Today's topic was to revisit a topic from a previous week, or to pick a topic you'd missed the first time around. There were a couple of past topics that appealed, but I ended up deciding to do a freebie - my top ten books by Australian authors!
1. Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden
This series was the Harry Potter of Australia for a while there in the mid-90s (by which I mean that EVERYONE would be reading them and waiting with baited breath for the next one to come out and "OMG WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER???"-ing). They're still great, but this? This stands alone on a pedestal for me. It's absolutely brilliant from start to finish.
2. Saving Francesca - Melina Marchetta
Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi is the book that tends to get more attention in Australia, and I think that's mostly because it ended up on the English curriculum in a lot of states. But for me, Saving Francesca is the stronger book. It's moving and funny and relatable and just flat out readable.
3. Van Diemen's Land - James Boyce
I read this book time and time again a couple of years ago for work, and it's completely fascinating. It's the history of Tasmania to the cessation of transportation and independence from New South Wales in 1853, but focusing on how the environment impacted on the development of the colony and its population (which sounds kind of dull, but I promise you, it's not). Filled with fabulous titbits and a focus on a number of the groups that history tends to ignore.
4. Newt's Emerald - Garth Nix
I adore the Old Kingdom series, but there was just something about Newt's Emerald that put it that cut above the rest of Nix's books for me. It was filled with magic and fun and wonderful female characters.Well and truly worth the read, especially as it's only 200 pages.
5. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
One that most people will already be aware of, but still worthy of being on the list. The narrator is brilliant, the characters are great, and the story made me feel All The Feels.
6. Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld
His Australian-ness may be sliiiiiiiiiiiightly questionable, but shhhhhhhh. This book was phenomenal. The world building is AMAZING, the illustrations are to die for, and the characters - particularly Deryn - are fabulous. I loved the whole series, but this one stood out a little from the other two.
7. Girt: the unauthorised history of Australia - David Hunt
This is a recent edition to my list of Australian favourites, and it's quite possibly the funniest book I've read in a good long time. It doesn't require any prior knowledge of Australian history, though if you DO have some understanding there are plenty of in-jokes in store for you. Funny and snarky and filled with fabulous anecdotes from the early history of New South Wales.
8. The Accidental Sorcerer - K.E. Mills
A Pratchett-esque story about a rather inept wizard who finds himself somewhere that he didn't quite expect. The characters are great, and the dialogue was a lot of fun. Completely and utterly readable.
9. Graffiti Moon - Cath Crowley
A quick read of a story that unfolds in a single night. It brilliantly delivers that sense of what it's like to be finishing high school and have the whole world waiting for you (along with a lot of expectations). Entertaining characters in a fun plot.
10. The Mystery of a Hansom Cab - Fergus Hume
The book that basically launched the mystery genre. A fairly standard whodunnit by modern standards, but Hume's character descriptions are such that the characters seem like actual people and not just little actors responding to their creator's demands. And it's also an excellent insight into life in post-gold rush Melbourne, back when the city was one of the richest on earth.
So there you have it - my top ten books by Australian authors! Have you read any of these? Or do you have other favourites?