Wednesday, 8 April 2009

One Australian Book Meme

After doing the One Book Meme a few weeks back I've done my own variation on that:

The One Australian Book Meme. Unlike the others, this one has some non-fiction in it.

One Aussie book you’ve recently read:
Doing Life: a biography of Elizabeth Jolley by Brian Dibble. Thoroughly researched and full of detail, but a good read for those who know a bit about EJ's amazing life

One Aussie book you’d want on a deserted island:
Eucalyptus by Murray Bail. If you were stuck on a desert island you'd need something to lift your spirits and remind you of the Australian bush

One Aussie book you’ve read more than once:
Highways to a War by Christopher Koch. I love this book and it's so evocative of time and place. It transports you into the life of a war correspondent in South East Asia in the 1970s. I had a thing for Neil Davis, on whose life the novel is loosely based

One Aussie book you’ve never been able to finish:
Illywacker by Peter Carey.
Enjoyed Carey's Oscar and Lucinda, Bliss, and several others, but couldn't finish this one for some reason

One Aussie book that made you laugh:
Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James. I'm chuckling just thinking about it. The others in the autobiographical series are great too

One Aussie book that made you cry:
Joe Cinque's Consolation by Helen Garner
Clearly a one sided picture of this terrible miscarriage of justice, but good on you Helen for tackling this story. Wonderful writing too.

One Aussie book you’ve been meaning to read:
Tree of Man by Patrick White. I have the first edition at home, bought by my father when it came out in the 1950s, so I have no excuse ;)

One Aussie book you keep rereading:
The Reader's Digest Book of Australian Birds.
This is the book that got me started on my whole crazy bird watching life. Parts of the book are imprinted on my brain.

One Aussie book you believe everyone should read:
The Man who Loved Children by Christina Stead. It's an Australian classic and should have been recognised as such at the time, except for its American subject matter. Apparently Stead had originally set the book in Sydney, but changed it to meet her U.S. market. It is a depressing, Depression story :(


genevieve said...

That's a great list, Julia.

Ticks from me for quite a few there - absolutely love Highways To A War, I think it is easily Koch's best book. I must read that again this year.

And The Man Who Loved Children - imagine if we had been reading that at school instead of My Brother Jack!! (if it had been set here, that is). I was lucky enough to have it to read in Year 12 Lit class.
And strangely enough, I too have failed to finish Illywhacker, and love Eucalyptus. Currently having a very fine chuckle over The Pages, it is terrific.

JayGee said...

thanks G, let's see your list now. I have only just read The Main Who Loved Children, our school Oz lit was pretty limited. I'll get my hands on The Pages, thanks for that, JG

CW said...

I found The Man Who Loved Children really stressful, I think it was the super chaotic nature of that family...

Don't think I have tried Illywhacker or Oscar and Lucinda but I did enjoy Bliss.

Recently: The monkey’s mask by Dorothy Porter
Desert island: hmm... Cloudstreet?
Read more than once: Harp in the South
Made me laugh: Unreliable memoirs too! :)
Made me cry: Joe Cinque made me cry with frustration! Also One of the Family by Pearlie McNeil (autobiography)
Meaning to read: more P White, period.
Keep rereading: Ash Road by Ivan Southall (I just love how he evokes the heat and dryness of the summer)
Everyone should read: My Place by Sally Morgan.