A good book, he had concluded, leaves you wanting to reread the book. A great book compels you to reread your own soul. – Richard Flanagan
There are many good books out there. Books that leave me happy and entertained. And then there are great books. Books, as Flanagan notes, that compel you to reread your own soul. Books that open you up to a new way of thinking, of sparking change within yourself, of teaching you a lasting lesson. These are just some of the great books that I have read so far in 2017…
Foreign Soil – Maxine Beneba Clarke
A collection of short stories that we all should read to slightly understand what it is to be in the minority of people of colour. A novel I hope to be seen taught in high schools around the country.
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers
A science fiction novel that compels you to reread your own soul? Yes, I kid you not. Chambers manages to use a universe where we aren’t the only sapient species out there to parody current social issues that we see today.
The Power – Naomi Alderman
Speculative fiction that most deservingly won the Women’s Prize this year. Alderman uses The Power to flip the current gender narrative on it’s head and the last line is perfection.
A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
A children’s middle grade novel, this is not a long story. An emotional read that deals with grief and many simple life lessons told in a fantastical fable. Simple and yet powerful.
Between a Wolf and a Dog – Georgia Blain
This is was the last work of fiction by the late Blain. It tells an ordinary story of ordinary people living ordinary lives and yet, this is a powerful read that leaves the reader much to ponder and the prose is delicious.
An Isolated Incident – Emily Maguire
A social commentary of the social climate surrounding women, violence towards them and the role the media plays in reporting it wrapped in what appears to be a crime novel. Easily dismissed due to the bogan voice of our protagonist but some incredibly though provoking passages regarding the contradictions that are what it is to be a woman today.
Terra Nullius – Claire G. Coleman
Speculative fiction from a new voice in Australian literature. A great surface story that leads to deeper speculation of the current change the date debate raging in Australia.
The Museum of Modern Love – Heather Rose
An adventurous novel that merges real life with a hint of magical realism, the novel won this year’s Stella Prize. Beautiful writing and well worth it for introducing me to the performance artist Marina Abramovic. Once you read this book do research her and youtube the footage of the performance described in this book.
Where The Trees Were – Inga Simpson
Another novel touching on the ongoing narrative that is life for Indigenous Australians and looking at the decimating effects of colonisation on their life and culture. Simpson has a memorable voice.
Touch – Courtney Maum
The synopsis reads as a fluffy contemporary novel and yet Touch is satirical and entertaining looking at our relationship today with technology and how it affects intimacy. I guarantee this book will leave you pondering your own social media and electric habits, something each of us should consider.
What do you think of my list? Agree? Disagree? What are your great reads of 2017? What do I need to add to my TBR?