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Best Books About Australia

From the rugged Outback to vibrant cities, these top-rated books capture the essence of Australia, as celebrated on influential travel and literature blogs.

Recommendations from 29 articles, Bill Gates, Jesse Williams, Cheryl Strayed and 16 others.
100 books on the list
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In a Sunburned Country book cover
In a Sunburned Country
Bill Bryson - 2001-05-15 (first published in 2000)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the wonders of Australia with a hilarious and informative travelogue from a bestselling author. Despite its deadly wildlife, Australia captivates Bill Bryson with its friendly locals, spectacular scenery, and fascinating history. This engaging performance combines humor, wonder, and curiousity to take you beyond the beaten tourist path and introduce you to a land of clean cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine. Let Bill Bryson be your perfect guide to this immense and fortunate land.
Picnic at Hanging Rock book cover
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Joan Lindsay - 1998-01-01 (first published in 1967)
Goodreads Rating
Mystery and tragedy collide in this classic novel, originally published in 1967. Set on St Valentine's Day in 1900, a group of schoolgirls venture on a fateful picnic to Hanging Rock. Will they all come back?
True History of the Kelly Gang book cover
True History of the Kelly Gang
A Novel
Peter Carey - 2001-12-04 (first published in 2000)
Goodreads Rating
Follow the life of legendary Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly, in True History of the Kelly Gang. Kelly tells his own story in raw and vivid detail, as he flees from the authorities and becomes a hero among the ordinary Australian people. Despite being labeled a thief and murderer, Kelly defies English authority and takes over whole towns. This classic outlaw tale is brought to life through the mesmerizing prose of a talented novelist.
The Secret River book cover
The Secret River
Kate Grenville - 2007-04-10 (first published in 2005)
Goodreads Rating
This historical fiction book follows the story of William and Sal, an English couple deported to the New South Wales colony. The novel details their struggle to build a home in Australia, and the difficult decisions they must make to do so. With beautiful prose and a poignant storyline, The Secret River is an emotional journey that will transport you to another time and place.
Recommended by
Lenore Taylor
Jasper Jones book cover
Jasper Jones
Craig Silvey - 2010-01-01 (first published in 2009)
Goodreads Rating
A young boy in a small mining town is approached by the outcast Jasper Jones for help one summer night. What follows is a battle against fear and suspicion as Charlie learns the difficult truth of things that can be hard to hold in his heart.
The Dry book cover
The Dry
A Novel
Jane Harper - 2016-05-31
Goodreads Rating
Experience a gripping mystery set in the midst of a century-long drought in the small Australian town of Kiewarra. When three members of a local family are found brutally slain, Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend. As Falk delves deeper into the case, he realizes that he must confront a buried secret that he shared with his friend. With old wounds resurfacing and new ones forming, this atmospheric debut by award-winning author Jane Harper will captivate fans of suspense and mystery novels.
A Town Like Alice book cover
A Town Like Alice
Nevil Shute - 2000-01-01 (first published in 1950)
Goodreads Rating
A captivating tale of love and war, this novel follows a young Englishwoman named Jean Paget from the Malayan jungle during World War II to the rugged Australian outback. After being captured and forced on a death march with dozens of other women and children, Jean eventually returns to England to escape her nightmare. However, an unexpected inheritance inspires her to give back to the villagers who saved her life, leading her to the desolate Australian outpost of Willstown, where she faces a test of resourcefulness and spirit.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North book cover
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Richard Flanagan - 2013-09-23
Goodreads Rating
A Man Booker Prize-winning novel, this work explores the experiences of a POW in a Japanese camp and his life in present-day Australia. Richard Flanagan masterfully weaves a story of love, death, war, and truth, and the impacts they have on the human spirit. This emotionally powerful and beautifully written work is not to be missed.
Cloudstreet book cover
A Novel
Tim Winton - 2002-06-06 (first published in 1991)
Goodreads Rating
This epic novel by an award-winning author tells the interwoven story of two very different families who are forced to share a large house called Cloudstreet in Perth. Over the course of 20 years, they face hardship, war, and personal struggles while trying to make their lives. A true masterpiece of Australian literature, Cloudstreet explores themes of luck, love, fortitude, and forgiveness in a captivating and magical way.
My Brilliant Career book cover
My Brilliant Career
Miles Franklin - 2006-08-03 (first published in 1901)
Goodreads Rating
This beloved coming-of-age novel set in the Australian outback follows a young woman's journey as she navigates life and love with unforgettable characters. The novel showcases a unique voice that blends humor and heartwarming moments with clarity and truth. My Brilliant Career was so successful it was adapted into an award-winning film. A modern 6-by-9-inch format by Waking Lion Press gives the classic novel a new life.
Voss by Patrick White
Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington
Carpentaria by Alexis Wright
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke
The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes
Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
Tracks by Robyn Davidson
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton
The Harp in the South by Ruth Park
Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
A Fortunate Life by A. B. Facey
Possum Magic by Mem Fox
The Lost Man by Jane Harper
Candy by Luke Davies
No Friend But the Mountains by Behrouz Boochani
Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
True Girt by David Hunt
Homecoming by Kate Morton
Edenglassie by Melissa Lucashenko
The Bush by Don Watson
Spirits of the Ghan by Judy Nunn
Bad Debts by Peter Temple
Terra Nullius by Claire Coleman
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally
Gunflower by Laura Jean McKay
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Women & Children by Tony Birch
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
The Yield by Tara June Winch
The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta
Daughter of Australia by Harmony Verna
The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper
Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner
The Kookaburra Creek Café by Sandie Docker
Ned Kelly by Peter Fitzsimons
The Sisters' Song by Louise Allan
The Fortunes of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson
Dear Banjo by Sasha Wasley
Tell It to the World by Stan Grant
Life As We Knew It by Aisha Dow, Melissa Cunningham
Preservation by Jock Serong
My Place; an Aborigine's Stubborn Quest for Her Truth, Heritage, and Origins by Sally Morgan
All That's Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien
Girt by David Hunt
Unfinished Woman by Robyn Davidson
Amelia Westlake Was Never Here by Erin Gough
My brother Jack, by George Henry Johnston
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Force of Nature by Jane Harper
Stone Yard Devotional by Charlotte Wood
Moonlight Downs by Adrian Hyland
The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville
That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott
The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
Eggshell Skull by Lee Bri
Steve & Me by Terri Irwin
We Come With This Place by Debra Dank
Beautiful Messy Love by Tess Woods
Scrublands by Chris Hammer
The United States of Australia by Cameron Jamieson
The Beekeeper's Secret by Josephine Moon
Reef by Iain McCalman
Sound of One Hand Clapping by Richard Flanagan
Oscar and Lucinda, True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
Gould's Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan
He Died With a Felafel in His Hand by John Birmingham
Praise by Andrew McGahan
We of the Never-Never by Mrs. Aeneas Gunn
Taboo by Kim Scott
The Riders by Tim Winton
A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey
Unsettled by Laurie Woodford
The Sitter by Angela O'Keeffe
Firelight by John Morrissey
Search History by Amy Taylor
7 1/2 by Christos Tsiolkas, Lex Marinos, Bolinda Audio