Now, we may be a little biased, but we think Australia has some of the best authors in the entire world. From thrillers to romance, biographies to history, our writers have proven they’ve got what it takes to compete on the world stage. Here, we look at three of the best fiction and three of the best non-fiction books from recent years, and whichever you pick, you won’t be disappointed.
1. Spirits of the Ghan by Judy Nunn
In this number one bestseller, Nunn will transport you back to 2001, taking you on a journey into the heart of the country as the iconic Aussie railway – the Ghan – nears completion. However, the project comes to a grinding halt as negotiators are sent in to work with the area’s indigenous elders, awaking a millennia-old mystery that demands to be solved.
2. A Distant Journey by Di Morrissey
In 1962, California girl Cindy drops out of college and moves halfway around the world to be with her new Australian husband on an isolated farm in New South Wales’ Riverina. Not only must Cindy grapple with the realities of her suddenly unglamorous life, but she finds her new family are shrouded in tragic secrets and mysteries that threaten to ruin them.
3. Never Never by James Patterson and Candice Fox
While Patterson mightn’t be Australian, this thrilling story – and the woman with whom he wrote it – most definitely is. Set in the Western Australian outback, Never Never follows Detective Harriet Blue as she finds herself torn between her own brother’s brutal crimes and her new case in the desert, where she must solve three disappearances, all the while trying to figure out who she can really trust.
4. The Boy Behind the Curtain by Tim Winton
There are few Aussie writers quite as iconic as Cloudstreet author Tim Winton. In this stunning memoir, readers can delve deep into what it is that shaped the life this literary legend, from tragic car accidents to personal crises. The Boy Behind the Curtain offers a never-before-seen glimpse into one of the country’s greatest minds and the issues he’s so passionate about.
5. Penguin Bloom by Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive
You mightn’t think a book about a magpie (named Penguin, of all things) would be particularly fascinating, but just wait until you read Penguin Bloom. This unique, inspiring, funny and at times heartbreaking tale of survival, strength and recovery follows the story of how one little bird saved a family and became an online sensation.
6. The Story of Australia’s People by Geoffrey Blainey
In his follow up to the first Story of Australia’s People, which focused on ancient Australia, Blainey examines everything that makes our country so unique and so special. From the landing of the Europeans, through the Gold Rush and into the modern era, this book will make you appreciate what it truly means to be an Australian.
Tell us in the comments below, who is your favourite Australian author?