It's Australia Day!

January 26, 2013 | Kelli

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January 26th  is Australia Day, which commemorates the arrival of the Britain’s First Fleet in Sydney Cove in 1788.  While Australians often celebrate with an outdoor barbeque with friends and family,  it is too cold here in Canada for that kind of fun. 

Let's celebrate Australia Day by reading a book by one of Australia's many excellent authors.

  Kangaroo-joey background

All The I Am, the debut novel by Anna Funder,  was the 2012 winner of Australia's most prestigious literary award, the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Set in 1930's Europe and based on a true story, it is the story of a group of young German exiles who risk their lives to awaken the world to the terrifying threat of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Also available in eBook.

Prodigal Son is the latest novel in Colleen McCullough's Carmine Delmonica mystery series, which started with On, Off.    When a lethal toxin is stolen from a university lab,  Dr. Millie Hunter reports the theft to Medical Examiner Dr. O'Donnell, who also happens to be her father.   It is currently on order, so place your hold today!


The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey.  Catherine Gehrig is a museum conservator and clock expert who is struggling to cope with grief.  To distract her, Catherine's boss gives her a project that will demand all of her attention - the reconstruction of an elaborate nineteenth-century automaton.  During the project, discovers notebooks written by Henry Brandling, who originally commissioned the eerie mechanical creature, which bring her unexpected comfort.  However, it is the automaton itself that links Henry's life to Catherine's, as they are confronted with the miracle and catastrophe of human invention.  Also available in eBook and eAudiobook.


Truth is the most recent novel by Australia's famous crime writer Peter Temple and the the sequel to The Broken Shore.  At the close of a long day, Inspector Stephen Villani stands in the bathroom of a luxury apartment where a young woman lies dead, a panic button within reach.   Villani's work is his life and his identity, but he now finds all the certainties of his life are crumbling.  Also available in Audiobook, eBook, and Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons).

All That I Am
Prodigal Son
Chemistry of Tears


Caleb's Crossing is Australian-American Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks most recent novel of historical fiction.  The story starts on Martha's Vineyard in the 17th century, when Bertha Mayfield meets a  young Wampanoag named Caleb, the son of a chieftain.  Bertha tells this story of their lives and friendship, as Caleb is educated by her father and later proceeds to Harvard where he becomes the first Native American to graduate. Also available in Large Print, Audiobook, eBook, and eAudiobook.


Kate Grenville latest, Sarah Thornhill, is the final book in her Early Australia trilogy which began with The Secret River.  Sarah is the daughter of William Thornhill, the pioneer at the center of the previous books.  Sarah has grown up learning not to ask about the past and does not know that her father's fortune was built on the blood of Aboriginal people.  Her focus is on handsome Jack Langland, whom she has loved since she was a child. Their romance seems destined, but the ugly secret in Sarah's family is poised to tear them apart. Also available in eBook.


The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas.  At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own.  Told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue,  the slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires.
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Best Book) in 2009. Also available in eBook.

Calebs crossing
Sarah Thornhill
The slap

Related post: Celebrate Australia Day with Books!