With such busy lives, it’s hard to get to all the books we’d like to read in the year. There are hundreds of international and Australian new releases in our bookshops every month, books are made into films and TV shows and it just seems impossible to keep up with your growing TBR pile. We’ve collected some of the reading highlights from 2017 in the hopes that they inspire you to keep plugging away at that never-ending pile of books by the bed. Maybe we just need to accept that we’ll never finish the pile? Maybe the pile will just continue to shift and change as we read our way through life.
Detours by Tim Rogers
‘The good news is that our Tim can write. Every sentence trails a floaty scarf. A few of them have a floppy hat over one eye.’ Don Walker
Tim Rogers of You Am I has always been a complicated man: a hard-drinking musician with the soul of a poet; a flamboyant flâneur; a raconteur, a romantic and a raffish ne’er-do-well. In this offbeat, endearing memoir, Tim walks us through years jam-packed with love, shame, joy, enthusiasms, regrets, fights, family – and music, always music.
A work of real grace and tenderness, Detours is often impossibly sad and beautiful – but also full of wit, wordplay and punching jolts of larrikin energy to make you laugh out loud.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
‘Funny, touching and unpredictable’ Jojo Moyes
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.
One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?
Every Lie I’ve Ever Told by Rosie Waterland
‘I had made it! All my dreams had come true. I had an operating fridge, I was doing brilliantly, and I had written the memoir to prove it. I even had online haters. I had conquered life at 30 and nothing was ever going to go wrong again!’
It was all going so well for Rosie Waterland. Until it wasn’t.
Until, shockingly, something awful happened and Rosie went into agonising free fall.
Late one evening she found herself in a hospital emergency bed, trembling and hooked to a drip. Over the course of that long, painful night, she kept thinking about how ironic it was, that right in the middle of writing a book about lies, she’d ended up telling the most significant lie of all.
A raw, beautiful, sad, shocking – and very, very funny – memoir of all the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves.
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
Challenging, beautiful and memorable…
At 14, Turtle Alveston knows the use of every gun on her wall;
That chaos is coming and only the strong will survive it;
That her daddy loves her more than anything else in this world.
And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her with him.
She doesn’t know why she feels so different from the other girls at school;
Why the line between love and pain can be so hard to see;
Why making a friend may be the bravest and most terrifying thing she has ever done
And what her daddy will do when he finds out …
Storyland by Catherine McKinnon
Ambitious, breathtaking and unequivocally Australian…
Set on the banks of Lake Illawarra and spanning four centuries, Storyland is a unique and compelling novel of people and place – which tells in essence the story of Australia. Told in an unfurling narrative of interlinking stories, in a style reminiscent of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, McKinnon weaves together the stories of Will Martin together with the stories of four others: a desperate ex-convict, Hawker, who commits an act of terrible brutality; Lola, who in 1900 runs a dairy farm on the Illawarra with her brother and sister, when they come under suspicion for a crime they did not commit; Bel, a young girl who goes on a rafting adventure with her friends in 1998 and is unexpectedly caught up in violent events; and in 2033, Nada, who sees her world start to crumble apart. Intriguingly, all these characters are all connected – not only through the same land and water they inhabit over the decades, but also by tendrils of blood, history, memory and property…
Compelling, thrilling and ambitious, Storyland is our story, the story of Australia. ‘The land is a book waiting to be read’ as one of the characters says – and this novel tells us an unforgettable and unputdownable story of our history, our present and our future.
Posted on January 8, 2018 by Andrea
This entry was posted in Literary Fiction, Memoir & Biography, Recommendations and tagged 2017, Books, Catherine McKinnon, Detours, eleanor oliphant is completely fine, Every Lie I've Ever Told, Gabriel Tallent, gail honeyman, My Absolute Darling, Reading, Rosie Waterland, Storyland, Tim Rogers. Bookmark the permalink.