Aussie Readers discussion

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Michelle asked in the other thread if there's a time to get together and discuss current reads. If you'd like to do that just say, and a date/time can be organised.

But I was thinking, with the small number of people we have at the moment, that a general on-going discussion would be more suitable. So, what are you reading? It doesn't have to be an Aussie book.

I've just had a stab at reading Sara Douglass' Hades' Daughter and I have to confess that it defeated me. I really enjoyed the Axis and Wayfarer Redeptions trilogies, but I've found her later stuff a little too... bleak, I guess.

Right now I'm reading Raising Atlantis, silly 'America saves the world from alien/ancient powers' thing. Macdonalds for the mind, but sometimes you just have to indulge.


message 2: by Michelle (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:43AM) (new)

Michelle | 2 comments I've just finished the mammoth epic 'Sarum' by Edward Rutherfurd which if you arent familiar, chronicled the history and lives/generations of five families dating back from the Ice Age through to the 1980's of Sarum or Salisbury as it is known now. It took me through the building of Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, the industrial, political and religious revolutions and yes, it was heavy going. It was a history lesson disguised as fiction I suppose, and at times extremely labourious. But, I embraced the challenge, finished it, all 1300 pages and am now about to start 'Water for Elephants' by Sara Gruen. I must confess, I do not read a lot of Australian authors....these days I only really get to read my monthly book club book. The lastest Aussie author I read was 'Candy' by Luke Davies in which the movie was written after. A gritty portrayal of drug addiction, but for what it was, thought it was a great read. Not a book for everybody and I would be hesitant to recommend it to others for its content was far from ideal. Thanks for your reply Kate.

message 3: by Stephney (new)

Stephney Webb | 2 comments "Sarum" sounds as if it could be an interesting experience!
I am presently reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini, i havent seen the movie yet and heard it was not very good , however the book is very interesting and i am so enjoying it!
My latest reads are more about the dawn of civilization or time . For example i am re-reading Jean M Aurel's books Earth Children series, The Clan of the Cave Bear, The Mammoth Hunters etc. Again , this has been enjoyable reading!
Along a simular vein i discovered a book "Forbidden Land" by William Sarabande at the local markets second hand book store. That is about The First Americans ( American Indians) and it is also about the beginning of mankind. I so enjoyed this book that i went and ordered more in the series from the local bookstore! Wow i found out that there are actually about 11 in the series! So i ordered the first 4 and found one is out of print. Ha ! i am a desperate reader and my next plan is to get a friend in Canada to try and get a copy of the out of print book 4 there!
Only a true book lover will understand ! Ha !
I would love to find a local book group to get together for a chat about our books, used to belong to one at the local library but then started full time work about 5 years ago and that group meets on weekday arvos! Not good for me! Anyone else in a book group???
Happy reading all

Shannon (Giraffe Days) (Giraffe_Days) I'm in two bookclubs, one for general lit/fiction (not all of it is "high brow"!), and one for classics. I sometimes participate in online ones too, but it can get a little much. I like the in-person ones.

I like to read Aussie books but I'm living in Canada these days and they take a while to get here, if they get here at all. My dad sent me Richard Flanagan's new book, The Unknown Terrorist for Christmas back in '06, and I really enjoyed it. Has anyone else read it?

I finally got around to reading The Thorn Birds last year and absolutely loved it.

At the moment I'm reading a YA fantasy, a fantasy and a paranormal detective book, so that's two American authors and one Canadian. I love fantasy, but whether they're Australian authors or not I like to get Aussie editions, because they're covers are so much nicer!

message 5: by Ainsley (new)

Ainsley | 2 comments Hey! I'm finally reading Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian War and loving it. Gripping accounts of battle. Noble speeches. Natural disasters. Stoic citizens. Vanished cities. No maps. By way of linkage to Australia, I only got into the Classics on reading Colleen McCullough's superb 'Makers of Rome' series. Has anyone else enjoyed this?

