Posted by: Lisa Hill | December 2, 2015

ABR’s Best Books of the Year

I think you have to be a subscriber to the ABR (Australian Book Review) to read the full article  where notable Australian authors choose their favourite books of 2015 but I’m going to cheat just a little bit by alerting you to books that I’ve reviewed that made the cut:

In alphabetical order by Australian author (links are to my reviews)

From overseas

and already on my TBR for 2016

  • Alan Gould’s The Poet’s Stairwell
  • Kate Grenville’s One Life, my mother’s story
  • T.G.H. Strehlow’s 1969 memoir Journey to Horseshoe Bend
  • Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things
  • Any of the Text Classics reissues of Randolph Stow’s novels (I’ve read some, and three more to read on my TBR)

and on my overseas TBR

  • Kazuo Ishiguru The Buried Giant

I was quite pleased to see how many I’ve reviewed because it suggests that I’m ‘keeping up’ – and of course their list does not include other books that would be on my Best Books 2015 list if I ever get round to choosing one….

There were lots of other books that I haven’t read on the ABR list and Giramondo Publishing was a star in the poetry list, but you’ll have to visit ABR to see the rest.


  1. The Thea Astley book looks very interesting! Thanks for sharing Lisa. Well done will so many quality reviews this yea.


    • Thanks, Lucy:)
      I hope my reviews show just how much quality OZ Lit there is out there – after all, you can’t write a glowing review unless the author has written a book that deserves it, right?


  2. As you know I now concentrate on translated fiction (Beauty Is A Wound made my top 12 list), however today I received a copy of Emily Bitto’s “The Strays” as a gift from my mother-in-law and given it’s made the longlist for the Dublin Literary Award, is highly recommended by numerous people I’m moving back to the English language again soon, even if only briefly. Nice list Lisa and of course you’re “up to date” if you weren’t I’d just question the “experts” not yourself!!!


  3. Well you know, it was Glen Hunting who told me I should chase up The Strays – Affirm Press isn’t a big publishing house and they weren’t really on my radar so I would never have found it if not for him:)
    How nice to have a MIL who finds books for you!


  4. Thanks for sharing this Lisa …you certainly do a good job of keeping up.


    • Well, like you, I’ve had a tough year so it’s nice of you to say so :)


  5. I really admire your reading style and habit. I’m so way down my reading that it’s become an embarrassment. :-) No resolutions for 2016 but…. :-)


    • LOL Celestine, if you don’t make any resolutions, you’re bound to do better. This year and last – instead of making reading plans like people talk about doing all over the net – I reverted to my old habit of reading, anything, whatever and whenever I like. No reading to suit campaigns or hashtags, no challenges, no guilt trips about the size of my TBR. It’s worked much better for me because everything I’ve read has been because *I* have wanted to read it.


      • Totally agree, Lisa. I’ve never made reading plans or had reading resolutions, except for that general one of wanting to read more! It’s supposed to be a hobby, after all.

        I do do one challenge as you know, but it’s a challenge in name only as it is for what I have always read anyhow. They have “levels” or you can create your own. I choose the top level which is way below my normal reading level in that area (Aussie women’s writing) and have decided never to create my own “level” for the very reasons you give here. I don’t want to feel pressured to meet some externally (even if internally set – haha) driven force.


        • Yes, I have a similar sort of attitude to reading the Nobels and reading the Miles Franklin winners. I collect them, so of course I’m going to read them.
          I admit that I did succumb to challenges in the past – but although I did discover some good books, it was not enough to overcome the feeling of pressure.

          Liked by 1 person

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