Good morning! This is Candace from Beth Fish Reads hanging out here at Book Journey. Although I don’t always comment, I rarely forget to pop over to check out what Sheila is up to—and Morning Meandering is the best way to see what she has going on. As you already know, Sheila is currently halfway around the world visiting one of the places I’ve always wanted to see: Australia.
I can’t tell you why I have a soft spot for Australia or why I’m drawn to books set there. Maybe it’s the exotic wildlife, the sense of wilderness, or the beauty of the land. In any case, as I’m thinking of Sheila’s adventures Down Under, I’m reminded of some of my favorite books set in Australia.
In no particular order here are two books and two series that I loved, loved, loved:
Who hasn’t read the Thorn Birds saga by Colleen McCullough? If you haven’t, then get yourself to the bookstore immediately. Forbidden love, family drama, and almost sixty years on a sheep station in the heart of Australia: this novel has it all.
So you think you want to visit Australia? After reading Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country, you might end up with mixed feelings. The beauty of the outback is definitely tempered by a multitude of dangers. Bryson’s humor and the stories of his adventures as he travels throughout the country are not to be missed.
John Marsden wrote my all-time favorite alternate history books set Down Under. The Tomorrow series (Tomorrow When the War Began, etc.) and the Ellie Chronicles (While I Live, etc.) together consist of ten action-packed, gut-wrenching, beautifully written novels of a group of teens who are forced to survive on their own after Australia is invaded by an outside enemy. Seriously good books (and great audios!).
A Book you might not have known was set in Australia: Jo Nesbo’s The Bat, the first in the Harry Hole series.
Two terrific Australian authors: Liane Moriarty (The Husband’s Secret, etc.) and Shaun Tan (Lost & Found, etc.).
Okay, Sheila, your trip may have an end, but your adventures in Australia have only just begun. Hope you find something here to take you back to your fabulous vacation.
31 thoughts on “Morning Meanderings…. Blog Sitter – Beth Fish Reads and Australia!”
Ah, The Thorn Birds – probably the first novel I read set in Australia. I loved it. And now I’m a huge fan of Liane Moriarty. Nice post, Candace!
Sheila, hope you’re having a fantastic time!
Thanks. I loved The Thorn Birds.
The Thorn Birds – what a blast from the past. And I remember how “racy” it seemed all those years ago. I love Liane Moriarty’s books, recommend them highly. Didn’t know about Tomorrow When the War Began, but I will be investigating that one.
Sheila, hope you are having a great time. Can’t wait to hear about it.
I devoured the Tomorrow When the War Began books.
i boycott reading Marsden because he was an author that we *had* to read growing up in australia (and was often assigned for school) and as a pre-teen/teen that world just didn’t really interest me
another good author is Bryce Courtney – he has his Australia trilogy (starts with The Potato Factory) about convicts send to Australia; also several others set in Australia and around the world (the Power of One set in South Africa is probably one of his most well-known)
Oh I forgot about Courtney! I read that trilogy … good one. Too bad Marsden was kind of ruined for you.
i wonder if now as an adult I would appreciate more – I wasn’t a sci-fi fan when I was young and that was the Tomorrow series for me (we literally spent a whole term in high school in English class on it)…I read enough to BS my way through sounding like I read it, so I didn’t have to go into the remedial section of the class…
I have always wanted to go to Australia. I have never read The Thorn Birds, but it is on my TBR.
Thorn Birds is an amazing read, and one of thest telivision adaptations, right up there with Brideshead Revisited and the original Upstairs,Downstairs. Have you read McCoullough’s Rome series? Or my alltime fav of hers:Creed for the Third Millenium?
I haven’t read more McCoullough, but I’ve been thinking of the Rome books.
I need that Bryson book – I love his sense of humor!
You’d love it.
Loved, loved, loved The Thornbirds.
You chose some great books to talk about and so appropriate for the Australian trip Sheila is enjoying. Perfect parallel for the post.
I didn’t know Liane Moriarty was Australian…nice new fact I learned.
Thanks for this great post.
Now I need to reread THORN BIRDS. Plus re-watch the mini series. love both!
Wasn’t the mini series great?
I have always wanted to read The Thorn Birds…maybe soon? I love Liane Moriarty’s books…and have read others set in Australia as well. I want to go there someday, but I don’t see that happening, as short plane flights (under 6 hours) are about all I can manage…LOL.
Thanks for the great post, Candace.
I loved In a Sunburned Country! It definitely didn’t put me off from visiting Australia though–I went and had an amazing time, though I still want to go back and do that cross-country train!
I hope you get to visit Australia at some point. The Thorn Birds is certainly bringing back old memories! I have recently arrived at loving Liane Moriarty’s books too. I wonder if Sheila has an Australian author on her ereader while on holiday to read!
Checking in – our last morning in the hotel in Australia and we board the ship this afternoon. SQQQQUUUEEEEE! (Had to be said). Because of Candace’s post here I downloaded the Bryson book on my Kindle before I left Minnesota. I started it on the plane and have enjoyed what I have read so far.
Candace, I have not read The Thorn Birds, but would love to! Thank you for posting while Sheila is away.
Thanks for a great post! I read Thorn Birds so long ago and also saw the movie with Richard Chamberlain too. I’ve read several Liane Moriarty books and enjoyed them. Sunburned Country sounds like a good one– I like watching some travel shows, especially to far-off places, and my hubby had one of his books once. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and stepping into Sheila’s big shoes to fill here 🙂
great job filling for Sheila and I had no idea that Lianne Moriarty was from Australia ~ I think I’ve been living under a rock! But I HAVE read the bill Bryson book ~ hilarious!
Last year I read quite a few books set in Australia. Loved The Thorn Birds.
I can’t believe I still haven’t read The Thorn Birds. The book is one of the oldest on my TBR ever… Also, I forgot about John Marsden. I meant to start listening to the audios and did not. Must remedy that!
You’ve just brought back memories! I read the Thorn Birds when I was a teenager. I remember it totally wowed me back then. I also love anything by Bill Bryson, and his Sunburned Country really made me want to visit Australia, despite all the wild, poisonous beastes he talks about. (I have relatives in Australia, so maybe someday!)
You know, I never realized The Thorn Birds was set in Australia : / And my boyfriend LOVES Bill Bryson’s books! Nice post, Beth 🙂
I read the Thorn Birds and watched the TV series it seems ages ago now. And I did not remember it was set in Australia. Great post!
The only thing I know about the Thorn Birds is the TV miniseries, but I never watched that either.
I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned, however, the first two sound incredible! I’ll be adding them to my wish list. Great post!
Delighted to see so much love for Aussie books on here!
I’ve also recently ‘discovered’ Moriarty & hope to catch up on her back list.
I’m participating in the Australian Women Writers challenge this year if anyone would like to diversify their reading, please feel free to pop by and check out some amazing Aussie women.