Team Picks: Sheryl Cootes - Booktober 2023

Suggested Readings 2022

Booktober Reading Lists

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 dispossession and reclaiming of language, storytelling and identity.

The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku Pan


Despite the realities and trauma of the holocaust, the ability to stay positive and live the best possible life. A very powerful story of positivity from an amazing man.

Tell Me Why by Archie Roach Simon & Schuster 

 Powerful autobiography from an Australian legend of the realities of the impact of removal as part of Stolen Generation. Story of great resilience and strength

The Choke by Sophie Laguna

Allen & Unwin 

 A brilliant haunting novel of a young child navigating the world of male power. Traumatic, haunting yet also uplifting. Set in the Murray River region.

Dark Emu & Young Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe

Magabala Books 

 A ‘new’ look at the complexities of Aboriginal technology and innovation prior to colonisation. Evidence was suppressed and/or ignored by settlers, explorers, etc. to cultivate the myth of an uncivilized people.

The Torrent by Dinuka McKenzie (Youtube)

Harper Collins

The debut novel by Dinuka. A well-written crime novel that unfolds beautifully. Well-crafted characters. Dramatic and compelling

Devotion by Hannah Kent

Pan Macmillan 

 Set within an Old Lutheran community in a tiny village and accompanying persecutions prior to being granted safe passage to Australia. The poignant and heartbreaking story of the strength of love and friendship between two young girls. Beautiful prose.

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: 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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