Team Picks: Ally Burnham - Booktober 2023

Suggested Readings 2022

Booktober Reading Lists

Team Picks: Ally Burnham

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Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens by Shankari Chandran

Ultimo Press

Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens lures you in with whimsy and humour, and quickly takes you on a harrowing journey steeped in lingering love and memory of the Sri Lankan diaspora lived-experience in western Sydney.

Something Blue by Alex Sarkis

Ultimo Press 

Something Blue is more than your average rom-com. With humorous and authentic dialogue, memorable Lebanese characters, all set against the backdrop of western Sydney, this book captures the millennial experience of seeking to rectify purposelessness, and the genuine fear of missing out on life’s opportunities, whether that be career, family or love.

Relic by Bronwyn Eley

Talem Press 

Relic is for the YA fantasy readers out there. If you love your fantasy steeped in mysterious dark forces, complex villains, a love interest who has 30 pet dogs, and a female lead who blacksmiths her own armour, then this one is for you.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

A&U Children's 

Sabriel is a must read from the Australian fantasy landscape. Let Garth Nix take you back to where it all started, with a quest into the land of the dead to find a missing father.

Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier

Ace Books 

Dreamer’s Pool is a masterclass in POV. Come for the fantasy, lore, a sweet love story and compelling mystery – and stay from the three, excellently crafted perspectives, told in three different person/tense varieties.

Mutiny on the Bounty by Peter FitzSimons

Hachette Australia 

Captain William Bligh is one of Australia’s most well-known figures who should never have been given the authority to lead. In this non-fiction historical retelling, read in detail his every blunder that led to his crew rising against him in mutiny, and steel your heart to hear about the fate of the mutineers.

The Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Penguin Australia Pty Ltd 

Not for children. C. S. Pacat exquisitely walks a fine line of fantasy tropes to deliver a fast pace and high-tension story of political intrigue and queer representation, aimed at audiences who like their romance more steamy than cosy.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

HarperCollins Publishers 

Not for children. Jay Krisoff is a heavy hitter on the world stage, showing that Australia can write grim-dark fantasy as well as the rest of them. Mia is a central character you won’t forget quickly – nor the violent action sequences!

Australiana by Yumna Kassab

Ultimo Press 

Australiana is a devastatingly accurate portrayal of small-town Australian, told though easily consumed vignettes, both humorous and harrowing.

Five Bush Weddings by Clare Fletcher

Penguin Australia Pty Ltd

For the rom-com lovers, Clare Fletcher has produced a fun-loving and laugh-out-loud read that succinctly skewers both wedding and rural Australian tropes.

Team Picks: Christine Donoughe

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A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

HarperCollins Publishers

This book is my childhood number one. I read it again and again. It inspired everything in me about what is beautiful about the imagination. And, how its magic makes the world beautiful no matter how little you have.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Penguin UK

I still don’t know exactly what it was that drew me to this book. I read it five times before I was twelve. I believe it had something to do with Jane’s self-determination as a woman in a world that found her valueless at every turn.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Random UK

There is nothing that Toni Morrison wrote that wasn’t delicious to me. Every line can be savored. The characters in the world of Beloved are so full, so...

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Team Picks: Sheryl Cootes

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Still Alive – Notes from Australia’s Immigration Detention System by Safdar Ahmed

Twelve Panels Press

Based on ten years of visiting Villawood detention center and working with those detained. A must-read.

Honey Bee by Craig Silvey

Allen & Unwin 

A sensitive story of a young person coming to terms with their identity and the power of friendship and acceptance.

The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough

Allen & Unwin 

Debut novel from Gary about life on mission, identity and relationships. A heart-warming novel about Jackson finding the courage to explore who he is even if it scares him.

The Yield by Tara June Winch


 Profoundly moving and exquisitely written, the story across three generations of cultural...

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