Wednesday, 17 April 2013


For those, like me, who have a penchant for lists. There are a few lists scattered through the site: 'Books of the Decade' and 'Dystopian Literature' have their own posts. There is Reddit's list of the 'Best Sci-Fi' books under Award Winners and of course the Award Winners and New Releases posts.  I'll post the list title here, as more are added.  Please do add any lists you find interesting.

1. Granta: Britain's best young novelists
2.  50 Must Read Australian Novels
3.   8 Books You Should Read Before You See the Movie
4.   50 Must Read Australian Novels
5.    Peoples Choice Queensland Book of the Year nominations
6.    Top Ten books of 2013 (US)


  1. Granta's 2013 of Britain's best young novelists. Not surprisingly, these are mostly unfamiliar names but they are ones to watch, according to Granta. It is not yet on the Granta site but full descriptions of the authors and their works can be found here:

    Naomi Alderman
    Tahmima Anam
    Ned Beauman
    Jenni Fagan
    Adan Foulds
    Xiaolu Guo
    Sarah Hall
    Steven Hall
    Joanna Kavenna
    Benjamin Markovits
    Nadifa Mohamed
    Helen Oyeyemi
    Ross Raisin
    Sunjeev Sahota
    Taiye Selasi
    Zadie Smith
    David Szalay
    Adam Thirwell
    Evie Wyld

    Some to add to your own wishlist?

    1. This Granta edition #123: Best of Young British Novelists 4 is now available and should be in your bookstore quite soon. I no longer subscribe but this edition is not to be missed. This is the fourth in the series which is published each decade. To show how prophetic this list is, here are the previous 3 lists. I am sure that you will recognise most of these authors.

      Martin Amis
      Pat Barker
      Julian Barnes
      William Boyd
      Kazuo Ishiguro
      Ian McEwan
      Salman Rushdie
      Grahan Swift
      Rose Tremain
      A N Wilson

      Iain Banks
      Alan Hollinghurst
      A L Kennedy
      Hanif Kureishi
      Adam Mars-Jones
      Lawrence Norfolk
      Ben Okri
      Will Self
      Helen Simpson
      Jeanette Winterson

      Monica Ali
      Nicola Barker
      Rachel Cusk
      Hari Kunzru
      David Mitchell
      David Peace
      Rachel Seiffert
      Zadie Smith
      Alan Warner
      Sarah Walters.

      You may make it a point, as I have, to read those authors you don't recognise.

  2. Taking the lead from Granta, I suspect, the Sydney Morning Herald has compiled a list of "The Best Young Australian Novelists", however, it seems to be focused on a particular book, rather than a body of work.

    Romy Ash - Floundering
    Paul D Carter - Eleven Seasons
    Zane Lovitt - The Midnight Promise
    Emily Maguire - Fishing for Tigers
    Ruby J Murray - Running Dogs
    Majok Tulba - Beneath the Darkening Sky

    Follow the link to read the judges' comments, and a short bio.

  3. For those who, like me, prefer to read the book first,here are

    8 Books You Should Read Before You See The Movie

    Divergent by Veronica Roth
    In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue-Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).
    On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
    During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are - and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen.
    But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death…
    Film Release: March 2014

    The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
    Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
    Film Release: 2014

    City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
    Clary Fray is an ordinary teenager, but everything changes the night she witnesses a murder, committed by a group of teens. The group are Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to driving demons out of this dimension and back into their own. Drawn inexorably into a terrifying world, Clary slowly begins to learn the truth about her family - and the battle for the fate of the world.
    Film Release: August 2013

    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery…
    Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
    Film Release: January 2014

    1. Horns by Joe Hill
      Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with one hell of a hangover, a raging headache…and a pair of horns growing from his temples.
      Once, Ig lived the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned American musician, and the younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, Ig had security and wealth and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more - he had the love of Merrin Williams, a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.
      Then beautiful, vivacious Merrin was gone - raped and murdered, under inexplicable circumstances - with Ig the only suspect. He was never tried for the crime, but in the court of public opinion, Ig was and always would be guilty. Now Ig is possessed with a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look, and he means to use it to find the man who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge; it’s time the devil had his due.
      Film Release: January 2014

      Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
      Earth is under attack.
      An alien species is poised for a final assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens. But who? Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child. Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender’s childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School.
      Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses. He excels in simulated war games. But is the pressure and loneliness taking its toll on Ender? Simulations are one thing. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battle School is just a game. Isn’t it?
      Film Release: October 2013

      The Maze Runner by James Dashner
      When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade - a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze.
      Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there - or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything - even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrol its corridors, to try and find out.
      Film Release: February 2014

      The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort
      By day…he made thousands of dollars a minute.
      By night…he spent it as fast as he could on drugs, sex and travel.
      From the binge that sank a 170-foot motor yacht, crashed a Gulfstream jet, and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab; to the wife and kids who waited for him at home; and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king and did his bidding; here, in his own inimitable words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called THE WOLF OF WALL STREET.
      In the 1990s Jordan Belfort became one of the most infamous names in American finance: a brilliant, conniving stock-chopper who led his merry mob on a wild ride out of the canyons of Wall Street and into a massive office on Long Island.
      Now, in this astounding and hilarious tell-all autobiography, Belfort narrates a story of greed, power, and excess no one could invent - the extraordinary story of an ordinary guy who went from hustling Italian ices at sixteen to making hundreds of millions. Until it all came crashing down…
      Film Release: November 2013

      Pasted from

  4. Have you read any good Australian novels lately? I know that Moi has recently been on an Australiana reading spree, so when I came across the following post, I had to share. It's a good mix: contemporary and classic, children's and YAF, crime and satire. Purcell doesn't state the criteria for 'Australian' but #19 is stretching it a bit, in my view. If Courtenay, why not Coetzee? Many of my favourites are here and there are some that I would replace with others. Which of your favourites are missing?

    Follow the link for a synopsis of all the titles;

    Posted on January 11, 2011 by John Purcell, The Booktopia Book Guru

    So, for those who have just arrived I shall begin at the beginning.
    On a whim I asked the twittersphere and facebookland what they thought were the ‘must read’ Australian novels. In a matter of hours hundreds of titles were suggested. I then made a long list of these offerings and asked the world to vote for their favourites. A fellow on twitter suggested I allow one title per author, to ensure the list wasn’t swamped by Wintons, Careys, McCulloughs and Courtenays. The title which received the most votes would be that author’s single listing. I thought this a good idea. (Tim Winton would have swallowed up the Top Ten otherwise. Good on ya, Timmo.)
    I soon had the top fifty settled. And here they are.
    Remember, if you think the list is rubbish, blame the public at large. If you think the list helpful, inspiring and right on the money, you have my excellent administration to thank.

    1. 1. Cloudstreet - Tim Winton
      2. Picnic at Hanging Rock - Joan Lindsay
      3. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
      4. Seven Little Australians - Ethel Turner
      5. My Brilliant Career - Miles Franklin
      6. The Slap - Christos Tsiolkas
      7. My Brother Jack - George Johnson
      8. The Magic Pudding - Norman Lindsay
      9. The Harp in the South - Ruth Park
      10. The Man Who Loved Children - Christina Stead
      11. Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks
      12. For the Term of His Natural Life - Marcus Clarke
      13. I Can Jump Puddles - Alan Marshall
      14. Jasper Jones - Craig Silvey
      15. Power Without Glory - Frank Hardy
      16. The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith - Thomas Keneally
      17. The Spare Room - Helen Garner
      18. The Getting of Wisdom - Handel Richardson
      19. The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay
      20. Eucalyptus - Murray Bail
      21. The True History of the Kelly Gang - Peter Carey
      22. The Broken Shore - Peter Temple
      23. We of the Never Never - Mrs Aeneas Gunn
      24. The Bodysurfers - Robert Drewe
      25. Tirra Lirra By the River - Jessica Anderson
      26. Shiralee - Darcy Niland
      27. The Boat - Nam Le
      28. The Secret River - Kate Grenville
      29. The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough
      30. Ride On Stranger - Kylie Tennant
      31. Ice Station - Matthew Reilly
      32. Voss - Patrick White
      33. Maestro - Peter Goldsworhy
      34. Gould's Book of Fish - Richard Flanagan
      35. Praise - Andrew McGahan
      36. Dog Boy - Eva Hornung
      37. The Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony - Hal Porter
      38. After America - John Birmingham
      39. Butterfly - Sonya Hartnett
      40. A Fraction of the Whole - Steve Tolz
      41. Things We Didn't See Coming - Steven Amsterdam
      42. It's Raining in Mango - Thea Astley
      43. White Gardenia - Belinda Alexandra
      44. Ransom - David Malouf
      45. The Timeless Land - Eleanor Dark
      46. I Came To Say Goodbye - Caroline Overington
      47. Diamond Dove - Adrian Hylands
      48. Disco Boy - Dominic Knight
      49. Cocaine Blues: A Phryne Fisher Mystery - Kerry Greenwood
      50. After the Fall - Kylie Ladd


