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October 16, 2017


Q&A AusReading Month 2017

by N@ncy


Tell us about the Australian books you’ve loved and read so far.

  1. I joined AusReading Month 5 years ago @Brona’s Books.
  2. I was clueless about the country and knew of only one author:  Nevil Shute.
  3. Brona was there for me ….providing tips,  book lists and suggestions to get me started.
  4. Now I can’t STOP reading  Aussie!


Reading list:  2012 – 2017


ASTLEY, Thea.    Girl With A Monkey
ASTLEY, Thea.    The Well Dressed Explorer
ASTLEY, Thea.    The Slow Natives
ASTLEY, Thea.    A Descant for Gossips
BARRY, Bernice.    Georgiana Molloy: The Mind That Shines
CANAVAN, Trudi.    The Magicians’ Guild
FRANKLIN, Miles.    My Brilliant Career
RICHARDSON, Henry Handel.    Australia Felix
WATSON, Don.    The Bush
NIALL, Brenda.   Mannix
LAMB, Karen.   Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather
KAPLAN, Gisela.   Bird Minds: Cognition and Behaviour of Australian Native Birds
JONES, Gail.   A Guide to Berlin
KENT, Hannah.   Burial Rites
SHUTE, Nevil.   On the Beach
SHUTE, Nevil.   Trustee from the Toolroom
WHITE, Patrick.   Voss
LAWSON, Henry.   Past Carin’ (poem)



Most favorite Aussie books:   These books made a lasting impression on me

  1. Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather (K. Lamb)
  2. All of T. Astley’s books:
  3. Girl With a Monkey
  4. A Descant for Gossips
  5. The Well Dressed Explorer
  6. The Slow Natives
  7. Birds Mind: Cognition and Behaviour of Australian Native Birds (G. Kaplan)…amazing!
  8. Past Carin’ – (Henry Lawson) –  stop and listen to the poem….the hard  life in the Outbush.
  9. A poem which records the lament of a bush woman whom hardship and tragedy have made ‘Past Carin’’




Least favorite Aussie books:  I felt I wasted my reading time.

  1. The Magician’s Guild (Trudi Canavan) fantasy
  2. Georgiana Molloy: The Mind That Shines (B. Barry) non-fiction
  3. A Guide to Berlin (Gail Jones)  fiction
  4. Weak point: the writing was repetitive, lacking creative imagery and just dishwater grey.


2. When you think of Australia, what are the first five things that pop into your mind?

  1. Kookaburra
  2. Sydney Literary Festival (May 2018)
  3. Nevil Shute
  4. Foster’s beer
  5. Dragonfly airplane (De Havilland)


3. Have you ever visited Australia? Or thought about it?
  1. I would love to visit someday…but now only in books!
  2.  What are the pro’s and con’s about travelling to/in Australia for you?
  3. ….long flight (con)  …visit towns/places I’ve read about!  (pros)


4. If you have been or plan to visit, where will you be heading first?

Green Island off the coast of Carins
5. Do you have a favourite Australian author?
     Thea Astley –  Please, take the time to read her biography, you won’t be disappointed!
6. Which Aussie books are on your TBR pile/wishlist?

Australian fiction and non-fiction list:

  1. The Hate Race – M. Clarke
  2. The Other Side of the World – S. Bishop
  3. Portable Curiosities – J.Koh
  4. Dying in the First Person – N. Sulway
  5. The Redemption of Galen Pike – C. Davies
  6. Secrets Between Friends – F. Palmer
  7. The Eye of the Sheep – S. Laguna
  8. The End of Seeing – C. Collins
  9. The Neighbor – J. Proudfoot
  10. Talking to my Country – S. Grant (NF)
  11. The Art of Time Travel: Historians and Their CraftTom Griffiths (NF)
  12. One – Patrick Holland
  13. Seeing the Elephant – Portland Jones
  14. That Devil’s Madness – D. Wilson
  15. Soon – Lois Murphy


