March GeoCAT: Australia and New Zealand

Discussão2023 Category Challenge

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March GeoCAT: Australia and New Zealand

Editado: Fev 13, 2023, 8:04 pm

Welcome to the Antipodes! This is your opportunity to read a book or two by an Australian or New Zealand writer.

Australian Indigenous Writers


Jack Charles: Born-again Blakfella by Jack Charles
Australia Day by Stan Grant
Tell Me Why by Archie Roach
Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia by Anita Heiss
My Place by Sally Morgan
Because A White Man’ll Never Do It by Kevin Gilbert
The Indigenous Literature of Australia by Mudrooroo
Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington


Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko
That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott
The Yield by Tara June Winch
Carpentaria by Alexis Wright

Other Australian Writers


Alan Carter
Peter Corris
Garry Disher
Candice Fox
Kerry Greenwood
Chris Hammer
Katherine Howell
Katherine Kovacic
Gabrielle Lord
Shane Maloney
Leigh Redhead
Jock Serong
Emma Viskic
Patricia Carlon
Charlotte Jay


Jessica Anderson
Thea Astley
Geraldine Brooks
Peter Carey
Richard Flanagan
Helen Garner (also non-fiction)
Peter Goldsworthy
Shirley Hazzard
Elizabeth Jolley
Gail Jones
Thomas Kenneally
Hannah Kent
Colleen McCullough
Carrie Tiffany
Christos Tsiolkas
Charlotte Wood

Over fifty years ago

Dymphna Cusack
Eleanor Dark
Miles Franklin
Elizabeth Harrower
Eve Langley
D'Arcy Niland
Ruth Park (from New Zealand)
Katherine Susannah Pritchard
Henry Handel Richardson
Christina Stead
Patrick White
Amy Witting


The Tyranny of Distance by Geoffrey Blainey
Tracks by Robyn Davidson
The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes
Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
The Bush by Don Watson

New Zealand, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau - Indigenous Writers

Alan Duff Once Were Warriors
Patricia Grace Potiki
Keri Hulme The Bone People Booker
Witi Ihimaera The Whale Rider
Paula Morris Rangatira Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Award
Hone Tuwhare No Ordinary Sun (Poetry)

Other New Zealand Writers

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton Booker
Tamar by Deborah Challinor Family saga
An Angel at My Table by Janet Frame Classic
Plumb by Maurice Gee
The Book of Fame by Lloyd Jones
The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield Short stories set mainly in NZ.
Died in the Wool by Ngaio Marsh Crime, Golden Age
Pink Flannel by Ruth Park
All Visitors Ashore by C K Stead

Here is the GeoCAT Wiki.

Fev 14, 2023, 6:00 am

My book club's choice for March is Sea People: In Search of the Ancient Navigators of the Pacific by Christina Thompson, an Australian writer. I may also read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which has been sitting on my treebook TBR shelf for quite some time now.

Fev 14, 2023, 6:41 am

I think I'm going to try and read Albert of Adelaide by Howard Anderson.

Fev 14, 2023, 7:19 am

I'm going to read Murder on Milverton Square by Kiwi author (and friend of mine!) G.B. Ralph. It's the first in a new cosy mystery series he's writing.

Fev 14, 2023, 12:11 pm

Thank you, Pam, for such a great post! I had to go look up the word antipode...!!!! You provided us with many choices, many of which I have taken and put on my WL. However, since I'm trying to read off my shelf this year, I'm going to read The Rosie Project. According to blurbs, the author is from New Zealand and the novel, about autism, is set in Australia.

Fev 14, 2023, 2:08 pm

I, too, am reading from my shelves so I will be reading The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave and Enter A Murderer by Ngaio Marsh, both authors are from New Zealand. I will also be reading Circle of Flight by Australian author John Marsden.

Fev 14, 2023, 4:21 pm

>1 pamelad: What a great intro! Worth keeping as a reference.

I recently added The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill and The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. I'll be reading one of those two.

Fev 14, 2023, 5:26 pm

I'm thinking of picking up Sand Talk for this month.

Fev 14, 2023, 9:13 pm

I'm planning to read the Inspector Alleyn mystery Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh for this challenge. It's one of the ones in the series that's set in Marsh's native New Zealand.

Fev 15, 2023, 11:31 am

I'd planned on finally getting around to Thorn Birds, but because I'm currently mired in two long books, I think I need shorter reads for March where I can take them. So, instead, I'm going to try Elliot Perlman, an Australian author I've been meaning to try for ages. I've got The Reasons I Won't be Coming lined up now :)

Fev 15, 2023, 10:14 pm

>7 DeltaQueen50: Have you read all the Tomorrow series then, if you are reading the Ellie Chronicles? They are so addictive - I read every book in one night as they were published here. It was a long wait between books!

