The trope of the regional Australian town has been done to death. Rosalie Ham’s “The Year of Farmer” stands well above the malaise.
Destroy All Monsters is an island powered by its own high-concept vibrancy. Jeff Jackson should be saluted and castigated in even measure.
In Deep Time Dreaming, Billy Griffiths examines Australia’s coming-to-terms with its Indigenous past. Hyperbole aside, it is the most important analysis of who we were in a very long time.
George Christie’s version of his life as charter president of the Hells Angels is as verbally grandiose as it is proudly grim. Consider it a literary chain across one’s face.
Don’t be fooled by the cover, Megan Abbott’s book is a true powerhouse, flitting between two vivid timelines. Go read it.
‘The Other Wife’ follows a crime trail walked by a protagonist with Parkinson’s. It is difficult to let that path go cold.
Lynne Vincent McCarthy’s stunning debut novel is a grating example of a character gone awry. It’s terror visited under glass, and well worth an examination.
Jonathan Ames’ book moves at a quicksilver pace, a homage to actioners that is deep enough to not be shallow. Consider it a casual punch to the face.
Sharlene Teo’s opus articulates the challenges three generations of women face in the same city. A staggering debut.
Parting as it is said, is such sweet sorrow. That certainly goes for the fantastic In the Midst of Winter, a lovely season gone too soon.
Rarely does a book come along that articulates Australia so wonderfully, and very rarely does it come from the mouth of a galah.
Michael J Seidlinger’s Standard Loneliness Package is a compound of beautifully broken, wasted relationships. Bitterly, it forces you to examine your own failures.
In the hands of Jenny Quintana, ‘The Missing Girl’ is a real page-turner that steps between past and present, effectively evoking the struggle of the 1980s middle class in Britain.
While Jennifer Mills’ stunning debut novel addresses the end of everything, it does so in a very familiar place: home.
Samantha Irby’s book scythes into the bone of the modern experience. Blows of emotion batter the reader long after the final page.
Alan Hollinghurst’s searing novel The Sparsholt Affair is a beast of many forms, where the words within shift with the changing eras the narrative flows through.
The effects of a true-crime podcast on the victim’s family are the first steps of Kathleen Barber’s book, which examines the stock we place in casual justice.
‘Girl in Snow’ approaches a murder from three distinct perspectives, but it is the weight and brilliance of those narratives that sets Kukafka apart. A superb debut.
Michael Chabon’s “Moonglow” is a stylistic hybrid of fiction and memoir, all in an effort to mislead the audience. Ballsy, yet fantastically done.
An appropriate read for the times we find ourselves in, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout takes on institutional racism and the comfortable social definitions we welcome.
“Swing Time” tackles female friendship, motherhood and celebrity, however it is author Zadie Smith’s keen eye for the human condition that will make it a classic.
Roanna Gonsalves’ book of short stories is a brilliant chronicle of migrant experiences, but is it better or worse for being limited to one tiny subset of the Indian community?