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Old 09-18-2013, 05:24 PM   #31
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Thank you too, desertblues - I suppose I should hope it will be hard for you to choose!
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:08 PM   #32
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Oh, I'm looking forward to Bookpossum's nominations!

I've been running way behind for the past couple of weeks (Labor Day being pretty much a bellweather for greatly increased labor on my part), but I'll be front and center when it comes to the list.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:11 AM   #33
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Golly - I hope I can live up to the expectations!
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:58 AM   #34
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Golly - I hope I can live up to the expectations!
how could you not?
Looking forward to that!
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:57 AM   #35
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Thank you all for your kind words!
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:13 AM   #36
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How exciting, Bookpossum! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:38 PM   #37
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Thanks, caleb.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:34 AM   #38
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Thanks Bookpossum for stepping up to provide this months potential books.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:37 PM   #39
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Thanks, Hamlet. I'll aim to please!
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:53 PM   #40
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It's time for October's selections. Bookpossum, what treats do you have in store for us?
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:59 AM   #41
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October Selection

Hello friends. I have selected eight books by Australian writers for your consideration. All fiction, apart from one book of essays, as we have just had a non-fiction month. All are available from both Kobo and Amazon, and I hope some if not all would be in libraries in countries other than Australia. I took the descriptions from Kobo.

Murray Bail - Eucalyptus
Spoiler:
On a country property a man named Holland lives with his daughter Ellen. Over the years, as she grows into a beautiful young woman, he plants hundreds of different gum trees on his land. When Ellen is nineteen her father announces his decision: she will marry the man who can name all his species of eucalypt, down to the last tree. Suitors emerge from all corners, including the formidable, straight-backed Mr Cave, world expert on the varieties of eucalypt. And then, walking among her father's trees, Ellen chances on a strange young man who in the days that follow tells her dozens of stories set in cities, deserts, faraway countries...

Eucalyptus is both a modern fairy tale and an unpredictable love story played out against the searing light and broken shadows of country Australia.
'You will never forget what is at the heart of this book - one of the great and most surprising courtships in literature.' Michael Ondaatje.


Eleanor Dark – Lantana Lane
Spoiler:
Eleanor Dark's last book, a beautifully observed study of life in a small town. 'We have lived round the corner from the world, with not even a signpost to betray our whereabouts... and if the treasure we have accumulated makes no show upon our bank statements, neither is it subject to income tax.'

Lantana, bushy and massive, is Australia's most uncontrollable tropical weed. Inland from the Pacific coast, where the pineapple plantations grow, sprawls the lantana in all its luxuriance. Here, too, putting up constant fight against the weed, is the small farming community of Lantana Lane. Though they stoutly declare that farming means drudgery, misery, penury, monotony, bankruptcy and calamity - that it is, in short, a mug's game - they are all firmly and happily wedded to the land, and therefore, naturally, to the lantana. From Aunt Isabelle, part-pioneer, part-Parisienne, to Nelson the one-eyed kookaburra, each of the Lane's inhabitants makes their own inimitable contribution to this engaging and witty portrait of community life.


Richard Flanagan – Death of a River Guide
Spoiler:
Beneath a waterfall on the Franklin, Aljaz Cosini, river guide, lies drowning. Best by visions at once horrible and fabulous, he relives not just his own life but that of his family and forebears. In the rainforest waters that rush over him he sees those lives stripped of their surface realities, and finds a world where dreaming reasserts its power over thinking. As the river rises, his visions grow more turbulent, and in the flood of his past Aljaz discovers the soul history of his country.

Richard Flanagan's 1994 debut about a mythical Tasmania dazzled readers around the world, and is now recognised as one of the most powerful and original Australian novels of recent decades. 'Very, very beautiful' -- Baltimore Sun.


Anna Funder – All That I Am
Spoiler:
The gripping first novel by Anna Funder, the acclaimed author of Stasiland, based on a true story. All That I Am, is moving and beautifully written, equal parts a love story, thriller and testament to individual heroism. It evokes books like Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise, Bernard Schlink's The Reader and William Boyd's Restless - intelligent, powerful novels that appeal to a wide audience.

