Dirt Music by Tim Winton (2001)
Australian literature doesn’t get much better than this. You can almost taste the dust in the air reading this. A story of loss and redemption set in the vast landscape of Western Australia. Highly recommended.
The Harp in the South by Ruth Park (1948)
A heart-wrenching story of a poor Irish family living in the slums of inner Sydney during the depression.
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey (1988)
An unusual love story between two expatriates who meet on their way to Australia. Set in Sydney and New South Wales in the mid 19th century. Peter Carey is a celebrated and prolific Australian writer. Oscar and Lucinda, has won numerous literary awards and was adapted into a film that starred Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett.
Bliss by Peter Carey (1981)
Again, another exceptional and award-winning novel by Peter Carey. Harry Joy, an advertising executive after a near-death experience realizes the life he’s been living is actually hell, and sets out to change it. A confronting and darkly funny portrayal of an Australian family.
The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes (1987)
Bestseller, award-winning and critically-acclaimed historical account of Australia’s colonial and penal history and its impact in shaping contemporary Australian culture.
When the Sky Fell Down by Keith Willey (1980)
The true Aboriginal history of Sydney.
Razor by Larry Writer (2002)
The colourful criminal history of Sydney in the early 20th century.
A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey (1988)
Autobiography of the hardship of growing up in Western Australia, his time in Gallipoli, and his return to civilian life after the war. An amazing story that depicts much of the harshness of country life.
In a Sunburned Country (US) or Down Under (UK), Bill Bryson (2001)
Travel guide with a twist. It’s Bryson’s comedic account of his experiences travelling around Australia.
Lonely Planet Sydney
More geared for the short stayer, the Lonely Planet Guide on Sydney is still a great resource for all visitors.
Cheap Eats Sydney
This book is published annually and the authors hunt down excellent quality good value food at all of Sydney’s secret ‘local’ cafes.
Luxe Sydney (2009)
The guide to the very best that Sydney has on offer, from restaurants to beauty salons, yachting, swimming and more.
Australian First Aid by St Johns Ambulance (2006)
This reference book has a whole chapter on Australian poisonous wildlife and treatments and is a valuable resource.
Don’t Start Me Talking by Paul Kelly (2004)
Paul Kelly is a critically acclaimed Australian musician and songwriter. His songs offer insightful social commentary on aspects of Australian culture, told through storytelling. This book is a collection of his lyrics and poetry. His work is studied by Australian high school students.
The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay (1917)
Illustrated book over 80 years old is about a magic pudding and the characters it meets. Written and illustrated by one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, it is a much loved and popular classic for small children. Lots of fun.
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs (1918)
This is a charming illustrated children’s series. These books are about two gumnut babies who are little people that live in the Australian bush with a whole world of other little characters including the Bad Banksia Men. Magical and beautifully written. Snugglepot and Cuddlepie has been a favourite book for many Australian children.
Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden (1995)
This internationally popular adventure series for teenagers is about a group of teenagers who return from camping to find everyone gone, all the animals dead, and that the world has gone to war. Tomorrow When the War Began is the first book in the series.