>9 dreamweaver529: Great idea - I have had Sand Talk on my shelf for ages.

Fev 15, 2023, 10:17 pm

A book I LOVE and recommend far and wide is Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman. It will totally tip your thoughts on colonialism upside down. Be warned - do not read any reviews! There are many that give up the 'twist', which really annoys me.

Editado: Fev 16, 2023, 10:50 pm

I've just read Peter Goldsworthy's Maestro and recommend it. It is on the 2003 list from the Australian Society of Authors: The Top 40 Australian Books Ever Published. Article is here. I wouldn't have included so many by Patrick White, David Malouf, Peter Carey and Tim Winton. A similar list today would include more women writers, I would hope.

1. Cloudstreet, Tim Winton
2. The Man Who Loved Children, Christina Stead
3. The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, Henry Handel Richardson
4. Dirt Music, Tim Winton
5. Voss, Patrick White
6. The Tree of Man, Patrick White
7. The Magic Pudding, Norman Lindsay
8. An Imaginary Life, David Malouf
9. Tirra Lirra by the River, Jessica Anderson
10. My Brother Jack, George Johnston
11. Oscar and Lucinda, Peter Carey
12. Remembering Babylon, David Malouf
13. A Fortunate Life, AB Facey
14. My Brilliant Career, Miles Franklin
15. Seven Little Australians, Ethel Turner
16. True History of the Kelly Gang, Peter Carey
17. The Children's Bach, Helen Garner
18. Riders in the Chariot, Patrick White
19. A History of Australia, Manning Clark
20. Collected Poems, Judith Wright
21. The Harp in the South, Ruth Park
22. Maestro, Peter Goldsworth
23. Patrick White: A Life, David Marr
24. Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, May Gibbs
25. The Vivisector, Patrick White
26. Capricornia, Xavier Herbert
27. Coonardoo, Katharine Susannah Prichard
28. Grand Days, Frank Moorhouse
29. My Place, Sally Morgan
30. One Hundred Poems, Kenneth Slessor
31. The Riders, Tim Winton
32. Such is Life, Joseph Furphy
33. Tomorrow When the War Began, John Marsden
34. The Eye of the Storm, Patrick White
35. Fly Away Peter, David Malouf
36. For Love Alone, Christina Stead
37. For the Term of His Natural Life, Marcus Clarke
38. The Idea of Perfection, Kate Grenville
39. Illywhacker, Peter Carey
40. Power Without Glory, Frank Hardy

I've read 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 21, 22, 29, 39, 40.

Fev 16, 2023, 12:36 am

>12 JayneCM: I'm sad that Circle of Flight is the last book in the Ellie Chronicles. This read will finish the series for me. I previously read all the books in the Tomorrow Series and yes, they were addictive. I am going to miss spending time with these characters.

Fev 16, 2023, 10:21 pm

>15 DeltaQueen50: I last read them quite a few years ago - you are tempting me to a reread!

Editado: Fev 16, 2023, 10:25 pm

>14 pamelad: Great list, although I agree that there are many that I would replace.
I have read 20 of them, some quite a long while ago though.
Of all the Tim Winton's, Blueback and Cloudstreet are my favourites. I need to see the movie of Blueback as it was filmed fairly close to Albany, where we used to live.

Fev 18, 2023, 3:36 pm

I plan to read The Survivors by Jane Harper. It's been on my virtual TBR since it was published. Now her new book is out so I want to catch up.

Fev 19, 2023, 11:37 am

I plan to read A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske.

Fev 22, 2023, 10:41 pm

>19 lavaturtle: I really enjoyed that one (there are some spicy bits!) I need to get to the sequel.

Fev 22, 2023, 10:43 pm

I think I have chosen - finally! The Passion of Private White by Don Watson

Fev 23, 2023, 5:03 am

I have several choices for this, including The Yield by Tara June Winch, but I think I might choose historical fiction because it seems that I am in the mood for it this year.

>14 pamelad: Thank you for sharing that list! I think I agree with your comments. I have heard of most of these books and have several on my shelves, but I have only read My Place by Sally Morgan.

Fev 24, 2023, 12:00 pm

>14 pamelad: Thank you for that list! I'm putting several on my WL.

Fev 24, 2023, 5:18 pm

>22 MissBrangwen:, >23 Tess_W: Another list for you, from the Sydney Morning Herald: The 25 best Australian Novels of the Last 25 Years

Fev 24, 2023, 6:01 pm

I've borrowed Lily Brett's Too Many Men.

