Team Picks: Christine Donoughe - Booktober 2023

Suggested Readings 2022

Booktober Reading Lists

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 rich, their pain and emotion so vivid that is soaks the page and drips into your lap.

Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler


This book I only picked up recently. I was really interested in the beginnings of speculative fiction by Black writers. Butler’s work is just incredibly strong. The world is alive with African religion, language and mythology. I’m visiting Ms Butler’s work again and again—a lesson in mastery.

Alchemist by Pauelo Coelo

Harper Collins

This book you either love or hate. It is nothing but a simple fable that carries the basic wisdom of life. There’s a reason why people buy piles of this book and pass it to those who need direction and guidance finding their way.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Penguin UK

This is a quick read that is complex and simple all at once. Based on the life journey of Buddha, it illustrates the journey of self-discovery of everyman and the road that leads back to himself.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Penguin UK

This story is tragic. A dissection of humanity, greed and the magnetic pull of destruction, Tolstoy just observes people and their relationships and writes them down. The construction of many of his complex worlds just fascinates me. Another one that I have read multiple times.

Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Penguin UK

Another tragic story of romantic love and devotion. Female characters that live with abandon, defying the norms.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Penguin UK

Steinbeck is another writer like Toni Morrison, where every line does so much, you just lean back and wonder how they did it. Set around the time of the Dustbowl Disaster during the Great Depression in the USA. This is the story of the regular people, losing their jobs and their land, families being forced to move to the coast in search of something better. A case of a novel exposing a truth in a way more forceful than what a history book can relay.

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Random House UK

This book just sees women and speaks to their fire within. No need to read it front to back just pick a page and read it.

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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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...

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