Saturday, April 7, 2012

For the love of Aussie fiction

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In my teens and early adulthood, I read a lot of fiction. As the years passed though, I read less and less (and when I did pick up a fiction book, I mostly stuck to the classics like Jane Austen, F Scott Fitzgerald and Charlotte Bronte), and instead, I started reading mostly biographies.

I'm not sure why my fiction reading decreased so much. I know that I've always had a fascination with the real lives behind the public persona's of celebrities (think: Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn for example, not The Kardashians). And historical figures have always intrigued me. Especially those who held powerful positions, such as Henry VIII. In fact, I've always loved hearing stories from anyone about their past, hence the interest in biographies and autobiographies. (Tell me the story about how you met your partner, and you'll never find a more attentive audience.)

However, once I started blogging, I also started meeting authors on Twitter and Facebook. Mostly Australian authors. 'Meeting' these people, and getting to know them, made me want to read their books.

The first Australian author's book I picked up after meeting her online, was Kylie Ladd's, After the Fall. I loved it. (And her follow up, Last Summer, was also brilliant.) I also interviewed her on Mummy Mayhem, and she was very generous with her time, and wonderful to 'work' with - not to mention that she really is a genuinely nice person.

The same can be said for the talented, Lisa Heidke. The first book I read of Lisa's, was What Kate Did Next, then I read Claudia's Big Break, followed by her latest novel, Stella Makes Good. (I have yet to read her first fiction title, Lucy Springer Gets Even...but will get there!) I loved all her books, but it was Stella that I thought was particularly outstanding. It was one of those, 'can't put it down' reads.

The latest offering from an Aussie author that I finished reading about a week or so ago, is Fiona Higgins' new book The Mother's Group. As soon as I had it in my hot little hands, I couldn't wait to read it. It sounded right up my alley, and it was. Fiona's book reminded me of my own experience with Eldest Son as a new mother, and the dynamics of my own mother's group. I loved the book. You can read about it here.

The other day, I was looking through the Australian fiction section at my local bookstore, and found a copy of Sara Foster's book, Beneath the Shadows. It had a silver sticker on the front cover with a five star rating - 'a stellar read' - with a money-back guarantee. I read the first three pages and almost forgot where I was. Gripping. It's going to be my school holidays read.

I'm so glad I've rediscovered fiction, and that in the process, I'm supporting Australian authors. Fabulous fiction tales are well and truly back in my life.

What fiction are you reading at the moment?

J
xox

22 comments:

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you... OK, thanks for the glowing reviews of my books :), but I honestly also want to thank you for supporting Australian fiction, for reading Australian authors and buying Australian books. It's the only way the industry will survive- and I really believe that it's producing better stuff, and more of it, than ever before. I also think it's important that as Australians we're not just reading overseas authors- that we're hearing and writing our own unique stories in our own unique voice. I was utterly chuffed that 'Last Summer' was often described in reviews as an "Australian" book- there are no kanagroos, no red dirt and only one gum tree, but that shows to me that Australian fiction has come of age, that it's possible to write evocatively about Australia without it being solely about the bush or the surf or the outback, that there is so much more to us these days. This blog does too! Thank you :)

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    1. I spent quite a while in the Australian fiction section, because there are so many great sounding books to choose from! I will definitely be heading back there. Thanks, Kylie. xox

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  2. I just finished reading A Simple Mistake by new Aussie Author Andrea Grigg - so so so good! I couldn't put it down!
    I love the new voice emerging of Aussie authors - its fresh and unique.

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    1. Oooh, will have to look out for that one now too! Thanks, Michelle. xox

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  3. Love Australian writers:)Kylie Ladd's After the Fall is a fantastic book-I could not put it down once I started it and finished it in two days.I also enjoyed What Kate Did Next by Lisa Heidke.I also enjoy anything by Rachael Treasure,Monica McInerney,Dianne Blacklock and Ber Carroll(who is an Irish born Aussie author).

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    1. I couldn't put After the Fall down either!

