Another reading challenge! This SLV Summer Read 2008 is even more enticing because the shortlist is all Australian and you can read an extract, find a local library where you can borrow the book, vote for your favourite, and win prizes. The only aspect of this promotion that bothers me is the temptation to vote immediately for the books you’ve read, rather than wait and read some of the others to make an informed choice. Some people might read only one of these books, and vote for that one, which seems a bit unfair to less well-known titles. There’s nothing on the website for us to indicate how many or which of the other books we’ve read at all.
Still, if it helps to promote Australian books and reading, it’s a wonderful idea, and I’m sure all the shortlisted authors are very happy with a lift in sales whether they are voted most popular or not.
The books are
- þAddition by Toni Jordan
- Beaten By a Blow by Denis McIntosh
- þBird by Sophie Cunningham, see Lisa’s review
- Blood Sunset by Jared Henry
- þThe Boat by Nam Le
- Cups with No Handles by Carolyn Landon
- þDissection by Jacinta Halloran, see Lisa’s review
- Dreaming Again by Jack Dann
- þFlavours of Melbourne by Charmaine O’Brien, see Lisa’s review
- þGrowing up Asian in Australia by Alice Pung
- þI Am Melba by Ann Blainey, see Lisa’s review
- þMusk and Byrne by Fiona Capp, see Lisa’s review
- þRadical Melbourne by Jeff Sparrow, see Lisa’s review
- Sea of Many Returns by Arnold Zable
- þSwing By Sailor by Catherine Dyson
- þTall Man by Chloe Hooper (see Lisa’s review)
- þThe Time We Have Taken by Steven Carroll
- Tom Wills: His Spectacular Rise and Tragic Fall by Greg de Moore
- White Knight with Beebox by Peter Steele
- þThe Zookeeper’s War by Steven Conte (see Lisa’s review)
PS February 28th 2009: it was a toss up between Dissection and The Tall Man, and in the end I voted for the latter because I thought it was brave of Chloe Hooper to write it in all that raw honesty, and because I learned more about what life is really like in communities like Palm Island.
þ= read by Lisa.
Update 27.3.09 I see from the Boomerang Books newsletter that I am Melba was voted the best book; followed by Blood Sunset, Radical Melbourne, Addition, and Beaten by a Blow. I am delighted to see that Australia’s musical history is being acknowledged at last!