We don’t need an excuse to read. But we love that we have a reason to celebrate stories that matter and great storytellers! This Australian Reading Hour Day we’re setting aside an hour (or two) to treat ourselves to a story of our choice. Go ahead, take a look at what the team is reading today below:
I’ll be reading YA novel Henry Hamlet’s Heart by Rhiannon Wilde. Or I might dip into Jaclyn Crupi’s gorgeous book Garden Like a Nonno. Then again, I’ve been considering a re-read of all-time favourite On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. Uh, can I maybe have an Australian Reading Day, instead of an hour?
You had me at ‘a millennial David Sedaris’. Sinéad Stubbins’ self-help failures in In My Defence, I Have No Defence feel just the tonic during a lockdown when, despite all attempts to do otherwise, I can’t seem to stop watching Netflix and eating too much cake. Funny and relatable.’
I had to choose the new Christian White novel, Wild Place, which we have out in November. Christian of course is a special writer, but more than that his 80s suburbia setting for this novel is so familiar and so unsettling.
This Australian Reading Hour I’m throwing myself into the confronting parallel universe that is Jamie Marina Lau’s Gunk Baby. Her prose is like nothing else in contemporary Australian fiction.
Today I’m reading The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock. Like many, I’m missing travel and holidays, so a novel about a road trip from Adelaide to Darwin in a classic cult campervan sounds like just what I need. And I also want to recommend Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko, which I loved earlier this year but am already ready to dip into again.
This Australian Reading Hour I will be reading Kill Your Darlings’ New Australian Fiction 2021. I love these collections as they are a great way to sample some of Australia’s best upcoming writers in one convenient place! It’s also great to support KYD, who are an awesome publication and an important part of the Australian literary scene.
This Australian Reading Hour I will be reading The Shadow House by Anna Downes (which is out in a couple weeks!) This thriller is a brilliantly atmospheric distraction about working through fear towards hope and optimism.
I’m loving The Greatest Feeling in the World by Tim and Rod Sattler-Jones (out in December). Tim and Rod’s easy narrative, their candidness and their bravery has me barracking from the sidelines. Their tale is ultimately a happy story – celebrating love, determination and dreams coming true. And it’s the perfect balm for such unsettling times.
I’ll be getting stuck into Huda and Me, H Hayek’s debut middle-grade novel about young siblings who fly from Melbourne to Lebanon to surprise their parents without their babysitter knowing. The start has already captured my attention – I am so impressed by young kids who fly alone, especially after having sat next to unaccompanied minors on three separate flights who were all much calmer than me!
I’ll be diving back into the pages of one of my favourites: The Strays, by Emily Bitto. It’s a book I always gush about to friends and family when they ask for reading recommendations. Emily paints the world of the Trentham family and the radical art scene of 1930s Melbourne so well that you almost feel a bit tipsy on the concoction of power, ambition, lust and friendship inside the (all too short!) 290 pages.
I am reading Melinda Marchetta’s On the Jellicoe Road, which was my favourite Australian book growing up. I’ve found that Covid-19 has made me revisit all the books of my youth, and this one is just as good as I remember!
I’m choosing Paul Kennedy’s Funkytown. I thought I knew Paul from the countless times I’ve seen him present on ABC TV, but I’m blown away by the quality of his writing and his honest perspective on youthful masculinity and misadventure.
I’ve picked Trivial Grievances because I’ve just turned 30 and moved to a new job in a new city and I could do with some confirmation that I’m going in the right direction! Bridie Jabour is a funny and smart writer, so even though this book won’t have all the answers, I’m sure she’ll at least make me feel a bit better about being a typical anxious millennial.
I’m reading Modern Marriage (Filip Vukašin) for Reading Hour because lately I have been in the mood for a light read, but with a little bit of meat. Now, one might think that is quite a difficult ask, or that such a thing doesn’t exist, but this really ticks all the boxes!