    The Courier Mail is supporting the arts and literature in Queensland by presenting a $5,000 prize to one of six nominated authors as voted by the public at the Queensland Literary Awards as the Queensland Book of the Year.

    All voters go into a draw to win one of 20 sets of the nominated books.

    As Sanmac so enjoys her lists I will provide the nominees below :

    The Man Who Discovered Vegemite Jamie Callister

    Three Crooked Kings Matthew Condon

    Mullumbimby Melissa Lucashenko

    My Hundred Lovers Susan Johnson

    The Secret Keeper Kate Morton

    Boy, Lost Kristina Olsson

    Learn more about the nominated books and vote online at :

    And interesting readers, one of the nominated books was recently enjoyed in a group reading format on this site !

  6. Publishers Weekly - Best Books of 2013

    As it is only early November, I would have thought it early to issue a best of the year list. Will there not be new books published in time for the Christmas market? There is no criteria stated as to what constitutes a 'best book'; the list has been compiled by their review editors. PW is an American site - (similar to Australia's 'Bookseller & Publisher'?) - which offers reviews of all of the books listed, as well as some author interviews. There is also a top ten by genre.

    You may want to add to your Christmas wishlist, to choose a gift for your book loving friends or grab an opportunity to discover a new favourite author. Here is the link:

    The TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2013 across all genres:

    1. Sea of Hooks
    Lindsay Hill (McPherson & Co.)
    On a small scale, Hill, a onetime banker and now a poet with six published books, has written a fragmented portrait of a man’s troubled childhood and lost adulthood—a spiritual biography that’s both tragic and comic, and provides moments of pure reading pleasure on every single page, not to mention a wallop of pathos. On a larger scale, it’s a moving and unforgettable novel.

    2. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief
    Lawrence Wright (Knopf)

    Wright’s prodigiously researched investigation of Scientology does what good reporting ought to do: examine something in search of truth, lay out the findings, and let conclusions be drawn. In this painstaking work, the author bravely confronts the lawyered-up and controversial church in a dramatic encounter woven right into the narrative. New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer Prize–winner Wright offers a reality test about a set of beliefs and behaviors that constitute this formidable 20th-century religious movement.

    3. Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield
    Jeremy Scahill (Nation)

    The Nation’s national security correspondent surgically exposes how the War on Terror is actually conducted: secret prisons, torture, extralegal assassinations, drone surveillance and warfare, gamesmanship with corrupt regimes. Neither the U.S. military nor the Bush and Obama administrations come off looking good here. The government twists the law and the Constitution to serve an ideology that sees the whole world as a potential battlefield, in which we make and remake the rules as we go. Scahill produces a masterwork of investigative journalism that offers a bleak, chilling vision of our militarized future.

    4. Men We Reaped: A Memoir
    Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury)

    With graceful prose and a heavy heart, critically acclaimed novelist Ward bravely enters nonfiction terrain in this starkly honest and deeply tragic account of the deaths of five important men in her life. Through her personal narrative, Ward writes intimately about the pall of blighted opportunity, lack of education, and circular poverty that hangs over the young, vulnerable African-American inhabitants of DeLisle, Miss

    5. The People in the Trees
    Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday)

    Add Norton Perina to the pantheon of literature’s best unreliable narrators. Perina is a scientist who, after graduating Harvard medical school in the 1940s, travels to a remote Pacific island chain where he may or may not have stumbled upon the key to immortality. The book is composed of his memoirs, which he is writing from prison in the U.S. after being convicted of a heinous crime. The truth behind Perina’s story is both riveting and chilling.