As for Sara Douglass - I've always wanted to read her works but have been a bit scarred by getting into never-ending epic fantasy series where the author has either died or there is no end in sight (and the author might die before finishing the series, anyway). are the Axis and Wayfarer trilogies self contained?

message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 28, 2008 03:04PM) (new)

That's a good point about fantasy, Annesley. I've been reading The Wheel of Time for the better part of a decade, and when Robert Jordan died while halfway through writing the last book I was crushed. Luckily they've found someone to ghostwrite the end of the series, but it'll hardly be the same.

The Axis and Wayfarer trilogies are self contained, her later trilogies aren't related at all. Sara does have a stand alone novel too, who's name currently escapes me. It's about a glass pyramid? Threshold it's called (thanks google).

I'm not in a book group. I'd like to be, but I just don't get enough reading time to polish off a book a month (sad, I know). I read an awful lot for uni, so when I pick up a novel I don't want to have a deadline to read that too! Stephany, if you're interested in dawn of time stuff Stephen Baxter's Evolution is another option. I found it a little excessive in the violence department, but he does settle down a bit towards the middle. Should be read with a grain of salt though, as he does enjoy making up chunks of history and passing it off as fact.

message 7: by Alan (new)

Alan Ainsley,

Rereading Thucydides myself for an alumni seminar, but also have Donald Kagan's Peloponnesian War at hand, that has the maps.

message 8: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 123 comments I really liked Unknown Terrorist - perhaps except for how blak a portrayal of Sydney it is - but I think it is food for thought in the Anti-terrorism legislation.

message 9: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 123 comments Hi - i started reading the Conn Iggulden Rome series and found out that he has messed with the facts a lot so I decided to read the Colleen McCullough series. They are pretty dense and I don't think all that well written, but obviously impeccably researched. Politics hasn't changed much which is really interesting - perhaps a bit less blood letting!

I'm reading Steven Saylor crime novels set in Rome now, but I did pull out an old Uni text on Roman Politics as well. It's kind of like fuelling a fire! I visited Rome for the first time in 2006 and it really captured my imagnation seeing the forum and ruins.

message 10: by Orin (new)

Orin (Blurrystar1) I am reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which is a cross between philosophy and road trip adventure. Very thought-provoking stuff.

Next on my list is He, She and It by Marge Piercy. It's a sci-fi book that I knew nothing about but my GP (of all people!) recommended it, so I picked it up. :)

message 11: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) Right now I'm finishing up The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie. It's good fun, with an interesting plot and exotic locations. I'm not going to give it any stars yet - it is good enough to stay on my shelf, and I will have a better idea of its quality when I re-read it (probably next year).

Books like this make me very jealous. I know if I submitted anything like it to agents, reviewers, publishers it would get dumped in the trash straight away. And if I persuaded a publisher to take it seriously, I can imagine the editor's demands for more action, for dead bodies by the end of page one, for a 1-2 page 'hook' at the beginning, for explicit statements of this or that character's feelings at a particular moment. I would be accused of wholesale information dumping, and of 'telling not showing' on every page...

It's enough to make you scream in frustration.

message 12: by Rosalie (new)

Rosalie Skinner (LadyRosalieSkinner) | 7 comments It happens all the time doesn't it. The books you read just don't seem to follow the rules of getting published that we must adhere to, and yet they are published.
There is not rime or reason to it.
We just have to keep on keeping on. One day it will happen.

message 13: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 123 comments That's true - I did a postgrad course in publishing and we had to ccritique a book we didn't think should have been published. interesting that although there were several constarints (recent, Australian, short) that the class had no trouble all finding different ones. the obvious fact was that most had had a successful first book.

message 14: by Cathy (last edited Sep 23, 2008 05:42PM) (new)

Cathy | 123 comments Re Zen - I read it after my older brother recommended it back in the 70's. i found it really mind bending and I loved it. i've often wondered how I would feel if I read it now - I suspect the madness would seem more obvious. let me know what you think at the end.

