Suggested Readings 2021 - Booktober 2021

Fremantle Press

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Own voice poetry.

Poetry is a wonderful way to create intercultural and personal understanding and to explore issues of belonging and identity. This list includes diverse own voice writers representing First Nations, refugee, immigrant and queer communities.

Vociferate 詠 by Emily sun

‘Every poem here is like a little grenade, sometimes filled with sizzling rage, sometimes wry humour, but always with expansive wit and erudition. Vociferate is polemical, personal and political. Be prepared to be blown away!’ Alice Pung

Poems that do not sleep by Hassan Al Nawwab

Hassan Al Nawwab is a former Iraqi soldier who came to Australia after the war with his family 20 years ago. With devastating simplicity, these imagistic poems speak of war and...

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Text Publishing

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The team at Text Publishing has long believed that Australia punches above its weight when it comes to crime fiction, and here's the list to prove it! From rural thrillers to slow-burn suspense, there’s something for everyone—even if you don’t fancy yourself much of a crime buff.


Nostalgic yet clear-eyed, simmering with small-town menace, Sydney author Greg Woodland’s wildly impressive debut populates the rural Australia of the 1960s with memorable characters and almost unbearable tension.

WHITE THROAT by Sarah Thornton

Sarah Thornton’s second novel featuring the feisty-yet-flawed Clementine Jones, White Throat is a nail-biting thriller set in an idyllic coastal town, where the leader of an...

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Robert Watkins – Ultimo Press

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Australian writers who are doing things a little differently.

I’ve worked in Australian books and publishing for over 20 years, and I still get excited when I discover or read Australian authors who are writing provocative, thoughtful works. Some of my favourite books of the last ten years can be found in the list below:

Foreign Soil – Maxine Beneba Clarke.

An Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent, Clarke is an extraordinary wordsmith. I think these short stories are evocative, insightful and simply masterful.

Love & Virtue – Diana Reid.

This debut novel is so timely and clever – the way Reid tackles big issues like consent, class and power is deeply thoughtful without ever being preachy. Incredible!

Down The Hume – Peter...

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UQP First Nations reading list: an essential list of First Nations books to amplify your bookshelves with a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers.


Ambitious and engrossing, After Story celebrates the extraordinary power of words and the quiet spaces between.

 ‘After Story is sprawling, cerebral and compassionate. It feeds the brain, offers much-needed vicarious travel and leaves the reader with hope that fraught relationships can be mended.’ – Readings

how to make a basket by JAZZ MONEY (Poetry)

A powerful and lyrical collection of poetry by the winner of the 2020 David Unaipon Award.

‘A luminous and beautifully sculpted, seamless collection of poems that reflects on...

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Books for Adults

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Booklist – General Adult

1. Sapiens – a brief history of humankind is by historian Yuval Noah Harari spent 44 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. If you have any interest at all in what makes you ‘you’, grab a hold of this book. Did you know homo sapiens were simply one type of human roaming the earth tens of thousands of years ago? There were at least six others, including the ones we know most about, the Neanderthals. Harari walks us right through our history, from hunter gatherers, through the agricultural period, right up to our current digitally-connected selves today. It’s highly readable and absolutely engrossing.

2. Banks by journalist and author Grantlee Keiza, is described as ‘a rich and rollicking biography of one of...

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Children's books

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Picture books for early readers aged 5-10.

These picture books reflect the rich diversity of our world and focus on pressing issues of our time, inclusion, compassion and belonging. These are some of my favourite picture books for young readers and they can be read and discussed by teachers, parents and children. These books engage young people and promote critical discussion about who we are, how we belong, and how we care for ourselves and each other.

These books are multilayered and the key themes of these books include acceptance, love, friendship, belonging, individuality, imagination and inspiration, themes that matter in our ever changing world. These books celebrate our uniqueness and our differences. Some of these books are award...

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Novels for middle years

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Fraillon, Z. (2020). The Lost Soul Atlas. Lothian.

The story begins as Twig wakes up in the Afterlife with only some vague memories and must decide whether to live in blissful ignorance of his life or set out on a quest to find his father …and to remember. A dual narrative addressing social issues like homelessness and corruption but ultimately about hope, friendship and family.

Godwin, J. (2020). When Rain turns to Snow. Lothian.

Well-crafted characters caring young people who must confront adult responsibilities and challenges. The story explores what a family is and other issues including secrets and social media.

Gordon, K. (2020). Aster’s good, right things. Riveted Press.

Aster has set herself a daily challenge: she must do a good,...

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