    1. 6. Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery
      Robert Kolker (Harper)

      Even hardened true crime readers will be haunted by New York magazine contributing editor Kolker’s provocative tale of five young escorts who became linked by the tragic circumstances of their disappearances, and the discovery of their remains on Long Island’s Oak Beach. Kolker compassionately renders each woman’s descent into a world “that many of their loved ones could not imagine.”

      7. Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance
      Carla Kaplan (Harper)

      In this beautifully written, empathetic, and valuable addition to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, scholar Kaplan (Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters) presents the untold story of six notable white women (including Fannie Hurst and Nancy Cunard, members of a larger group known collectively as “Miss Anne”) who embraced black culture—and life—in Harlem in the 1920s and ’30s, serving as hostesses, patrons, activists, comrades, lovers, writers, and editors.

      8. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
      Anthony Marra (Random/Hogarth)

      A Chechen village, a young girl watching her father taken by Russian soldiers and her house burned to the ground: so begins Marra’s startling debut, in which a tough doctor ponders the extent of her obligation to help Havaa, an eight-year-old girl who has been brought to the doctor’s wretched and abandoned hospital by Akhmed, the girl’s neighbor. Marra follows the three characters for five days in 2004 and weaves a tapestry of connections in the midst of an ugly war.

      9. The Silence and the Roar
      Nihad Sirees, trans. by Max Weiss (Other Press)

      Sirees’s deeply philosophical and satirical novel echoes Kafka and Orwell. Its hero is a banned writer in an unnamed Middle Eastern country that is shamelessly reminiscent of Syria (the author’s hometown is Aleppo), and the book is set on the day of a parade celebrating the 20th anniversary of the dictator’s ascension to power. With incisive wit, Sirees marks the celebration that affects freedom, romance, and the right to simply walk down the street unmolested.

      10. The Good Lord Bird
      James McBride (Riverhead)

      McBride’s account of a slave boy who’s caught up with John Brown’s band of abolitionists in the 1850s is funny, sad, and completely transportive. Mistaken for a girl and nicknamed Onion, 10-year-old Henry Shackleford travels the country and meets Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, all while hurtling toward the historic Harpers Ferry raid and the Civil War.

  7. Hi sanmac. Probably just shows my narrow taste and prejudices, but there is not one author on here I have heard of and not one book that I'm inspired to read! Sorry!

  8. Just because Sanmac does love her lists , and despite the façade , I'm just a romantic at heart !
    A Readers Poll of The Best Love Stories Of All Time published in time for Valentines Day.

    1. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
    2. Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
    3. Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte
    4. Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare
    5. Persuasion Jane Austen
    6. The Fault in Our Stars John Green
    7. The Notebook Nicholas Sparkes
    8. Emma Jane Austen
    9. The Princess Bride William Goldman
    10. The Time Travelers Wife Audrey Niffenegger

    Any surprises to this list? Any shocks at all ? What is your favourite Love Story ?

    Must admit I am disappointed that Gone With The Wind did not make the Top Ten.

    1. I've read 6 out of the ten above but I would like to add two favourites of mine; Charlotte Bingham's "Love Song" published in 1998.Also Anita Shreve's "The Last Time they Met". Tissues needed for both!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I agree about Last Time We Met I would have included Anna Karenina. Didn't know anything about The Fault is in Our Stars so googled it and doesn't sound like my kind of book - maybe more a "young adult" genre. I also like Julian Barnes' Sense of an Ending and Before She Met Me.

  9. I too had heard little about The Fault is in Our Stars, Jaywalker, and tend to agree with the Young Adult label. However , I'm going to give it a go if only to see what all the hype is about. I thought I would also read Anita Shreve's book, The Last Time They Met, as I haven't heard anyone say they are disappointed with any of her efforts

    1. She did write one recently - Rescue - that several people I know didn't think was as good as her others as it was quite a different style and topic. I think sylvia was amongst them? But I certainly enjoyed all her others.

