Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guest Post: Around the World Book Tips featuring Australia

We all love to read, enjoy numerous different genres and characters that enrich our life every day. What makes our literary world so special is that each country contributes with its own masterpieces to it. Let’s travel around and experience what makes each country’s literature so special, meet new authors and novels and get to know which, for us foreign, books fellow bloggers enjoy.

I hope you enjoy my guest post series "Around the World Book Tips"!
Today Skye shares her favourite book(s) from her home country, Australia, with us. She's been an avid reader for two or three years now, since she was forced to read the Vampire Academy series. Skye started her book blog In The Good Books in June 2010!

Australia is a small island off the coast of New Zealand, which you may or may not have heard of. Australia is home to Tim Tams, Vegemite (which I unpatriotically despise), and great books.

Which is your favorite Australian book and why?

Some of those aforementioned great books include STOLEN by Lucy Christopher, BEATLE MEETS DESTINY by Gabrielle Williams, MERCY by Rebecca Lim, LIAR by Justine Larbalestier, and anything by Melina Marchetta or Markus Zusak. 
My favourite Australian novel, though, is ON THE JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta. It's beautifully written, and both uplifting and heart-breaking. 

Taylor Markham is not a popular choice. She is erratic, has no people skills and never turns up to meetings. Not to mention the incident when she ran off in search of her mother and only got halfway there. But she's lived at Jellicoe School most of her life and as leader of the boarders that's her greatest asset. Especially now the cadets, led by the infamous Jonah Griggs, have arrived. The territory wars between the boarders, townies and cadets are about to recommence. But Taylor has other things on her mind: a prayer tree, the hermit who whispered in her ear, and a vaguely familiar drawing in the local police station. Taylor wants to understand the mystery of her own past. But Hannah, the woman who found her, has suddenly disappeared, leaving nothing but an unfinished manuscript about five kids whose lives entwined twenty years ago on the Jellicoe Road. 

Summary by Melina Marchetta 

What makes Australian literature so special? 

The main thing that makes Australian literature is unique is in the setting. Australia’s appeal is the outdoors: even cities in Australia have their roots in nature. Even in Melbourne, a large city, there gardens everywhere.

The setting of a story affects the characters and plot in subtle but important ways. Take ON THE JELLICOE ROAD for example, where the setting is so important and significant to the story and personified through Melina Marchetta’s writing so that it’s almost a character itself.

Also, the language (though still English) differs subtly. Australian figures of speech and slang words give Australian literature a unique air. We say trolley instead of shopping cart, we say bin instead of trash can, we say footpath instead of sidewalk.

Which other country's book tip are you looking forward to? 

I’m looking forward to other book tips in this series that come from countries that speak a language other than English. I’ve read books before that have been translated to English, and I’ve always been intrigued by the way language is interpreted differently on different sides of a language barrier (back when I took French, and I was always surprised by the way things translate – Quoi de neuf? means ‘what’s up?’ or ‘how’s it going?’ though literally, it translates to ‘what the nine?’). 

Thank you Skye for contributing to my guest post series "Around the World Book Tips"! I really liked STOLEN and THE BOOK THIEF, now I need to choose a Melina Marchetta novel to start with. And I know what fascinates you about the different ways a language can be interpreted:)
Want to be part of the post series and featured with your own international book tip? Shoot me an email at goldie-mail(AT)web(DOT)de! 


  1. Great round of books. :) I'm taking the Aussie YA Challenge this year, and thus far Jellicoe Road has been my favorite, too.

  2. Stolen is a really great book! Must look at the others =)

  3. I love Melina Marchetta! Jellicoe Road and The Piper's Son are just pure brilliance. I'd love to read more Australian books, although the slang definitely takes some getting used to. I can usually keep up with British sayings and words, but Australian slang seems to be even more obscure (compared to North American language, I mean). I do love the nature aspect that I've read in most Australian set books. There's definitely a whole other feeling to them.

  4. i LOVE Skye's blog and she has picked some so very awesome books as her faves :)

    x Nomes

  5. Hi new follower here, and my favourite Australian books I've read recently are The Danger Game by Kalinda Ashton, and The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.
    Best wishes,