Fev 25, 2023, 6:18 am

>24 pamelad: - That's a great Book Bullet list.

Fev 25, 2023, 6:36 am

Fev 25, 2023, 7:21 am

>24 pamelad: Thank you! :-)

Mar 2, 2023, 11:13 pm

I have finished Circle of Flight by John Marsden. Set in a fictional Australia, this is the last book in the Ellie Chronicles which is about the aftermath of an attempted invasion. The original series, entitled the Tomorrow series, was about the actual invasion.

Mar 3, 2023, 11:16 pm

Here is the Stella Prize Long List for 2023.

The Stella Prize is for books by Australian women.

Mar 4, 2023, 5:04 pm

I've finished Albert of Adelaide by Howard Anderson about a platypus that travels across Australia - sort-of.

Editado: Mar 4, 2023, 6:09 pm

I recently finished From the Wreck by Jane Rawson. This book was inspired by the sinking of the SS Admella off the coast of South Australia. The ship is named after the three cities on her route - Adelaide, Melbourne and Launceston.
The wreck was only about 1000 yards from shore but the high seas meant that rescued efforts were unsuccessful. People on the shore watched as one after the after those clinging to the wreckage fell into the sea to die by drowning or by being eaten by sharks. When they were finally rescued after 8 days there were 24 survivors out of crew and passenger list of 113 people.
The only female survivor was Bridget Ledwith and in this novel she is portrayed as a shapeshifting alien 😳 . The author’s great great grandfather, George Hills, was one of the survivors and he is a central character in this book. It is the best historical Australian sci-fi novel I have read (also, as far as I recall, the only one in the sub-sub genre I have read) 4/5

Mar 4, 2023, 6:29 pm

>31 dudes22: I'd never heard of this book so I looked up the author. He's American. I suppose you could say that there's an Australian connection because it's about a platypus and is set in Australia.

Mar 5, 2023, 1:49 pm

>33 pamelad: - I used a book set in Poland for my January book - I didn't realize it was supposed to be authors.

Mar 5, 2023, 3:08 pm

Mar 5, 2023, 3:37 pm

>34 dudes22: It's your choice.

Mar 6, 2023, 10:21 am

I just read a mystery novel with the excellent title Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson. It's set in Australian ski country, and the author (as best I can tell) is Australian as well.

Mar 6, 2023, 10:42 am

I listened to Quiet in her Bones by Nalini Singh from New Zealand. It's a mystery/thriller set in New Zealand, with a 1st person narrator who can't trust his own memory and very few characters I'd willingly spend any RL time with. But reading about them made for a good story.

Mar 9, 2023, 10:37 pm

I've finished Lily Brett's Too Many Men which, despite the misleading title, is about a holocaust survivor and his daughter. Ruth has persuaded her father Edek to return to Poland for the first time since the war.

Mar 11, 2023, 9:03 pm

COMPLETED Sea People by Christina Thompson. I thought the author was Australian but she is in fact American but studied in Australia. The book is about Polynesia, and includes the Maori settlement of New Zealand and the later arrival of Europeans.

Mar 13, 2023, 12:38 am

I have completed The Laughterhouse by New Zealand author, Paul Cleave. This is the 6th book in his Christchurch Murder series, and is a dark, intense and violent thriller that I couldn't put down.

Mar 14, 2023, 6:02 pm

It's great to see the variety of books people are reading. Australian books are easier to find, so I've been looking for more books from New Zealand and have found this list: The 50 best New Zealand books of the past 50 years.

Mar 15, 2023, 5:08 pm

I'm reading Lily Brett's first book, Things Could Be Worse. Like Too Many Men, it's semi-autobiographical fiction.

Two volumes of Janet Frame's autobiography, To the Is-land and An Angel at My Table are in the top ten of >42 pamelad: New Zealand's top 50. I read An Angel at My Table years ago when the film came out but have never read To the Is-land. All three volumes of Frames's autobiography have been published in one book by Virago under the title An Angel at My Table, so I've bought it and plan to read To the Is-land for this CAT.

Mar 15, 2023, 6:33 pm

Mar 16, 2023, 5:42 pm

I finished A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske (who is Australian) and I quite liked it! Fantasy with gay romance, set in Edwardian England.

Editado: Mar 17, 2023, 8:57 pm

I read The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill - a book within a book within a book. Very clever and lots of fun.

Up next is Photo Finish by Ngaio Marsh to finish the area.

Mar 19, 2023, 6:16 am

Oh dear, I live in New Zealand but haven't read any Australian or NZ books this month. I read The Lucky Galah & a YA The Calling last month and have NZer Eleanor Catton's Birnam Woods out from the library at present so will try to get that one read.

