Sunday, August 28, 2011

Top 5 Aussie Books That Need To See Foreign Shores

If there's a problem with a lot of Aussie YA, it's how limited the readership can be. It's difficult, if not impossible, to get most books by our fabulous Australian authors anywhere but in Australia. Some Aussie greats are available overseas, like Marcus Zusak's and Melina Marchetta's books. But there are so many more amazing books that might never (or not for a while) that we might never see reach the larger audience they deserve. Here are five books (in no particular order) that I feel this way about:

A Straight Line To My Heart by Bill Condon

This one because it is just so Australian. A lot of popular internationally available Australian novels don't capture our atmosphere like A Straight Line To My Heart did so effortlessly. I'd really love for non-Australian readers to feel this ambiance.

Alaska by Sue Saliba

Alaska was just written in such a gorgeous way. Mia's voice is just so innocent and sweet and oddly melancholic and the setting felt like another plaintive character in itself. Reading it, I felt like I was on the verge of tears even while nothing sad was happening. I'm feeling that again either just thinking about the story or how relatively few people could have the chance to read it.

All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield

All I Ever Wanted also captures that Australian atmosphere, but a different side of it. The run-down, crime-ridden side. Mim began at a contrast to this setting, but her character arc and change of heart had her a completely different person at the end. A beautiful, true, and inspiring novel.

Good Oil by Laura Buzo

Because it's such a feel-good read. It's not all about mucking around at work and crushes on funny, smart, older boys; it has touching and sad moments too. But I remember finishing this book with a warm, fuzzy feeling and a sudden urge to work at Woolworths.

This Is Shyness by Leanne Hall

Breathtakingly imaginative. The peculiar setting and character in This Is Shyness had the kind of allure of something so strange that you couldn't help but stare. But as the story enfolds and our protagonists explore Shyness further, it stops being compelling based on it being a spectacle an more on the affinity you develop to the characters.

So what Australian books do you wish were available elsewhere? Or are there any books from other countries that you wish were published in more places?

Also, did you guys know that you can win Alaska and A Straight Line To My Heart in my internationally open Aussie August giveaway? Just in case I persuaded you to read them.