What better way to celebrate the national day of our Commonwealth cousins, than reading the work of one their recent authors. At I_AM Self-Publishing we champion diversity and like to read books from all over the globe, or at least the English-speaking world. Australia Day gives us a chance to tell you about some fantastic Australian books. Our favourite is this beauty: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My copy has been leant out to so many friends that the cover is bent and the pages have taken a battering. I cannot bring myself to watch the film because my experience of reading the book is so precious that I don’t want anything to spoil it. It’s a book about books and the power of books; about the importance of words. It reminds us that a book is a thing to be treasured and that a child’s awakening to books, reading and writing is a beautiful thing. It is so beautiful that even in the bleakest setting, in this case Nazi Germany, it can take your breath away. Despite being narrated by Death and some very dark content, in fact it starts in a graveyard, this is an empowering book with adorable characters.
Other fantastic Australian reads are:
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. Interestingly, this book has also been adapted for the screen. It was made into a TV mini-series that was shown on BBC in 2011. The basic premise is a moral debate over one incident that sends shockwaves through a community: a man slaps a child that is not his own at a friend’s BBQ. It is a book that questions values and where we should draw the line.
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey. This was actually adapted for film after winning the Man Booker Prize in 1989, and follows the relationship of a Victorian priest and an heiress who both share an unlikely passion: gambling.
My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin. This classic follows a feisty teenage girl growing up in the late 1800s with an independent spirit and big ideas. She displayed all the characteristics that girls were not supposed to at the time: she argued, had opinions and didn’t fit in. Aside from being a love story, this book gives a real window on how hard life was in the outback and how badly people struggled just to make ends meet.
The Art of the Engine Driver by Steven Carroll. This wonderful author is not as well-known as he should be, despite winning various literary prizes. This ode to the Industrial Revolution in Australia is so heart-felt and well-observed that the reader feels like they lived it and breathed it themselves.