    2. I've given additional thought about this list and am a bit stumped by the entry of Nicholas Sparkes' The Notebook. The movie of the same name is considered a * weepy classic , and even if gush and mush (oooops, romance ) is not your thing, the movie is simply beautiful to watch, cinematography wise, and with a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack. So I am suggesting that the books popularity may be as a result of the movie..........

      * The females of the younger generation test their boyfriends worthiness, as my kids tell me , on whether or not they can sit through the entire movie..

    3. The last Anita Shreve novel I read was "A Change in Altitude" which I didn't think was as good as her earlier books. I did start to read "Testimony" but gave up on it as I felt she had changed her style. Jaywalker you are right in remembering that I might have asked if anyone had read "Rescue" but on hearing other people's comments I decided not to go out and buy it. A real shame as I've read and loved nearly all her books.

  10. We haven't had a list for some time so here is an offering from Googlepeadia , just in time for ANZAC Day.

    The Ten Greatest War Novels of All Time :-

    1. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Ben Fountain
    2. War and Peace Tolstoy
    3 All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque
    4. Austerlitz W G Seabold
    5. Catch 22 Joseph Heller
    6 Henry V1 Shakespeare
    7. Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut
    8. For Whom the Bell Tolls E Hemmingway
    9. Birdsong Sebastian Faulks
    10. Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell

    Any comments please readers ?

    I am unfamiliar with number 1.Anyone read this one ?

    1. Penguin Australia has marked the 100 year milestone of the start of WW1 with the release of 10 books that delve into war. At the price of $9.95 (and I picked up two at $7.95 each last week) they are a bargain.

      My favourite war novel is "The Dirt Dozen" by E M.Nathanson.

    2. War novels aren't my thing and I have to confess to not having read any of these although I have seen the movie versions of some. I noticed they are currently re-running the TV series of Birdsong and my OH is recording it so might watch it later.

    3. Have not read "The Dirty Dozen" Number2, though the movie starring Lee Marvin has a great storyline. A war novel I enjoyed, later turned into a movie also, is "The Boys From Brazil" by Ira Levin, whom earlier wrote "Rosemary's Baby". It's about Dr Josef Mengale, a medical doctor in the concentration camps who performed horrific medical experiments on jewish victims during WW2. One of Gregory Peck's last movies....

      And I'll always have a soft spot for Neville Shute's "A Town Like Alice ". Who could forget "Alice is a bonzer town " ? Maybe I've been to too many trivia nights.

      Other than these my military reading is non fiction owing to a father in Bomber Command and school friends whom also had Dads with mysterious backgrounds, which were not discussed - particularly with daughters !

    4. Sorry I haven't read any of the above war stories either but if ever I come across Sebastian Faulk's Birdsong in a charity shop I might buy it.
      It's many, many years since I read Shute's "A Town Like Alice" and I still have the battered old paperback in my bookcase so perhaps one day I might read it again.
      I can understand having a personal interest in the military through a relative would spur your eagerness to read more that remained a mystery. My husband's uncle was killed a the Battle of Kohima, Burma so that fact sparked off interest in that period of the war but not so much for me I'm afraid.

  11. Because Sylvia is reading a book about Afghanistan, here is a recent Readers Poll from Listopia about current popular books about life and culture in a foreign land.

    Do you have a favourite book about life in a foreign country ?

    I must admit that having read Mary Moody's Last Tango in Toulouse France is now on my Bucket List.All that local food shopping and cooking ( and eating ) I think.

    1 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    2 Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

    3 A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

    4 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    5 Life of Pi by Yann Martel

    6 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

    7 Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

    8 The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

    9 Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson

    10 The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

    1. I LOVE reading novels set in foreign lands!
      Have read all books by Khaled Hosseini plus a couple by Lisa See.
      Couldn't get into "Thd God of Small Things" but will try again another time.
      At least three of Joanne Harris' books are set in France; Chocolat, The Lollipop Shoes and Peaches for Monsieur le Clure.
      Memoirs of a Geisha is still waiting to be read and I might tackle The Book Thief one day.
      "The Seamstress" by Maria Duenas is set in Madrid and Morrocco.
      I msut make a note of Last Tango in Toulouse Moi! Thankyou!