message 15: by Bridie (new)

Bridie (BridieKnight) Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian War is one of my fave books - such a good writer - gripping tales of adventure etc. I haven't read Colleen McCullough's 'Makers of Rome' series but will look out for it. If you haven't already read it, I think you would like the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon; also I like Livy and Plutarch for stories of Rome. I think you can download copies from How good they are I don't know. There is often discussions about what translation etc. is best to read on comments

message 16: by Bridie (new)

Bridie (BridieKnight) I'm about to read Tour To Hell by David Levell. I heard an extract on Perspective - ABC Radio National and thought it sounded entertaining and intriguing.

"When the Irish convicts first came to the colony of New South Wales they did what all prisoners try to do, escape. But where did they think they were escaping to, what did they think was just beyond the bush?"
There is a transcript here:

message 17: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 352 comments I've finished White Gardenia by Belinda Alexandra over the weekend and I've picked up another book by her, Silver Wattle. Both books are set mid to late 1940s. It seems she works with ethnic families (Russian in White Gardenia & Czechs in Silver Wattle) who by some circumstance was forced to leave their home and made their way to Australia (so far both books have been based in Sydney). It's been a wonderful read.

message 18: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (Starshinejen) I'm new to this group. Hi to everyone! I'm reading Galileo (Antichrist) - a biography by Michael White. I love the way the author sets the biographical material into the context (historical, scientific and religious). I previously read his biography of Isaac Newton (The Last Sorcerer) and intend to also read his Leonardo - The First Scientist.

message 19: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (Starshinejen) Thanks JM - looking forward to sharing my passion for reading with everyone and learning new things. By the way - Michael White is an Australian author! He has a website at It's a pity I have to go to work now and stop reading my book!

message 20: by Jacinta (new)

Jacinta Hoare | 62 comments Hello all, I am new to Goodreads and am happily messing about remembering books I have read in the past few years and adding them to my list despite the fact that I might not remember a lot of detail about them.

I read simply for pleasure - I prefer not to analyse as a lot of very good books were ruined for me at school by analysis (death by essay) - I am a fan of fantasy and historical fiction genres and I have a particular passion for either fiction or non fiction based on the Plantagenet era of English history.

At the moment I am reading a brief history of British Kings and Queens - its a reference book so I really just pick it up and put it down as time permits. (My other regular read is the Income Tax Assessment Acts & Regulations but we wont really dwell on that sad fact :)

I look forward to being introduced to new authors and ideas by the group.

cheers from Cairns

message 21: by Banafsheh (new)

Banafsheh Serov (loveagoodread) | 2 comments Hi I'm a writer and a book seller in Sydney- hence live and breathe books.

I'm currently reading two books:
- Silent Speech by Tom Rob Smith (out in April 09). I loved his Child 44 and although this one moves at a razor sharp pace, I was somehow hoping for signs that Smith has matured further as a writer.

- Wolves of Wall street - Memoir of a stockbroker. I'm not far into this one but the author (sorry his name currently escapes me)lived like an

message 22: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 123 comments Jacinta wrote: "Hello all, I am new to Goodreads and am happily messing about remembering books I have read in the past few years and adding them to my list despite the fact that I might not remember a lot of deta..."

Hi Jacinta - we have a lot in common - I was an editor of taxation publications in a previous job, and my English degree had a very solid Elizabethan slant - have read a couple of the Alison weir books.

message 23: by Sam (new)

Sam does Marie Claire count? ... ha ha kidding (sorta)

Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson ... great fun!

message 24: by Brian (new)

Brian | 31 comments I'm getting back to reading again after a break back to my favourite mystery writers, and started with Robert Goddard - P_lay to the End. Enjoying it very much.Play to the End

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

i'm reading milan kundera's the book of laughter and forgetting. i'm not that far through but it's fantastic so far, kundera is definitely one of my favourite authors.

