Friday, January 12, 2007

20 Novels Set Close to Home

The State Library of Victoria have a program going at the moment called Reading Victoria: 20 Novels Set Close to Home.

Reading Victoria is a summer reading program that will take you on a journey around the state. We have selected 20 contemporary and classic novels set in Victoria for you to read, discuss and enjoy this summer.

20 Novels about Victoria
A sense of place is one of the most important elements in many works of fiction, and Victoria has inspired great stories over the years. Interesting places in the state have been written about in some of our most loved books, many of which are on the 20 novels set close to home list.

It's an interesting list of books - many of them are books I had never heard of before, so I have added more books to my ever growing TBR list! As a bonus, if I ever get to reading any of them then I will at least be meeting my "read more Australian authors" reading resolution!

The twenty books chosen are:

Shadowboxing by Tony Birch - never heard of it.

Monkey Grip by Helen Garner - I have read another book by Helen Garner, called Joe Cinque's Consolation, which was quite an interesting look at a real life murder of a young man by his girlfriend.

True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey - probably should have read Peter Carey by now, but I haven't! Just call me a bad Australian...I don't like Vegemite either!

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood - read this not too long ago!

The Art of the Engine Driver by Steven Carroll - never heard of it!

The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham - haven't heard of this one before either!

The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson - now this is supposed to be something of an Australian classic. I was supposed to read it with an online club a couple of years ago, but I was a bit unwise and didn't do so! Get it...unwise...oh, never mind!

My Brother Jack by George Johnston - I remember watching the mini series that was made of this book years ago and loving it, but never read the book!

Power Without Glory by Frank Hardy - apparently this bloke is an important Australian literary figure...apparently!

Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsey - now this is an Australian classic, and a very good book. Also made into a very creepy movie. Hanging Rock isn't actually all that far away from where I live. One of these days I will go and visit it.

Of a Boy by Sonya Hartnett - I haven't read this book, but I did read Thursdays Child and thought that it was a very good read.

Stiff by Shane Maloney - I had heard of this book at least!

Sunnyside by Joanna Murray-Smith - another one I had never heard of before.

The Broken Shore by Peter Temple - or this one!

Three Dollars by Elliot Perlman - or this.

Everyman's Rules for Scientific Thinking by Carrie Tiffany - this book was nominated for the 2006 Miles Franklin Award, which is one of the more prestigious Australian literary prizes. It was up in competition against The Secret River by Kate Grenville and the eventual winner, The Ballad of Desmond Kale by Roger McDonald.

On the Beach by Nevil Shute - I have read A Town Like Alice by this author.

Loaded by Christos Tsiolkas - another one that I had never heard of before.

Players by Tony Wilson - and again

Cafe Scheherazade by Arnold Zable - I have vague recollections of hearing of this author before.


  1. Did you manage to read The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney when we read it as a filler on ABC group...
    also by HHR.
    If you did do you recall your response?

    Looks like an interesting List.

  2. No I didn't end up reading Fortunes. I actually could only remember that it was a HHR book - not which one it was that we were meant to be reading!

  3. What an interesting list they've chosen. I work in a bookstore (in Oz) so a few of these titles are familiar to me. Everyman's Rules was the book of the Perth Arts festival 06, and whilst a good read didn't match up to Craig Silvey's Rhubarb which featured the year before. True History was fantastic. Looks like you've got some great reading ahead of you.

  4. I agree, True History is a fantastic book. It's high up on my TBRR (to be re-read) list.