January 06, 2009

Best Australian Reads - 2008

The ABC Radion program "The Book Show" ran a poll asking it's listeners to send in their best Australian reads of 2008. The fiction list is copied below with the ones I have read in bold:

Addition – Toni Jordan
Breath – Tim Winton
Enigma – Graeme Base
Everything I Knew – Peter Goldsworthy
People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
Saltwater Moons – Julie Gittus
Sea of Many Returns – Arnold Zable
Tales from Outer Suburbia – Shaun Tan
The Boat – Nam Le
The Build Up – Phillip Gwynne
The Good Parents – Joan London
The Lieutenant – Kate Grenville
The Lifeboat – Zacharey Jane
The Lost Dog – Michelle de Kretser
The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas
The Spare Room – Helen Garner
Wanting – Richard Flanagan

There are still quite a few on this list I haven't read so I think I will make the completion of this list one of my personal reading goals for 2009. Can anyone give me any feedback on any of these I haven't read so far?


Jules said...

I read Addition during the Holidays and it's a good one! I just loved Seamus, one of the main caracter. It's romantic...

Karen said...

Hi Jules - yes, I've heard lots of good things about this book so I'm lookig forward to picking it up.

Anonymous said...

I've read Shaun Tan's Tales from Outer Suburbia, and The Boat by Nam Le. I love Shaun Tan and would highly recommend any of his wonderful books.The Boat is definitely a must read as well...just breathtaking!

Is it just me or is less and less Australian fiction being published in HB? I didn't see People of the book in HB at all, and I can't think of too many on that list that I did?? Just a random thought!

Karen said...

Hi antipodeanowl - I completely agree about Shaun Tan - love his books and also use them a lot in my work (I'm a social worker/counsellor). Also looking forward to reading The Boat - I never used to be a fan of the short story but Jhumpa Lahiri changed all that.
I agree with you about the Australian HB scene - wonder what that is??

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid most of these are still in my TBR pile. Addition is a bittersweet comfort read, Breath was a simple but affecting story of a surfer growing up and The Spare Room was Helen Garner at her clear eyed and caustic best.

It's also good to see Graeme Base included- I loved Anamalia as a kid!

Karen said...

Hi adevotedreader - I'm surprised I haven't already read more of these too - especially as I've been trying to read more Australian fiction lately. I would normally read a new Tim Winton novel the minute it came out but I have stayed away from Breath for some reason - I have it in my head that it will be tragic and depressing??

megan said...

I frequently name Tim Winton as one of my favourite novelists, but Breath left me a little cold - yes it was tragic, yes it was depressing, yes it was beautifully written, but there was just something about it that didn't quite sit with me. Maybe it was the focus on surfing (though I devoured the Lockie Leonard books as a teenager! ;-) )

Everything I Knew is also on my to read list, as is The Lost Dog. Am currently reading People of the Book, which I am really enjoying.

Nam Lee's book of short stories is excellent, and I highly recommend it. Some of the best short stories I've read in a long time.