About ANZ LitLovers


Welcome to the ANZ LitLovers blog.  It started out as a blog for an online reading group, and while it still retains its role as a portal to the group, its primary function now is as Lisa Hill’s ANZ LitLovers LitBlog – where you can find reviews and commentary about Australian literary fiction, Australian classics and (less often)  non-fiction.  There are also regular blog posts about contemporary international fiction with a special interest in translations, and the classics.

Lisa Hill is a keen reader who lives in Melbourne, Victoria.  Her natural habitat is a library.  When not reading, she can be found buying, coveting,  sorting, re-arranging, cataloguing, blogging or talking about books, with occasional trips overseas to admire other libraries.  These activities are interrupted only by having to go to work, but after a long career in teaching she has finally found a way of combining the two by working as a primary school librarian, necessitating reading books to 16 classes a week and more buying, coveting,  sorting, re-arranging, cataloguing, blogging or talking about books.

Lately, Lisa has also found a way of meeting her favourite authors by doing the occasional book launch and chairing panels at the Stonnington Literary Festival.  Get in touch if you need someone who has, or definitely will (a) read the book or (b) know how to bring a panel together to talk about books.

(Just in case you were wondering if all this is really true, Lisa Hill is proud to wear the title Uber Cool History / Lit Geek)
NerdTests.com says I'm an Uber Cool History / Lit Geek.  Click to take the Nerd Test, get geeky images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!

This blog is maintained by Lisa Hill.

Ramblings, reviews, rants and raves are all by Lisa Hill unless otherwise noted.

Publishers and authors wishing to submit books for review, please visit the Comments and Reviews Policy page, then use the Contact Form below to get in touch.

Transparency statement: I belong to Fishpond’s Affiliate Program.  I receive a token commission if you buy a book using links to this bookseller, or if you visit  Fishpond via the logo on the site and subsequently buy a book from them.  Any commission received in this way contributes a modicum towards the ISP costs of the ANZLL website, towards the subscription that I pay to keep it free of other intrusive advertising, towards the exorbitant cost of posting books to my friends here and overseas and towards my compulsive book buying habits.  For more information, see my post about this.

FishpondTo support Australian publishing, links to the Fishpond Affiliate Program go to Australian editions of the books as much as possible.  This is to support local online suppliers of Australian and New Zealand books. Fishpond offers free postage on every order.

As of April 2014 I no longer have any affiliation with any international bookseller, and am progressively removing any remaining links from this site.

Please note:

The Australian Copyright Act 1968 (the Act) allows 10% of the number of words on this website to be reproduced and/or communicated by any Australian educational institution for its educational purposes provided that the educational institution (or the body that administers it) has given a notice to Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) under Part VB of the Act. For details of the CAL licence for educational institutions contact: Copyright Agency Limited, Level 15, 233 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000 Ph 612 93947600 Fax 612 93947601 Email: info@copyright.com.au Except for personal use or as permitted under the Act (e.g. for the services of the Crown or in reliance on one of the fair dealing exceptions i.e. a fair dealing for the purposes of research or study) no part of this website may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, communicated or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission. All inquiries should be made to the copyright owner Lisa Hill at using the Contact Form below or as attributed on individual blog posts.

The ANZ LitLovers reading group

 ANZ LitLovers is an online reading group for Australian and New Zealand lovers of literary fiction.  Our members are keen readers of all ages who discuss books and book-related topics by email.

anzll-2009Our members come from all over ANZ, but gatherings take place whenever the opportunity arises.  Bookshops and writing festivals are popular venues.

ANZLL defines ANZ literature as any book of literary fiction written by a Kiwi or an Aussie, (including expats) or set in Australia or New Zealand.  We choose mainly contemporary literary fiction, but include a ‘classic’ choice for the summer holidays. We also include an international title each year, and enjoy friendly and relaxed chat about other books we read as well.

Members nominate books for discussion, and we vote at the end of each year.   We choose affordable paperbacks that are also readily available from libraries, and the style and quality of our choices can be seen by checking current and past schedules as well as our Top Tens page.  Discussion starts on the 8th of each month, and if we have two titles in a month, the second discussion begins on the 22nd.  While it is not expected that everyone will join discussions for every title, all members are asked to contribute regularly to sharing their BBRLM (Best Book Read Last Month), and to our annual Top Tens.

ANZ LitLovers is a Yahoo reading group, and there is no cost to belong.  Membership is by invitation, but we welcome enquiries from keen readers from Australia or New Zealand any time.  Check out the reading schedule,  archivesrating scale and many other book-related links, and if you’d like to join, contact

ANZLitLovers-owner@yahoogroups.com  or capel@tpg.com.au   (NB This is the contact email for the reading group, not for Lisa Hill at this blog.)