7. Which book/s do you hope to read for #AusReadingMonth?

  1. Aunts Up the Cross by Robin Dalton – NSW
  2. Power Without Glory  by Frank Hardy – Victoria
  3. Salt Water – Queensland
  4. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton. – Western Australia
  5. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute – Northern Territory
  6. Into the Heart of Tasmania by Rebe Taylor – Tasmania
  7. The Grief Hole by K. Warren – ACT ( author is from Canberra)
  8. The Element of Need: Murder and Memory in Adelaide by James Bradley – Southern Australia
  9. A Boat Load of Home Folk – by Thea Astley overseas setting (Pacific Island) – FREE


8. It came to my attention recently that our overseas friends view Australia as a
land full of big, bad, deadly animals.  Can you name five of them?
  1. Five??   only one  Dingo


What about five of our cuter more unique creatures?
  1. Kookaburra ( …thanks to Gisela Kaplan)
  2. Galah ( …thanks to Gisela Kaplan)
  3. Kangaroo
  4. Shrike-tit bird ( …thanks to Gisela Kaplan)
  5. kangaroo desert rat (…thanks to Don Watson)


9. Can you name our current Prime Minister (plus four more from memory)?
No googling allowed!
  1. I have no clue!
  2. I do remember the female PM….
  3. I can see her face, hear her voice….
  4. but the name escapes me.


10. Did you know that Australians have a weird thing for BIG statues of bizarre animals and things?
Can you name five of them?
I’m guessing…
  1. Kangaroo
  2. Gold Rush equipment ( Miners Gold Cradle)
  3. Kookaburra
  4. Dingo
  5. Gumtree

Hope you enjoyed my thoughts!




7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oct 16 2017

    What a delightful post Nancy! I love seeing my country through the eyes of others 🙂
    My parents honeymooned at Green Island (ahem, 50 years ago). I’ve been nearby – it’s a beautiful part of the world, although in danger of being destroyed.

    You have an impressive list of Aussie books to look forward to – I’m currently reading Aunts Up the Cross – it’s a scream – typical dry Australian humour – & a wonderful glimpse of life in Sydney in the 1930’s.

    I like your solution for the difficult to source books set in the ACT problem too.

    Hopefully some of the other participants can fill out your dangerous animal list – but I will give you the (baby) Highlands Copperhead that I recently took a photo of on Instagram!

    I learnt some bird types that I didn’t know before from you – but on the weekend I spotted a red wattlebird and a crimson rosella….and plenty of cockatoo’s and galah’s at our place in the mountains.

    Our one and only female PM was Julia Gillard 🙂

    And yes there is a giant goldpanner at Bathurst, NSW.
    Ballarat, VIC does have a gold mining village (Sovereign Hill) with restored equipment, but they’re not actually giant forms. So that’s half correct 😀

    I loved reading your responses – thanks for getting things started.


    • Oct 16 2017

      Answering your Q&A was great fun this morning….kept my mind off my dentist app in about 30 minutes!!
      Question: is there a statue of a surfboard anywhere in Australia?


      • Oct 16 2017

        Not as far as I know, but there is actually a giant kangaroo along the Eyre Highway in SA – one I didn’t know about.


  2. Oct 16 2017

    And this was not in Pokolbin when I was there in 1998 –

    You now have 3 correct BIG things!


    • Oct 16 2017

      3 out of 5 …for somebody on the other side of the world…that is a SUPER SCORE!
      …and it is all thanks to reading Aussie books @Brona’s Books!


  3. Oct 16 2017

    And there is a BIG gold miner as well as the bathurst gold panner –


    • Oct 16 2017

      I learned all about the Gold Rush in Ballart by reading Australian Women Writers….
      during #AusReadingMonth 2015 Ethel Florence Richardson aka Henry Handel Richardson ” The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney ( I read part 1 Australia Felix)

      Liked by 1 person


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