Tuesday 12 September 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

The Broke and the Bookish host a weekly meme called Top Ten Tuesday.
Each week they nominate a topic to encourage those of us who love a good list to get all listy.

This week is a freebie...

I was meant to spend this past weekend reflecting on my AusReading Month format.
After last year's November event I felt exhausted and not very enthusiastic about hosting another one.
Unfortunately that feeling has lingered all year.

But I love reading Australian authors and books set in Australia.
Hence the idea of having a weekend reflecting on my format.

But life got in the way.

I'm still thinking about having some kind of road trip, with a book or author from every state and territory...but that's as far as I've got.
Nancy @ Nancyelin has suggested a bingo format which could be fun, except that I have never done one before!

Anyhow, to help me get me in the mood, I thought I'd try and rate my ALL TIME TOP TEN AUSTRALIAN books across all genres.

My Top Ten Australian Books


The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough

Despite, or maybe because of the controversy surrounding the provenance of this story, I adore this simple love story set in the late 1800's in the Blue Mountains.

Shark Net by Robert Drewe

This was the first time I really understood the importance of reading books set in your own country about your own life.
Robert Drewe's experiencing of growing up in 1960/70's Australia reflected so much of my own upbringing.
It was the first time I had ever read part of my own life in a book before.
It was very powerful.


Women in Black by Madeleine St John

A coming of age story set in 1950's Sydney, that still looked and sounded like the 1970's Sydney that I grew up with.
Very evocative and moving.

I'm not quite sure if this is my favourite Winton or not, but it's the one I hold most fondly in my heart.
It's due for a reread.


Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner

I've read this childhood classic so many times.
It's funny, sad and loves the Australian bush as much as I do.


The Secret River by Kate Grenville

Although this is another book surrounded by some controversy about the nature of perspective in history, The Secret River introduced many Australians, for the first time, to the idea that perhaps the early settlers really did treat the Aboriginal population very poorly.


Picnic At Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

What's not to love about this wonderfully creepy, romantic, very Australian mystery?
It also has a fabulous movie.


The Biggest Estate on Earth by Bill Gammage

I learnt soooooooo much in this book that caused me to reassess what I thought I knew about our early colonial history and Aboriginal life prior to white settlement.
Quite a dense read at times, but eye opening and thought provoking from start to finish.


The Great World by David Malouf

A modern day Australian classic that was just as interesting second time round as the first.


The Fortunes of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson

This was a mammoth undertaking a couple of AusReading Months ago.
Over 1000 pages of the life and times of Richard Mahony, an unforgettable character, loosely based on Richardson's own father.
Set in the goldfields of Victoria, Melbourne and England - each area and time is brought vividly to life.
I loved and adored this book so much, that I want everyone to read it if they want to understand what early life was like in white colonial Australia.

Unfortunately blogger is having an image issue today, so no pretty pictures to enhance this post.

Do you have a favourite Australian story?
Do any of my Top Ten tempt you to try one for the first time?


  1. We discussed this at work to find out our favourite Australian authors/books - our list included Eucalyptus by Murray Bail, Indelible Ink by Fiona McGregor, Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard, anything by David Malouf, Carmel Bird, David Ireland, Marion Halligan, Alex Miller and Elizabeth Jolley (although she created a love/hate divide amongst the four of us).

    Thea Astley, Jessica Anderson and Randolph Stow with some reservations.

    A customer piped up to say that Robert Drewe's latest book Whipbird is now high on her list.

    So much choice!

  2. I have read five! Three of those were thanks to your recommendations. Now I'm looking forward to Richard Mahony and Cloudstreet.

    1. You've made my day Jean :-)
      Richard Mahony just keeps getting better in my memory...I want everyone who has an interest in Australian history or classics or good literature to read it. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it.

  3. Anonymous12/9/17

    I really need to read some more Australian literature. I'm so behind... Great recommendations! :-)

  4. Anonymous12/9/17

    I really want to read Picnic at Hanging Rock, I heard so many good things about it :) Great list! Will bookmark it for reference; I really need to read more Australian literature too xD

    My TTT

  5. I love the Ladies of Missalonghi. It has long been a favorite of Mine. I reread it several times. My TTT

    1. After thinking about it again today, I feel a reread coming on this weekend :-D

  6. They all look very interesting! Thank you for the recommendation!

  7. I haven't read any of these; obviously I need to read more Australian books, haha :)

    Louise - Exploring by Starlight

  8. I'm so glad to have found your list because Australia is definitely a country I have neglected in my reading. I love Garth Nix, Hannah Kent, Geraldine Brooks and Markus Zusak, but I am always on the lookout for more Australian writers and books set in Australia. The Secret River sounds really interesting and I'll definitely have to check out The Biggest Estate on Earth - I think it could be a good book to read alongside Thomas King's The Inconvenient Indian. Great list!

  9. I haven't read any of these, but several have me intrigued. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

  10. I have waited all year for this literary event! Brona, make sure that you are having fun hosting! Life can get in the way so why not just set op master post - linky - and let the readers 'get to it'!
    You can suggest that the reader set up his/her own goals! Read books from a Awards list ( ALS Gold Medal award or Miles Franklin Award) - Read books by one author and notice how the writer changes....my goal is Thea Astley ( ...but you knew that already!) - non-fiction - read books following the letter in the last name of the writer A (T. Astley) B (S. Bishop 'The Other Side of the World' C (M. Clarke 'The Hate Race') There are so many possibilties!
    2015: I devoted the entire month to 1 book The Fortunes of R. Mahoney....only got through the first part!
    2016: I discovered a a great non-fiction 'Mannix' (B. Nial) and Bush by D. Watson - Bird's Mind by G. Kaplan
    2017: I want to read a variety of books. That is what makes the challenge fun for me.
    I search for a classic (i.e. Power and Glory, F. Hardy) - poetry (Injury Time by C. James) memoir (Aunts Up the Cross by R. Dalton) etc...
    I can't wait to get started!
    Your top 10...I'd read all of them!

    1. I'm planning on a quieter w/e so I hope to pull together some AusReading Month thoughts soon. I do like the idea of a road trip reading experience though....

  11. As you know, I was asking for recommendations of Australian novels on my blog recently, so this list has given me lots of ideas! I think The Secret River and The Ladies of Missalonghi are the most appealing to me.

  12. This is an impressive list of books. I would also recommend Nicholas Drayson's Love and the Platypus. I need to read more Australian literature myself. I really want to read Picnic at Hanging Rock.

    I think that the road trip idea is a really good one. Bingo might work well too.

  13. Shark Net sounds fascinating, I'd love to read more about Australian life especially contrasted with US experiences.

  14. Anonymous13/9/17

    The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough is one I really must read. I've read a few of her books and really enjoyed them.
    I think I may have the Kate Grenville somewhere on my bookshelf too, so I'll have to see if I can find that one too!
    Great list!

  15. Fun take on this week's topic and all of these books are new to me, so that's exciting, especially since they all sound so good. I feel my TBR growing!

  16. Anonymous20/9/17

    I hope you'll find a way to get in the spirit of AusReading Month. Whatever you decide, I want to thank you for introducing me to Swords and Crowns and Rings. It has such a wonderful, strong feel of place. And I think it will always be one of my favorite audiobooks, thanks to an excellent narration.

    1. You've just made me very happy!
      I was tempted to put Swords & Crowns & Rings on this list - but it got 11th spot instead. I still think about it sometimes - it's sense of place was very strong & very memorable characters.


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