ANZ LitLovers Yahoo group history

kimdwyerlisa07ANZ LitLovers was founded in January 2002 by  Kim Dwyer (at left) in Noosa, Queensland, and Lisa Hill in Melbourne, Victoria.

After a long struggle with breast cancer, Kim died peacefully at home with her family on May 13th, 2005.

Kim was a very special person to us all.  We loved her warm and generous spirit, her sense of humour,
her passionate opinions about the world’s injustices, and her wisdom.
Those of us who were privileged to know her will never forget her.

gardenia

Gardenias were her favourite flower.
This one blooms in Lisa’s garden in  memory of Kim.

****************************

 This page was last updated on 8/7/13

Fishpond 604x90

Responses

  1. No Gerald Murnane on the read before you die list.
    Why not?

    • An oversight, because as you know if you have browsed this site, I am a fan of Gerald Murnane’s writing! I shall fix this immediately, and thanks, Tim, for bringing it to my attention.
      Lisa

  2. Hi there… not sure where to let all you anzlitlovers know about this so I thought I’d post here. I’ve just released a completely new version of the 1001 Books spreadsheet which you can use to track your progress through the list. Some of you may have older versions of the list but the Full version of the new one is really something special

    It’s HERE if you’re interested.

    Thanks!

    • Thanks, John & Sheena – I’ll certainly use it:)

  3. I have just [excitedly] stumbled across this blog and am thoroughly enjoying reading back through the posts.
    In case you should ever stumble across mine, I wanted to let you know that I didn’t steal your header idea. I just thought I was being creative.
    I’d like to think it is a case of ‘great minds think alike’ but, on reading your posts, I confess that my mind is a lot less focused.

  4. Hi Lisa,
    I came across a blog of yours enquiring about Robert Carter’s book ‘Prints in the Valley’. I am still alive. Happy to send you a biog re my books if you are interested.

    Regards,

    Robert

  5. Yes, please, Robert – that would be great!

  6. Lisa Hill – you amaze me. How quickly do you read and not only that how quickly do you come up with words to review them. Plus you have a ‘paying job’ as well! My mind is just overwhelmed thinking about that.

    I am new to reading books (not that I’ve never read), but my increased reading is due to joining a book club, and volunteering to help out at a book shop that opened up locally.

    Reading through your blog, I feel like a fraud, but I will perservere and not lose hope that maybe one day I can say I am a reader of books.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Goodness, Sophie, you mustn’t feel like that! The community of readers and writers is a broad church – and we all do it in our own way and at our own pace. That’s what makes the blogosphere such a great place to be:)
      But anyway, I have to confess, I’m enjoying the last week of my holidays *not* doing all the things I was going to do (weeding, ironing, cupboard-cleaning, scrapbooking the holiday photos, some work stuff that ought to be done to save my sanity next week etc etc). No, I’m just reading and writing, and occasionally walking the dogs. So you see, that’s how I get so much done, this week, I’ve prioritised it above everything else! It’s a kind of very pleasurable madness…

  7. Hi Lisa,
    In my usual tech-challenged way, I have been trying to find the post on your blog that made mention of a service you used (I think) to draw a winner. At least I think I read it on your blog but I could be totally wrong.
    I am running a survey comp on my blog (survey monkey) and didn’t think about the correct way to draw a winner.
    Hope you can point me in the right direction.
    Cheers.

    • Hi Karen, I didn’t bookmark it but if you Google ‘Random Number Generator’ you’ll find any number of free ones. I didn’t need to download anything for the one I used, I just typed the numbers in.
      Cheers
      Lisa (off to visit your blog to see what your survey is about LOL)

      • Thanks heaps Lisa, it is actually at the end of the Leonard Cohen Concert Review post but I’m going to put it up again in a new post shortly.

  8. […] This review was first posted on Lisa’s blog: http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/. […]

  9. Lisa – I didn’t see an email, so hope you check this comments section! Could you please recommend a book on the history of Botany Bay, the HMS Endeavor and Cook? I thought it might be more likely that Australia would have a book that hasn’t been published here in the states.

    Thanks much!

