Holiday reading recommendations

Julian Barnes – The sense of an ending (2011 Booker Prize Winner)
823.3 BARN

“Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove. The Sense of an Ending is the story of one man coming to terms with the mutable past.”–Publisher.

Jon Bauer – Rocks in the belly
F BAUE

Written in two startlingly original voices, Rocks in the Belly is about the effortless destruction we wreak on one another in the simple pursuit of our own happiness, and a reminder that we never leave our childhood behind. A fast-paced, powerful, yet often beautiful and funny novel.

Cath Crowley – Graffiti moon
F CROW

An intense and exhilarating 24 hours in the lives of four teenagers on the verge: of adulthood, of HSC, of finding out just who they are, and who they want to be.

Sonya Hartnett – The midnight zoo
F HART

Two gypsy boys are fleeing through a war-ravaged countryside during the night carrying a secret bundle. The boys stumble across a town that has been reduced to smoking rubble, and a zoo that is still intact. When the boys take shelter in the zoo, they discover a menagerie of talking animals. Both the boys and the animals tell their tales and their desire for freedom.

Malcolm Knox
The life : a novel
F KNOX

Now bloated and paranoid, former Australian champion surfer and legend Dennis Keith is holed up in his mother’s retirement village, shuffling to the shop for a Pine-Lime Splice every day, barely existing behind his aviator sunnies and crazy OCD rules, and trying not to think about the waves he’d made his own and the breaks he once ruled like a god. Based on the life of legendary surfer Michael Peterson

Barry Maitland – Chelsea Mansions
F MAIT

A deadly virus, a vicious killer and a long-buried mystery push Brock & Kolla to the limit – Publisher.

Melina Marchetta – The Piper’s son
F MARC

“Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world. But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle’s death…” — Publisher

Roger McDonald – When colts ran
F MCDO

“…In the shearing sheds of Eureka Station, across the sweeping hills and lagoons of the Flintlock district and the fleeting camaraderie of the Five Alls pub, …men play out their fates, conduct their affairs and hope for the best. In this sweeping epic of friendship, toil, hope and failed promise, …Roger McDonald follows the story of Kingsley Colts as he chases the ghost of himself through the decades, and in and out of the lives and affections of the citizens of ‘The Isabel’, a slice of Australia scattered with prospectors, artists, no-hopers and visionaries…”–Publisher.

Kim Scott – That deadman dance (2011 Miles Franklin Award Winner)
F SCOT

“Told through the eyes of black and white, young and old, this is a story about the fledgling Western Australian community in the early 1800s known as the ‘friendly frontier’. Poetic, warm-hearted and bold, it is a story which shows that first contact did not have to lead to war.”–Back cover.

Steve Toltz – A fraction of the whole
F TOLT

Meet the Deans. After an injury which cut short a golden sporting career, Jasper’s uncle became Australia’s most beloved murderer. After a lifetime of impossible ideas and a brief stint as the country’s saviour, Jasper’s father became Australia’s most loathed philosopher. This is Jasper’s attempt to make sense of it all.

Chris Womersley – Bereft
F WOME

“It is 1919. The Great War has ended, but the Spanish flu epidemic is raging across Australia. Schools are closed, state borders are guarded by armed men, and train travel is severely restricted. There are rumours it is the end of the world. In the NSW town of Flint, Quinn Walker returns to the home he fled ten years earlier when he was accused of an unspeakable crime. Aware that his father and uncle would surely hang him, Quinn hides in the hills surrounding Flint. There, he meets the orphan Sadie Fox — a mysterious young girl who seems to know more about the crime than she should. A searing gothic novel of love, longing and justice, Bereft is about the suffering endured by those who go to war and those who are forever left behind.”–Publisher

Peter Carey – Parrot and Olivier in America
F CARE

“Olivier is a young aristocrat, one of an endangered species born in France just after the Revolution. Parrot, the son of an itinerant English printer, wanted to be an artist but has ended up in middle age as a servant. When Olivier sets sail for the New World – ostensibly to study its prisons, but in reality to avoid yet another revolution – Parrot is sent with him, as spy, protector, foe and foil. Through their adventures with women and money, incarceration and democracy, writing and painting, they make an unlikely pair. But where better for unlikely things to flourish than in the glorious, brand-new experiment, America? A dazzlingly inventive reimagining of Alexis de Tocqueville’s famous journey, Parrot and Olivier in America brilliantly evokes the Old World colliding with the New. Above all, it is a wildly funny, tender portrait of two men who come to form an almost impossible friendship, and a completely improbable work of art” — Publisher’s website.

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