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This is a contemporary crime novel, but I read it recently - THE DRY by Jane Harper. Set in Australia and it was very good. A suggestion in case you run out of things to read. LOL


You have such a long reading list already that I hesitate to add something:) I think high on my list would have been a reread of Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines and David Malouf's Fly Away Peter. I did read A Town Called Alice long ago, before making notes, but vaguely remember it to be good.


The only Nevil Shute book I've read is On the Beach but I remember it being good.

I have a soft spot for Bryce Courtenay's The Power of One -- it was one of my very favorite books when I was a teenager. He's Australian, though that book is set in South Africa.


I read Tracks a long time ago but still remember the images well...
A Town like Alice is one of my favourites and an inspiring up-lifter rather than a downer ..well that's what I think
Sorry I can't think of any Aussie books off hand (The only topical Aussie link I can think of is we are watching Rake on Telly at the moment and it's very funny)


You have a good array of books on your list. I have no ideas for books for your list, tho I did enjoy the chapters set in the Australian gold fields in Anthony Trollope's "John Caldigate", set in the 1870s. English author though and most of book is set in England.


Australia is a very good destination for your reading holiday - so many really good books and writers to choose from!
I second Kay's suggestion to read The Dry, it really is VERY good and very hard to put down.
I have read A Town Called Alice, Picnic at Hanging Rock (also a very atmospheric film by Peter Weir) and My Brilliant Career and enjoyed them all, and I have a few of the others you mention on my shelves including the Richard Flanagan (no relation according to my other half.)
As for suggestions of additions to your list: I thoroughly enjoy Liane Moriarty's books - ideal for a sunny afternoon read with a cool drink by your side!

vicki (@skiourophile)

I want to re-read A Town Like Alice now -- such a good book. I feel woefully underread looking at your list now -- I have a lot of work to do!


I have added it to my list! There is a line of people waiting for it at the public library, but it looks like it is coming out in paper in the UK soon.... I know I have plenty to read, but other ideas are nice to have--it sounds like this one is especially good!


No worries, feel free to add. I never think having too many books is a bad thing! ;) The Chatwin sounds especially good--I want something about the Outback and I like the introspective nature of the book, too. I actually read the Malouf a few years ago and recall liking it very much--I need to see what else he has written. And I am finding the Nevil Shute novel really really good--one of those--why did I wait so long to pick this up sorts of books!


I can't tell you how many times I have looked at that book and thought of reading it. It has a dystopian slant to it, which actually appeals to me a lot. I might just have to finally give it a go! The Courtenay must really have been good for it to be such a memorable book from the teenage years (I don't think I read as many 'good'/substantial books like that when I was younger, I'm afraid). I will add it to my list as it sounds like a modern classic. Thanks for the suggestions.


I read Tracks and there are a few bits that have stuck with me, too. It would be worth reading again, I think. There is an illustrated book that is a companion book that I am going to try and borrow from the library as it is always nice to have visuals. I have never seen any Australian TV, but I have a few movie favorites--Australian films are really quirky, aren't they? I still want to watch the Miss Fisher mysteries, too!


You never know when a book will come in handy--even if the setting is mostly elsewhere. I really do have to read Trollope. Maybe I will take a peek at this one...I am sure the library must own a copy.


I keep finding more and more books on my shelves that I didn't realize I owned (how bad is that!) that would fit nicely here. Colleen McCullough's Ladies of Missalonghi is one I pulled out as it sounds like a charming read. I do want to read both Picnic at Hanging Rock (I recall seeing part of the movie a very long time ago) as well as the Richard Flanagan, which I think was also partially the impetus for me to choose Australia over some other place for this summer's reading. I didn't even realize Liane Moriarty was Australian--so now I will look her up. And I would love to read My Brilliant Career (though my copy has teeny tiny print...). I have lots to choose from. And I do plan on getting a copy of he Dry, by the way!


It is really good. Why did I wait so long. My old copy is a mass market edition long out of print that I have picked up and set down many times. Now I find myself reaching for it quite often. Pull your copy out and join me! :) I am just as underread, which is why this is such a fun project I guess. An excuse to read more of one type of literature!


Fun! My Brilliant Career is all kinds of good and Narrow road to the Deep North is amazing. Bon voyage!


Oh, Danielle--
These books sound like the best travel tour of Australia.
First off, I can't wait to re-read A Town Like Alice. I don't say this about many books, but I've re-read a number by Nevil Shute. In fact, he tops the list of authors whose books I've read again. I've read On the Beach three times, with decades between each reading.

The despair and struggle to survive in the Japanese prison camp and then the struggle to set strong roots and live a normal life in Alice Springs are what make the book.
I've had more trouble reading Narrow Road to the Deep North.

I will have lots of fun following your adventure in Australia.


Turns out I have the McCullough book as well as The Little Company, Secret River and both My Brilliant Career and My Career Goes Bung. Also have the first three Phryne Fisher books in an omnibus so I might well be joining you in your Antipodean adventure!
I suspect that after the success of Big Little Lies on TV, a lot of people will be surprised that Liane Moriarty is Australian but she has a wonderful Aussie wryness and what I think of as 'edge' about her writing and s very hard to put down.


