AusReadingMonth Q&A

My attempt to answer my own questions for #AusReadingMonth!
(with gratuitous use of holiday photos)

Start of the Sydney to Hobart boat race, Boxing Day – From South Head looking towards North Head as the boats head out to sea.

1. Tell us about the Australian books you’ve loved and read so far.

So many to choose from!
But some of my all time favourites are:
Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
The Fortunes of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson
Dirt Music by Tim Winton
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Rowland Sinclair Mystery series by Sulari Gentill
Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven
The Monkey’s Mask by Dorothy Porter
Shark Net by Robert Drewe
The Reef: A Passionate History by Iain McCalman
The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia by Bill Gammage
And some children’s books that I either read as a child or read to my classes over the years –
The Deep by Tim Winton
Rivertime and Rockhopping by Trace Balla
Ash Road by Ivan Southall
Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner
Pastures of the Blue Crane by Brimsted

2. When you think of Australia, what are the first five things that pop into your mind?

The five things I love about Australia are our beaches, the weather, our way of life, our sense of humour and gum trees.

3. Have you ever visited Australia? Or thought about it?
What are the pro’s and con’s about travelling to/in Australia for you?
What are/were your impressions? 

One of the con’s about travelling anywhere in Australia is the long distances involved, but it’s also one of the pro’s – I love a good road trip!
Pro’s are our gorgeous and unique wild flowers and our beautiful, sandy beaches.
Con’s are the hot summer’s days that make even going to the beach unpleasant (sand too hot, sun too hot, water too crowded!) and the rips and the bluebottles and the sharks!
Although I’ve seen a lot of dangerous rips and hundreds of bluebottles in my lifetime, I’ve never seen a shark.

Milk Beach, Sydney Harbour
Pro – the multicultural aspect of our society – we can eat food from anywhere in the world – either in a restaurant or at home as we can buy all the (once) exotic ingredients in most of our supermarkets now. We can see shows & movies, attend festivals and buy books in many, many languages.

Con – the underlying racism that still lingers in many sub-strata of our society and our on-going appalling treatment of the Aboriginal issue and refugees.

Cape Tribulation, Qld

4. If you have been or plan to visit, where will you be heading first?
If you already live in this big, beautiful land, tell us a little about where you are, what you love (or not) about it and where you like to holiday (or would like to visit) in Australia.

Some of my favourite places to holiday in Australia are:
The Blue Mountains (NSW),
Mudgee (NSW),
Mornington Peninsula (VIC),
Port Douglas (QLD),
Port Stephens (NSW),
The Barossa Valley (SA),
Margaret River (WA)
– hmmmmm a theme is developing here –
a number of these places are famous for their wines!

Indian Ocean, Cape Naturaliste, WA

5. Do you have a favourite Australian author/s or book/s?
Tell us about him/her/it.

I’m a huge Tim Winton fan, even when I don’t particularly like his book or characters.
He was the first Australian author that made me feel proud to be Australian (in a literary sense).
He was literate, passionate, erudite yet reserved.
Thanks to Tim, I sought out other Australian authors…I’ve never looked back!

6. Which Aussie books are on your TBR pile/wishlist?

So many!
But to name a few:

NON-FICTION
Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler
Notebooks by Betty Churcher
The Bust by Don Watson
Modern Love by Lesley Hardng & Kendrah Morgan
Thirty Days by Mark Raphael Baker
Gum by Ashley Hay
Island Home by Tim Winton
Joe Cinque’s Consolation by Helen Garner
A Reef in Time by Charlie Vernon
Agamemnon’s Kiss by Inga Clendinnen
1788 by Watkin Tench
Dancing With Strangers by Inga Clendinnen
Saga Land by Richard Fidler & Kari Gislason
True North by Brenda Niall
The Unknown Judith Wright by Georgina Arnott
Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood

FICTION
Coonardoo by Katharine Susannah Prichard
Whipbird by Robert Drewe
The Swan Book by Alexis Wright
First Person by Richard Flanagan
The Pea Pickers by Eve Langley
It’s Raining in Mango by Thea Astley
Journey to the Stone Country by Alex Miller
Benang by Kim Scott
The Slow Natives by Thea Astley
The Turning by Tim Winton
Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson
A New England Affair by Steven Carroll
Everyman’s Rules For Scientific Thinking by Carrie Tiffany

7. Which book/s do you hope to read for #AusReadingMonth?

The Commandant by Jessica Anderson (QLD setting)
A Rightful Place: A Roadmap to Recognition edited by Shireen Morris (FREE)
Mirror Sydney by Vaness Berry (NSW)
Wishbone by Marion Halligan (an author based in the ACT)

8. It came to my attention recently (when I posted a snake photo on Instagram) that our overseas friends view Australia as a land full of big, bad, deadly animals.
Can you name five of them?
What about five of our cuter more unique creatures?
(For the locals, which five animals from each category have you had an up close and personal with)?

Obviously I’ve been up close and personal with a Highland Copperhead (see photo), I’ve seen a red-belly black snake from safe inside the house as well as lots of red-backed spiders. I’ve had to leave the water twice thanks to shark sightings and several times thanks to stingers, but I didn’t see them myself.

Whilst on camping trips & friend’s farms I’ve spotted kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, emus, goannas, platypus and untold number of native birds.

9. Can you name our current Prime Minister (plus four more from memory)?
No googling allowed!

Malcolm Turnbull is our current PM
The most recent others are Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and John Howard.

10. Did you know that Australians have a weird thing for BIG statues of bizarre animals and things?
Can you name five of them?

So far I’ve visited the BIG Gold Panner in Bathurst (NSW),
the BIG Banana in Coffs Harbour (NSW),
The BIG Merino in Goulburn (NSW),
the BIG Ned Kelly in Glen Rowan (VIC),
the BIG Rocking Horse in Gumeracha (SA),
the BIG Cherries in Young (NSW)
and the BIG Murray Cod in Tocumwal (NSW).

#AusReadingMonth

8 thoughts on “AusReadingMonth Q&A

  1. Haha – I love the BIG statues! Not so enthusiastic about the dangerous creatures, though, or the heat. I'd love to visit Australia one day though – as a child we used to attempt to dig our way down to it.

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  2. Alas no, Nancy. Mr Books & I would like to take a few weeks and have a driving trip around the island one day. The youngest booklet has just started his last year of school, so it could be a strong possibility in the next few years.

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  3. I didn't know about the Australia reading month but I would like to participate, I guess next year. Or maybe I will devote 2018 to reading at least 10 books from Australian authors. So little time to do all the reading I want!

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  4. Beautiful photo of the Hobart race. Thanks for the list of books you mention (gives me some to shoot for). I'm a Winton fan too and have read about 4 of his books. just fyi – The Turning is excellent. But I have a long way to go on Aussie Lit. I hope to get to one by the very end of the month.

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