As it’s Australian author month, time to mention a couple of fav’s! If you haven’t read any Peter Yeldham (Glory), David Malouf (Ransom), Kate Grenville (The Secret River) or Roger McDonald (When Colts Ran) , now’s the time to dip your toe in. Visit your local book store and have a meander around the pages of these established- and in A. Booth’s case relatively new, authors. Rural literature abounds at the moment and there’s everything from romance (F. Palmer’s Heart of Gold) to Joy Dettman’s latest offering. Joy tends to place her edgy stories in small rural towns in the 40s/50s. I read Pearl in a Cage recently and despite the main character almost suffering too much for this reader, there is no denying that Ms Dettman’s storytelling skills are considerable. Previous ebook author Karly Lane who blogged about her electronic experiences here last year releases her debut work this month, North Star; however if you want something quirky on the historical side I loved Summer At Mount Hope!

Phoeba Crupp is a young woman who lives with her parents and sister on a small farm near Geelong in the 1890s. Her father is an eccentric ex-accountant who moved his family from the city in order to establish a vineyard, a decision her mother bitterly – and loudly – resents. While her sister makes a play for the local squatter’s son, Phoeba is content with her best friend Harriet, until circumstances push her towards the world of men and money. Summer at Mount Hope has a lot of the black comedy of Ham’s first novel, The Dressmaker, but also contains a more serious strand about the efforts of a woman a century ago to be free. Released: 2005

For non-fiction I have to give a nod to Les Carlyon’s war tomes, particularly The Great War and history wouldn’t be history without historian Geoffrey Blainey. Of the new releases Batavia looks particularly good. Have purchased it however the reading of this historical account is probably some months away. For memoir Edmund De Waal’s The Hare With Amber Eyes is receiving alot of press, while Adam Liaw’s Two Asian Kitchens has some great recipes in it if you’re a fan of Malay/Japanese/hawker style cuisine.  If you’re a writer the Macquarie Dictionary (Aust’s National Dictionary) and The Cambridge Australian English Style Guide are almost mandatory tools on a writer’s desk (there are some things that software can’t teach you). Enjoy.