    2. Old school, but my favourite would have to be Richard Llewellyn's "How Green Was My Valley ".

  12. I've read all of Mary Moody's books and enjoyed them. She certainly had an interesting life. They're a bit like the books by the actress Carol Drinkwater (All Creatures Great and Small) about her life and loves in France.

    I've also read Dragon Tattoo and Memoirs of a Geisha but none of the others.

  13. Lists for Lynnette,firstly from Listopia :

    The Ten Most Popular Literary Cookbooks:

    1) The Jane Austen Cookbook - Maggie Block
    2) The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilders Classic Stories - B Walker
    3) Cooking With Jane Austen - Kirsten Olsen
    4) The Pooh Cookbook - Virginia H Ellison
    5) The Boxcar Children Cookbook - Diane Blair
    6) The Book Lovers Cookbook - Shainda Kennedy Wenger
    7) Tastes and Tales from Russia - Alla Danis Krusky
    8) Tea with Jane Austen - Kim Wilson
    9) A Christmas Carol Cookbook - Jennifer Newman Brazel
    10)The Official Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory - Dana Bucholz

    And from Booktopia, The Ten Most Influential Cookbooks in Australia:

    1) The Margaret Fulton Cookbook - Margaret Fulton
    2) The Cook's Companion - Stephanie Alexander
    3) The Complete Asian Cookbook - Charmaine Solomon
    4) The Australian Womans Weekly Cookbook - Ellen Sinclair
    5) Sydney Food - Bill Grainger
    6) Thai Food - David Thompson
    7) The Australian Womans Weekly Kids Birthday Cakes -
    8) Maggie's Harvest - Maggie Beer
    9) Off The Shelf - Donna Hay
    10)Arabesque - Greg and Lucy Malouf

    Does anyone wish to add a favourite ? And can our overseas readers add a favourite iconic cookbook from their special part of the world ?

    Some years ago I attended a New Years Eve party with a Gone With The Wind theme. With the aid of a fun little book called Tequila Mockingbird - Cocktails with a Literary Twist I was able to produce mint juleps for the ladies. Lets just say I now know why those southern belles needed their afternoon kips..............................

    1. Oh no......more cookbooks I need to buy now!
      The Booklovers Cookbook sounds fabulous..I have Tea with Jane Austen so will get Coooking with Jane Austen and Friends....

  14. Unfortunately I'm not much of a cook and not a buyer of cook books but they all sound like fun if you are. My youngest son (in Coolum) is a qualified chef but doesn't work in the industry now since having a serious car accident which left him with a limp but he still cooks up some good things at home and has a big vegie and herb garden. He said he's just made some of the hottest chilli sauce he's ever tasted - which he loves!

  15. Experiencing my first cruising holiday as from next week. Wasn't something on my Bucket List, but running with it regardless. Not taking any books to read as I need a break. Just finished Book 5 of The Game of Thrones series, A Dance With Dragons, by George R R Martin. 1117 Pages- a mammoth effort! The author is still working on Book 6.

    So I googled for a list of the Most Popular Nautical novels according to Listopia. See what you think...............

    1 . Master and Commander - by Patrick O'Brian
    2 . Treasure Island - by Robert Louis Stevenson
    3 . Moby Dick - by Herman Melville
    4 . The Old Man and The Sea - by Ernest Hemingway
    5 . Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea - by Jules Verne
    6 . Captain Hornblower - by C S Forester
    7 . Mid Ocean - by T Rafael Cimino
    8 . The Odyssey - by Homer
    9 . The Voyage of the Dawn Trader ( Chronicles of Narnia ) - by C.S. Lewis
    10. The Hunt for Red October - by Tom Clancy

    I would have thought the Cruel Sea would have been a shoe-in , and am unfamiliar with number 7.

  16. I hope you enjoy your cruise Moi - it will certainly something different. Have you ever read "Ship of Brides" by Jojoy Moyes? Not nautical but it came to mind. Out of the above have only read Treasure Island and that was as a child. I'm not surprised you need a break after Game of Thrones - not my cup of tea I'm afraid. Won't you be tempted to read something much lighter?

