Best Modern Australian Literature

What are the best books in the modern Australian literary canon (whatever that may mean)? Want to know more? Visit Goodreads "Aussie Readers" group
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4.37 avg rating — 1,833,357 ratings
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2

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3

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4.23 avg rating — 314,366 ratings
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4.14 avg rating — 49,203 ratings
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5

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4.05 avg rating — 48,278 ratings
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6

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3.81 avg rating — 18,011 ratings
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7

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4.34 avg rating — 144,177 ratings
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8

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4.03 avg rating — 396,928 ratings
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9

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3.70 avg rating — 15,140 ratings
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10

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4.09 avg rating — 26,119 ratings
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11

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4.18 avg rating — 7,423 ratings
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12

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3.20 avg rating — 26,604 ratings
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13

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3.87 avg rating — 17,293 ratings
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14

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4.25 avg rating — 167,574 ratings
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15

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3.73 avg rating — 19,512 ratings
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16

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3.94 avg rating — 35,222 ratings
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17

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3.86 avg rating — 11,794 ratings
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18

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3.82 avg rating — 19,625 ratings
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19

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4.07 avg rating — 8,587 ratings
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20

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3.83 avg rating — 5,660 ratings
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21

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4.35 avg rating — 83 ratings
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22

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3.88 avg rating — 21,028 ratings
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23

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4.12 avg rating — 47,194 ratings
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24

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4.20 avg rating — 9,069 ratings
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25

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4.02 avg rating — 447,260 ratings
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26

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4.05 avg rating — 136,456 ratings
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27

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3.91 avg rating — 5,068 ratings
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28

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3.70 avg rating — 4,445 ratings
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29

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4.14 avg rating — 191,033 ratings
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30

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4.11 avg rating — 9,099 ratings
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31

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3.53 avg rating — 4,788 ratings
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32

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4.01 avg rating — 47,898 ratings
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33

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4.13 avg rating — 16,631 ratings
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34

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3.88 avg rating — 1,597 ratings
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35

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4.01 avg rating — 88,994 ratings
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36

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4.01 avg rating — 4,048 ratings
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37

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3.69 avg rating — 3,791 ratings
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38

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3.68 avg rating — 5,855 ratings
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39

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4.01 avg rating — 138,153 ratings
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40

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3.94 avg rating — 2,308 ratings
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41

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3.75 avg rating — 3,113 ratings
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42

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3.89 avg rating — 2,203 ratings
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43

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3.73 avg rating — 3,838 ratings
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44

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3.64 avg rating — 949 ratings
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45

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3.76 avg rating — 2,852 ratings
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46

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3.84 avg rating — 5,384 ratings
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47

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3.78 avg rating — 2,520 ratings
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48

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3.60 avg rating — 27,852 ratings
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49

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4.27 avg rating — 747,126 ratings
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50

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3.96 avg rating — 1,635 ratings
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51

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3.81 avg rating — 4,231 ratings
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52

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4.02 avg rating — 4,516 ratings
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53

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3.62 avg rating — 5,840 ratings
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54

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4.01 avg rating — 4,628 ratings
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54

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3.67 avg rating — 7,663 ratings
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56

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3.99 avg rating — 751 ratings
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57

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3.57 avg rating — 3,952 ratings
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58

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3.72 avg rating — 1,539 ratings
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59

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3.76 avg rating — 4,120 ratings
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60

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3.60 avg rating — 1,186 ratings
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61

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3.95 avg rating — 4,412 ratings
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62

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3.90 avg rating — 2,212 ratings
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63

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3.94 avg rating — 531,978 ratings
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64

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3.90 avg rating — 1,980 ratings
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65

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3.83 avg rating — 21,432 ratings
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66

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3.97 avg rating — 31,441 ratings
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67

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3.71 avg rating — 742 ratings
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68

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4.09 avg rating — 20,073 ratings
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69

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3.63 avg rating — 5,116 ratings
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70

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3.89 avg rating — 4,222 ratings
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71

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4.35 avg rating — 3,827 ratings
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72

