Jun 16, 2015

Australia Week: Top 10 Australian Reads by Shelleyrae from Book'd Out & Giveaway!

Recommended Australian Reads 
By fellow Blogger Shelleyrae from Book'd Out!

I am delighted to have been asked by Suze and her team to contribute to Australia Week on LibrarianLavender. My name is Shelleyrae and I live in a small town on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia's most eastern state. I'm a voracious reader and I blog about books at Book'd Out, I'd love it if you dropped by and said hello!


I've been asked to recommend a list of Australian books today. Sadly, few Australian novels are published overseas as traditional presses are slow to exploit the increasingly global marketplace, so I have taken care to ensure the novels I have chosen to recommend here are all available via BookDepository.com , who offers free postage to over 80 countries, including the Netherlands. The list includes contemporary, historical , crime, young adult and romance fiction, hopefully something for everyone.


Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads.
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.


Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko

A darkly funny novel of romantic love and cultural warfare from one of Australia’s most admired Indigenous voices.
When Jo Breen uses her divorce settlement to buy a neglected property in the Byron Bay hinterland, she is hoping for a tree change, and a blossoming connection to the land of her Aboriginal ancestors. What she discovers instead is sharp dissent from her teenage daughter, trouble brewing from unimpressed white neighbours and a looming Native Title war between the local Bundjalung families. When Jo unexpectedly finds love on one side of the Native Title divide she quickly learns that living on country is only part of the recipe for the Good Life.
Told with humour and a sharp satirical eye, Mullumbimby is a modern novel set against an ancient land.


Bitter Wash Road by Garry Disher

"Shots fired on Bitter Wash Road..."
Hirsch is a whistle-blower. Formerly a promising metropolitan officer, now hated and despised. Exiled to a one-cop station in South Australia's wheatbelt. Threats, Pistol cartridge in the mailbox.
So when he heads up Bitter Wash Road to investigate gunfire and finds himself cut off without backup, there are two possibilities. Either he's found the fugitive killers thought to be in the area. Or his 'backup' is about to put a bullet in him.
He's wrong on both counts. But the events that unfold turn out to be a hell of a lot more sinister.


Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing … and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week.
And then Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, fresh out of jail. When Ryan learns the truth, Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?


Maralinga by Judy Nunn

During the darkest days of the Cold War, in the remote wilderness of a South Australian desert, the future of an infant nation is being decided . . . without its people's knowledge. 
A British airbase in the middle of nowhere; an atomic weapons testing ground; an army of raw youth led by powerful, ambitious men - a cocktail for disaster. Such is Maralinga in the spring of 1956.
MARALINGA is a story of British Lieutenant Daniel Gardiner, who accepts a twelve-month posting to the wilds of South Australia on a promise of rapid promotion; Harold Dartleigh, Deputy Director of MI-6 and his undercover operative Gideon Melbray; Australian Army Colonel Nick Stratton and the enigmatic Petraeus Mitchell, bushman and anthropologist. They all find themselves in a violent and unforgiving landscape, infected with the unique madness and excitement that only nuclear testing creates.
MARALINGA is also a story of love; a love so strong that it draws the adventurous young English journalist Elizabeth Hoffmann halfway around the world in search of the truth. And MARALINGA is a story of heartbreak; heartbreak brought to the innocent First Australians who had walked their land unhindered for 40,000 years.
Maralinga . . . a desolate place where history demands an emerging nation choose between hell and reason.


Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McIerney

For the past thirty-three years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself—she tells the truth....
The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. Her husband is coping badly with retirement. Her thirty-two-year-old twins are having career meltdowns. Her third daughter, badly in debt, can’t stop crying. And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.
Without Angela, the family would fall apart. But when a bump on the head leaves Angela with temporary amnesia, the Gillespies pull together—and pull themselves together—in wonderfully surprising ways….


The Trout Opera by Matthew Condon

THE TROUT OPERA is a stunning epic novel that encompasses twentieth-century Australia. Opening with a Christmas pageant on the banks of the Snowy River in 1906 and ending with the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000, it is the story of simple rabbiter and farmhand Wilfred Lampe who, at the end of his long life, is unwittingly swept up into an international spectacle. On the way he discovers a great-niece, the wild and troubled young Aurora, whom he never knew existed, and together they take an unlikely road trip that changes their lives. Wilfred, who has only ever left Dalgety once in almost a hundred years, comes face to face with contemporary Australia, and Aurora, enmeshed in the complex social problems of a modern nation, is taught how to repair her damaged life.