  17. I am thinking The Shipping News, Death on the Nile, and African Queen.

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  19. We love cruising and did our 11th in November and already booked on another for next November. Let me know how you liked it. Where are you going to? I know people who hate (sometimes haven't tried) them but not us!

    1. Yes, Sylvia, have read Ship of Brides and found it an enjoyable story. My mother-in-law was a war bride who travelled from Perth WA to Liverpool (UK) to meet up with her sailor so this story resonated for me..
      Number2, To this day I would still like to sample a squid burger a la The Shipping News !
      And JW, only cruising for seven days -Noumea , Lifou, and Vanuatu - for the experience. We will see what comes from that. I have only just learned that there are no tea making facilities in the cabin. How does a girl have her 5 am pot of tea? CRISIS!

    2. Not ever having suffered from early tea syndrome, it didn't worry us but there is cabin service 24 hours if you're prepared to pay for it. OR you can send the OH up to the tea/coffee making station to bring it back for you!

    3. PS Or you could take a small thermos with you and fill it before you go to bed.

    4. Moi, yes I do remember now you telling me about your mother-in-law's long voyage from Perth. Sorry my memory isn't too good these days! Or rather perhaps something was triggered when I said the novel "came to mind"!
      OH I would want a morning cup of tea too! Good idea about the Thermos but you'd have to get hold of some long-life milk too.

    5. You can pick up those long life milk pods in any of the restaurants when you have breakfast or lunch

    6. Thank you for your helpful tips. I will return with a full report! Sadly, five handbags have found their way back into the wardrobe. I can hear them crying amongst the scarves and sarongs as they were eager to join the cruise.
      Errrrrr, a slight change of heart. I have packed a very thin book in case there is some down time for reading. Theodore Thompson Flynn, Just Not Errol's Father by Tasmanian Scientist and his wife, Tony and Vicki Harrison, explores Flynn Seniors role as a Research Biologist in Tasmania between 1910 and 1930, during which time he identified several new species. I am anxious to learn his role in the hunt for the Tasmanian Tiger. Jaywalker will confirm that to this day there remains a T.T.Flynn building at the University in Hobart, very close to Sandy Bay where the Flynns lived.
      Mr Harrison is apparently a renowned expert in scallops and has written largely academic pieces , so this book should also meet the criteria of my Australian Author Challenge. I may have to consume a drink with an umbrella in it to complete this book and I can hear JW saying "put those handbags back in!"

    7. No, no - don't take any more than one handbag. No one will notice and then you will have room for all the things they pressure you to buy from the duty free shop on board - and in the ports, although I couldn't spot anything worth buying in Noumea in November. There is quite a lot of down time between ports and I usually get through at least one book or more. I now take the ipad and/or e-reader for reading when we're away.

      Another tip - if you already own lanyards for holding security cards, take them as it will save you buying them on board and you really need one round your neck for the ship credit card and your cabin door key card. Everyone on board wears them.

      Hadn't heard of the T T Flynn building but will check it out.

  20. A List for Australia Day, courtesy of The Courier Mail, revisiting 26 great Australian books that have helped shape and define our nation.

    And Sylvia, haven't forgotten you or any of our overseas readers. We'd love you to add a list of books from your own country. Please share with us !

    1.1788 - by Watkins Tench
    2. For The Term of His Natural Life - by Marcus Clake
    3. The Man From Snowy River - Banjo Paterson
    4. Seven Little Australians - Ethel Turner
    5. The Loaded Dog - by Henry Lawson
    6. My Brother Jack - by George Johnston
    7. The Getting of Wisdom - by Henry Handel Richardson
    8. The Lucky Country - by Donald Horne
    9. Snuggle Pot and Cuddlepie -by May Gibbs
    10.The Young Desire It - by Kenneth MacKenzie
    11.The Harp in the South - by Ruth Park
    12.I Can Jump Puddles - by Alan Marshall
    13.Voss - by Patrick White
    14.Picnic at Hanging Rock - by Joan Lindsay
    15.The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith - Thomas Keneally
    16.Cloudstreet - by Tim Winton
    17.The Potato Factory - by Bryce Courtney
    18.Gallipoli - by Les Carlyon
    19.The Boat - by Nam Lee
    20.The Secret River - by Kate Grenville
    21.That Deadman Dance - by Kim Scott
    22.The Arrival - by Shaun Tan
    23.The Magic Pudding - by Norman Lindsay
    24.The Slap - by Christos Tsiolkas
    25.Forgotten War - by Henry Reynolds
    26.My Brilliant Career - by Miles Franklin