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3.72 avg rating — 929 ratings
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73

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4.24 avg rating — 3,886 ratings
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74

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3.96 avg rating — 427 ratings
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74

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3.71 avg rating — 590 ratings
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76

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3.94 avg rating — 102,764 ratings
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77

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3.80 avg rating — 8,411 ratings
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78

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3.92 avg rating — 197 ratings
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79

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3.69 avg rating — 1,265 ratings
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80

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4.05 avg rating — 98 ratings
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81

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4.33 avg rating — 1,223 ratings
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82

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3.68 avg rating — 1,532 ratings
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83

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3.59 avg rating — 667 ratings
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84

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3.62 avg rating — 11,552 ratings
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85

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3.78 avg rating — 2,753 ratings
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86

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3.84 avg rating — 435 ratings
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86

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3.92 avg rating — 221 ratings
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88

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3.49 avg rating — 2,848 ratings
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89

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3.66 avg rating — 1,404 ratings
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90

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3.43 avg rating — 7,137 ratings
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91

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3.53 avg rating — 1,693 ratings
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92

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3.49 avg rating — 483 ratings
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93

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3.43 avg rating — 106 ratings
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94

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3.97 avg rating — 3,569 ratings
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95

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4.32 avg rating — 8,336 ratings
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96

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4.02 avg rating — 155,301 ratings
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97

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4.25 avg rating — 6,202 ratings
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98

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3.96 avg rating — 4,453 ratings
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99

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3.35 avg rating — 946 ratings
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100

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3.88 avg rating — 665 ratings
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flag this list (?)
491 books · 616 voters · list created September 14th, 2009 by Tim Watts (votes) .
141 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Tim 547 books
96 friends
Lobstergirl 4706 books
155 friends
Thom 6023 books
307 friends
Stuart 285 books
15 friends
Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 545 books
510 friends
booklady 2569 books
396 friends
ღ Carol jinx~☆~☔ 3342 books
445 friends
Jaap 299 books
38 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-32 of 32 (32 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn The Thornbirds doesn't make the list ?


message 2: by Tim (new)

Tim Watts I haven't read it Thom - but feel free to add it yourself!


message 3: by Tim (new)

Tim Watts Canary wrote: "Thom wrote: "The Thornbirds doesn't make the list ?"

I added it as it is the only one I have read. Was Picnic at Hanging Rock also a book? I have only seen the done for TV thing which is very ..."


Yes - it was a book too. Haven't read it though...


message 4: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Tim wrote: "Canary wrote: "Thom wrote: "The Thornbirds doesn't make the list ?"

I added it as it is the only one I have read. Was Picnic at Hanging Rock also a book? I have only seen the done for TV thing w..."


Don't know about Picnic, but I have a paperback of Walkabout, but it may be about Walkabout, the movie.


message 5: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Could someone do the honors and add Nevil Shute's On the Beach , and his In the Wet. The latter is futuristic.

I do wish I could vote twice more for Dirt Music !


message 6: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Thom wrote: "Could someone do the honors and add Nevil Shute's On the Beach , and his In the Wet. The latter is futuristic.

I do wish I could vote twice more for Dirt Music !"


Added.


message 7: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Canary wrote: "I added it as it is the only one I have read. Was Picnic at Hanging Rock also a book? I have only seen the done fo..."

Oh, I liked Walkabout too! Isn't that where the father drives with his t..."


Somewhere out there is a book about David Gulpalil and the other aborigines that worked often with Peter Weir and other Aussie film makers...and Hey ! Aren't there studies, I mean popular books, ABOUT the great Australian films and filmmakers ?


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Sometimes I get On the Beach and Alas Babylon mixed up but Alas Babylon is mostly in FL.


message 9: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Let me check


message 10: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Canary wrote: "Sometimes I get On the Beach and Alas Babylon mixed up but Alas Babylon is mostly in FL. "

Right. Alas Babylon, by Pat Frank, an American writer moves through a bombed out America....I remember the Old Folks in Fla just basically starved and during the rebuilding someone offered "a small canned ham" for a set of Britannica.
Today you couldn't GIVE a Britannica Ency. away !