Mar 19, 2023, 2:04 pm

I finished The Survivors which takes place in a coastal Tasmanian town. As with all her novels, this book is dramtically atmospheric and the setting is the highlight of the story.

Editado: Mar 20, 2023, 5:33 pm

I've read another two books by Australian authors: Sulari Gentill's The Woman in the Library and a Regency romance, The Spring Bride by Anne Gracie. I'm reading another Regency romance by the New Zealand author Emily Larkin, Decimus and the Wary Widow.

The Woman in the Library is a Kindle Daily Deal today in Australia.

Mar 20, 2023, 9:20 pm

I read The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume, a classic mystery set in 1880s Melbourne. It's flawed by today's standards, but still a fun read.

Editado: Mar 21, 2023, 2:20 pm

I read The Nowhere Child by Christian White. White is an Australian author. The story is a mystery surrounding a kidnapping from thirty years previous. The story begins and ends in Australia, but most of the action takes place in Manson, Kentucky. An okay story, kept my interest, for the most part; but would not particularly recommend. 3- stars 391 pages CAT: March Geocat/Australia/New Zealand

Mar 23, 2023, 2:07 pm

Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta
This book is in my top five books of the year. It challenged me and made me uncomfortable in the best ways. I can't recommend it enough.

Mar 24, 2023, 4:44 pm

>52 dreamweaver529: This looks really interesting. I've put a hold on it.

Mar 24, 2023, 5:23 pm

>52 dreamweaver529: I've added this to my wishlist, it sounds fascinating.

Mar 25, 2023, 12:23 am

Editado: Mar 26, 2023, 9:43 am

I have finished The Dry. As mysteries go, it's nothing out of the ordinary, but the setting compensated me very well for it.

Mar 26, 2023, 8:17 pm

>53 pamelad: >54 Jackie_K: It is well worth reading. If you are going to listen (which is great, read by the author) I recommend having the pdf (which I couldn't get from the library) or having the book/ebook open nearby. There are illustrations that are important if you want to fully understand what he's talking about.

Editado: Mar 27, 2023, 4:42 pm

Finished out The Impossible Resurrection of Grief by Octavia Cade (from New Zealand), and was absolutely blown away by it. This little novella has a ton of weight, and though I don't know whether to call it a dystopian or an eco-horror or an eco-suspense, or something else entirely, I adored it.

I'm more and more in love with the books that Stelliform Press is putting out. They're publishing really important stories, seemingly every one written absolutely gorgeously, and I hope everyone considers looking them up.

Editado: Mar 28, 2023, 8:54 pm

I read a selection of stories by Katherine Mansfield. At first I was focusing on stories which took place in New Zealand, but also read quite a few which did not. I finished reading Stories by Katherine Mansfield with introduction by Jeffrey Meyers, a collection which had been our textbook for some short adult education courses before Covid. I did not read some of her more famous stories which I had already read several times.

Stories I read included: "The Voyage;" "Taking the Veil;" "The Fly;" "The Canary;" "Her First Ball;" "Millie;" "The Wind Blows;" "The Young Girl;" "The Singing Lesson;" "The Woman in the Store" (one of the few rereads); "The Daughters of the Late Colonel;" "Life of Ma Parker;" "The Stranger;" and "The Doves' Nest."

Abr 4, 2023, 9:37 pm

I finished Colour Scheme, a mystery by Ngaio Marsh. Most of her Inspector Alleyn mysteries are set in England but this is one of the few set in her native New Zealand. I didn't care for the mystery so much but I really like the setting, which was at a hot springs resort. I had to look up a few words like "possie" (position) and "cobbers" (friends).

Abr 5, 2023, 1:29 am

>60 mathgirl40: "Cobbers" is out of date, but "possie" is still going strong. Sounds as though New Zealanders have a lot of slang in common with Australians, including the ie words. Where you might get a gift, we'd get a pressie, perhaps from one of the rellies while we're knocking back tinnies at a barbie. (A tinnie has two meanings: can of beer or aluminium boat.

Abr 5, 2023, 9:56 am

>61 pamelad: Thanks for this information! It'll come in handy if/when I ever visit Australia. I hope to do that in the next few years, as one of my nieces is planning to attend graduate school there and visiting her would make a great excuse for a trip.

I once had a fascinating conversation with a couple of Australian friends about the meanings of "squash" and "pumpkin".

Abr 5, 2023, 11:28 am

>58 whitewavedarling: I may have to purchase this one, as I read the author's The Stone Wētā last year and loved it.