The Light Between the Oceans by M L Steadman

This is a story of right and wrong, and how sometimes they look the same ...
1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife Isabel live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world.
One April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant - and the path of the couple's lives hits an unthinkable crossroads.
Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they made that day - as the baby's real story unfolds …


Blue Skies by Fleur McDonald

Armed with a degree in Agribusiness, Amanda Greenfield dreams of employing all the skills she's learned in college to help her father turn the family farm from a debt-ridden, run-down basket case into a thriving enterprise. Then tragedy strikes with the death of Amanda's mother in a car accident. Wracked by grief and guilt, and wearied by the long struggle to keep Kyleena a going concern, Amanda's father argues that they should sell up and get on with their lives away from the vagaries of drought and fluctuating stock and crop yields. Having inherited half the farm from her beloved mother, whom she also grieves for, Amanda determines to summon all her strength, grit, and know how to save Kyleena. Along the way she faces mixed fortunes in both love and life.


The Fine Color of Rust by Paddy O'Reilly

Set in the Australian bush, a wryly funny, beautifully observed novel about friendship, motherhood, love, and the importance of fighting for things that matter. 
Loretta Boskovic never dreamed she would end up a single mother with two kids in a dusty Australian country town. She never imagined she'd have to campaign to save the local primary school. She certainly had no idea her best friend would turn out to be the crusty old junk man. All in all, she's starting to wonder if she took a wrong turn somewhere. If only she could drop the kids at the orphanage and start over . . . But now, thanks to her protest letters, the education minister is coming to Gunapan, and she has to convince him to change his mind about the school closure. And as if facing down the government isn't enough, it soon becomes clear that the school isn't the only local spot in trouble. In the drought-stricken bushland on the outskirts of town, a luxury resort development is about to siphon off a newly discovered springwater supply. No one seems to know anything, no one seems to care. 
With a dream lover on a Harley unlikely to appear to save the day, Loretta needs to stir the citizens of Gunapan to action. She may be short of money, influence, and a fully functioning car, but she has good friends. Together they can organize chocolate drives, supermarket sausage sizzles, a tour of the local slaughterhouse;whatever it takes to hold on to the scrap of world that is home.


Giveaway

Enter this giveaway to win a paperback copy of Raw Blue.

  I will contact the winner on twitter or via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international.   

40 comments:

  1. These books sound amazing. Thanks for the recommendations. Just looked at your blog and I can see I am going to love it. Your style is friendly and homely. I look forward to chatting xx

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    1. Thanks Tanya!

      Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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  2. I read Big Little Lies and enjoyed it. The rest of these books look very intriguing too. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed Big Little Lies - you should try The Husband's Secret too :)

      Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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  3. I'm really interested in Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McIerney. First time hearing about this author. Thanks!


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    1. You are welcome, she has published several books :)

      Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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  4. I love the Pierced Hearts series by Cari Silverwood

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  5. Replies
    1. Just about everything by Tim Winston is wonderful :)

      Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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    1. Definitely an Australian classic :)

      Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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  7. Thank you for introducing me to these books! The Light Between the Oceans by M L Steadman screams out to me to being read!! This one will definitely go on my 'need to have' list!

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    1. You are welcome, I hope you enjoy The Light Between the Oceans.

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  8. my favourite is Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko

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  9. Every Breath and Thorn Birds, I just can't decide! ;)

    Carolina M on rafflecopter

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  10. The Pierced Hearts series by Cari Silverwood

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  11. don't think I've read any

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  12. Haven't read anything set in Australia yet.

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    1. You must :)

      Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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  13. I have several of these wonderful books on my Kindle. I seriously need to hit my ever-growing pile of TBR'S. Thank you for suggesting a great selection of books. Also, happy to have found your blog thru Suze.

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    1. You are welcome Mary, thanks for visiting and enjoy that TBR!

      Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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  14. I have several of these wonderful books on my Kindle. I seriously need to hit my ever-growing pile of TBR'S. Thank you for suggesting a great selection of books. Also, happy to have found your blog thru Suze.

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  15. I have several of these wonderful books on my Kindle. I seriously need to hit my ever-growing pile of TBR'S. Thank you for suggesting a great selection of books. Also, happy to have found your blog thru Suze.

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  16. Saving Francesca and the Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta :) She's one of my favorite authors and she's Australian!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  17. I've never read a book set in Australia. Although, this book, Raw Blue, sounds like such a great read. I like that it's about a hurt young woman who is struggling with finding her new way in the world. :)

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  18. The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
    by May Gibbs

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  19. I haven't read any Australian books before. Maybe this will be my favorite?

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