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Thom wrote: "Canary wrote: "Sometimes I get On the Beach and Alas Babylon mixed up but Alas Babylon is mostly in FL. "

Right. Alas Babylon, by Pat Frank, an American writer moves through a bombed out America....."


What a good memory! We have read that book twice but I didn't recall that.




message 12: by Liane (new)

Liane I wish I could find 1915, unfortunately it doesn't appear on the list.


message 13: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Liane wrote: "I wish I could find 1915, unfortunately it doesn't appear on the list."

1915 ? Who wrote it ? N. Shute ? Pat Frank ?


message 14: by Liane (new)

Liane Liane wrote: "I wish I could find 1915, unfortunately it doesn't appear on the list."

No, neither of those. I'm beating my brain trying to remember who wrote it. I have a copy, and of course now I can't find it. I've seen it on my bookshelf recently, and so murphy's law now comes into play so that it has myseriously disappeared!!


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Liane wrote: "Liane wrote: "I wish I could find 1915, unfortunately it doesn't appear on the list."

No, neither of those. I'm beating my brain trying to remember who wrote it. I have a copy, and of course n..."


1915 is by Roger McDonald. I haven't added it myself because I haven't read it yet.


message 16: by J10 (new)

J10 Can anybody remove Vernon God Little? That one is not remotely Australian.


message 17: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Yes it is, Jentien.
Of course it depends how you define Australian, but DBC Pierre considers himself Australian because he lived here in his formative years. He was born in South Australia in 1961.


message 18: by Cododa (new)

Cododa No Wake In Fright, whoa. Interesting popularist list but not definitive.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads A Listopia list may be many things, but it is rarely definitive!

On the other hand, it's easy to add books to them; at the top of the page, at the tab next to "all votes."


message 20: by Cododa (new)

Cododa Susanna wrote: "A Listopia list may be many things, but it is rarely definitive!

On the other hand, it's easy to add books to them; at the top of the page, at the tab next to "all votes.""


Gave it a try, unsuccessfully.

Like the film, maybe the book suffers from it's brutally honest portrayal of outback Oz like no other.


message 21: by Steven (new)

Steven You left out the only good book from Australia: Poor Fella My Country by Xavier Herbert.


message 22: by Stop33 (new)

Stop33 Nevil Shute was British.


message 23: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Why is "Disgrace" on this list? It's a book by a South African author, set in South Africa.


message 24: by Stop33 (new)

Stop33 Kelly wrote: "Why is "Disgrace" on this list? It's a book by a South African author, set in South Africa."

It should not be on the list. I think it has been added because Coetzee became an Australian citizen in 2006. "Disgrace" was published in 1999 and is, as you say, wholly South African.


message 25: by Adriana (new)

Adriana What about When Dreams are Calling When Dreams are Calling by Carol Vorvain ?

I believe the author Carol Vorvain is Australian.


message 26: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 7 books removed.


message 27: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Coetzee's 'Disgrace' (1999) removed: neither Australian nor set in Australia. Coetzee didn't relocate to Australia until 2002, or became a citizen until 2006.


message 28: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah Dingoes at Dinnertime is the Best of Australian Literature? Better than the Ballad of Desmond Kale or The Thornbirds?


message 29: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady Thom wrote: "I do wish I could vote twice more for Dirt Music !"

Same here :-)


message 30: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jul 16, 2016 12:03AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Cododa wrote: "No Wake In Fright, whoa. Interesting popularist list but not definitive."

Wake in Fright is no longer missing from the list.


message 31: by Ginny (new)

Ginny Horn-Horn by ADT McLellan - one of those few books that you will go from the last page immediately back to the first page. Like The Sixth Sense, reading it a second time is like reading it for the first time again. It's a completely different story once all of the twists are revealed.


message 32: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady Ginny wrote: "Horn-Horn by ADT McLellan - one of those few books that you will go from the last page immediately back to the first page. Like The Sixth Sense, reading it a second time is like reading it for the ..."

@Ginny
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