      Thanks for the list of authors to check out. I've just finished Beneath the Shadows, so I'm looking for my next Aussie read! xox

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  4. I love books and I am without shame reading the 50 Shades of Grey series and loving them. I am even reading madly during nap time which is a big deal because I usually save reading for night time only.

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    1. I hardly read any books at all when the kids were younger, then a few years ago I made a pact with myself to read for at least 15 minutes every day. I slowly got back in to reading! It's a nice way to unwind at the end of the day. :) xox

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  5. It's funny that you write this now Jodie, as I just picked up Stella Makes Good the other day and can't put it down! I can't believe I haven't discovered her before!

    I LOVED After the Fall by Kylie Ladd. I read it so quickly, and was so sad when I'd finished it! I love reading and even with 3 kids, make sure I have time to do it often.

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    1. SMG is sooo good, right?!

      I was sad when I finished ATF as well. I think that's the sign of a good book. It's bittersweet coming to the end of it. :) xox

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  6. I just read The Mothers Group. I have a 10 month old. I made the mistake of reading it while waiting for a friend in a pub. As I read it, I just sobbed. It got louder and louder, right there in public view (my sobbing, that is). Yep, the dynamic was just spot on for Mothers Groups. Sorry to anyone who saw me crying in the pub and thought I was having some kind of breakdown!

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    1. Oh, no, Amanda! It's very moving, isn't it? You'll know what chapter I mean when I say when the terrible event that took place happened..that made me feel so ill and so emotional. I thought Fiona really managed to tap in to mothers in this book, and the dynamics of the M Group. xox

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  7. I was only thinking yesterday how much I miss reading a good fiction. It has been too long. The last two fiction books I read were The Turning by Tim Winton and Wanting by Richard Flanagan.

    I loved After the Fall and Last Summer, as well as What Kate did Next.... I need to get to a book store I think! I have a real yearning to read now!

    xxx

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    1. I didn't realise how much I missed fiction until I started reading it again. Now I'm finding it difficult to pick up a biography! I have a number of them ready to go, but I keep getting drawn back to the fiction books. xox

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    2. I also love Tim Winton!Loved The Riders(very hard to put down -it's a thrilling read),Dirt Music,The Turning and Minimum of Two.Brilliant author with a unique male and Australian perspective:)

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    3. Anon...my husband bought me Cloudstreet many years ago - pre-kids!. ;)

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  8. Hi Jodie,
    Apologies for commenting so late on your blog - I only discovered it this morning! Thanks so much for your lovely comments about my books, especially Stella Makes Good - I really appreciate it. I also loved After The Fall and I couldn't put down Sara's Beneath the Shadows, either. Will have to buy a copy of Fiona Higgins' The Mother's Group! Thanks again for promoting Aussie fiction. God knows, we need all the help we can get!!!

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    1. You are very welcome. You know I'm a fan of your books, and I love sharing with other people what I love! xox

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  9. What a gem you are to promote Aussie authors! You are a precious star and I wish we could clone you. We certainly need more people like you Jodie - thank you.

    I'm a huge Lisa Heidke fan and it was thanks to her that I found your great blog. Love all her books and am always excited when new one comes out.

    The book I've just finished is Jaye Ford's 'Scared Yet?'. Another great Aussie author. It's a gripping suspense if you're into the thriller/suspense genre, and it definitely slips easily into the 'can't put down' category. 'Scared Yet' is the second novel, the first was Beyond Fear.

    Again, thank you Jodie. as Lisa said, we certainly need all the help we can get.

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    1. Thank you, Kaz. What kind words!

      I'll have to check out Scared Yet. I haven't actually read thriller/suspense novels for ages, but I think it's definitely something I could get in to now!

      So many great Aussie authors, and congrats on your own success! xox

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  10. I also loved After the Fall (will hunt down Last Summer now) and really enjoyed Liane Moriarty's books, especially Three Wishes and What Alice Forgot

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    1. Hiya Stacey. I've heard of What Alice Forgot. Last Summer is definitely a great read. xox

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Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts. J xox