Head Look Book in This". Of course you meant to write "Big". I would recommend "The Tax Inspector" by Peter Carey (as you were asking for Carey recommendations earlier).

  2. Martin,

    Oops! Thanks for catching that ; )

    I don't know why I asked for a Carey recommendation! I've read three of his books and didn't like any of them. Maybe I was hoping to finally find one I'd like. Do you really think the tax one could be it?

  3. Actually, it's the only one I've read so I can't compare it with any others but I did enjoy its quirkiness. It was also a sentimental favorite novel for me because it was given to me as a gift by a beautiful Spanish woman I used to work with in the Tax Office when we were actually doing the job of tax inspectors ourselves. Probably you're never going to be a fan, though, if you've already not enjoyed the 3 of Carey's novels that you've read. I didn't realise he had already rubbed you up the wrong way so much so to speak.

  4. Only read a couple of them. You certainly are well versed in Australia. Tim Winton's first well known book, Cloudstreet, is one I want to read. I have read one other of his. I am not going to pay retail for such an old book. I can get it from a library, but there is always a waiting list for it. Btw, it is nice when you break your normal posts with something different.

  5. Martin: Sweet about the book gift. I can understand why it would have sentimental value. I might try the book someday, but probably only if it jumps out at me. I mean if I find it easily and cheaply. I probably won't seek it out, or pay a lot of money for it. I'll leave it up to fate ; )

    Andrew: Thanks. I like doing different posts too. Cloudstreet was the first Winton book I read. I probably liked it least of his books, but that's only because there was a mistake on the book jacket that confused me. It took me several chapters to get things straight. I think, by the end, I liked it though. Have you read any of his other books?

  6. Impressive list and I have a confession I have read only A HANDFUL ...SHOCKING !!!

    #6 was heartbreaking but I did enjoy it.I read it years ago.

    A few ring abell Playing Beatie Bow I read as youth/child ...I must check a few more on your list.k

  7. My three all time faves that have left me with indelible memories are :: Searching for Charmiane by Susan Chick;
    ;Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson and My Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey :: hope you get time to read these you'll not be disappointed!
    Try as I have I don't like or get Carey despite him writing the book of one of my fave all time movies 'Oscar & Lucinda'!

  8. Trish: I think a lot on the list are children's books. Well, fifteen of them. I just counted : ) What are your favorite Australian books, and books in general?

    Redness: I've seen part of Oscar and Lucinda. It looks better than any Carey book I've read. I'll go check to see if Powells has the Jessica Anderson book.

  9. I haven't read many Australian novels at all. But I think Australian Childrens books and Young Adult fiction is really good. I loved Morris Gleitzman and Paul Jennings when I was in school. And I love a good picture book, Graeme Base still captures my imagination.

  10. Amy Michelle,

    I love Australian kid and YA books. I think in some ways I prefer kid books to other books, no matter what country it's from.

    I'm glad Harry Potter made it more acceptable to read children's fiction. I used to do it, but was kind of embarrassed about it. I would do it secretly, or make some excuse. (I'm doing it because I'm a teacher or I'm doing it because I need to learn about writing kid's books) But now I do it proudly and openly.

    I know. I know. I shouldn't worry what people think....

    But I do get embarrassed about things sometimes. I'm even embarrassed now about being embarrassed.

    I didn't know who Grahame Base was, but I looked him up. I remember now...the Animalia book. I've seen it. I'm not sure if I've ever read/looked at it.

  11. You know what I think about being embarassed for reading YA fiction? That adults who don't read it should be embarassed for losing their youth!

    Oh and did you see New Moon?

  12. Amy Michelle,

    Very good point! Although I think many adults before maybe imagined they wouldn't like children's lit. Maybe they felt it was something they could only have liked when they were children. But then maybe Harry Potter opened up the idea that children's literature CAN be enjoyable to adults.

    I haven't seen New Moon. Have you? I don't think I want to see it. I don't really like seeing movies with actors that are tabloid stars. I might see it when it comes on TV...or maybe on a long airplane ride sometime. That's how I ended up seeing Twilight.