    • Hello there, my friend from GoodReads! You’re right, I do hide my email to (successfully) foil (most of) the spammers though you can find it tucked away on the review and comments page policy page, (and you can also contact me directly via GoodReads any time too.)
      I’m not sure whether you’re after an historical novel or non-fiction, but I’ll go with NF first. I’ve only read chapter one of this myself so far, but I think that Thomas Keneally’s Australians Origins to Eureka Vol 1 would be a good choice. It’s a bit of a brick but not horrendously expensive and Keneally, though not a scholar, has written a very readable general history that is focussed on people. (The only reason I didn’t go on with reading it, was because I read Ch 1 on the train coming home from the Melbourne Writers Festival where I bought it last year, and then my husband snaffled it – and he hasn’t finished it yet because he’s always reading two or three other things as well, just like I am!) You can get it in the US from http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781741750690/Australians-Volume-1 and there’s a description of it at BookOffers http://www.bookoffers.com.au/australians-origins-to-eureka-thomas-keneally/
      and a good review here http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/3029.
      Shorter, cheaper and more tightly focussed on the time period you’re interested in, and also available at the Book Depository at http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781741668001/1788 is David Hill’s 1788 which I reviewed here, see http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/1788-by-david-hill/
      I hope that helps:)
      Lisa

  10. Hi Lisa

    Just a note to apologise for my sudden departure from the book blogging scene. I plan to relaunch my site in due course focusing on just a few favourite authors – based on some of my more indepth reviews.

    I thank you for your frequent comment on my book reviews which were always much appreciated. I’ll keep dropping in to ANZ LitLovers to what you’re up to there.

    best, Tom

    • Hello Tom, that will be an interesting new focus, will it be the same website address so that my existing RSS will feed it in to my email?

  11. Hi Lisa –

    I left a note for you on librarything – just checking whether you found it. I’m leaving for France in a couple of days. A year in France. In a tiny walled village. Intermittant slow internet. Writing a book.

    How much fun?

    cheers

    mccardey

    • I’ve more-or-less abandoned LT, it’s too clunky for me, so I’m glad you came by here as well.
      Your sojourn sounds like heaven! What sort of book will be it be?

  12. Another literary thriller, I expect. Only with asylum seekers this time instead of terrorism and de Menezes. I’ll drop you a line when it’s done :)

    • I’ll be in Paris myself later on this year, I’ll wave to you as we fly over!

  13. I’m in Sablet, in Provence. You have my email address – if you decide to attend the “Journée du Livre de Sablet” let me know :)

    • Alas, I’m only in Paris for a stopover of a day or two (just long enough to have a decent meal after a fortnight of cabbage and potato in Russia LOL) and then we fly home.

      • Lisa – we’re coming home for Noel and then heading back to Sablet, France. I have one carry-on suitcase. I plan to ditch all my clothes in Australia and fill the return carry-on with books. Ten suggestions, please – Australian authors, published last year .Literary is nice, Fc or non-fic.

        I promise to buy all books from independent Australian Booksellers (probably Lindfield Books or Pages and Pages Mosman ;) )

        • Oh Sylvia, what fun! Some lucky person gets a suitcase full of gorgeous French clothes and I get to choose a shopping list of lovely books!
          I’ve got my hands full today because I’m chairing a panel at the Stonnington Festival, but I’ll put some thought into this and will reply properly in a special post just for you ASAP.
          Two to start with, just because I loved them so:
          Whisky Charlie Foxtrot by Annabel Smith
          Nine Days by Toni Johnson
          More later!

  14. Hello from Langwarrin, Vic.
    Are you going to review The Voyage by Murray Bail?
    I do value your reviews.

    • Hello Charles, and welcome to chatting about books at ANZ LitLovers. Thank you for your kind comment:)
      I certainly am going to review The Voyage, I loved Murray Bail’s last book and this one is my next read after I finish my current novel! If all goes well I expect to finish Whisky Charlie Foxtrot in the next day or two and then I’ll be starting the Bail.
      Cheers
      Lisa

  15. what a great blog. im so glad i came across it!

  16. I look forward to reading more of your blog. I only joined wordpress at the end of last year and have been looking for other aussies on here. I love ANZ lit and think its important to try and promote our authors as much as we can. On my blog I reserve saturdays for highlighting books by Australian authors because we have great books that the world should read. Keep up the good work :)

    • Hello, and welcome! It’s always a pleasure to find that others share my love of Aussie lit and want to help spread the word.

  17. Hello! I have just discovered LitLovers and will look forward to picking up recommendations from your reviews and Top Ten lists. I am a Melbourne-based literary agent and passionate reader (I’ve just finished Burial Rites, which my bookclub rated as the best book we have read in our 14 years together). I would like to recommend Fiona Capp’s Gotland to ANZ Lit Lovers (disclosure: I do represent Fiona). However, I think Gotland is a novel that will intrigue and interest your readers. Caroline Baum reviewed Gotland recently:
    http://www.booktopia.com.au/gotland-fiona-capp/prod9780732297572.html Let me know if you would like me to send you a copy for review.
    Regards, Jacinta di Mase

    • Hello Jacinta, nice to hear from you:)
      Thank you for your offer, but I have already bought Gotland, and will be reading it just as soon as I can get to it!
      Lisa


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