message 26: by Liza (new)

Liza | 2 comments I've just finished The Pact by Jodi Picoult and on page 347 of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I first heard about Twilight when the movie came out last year. I didn't know what to expect - a vampire high school romance sounded like a recipe for a trashy daytime soap - but the book is actually pretty good! I have been staying up late the past two nights to read it. Very sexy in a restrained way and a very interesting vampire!

message 27: by Elle (new)

Elle *minor spoilers for the pact by jodi picoult*

Liza, what did u think of the pact? i started to read it but i found i couldnt get into it. i got maybe 80 pages in and gave up. although i did enjoy the flashbacks its definitely a book i'll go back to though because i've bought it, lol.

message 28: by Helena (new)

Helena (forbiddenLURVE) | 3 comments Just started Ink Exchange... pretty good

Sam Still Reading | 4 comments I'm still reading The Best of Times by Penny Vincenzi- unusual for me, as I usually read one book a week! What's great about this book is there are lots of characters who are initially unknown to one another so it's easy to pick up and put down.
What's bad about it- far too heavy to read in bed!

message 30: by Helena (new)

Helena (forbiddenLURVE) | 3 comments now I'm starting the Hunger Games... really different to what I usually read

message 31: by Christine (new)

Christine Lee Hi, i'm enjoying the read of Power VS Force by David R Hawkins, MD, Ph.D. its a really great book on people , energy and human behavior. Very enjoyable and educational :)

message 32: by Maddancer (new)

Maddancer | 2 comments Hi all. I work in events and marketing in Sydney, but would rather be writing (and therefore reading) full time. I'm currently on a Jane Austen roadtrip. Have just read Sense & Sensibility and The Jane Austen Bookclub, and am about to start either Emma or My Year without Shopping (which has more to do with my bent for impulse buying than Jane Austen).

message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarah_mjo) Currently I am reading "End in Tears" by Ruth Rendell.

I'm finding it a little confusing since I can't really remember which character is who as she seemed to have dumped maybe 5 or so characters in at the very start with out much to differentiate each from the other. I guess it doesn't help that this is the first novel of her's that I have read.

It's going to be interesting to see how it ends though, and I'm hoping I won't be let down :p

message 34: by K (new)

K | 5 comments Helena I love the Hunger Games and so did my fiancee!

I just finished 'Everyone is Beautiful' by Katherine Center, which was enjoyable.

I love deciding what to read next - a great sense of opportunity!

message 35: by Bec (new)

Bec | 1 comments Hi all! I have just joined this group! I am right into personal development and am currently reading The Noticer by Andy Andrews....his life journey is truly inspirational and I just can't get enough of his books!! Awesome!!

I really do enjoy reading and prefer it to anything on the t.v. although I don't mind comedy or a good movie occasionally. Looking forward to reading your comments in the coming days and weeks.

message 36: by Kay (new)

Kay | 9 comments I'm currently on the last chapter of the latest Iain Pears "Stone's Fall". It's quite gripping and convoluted. It's beautifully written but the number of typos gets my goat! The complexity of the plot is more in the unexpected connections amongst the main characters, rather than different threads of history, as was the case in "AN Instance of the Fingerpost". I thought at first that I would rate SF better than IOTFP, but now I think it's not as clever and the language is a little less attractive. It's a good read about the reasoning behind nations and wars, actually- gave me a different insight into annexing Poland, anyway!
I'm also waiting very impatiently for the 3rd part of the Millennium Trliogy by Stieg Larson- he's such a good writer- he leaves the reader well and truly on tenterhooks before the third book! OMG- I have to read something else to occupy my mind!
It will probably be "Drood" by Dan Simmons next...

message 37: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Clyne | 5 comments Hi, I've just finished the Iliad, found it a really hard slog. I'm currently read the Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst. It's for one of my bookgroups. I'm only 35 or so pages in, but so far I'm quite enjoying it. It feels really familar, apparently it's been made into a BBC series and I have the feeling I've seen part of it. I'll let you know how it goes.