'When Hitler came to power I was in the bath. The wireless in the living room was turned up loud, but all that drifted down to me were waves of happy cheering, like a football match. It was Monday afternoon . . .'

Ruth Becker, defiant and cantankerous, is living out her days in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. She has made an uneasy peace with the ghosts of her past – and a part of history that has been all but forgotten.

Another lifetime away, it's 1939 and the world is going to war. Ernst Toller, self-doubting revolutionary and poet, sits in a New York hotel room settling up the account of his life.

When Toller's story arrives on Ruth's doorstep, their shared past slips under her defences, and she's right back among them – those friends who predicted the brutality of the Nazis and gave everything they had to stop them. Those who were tested – and in some cases found wanting – in the face of hatred, of art, of love, and of history.

Based on real people and events, All That I Am is a masterful and exhilarating exploration of bravery and betrayal, of the risks and sacrifices some people make for their beliefs, and of heroism hidden in the most unexpected places. Anna Funder confirms her place as one of our finest writers with this gripping, compassionate, inspiring first novel.


Kate Grenville – The Secret River
Spoiler:
After a childhood of poverty and petty crime in the slums of London, William Thornhill is transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. With his wife Sal and children in tow, he arrives in a harsh land that feels at first like a death sentence. But among the convicts there is a whisper that freedom can be bought, an opportunity to start afresh. As Thornhill stakes his claim on a patch of ground by the Hawkesbury River, the battle lines between the old and new inhabitants are drawn.

Inspired by research into her own family history, Kate Grenville vividly creates the reality of settler life, its longings, dangers and dilemmas. The Secret River is a groundbreaking story about identity, belonging and ownership.

'There is no doubt Grenville is one of our greatest writers … A book everyone should read. It is evocative, gracefully written, terrible and confronting. And it has resonance for every Australian.' Sunday Mail.


David Malouf – Remembering Babylon
Spoiler:
In the 1840s, a ship’s boy cast ashore in northern Australia is taken in by Aborigines. Sixteen years later he steps out of the bush and inadvertently confronts the new white settlers with their unspoken terrors. A picture of Australia at the time of its foundation, focused on the hostility between early British settlers and native Aboriginals. It is essentially the story of a boy caught between both worlds – the civilised and the primitive.


Drusilla Modjeska – Timepieces
Spoiler:
'There used to be a tradition that when a cabinet-maker finished his apprenticeship, he'd make a miniature chest, or cabinet, as a gift for his master... Unlike cabinet-makers, writers rarely have a single teacher, and when they bow to those they've learned from, it'd be no tribute to make a perfect example of their work, even if it were possible.'

The desire to write. The art of memoir. Finding a place to write. First love. The Englishness problem. A love of art. Fiction today...

With her customary elegance and deftness, Drusilla Modjeska explores these issues and more in a liberating new collection of essays. Some have been previously published, most are new; but all offer a fresh and personal perspective on writing and life by one of Australia's most popular authors.


Tim Winton – Cloudstreet
Spoiler:
From separate catastrophes two rural families flee to the city and find themselves sharing a great, breathing, shuddering joint called Cloudstreet, where they begin their lives again from scratch. For twenty years they roister and rankle, laugh and curse until the roof over their heads becomes a home for their hearts. Tim Winton's funny, sprawling saga is an epic novel of love and acceptance.

Cloudstreet is a celebration of people, places and rhythms which has fuelled imaginations world-wide.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:29 AM   #42
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Thank you, Bookpossum for these interesting choices. David Malouf is the only one of the writers I know. I am looking forward to reading any of these books; the choice will be difficult.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:54 AM   #43
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Looks like a great selection, hard choices this month! I've previously read The Secret River by Kate Grenville and loved it. The others are all new to me though.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:50 AM   #44
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Oooh - The Secret River has been on my TBR list for a while.

I'm, ummm, detecting a bit of a theme here. You out to educate the world?
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:03 AM   #45
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I'm, ummm, detecting a bit of a theme here. You out to educate the world?
Australia? That's the country with the mountains and the dirndls and lederhosen, right?

I own All That I Am but haven't got to it, so I'll be voting for that one along with others I haven't decided on yet. Great list.

Did everyone see that Americans will be eligible to win the Booker from now on?
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