    1. How about Margaret Fulton's Cookbooks?

    2. I've only read 8 out of the 26 - very poor effort on my part!

    3. I've read 15, though a bit embarrassed to admit that my favourite would definately be Snuggle Pot and Cuddllepie. To our overseas readers, these two characters were....gum nuts!

  21. Been some time since our last list so here goes :

    Ten Best-Selling Books Rejected by Publishers Twenty or More Times.
    1. Dubliners - by James Jpyce
    2. M*A*S*H - by Richard Hooker
    3. Heaven Knows, Mr Allison - by James Shaw
    4. Kon-Tiki - by Thor Heyerdahl
    5. Jonathan Livingston Seagull - by Richard Bach
    6. The Postman Always Rings Twice - by James M Cain
    7. Lorna Doone - by Richard Dodderidge Blackmore
    8. Auntie Mame - by Patrick Dennis
    9. The Peter Principle - by Laurence Peter
    10. Dune - by Frank Herbert

  22. The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) announced lists of the most borrowed books from libraries across the country for the first quarter of 2015 this week.

    Must say that I'm surprised about the Jamie Oliver cookbooks. No one I know seems to cook these days !

    Adult fiction:
    1. Never Go Back by Lee Child (British/thriller)

    2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Australian/humour)

    3. The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connolly (American/crime)

    4. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Australian/contemporary literature)

    5. Eyrie by Tim Winton (Australian/contemporary literature)

    6. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Australian/contemporary literature)

    7. Inferno by Dan Brown (American/thriller)

    8. The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (Australian/science fiction)

    9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (American/thriller)

    10. A Wanted Man by Lee Child (British/thriller)

    Adult non-fiction:

    1. Jamie's 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (British/cookery)

    2. Guinness World Records 2014

    3. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (Pakistani/biography)

    4. I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson (Australian/health)

    5. The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do (Australian/biography)

    6. Save with Jamie by Jamie Oliver (British/cookery)

    7. Father Bob the Larrikin Priest by Sue Williams (Australian/biography)

    8. Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (British/biography)

    9. Three Crooked Kings by Matthew Condon (Australian/true crime)

    10. Jamie's 30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (British/cookery)

  23. Probably because they are short-cut 15/30 minute recipe cookbooks rather than the complicated gourmet style! Oh dear, I haven't read a single one of the novels!

    Just got back from lovely warm Queensland (U3A conference in Brisbane and visiting my son in Coolum) to Tassie's 12 degrees! But we'll be in the UK summer in just over three weeks!

  24. Meant to say, Moi, that the Brisbane Town Hall was a revelation inside. Had only seen it from outside before, What a magnificent building. The doorman said it has more marble than the Vatican and I don't think he was joking. The dinner was held in the ballroom which is really splendid.

    1. The Brisbane Town Hall and its recent renovations divided the locals into two very vocal camps: those who love the building and those who wanted it demolished and replaced by something new and sparkly. You can just imagine, can't you?
      I've only been a Brisbane resident for twenty years but feel I know the goings on within that building more than the locals. Been to several inexpensive musical productions there and I recently enjoyed a display of original 1940's and '50's movie costumes that a local lawyer had collected over the last 30 years. Great stuff.
      I hope you also learned a little of the history, Jaywalker. During WW2 it was the place of many a Saturday night dance and the soldier lads used to sign their names on the walls of the bathroom. These rooms were rediscovered during the renos and all those names have been saved. May sound odd but it works.

    2. How interesting. Thanks for that. I am a great supporter of saving good old buildings and their history.