message 38: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) Well done for finishing it, Victoris. I just can't see it as a 'great' novel. Sure there are some good aspects, but they are overwhelmed by the rest.
On the other hand, it is a great bit of history. A primitive tribal epic which provides insight into the thoughts of Bronze age man. It really is unique.
But if you read the Odyssey - that really is a novel, and a good one too. Difficult to see it coming from the same pen as the Iliad, and I'm happy to agree with the scholars who say it was written by a woman.

message 39: by Maggi (new)

Maggi Andersen | 62 comments I've been enjoying Desperate Duchess by Eloisa James. It's a historical romance which centres around the game of chess. James is an Oxford grad and it shows in her writing, her research is flawless and her characters very human.

message 40: by Spooky (new)

Spooky (Spooky_Sez) I'm reading The Name of the Rose including Postscript to the Name of the Rose. My grandma lent it to me. Umberto Eco writes beautifully, but as he's a professor is semiotics sometimes I find it hard to read. There is also a lot of Latin!
It's set in a monastery over seven days. An ex-Inquisitor and his protege, both monks, are called to investigate a series of murders in the monastery.
Although I'm not religious, I really enjoy reading any part in which the monks are debating virtues and scripture.
A rich, engaging book.

message 41: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Clyne | 5 comments Hi Everyone,

I've just finished reading "the Chase" by Ida Mann. It's her autobiography, and it was chosen for one of my book groups. I hadn't heard of her before we were givien the book I'm quite in awe of her. She is a pretty amazing lady. I've now started "the Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas". I'm only 35 or so pages in but I'm expecting it to be pretty sad. It's from a very interesting perceptive, one that I haven't read before given the content.

message 42: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) Question for the managers, posted here because I can't figure out where else to ask. I have a book in the process of being launched in north Queensland. I don't want abuse this group by indulging in extravagant promos, but it would be nice to mention the name and date of the launch (in Cairns).

How do I go about that?

message 43: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi everyone, it seems to have slowed down here a bit. I have just finished reading "Goya" by Evan Connell and have just started "Bannockburn" by David Cornell. What is everyone else up to?

message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

I just finished reading, Devil's Brood by Sharon Penman (historical) and then after that I read High Potential by Ber Carroll (Australian/Irish chick lit). Enjoyed both books.

message 45: by Maggi (last edited Oct 28, 2009 03:22PM) (new)

Maggi Andersen | 62 comments The Name of the Rose is a fantastic novel, one of my favorites.

message 46: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I have just started reading Antony Beevor's book "D-Day" and so far its been pretty good. Anyone else into this author?

message 47: by Jess (last edited Nov 18, 2009 01:32PM) (new)

Jess (turnherintoliterature) | 2 comments Last night I finished Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, (which I found to be quite a big read for the two sittings I managed it in) and started Franny and Zooey. I'm liking it a lot so far - much moreso than his other work, The Catcher in the Rye, which I read a few weeks ago.

message 48: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Jessabelle wrote: "Last night I finished Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, (which I found to be quite a big read for the two sittings I managed it in) and started Franny and Zooey. I..."

Hi Jessabelle,

I recently picked up that author's book on Venice which has received mixed reviews. Hopefully it will be pretty good.

The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt by John Berendt

message 49: by Jess (new)

Jess (turnherintoliterature) | 2 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Jessabelle wrote: "Last night I finished Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, (which I found to be quite a big read for the two sittings I managed it in) and started Franny... i I actually own that book too but haven't read it. It's on my massive 'to-read' pile for the summer

message 50: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Jessabelle wrote: "'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Jessabelle wrote: "Last night I finished Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, (which I found to be quite a big read for the two sittings I managed it in) an..."

Glad to hear that someone else has the same problem with books piled up for later reading! If you get to it before me let me know if you enjoy it or not :)

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