Vegemite is an acquired taste, so you're not missing anything there (in my opinion--I had quite a few Australian friends in college who shared some with me)! You have a nice long list of interesting books to send you on your way, though. I second the addition of Liane Moriarty--I've only read one of her books, but I loved it. And I remember really enjoying The Ladies of Missilonghi as well.

I want to reread Picnic at Hanging Rock (I read it as a teen and don't remember it very well), and one of my blogging acquaintances has written a biography of Joan Lindsay that I'd like to get my hands on as well. She is Australian and the book hasn't been published here in the U.S. yet, so it might not be in time for this summer.

It's certainly time for another Phryne Fisher book, and Lantana Lane on your list looks especially good to me. I will let you know if and when I do some Downunder reading!


i've heard many great things about this one too!


The only one I read from your list is Picnic at Hanging Rock, which I read as a teenager and it was memorable!


I was looking at the Miles Franklin book this morning as I was eating breakfast and I always assumed it was a memoir, but it appears to be a novel! Now I have to look her up and figure out what it really is.... I have been wanting to read the Flanagan. I know you read it and liked it, but I fear the difficult parts. Maybe I can considering myself easing into that period with my reading of A Town Like Alice...


I am very excited about it. I think I picked a good destination and hope all my grand plans don't fizzle, though as I have several books on the go and am enjoying them all, I think I am off to a good start. I pulled the Nevil Shute novel from my library's shelves to borrow as it seems like it has been read and enjoyed by a number of readers--so thanks for pointing me in that direction. If you have reread his books then I think he must definitely be someone I read, too. I think the Flanagan will be harder going than the Shute novel, but I hope to ease into it later. I hope you will share comments as I go on my reading travels!


I had forgot about McCullough, but that little book looks like it could be promising. I love Phyrne and have read a few of her books, but apparently I read them out of order so am having to backtrack a little. I liked the first ones I read so much she is one of those authors (Kerry Greenwood that is) I have been collecting. I didn't realize My Brilliant Career is a novel--I thought it was an actual memoir..... and it turns out I have one of Liane Moriarty's books and didn't realize it--have you read What Alice Forgot? I think I know where it is and will be digging it out later tonight. Let me know if/where you plan on starting if you pick up one of the books--I will join you!


I am not even sure what vegemite is and I have heard it is an acquired taste! I bet I can find a jar of it online somewhere if I am feeling especially brave. I looked up Joan Lindsay on the Book Depository and see there is a new bio of her by Janelle McCulloch called Beyond the Rock. Is that the one you are referring to? I wonder if I can put in a request at my library to buy it. It is available from the UK so you can get free shipping at least, but it is still in hardcover since it only cam eout last month! Thank you....I think. Let me know if your reading takes you to Australia sometime this summer. I plan on spending as much time there as I can!


I have always wanted to read it. It looks quite eerie. I saw a part of the movie and it stuck with me, so I think I will be picking it up soon to read! I am glad to hear yo liked it.


Hmm. Maybe I need to get in line for it at the library after all--though the line is sort of long....apparently lots of people have heard good things about it.


Best of all no jet lag involved, right? :)
I actually haven't read too many books set in Australia. Have you read any of the Kerry Greenwood books? I've only read the first one in the series but think she's got a fabulous sleuth. Anyway, looking forward to hearing more about your summer book travels.


I really want to tackle Narrow Road to the Deep North but like you I think I will ease myself into wartime reading with A Town Called Alice and then maybe either My Brilliant Career or The Little Company but I think I might also start the first Phryne Fisher as light relief since I seem to be constitutionally unable to read just one book at a time!

I haven't actually read What Alice Forgot - another one to look out for - but I'm currently reading her first book Three Wishes. Well I say reading it but actually started it and put it down again! You know that scenario!

I may be wrong, but I think that Vegimite is similar to the British Marmite, a savoury yeast extract based spread which you either love or hate.


Yes, that's the one. You'll have to let me know if you order it.

Vegemite is a spread made from leftover brewer's yeast extract. Yum. (Not.) Here's a link to some recipes: :)


That's supposed to say "link"


Hmmmmm. I wouldnt mind trying it, but I am not sure I want to buy even the smallest jar since it seems to acquired taste?!
😉 Now, I could go for some nice marmalade maybe...something on the sweet spectrum-lol.


I don't think I have read many either so it seemed a perfect literary destination. I am looking forward to getting back to Phyrne. I might even watch some of the TV episodes. It's only a pity my traveling this year will be only of the armchair variety!


What a fascinating summer reading plan! I've got some Australian authors on my tbr piles, but since I haven't read them yet, I'm hesitant to recommend, but Aunts Up the Cross by Robin Dalton looks good. Ditto The Dry. The Phryne Fisher series on PBS is amusing, but I admit part of what I love best is the beautiful costumes for Phryne ;)


Oh wow, that sounds like a really good book--even if you haven't yet read it, the description sounds right up my alley and I might just have to get it. I also came across a children's book called Seven Little Australians that sounds pretty delightful, which I might also try and get my hands on. I need to at least watch the first Phryne mystery. She is an interesting character--at least with the book, I get the feeling you either love her or are put off by her. And I am sure I would love the costumes, too. Part of why I love the books (the two I have read....) is how stylish she is--a fantasy life for me, but that is part of the fun of reading. Thanks for the suggestion and I ordered The Dry as it is discounted 40% now and I had a gift card--I try and avoid hardcovers, but I have heard so many good things I decided to splurge!

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