Sean Williams

the year in books

posted on 28 Oct 2006 at 11:00 pm

I’ve talked elsewhere about reading, and in particular how my working life has influenced my reading habits. The latter is definitely reflected in this short list of my stand-out books for the last twelve months:

Sarah Armstrong, Salt Rain
Tegan Bennett Daylight, Safety
Helen Garner, The Consolation of Joe Cinque
John Harwood, The Ghost Writer
Gail Jones, Sixty Lights

Only one of them is remotely genre (The Ghost Writer, although speculation about the future from a 19th Century perspective is an important part of Sixty Lights) and not all of them are new releases. Every one of them thrilled the writer in me as well as the reader. And hey, they’re all by Australians.

That’s not say that I haven’t read any genre novels in the last twelve months or books by authors from outside our borders, or that I don’t have a towering to-read pile of the same awaiting their turn. They’re just being overshadowed at the moment. I get my genre fix from shows like Lost, Battlestar Galactica, and Dr Who (although these too stand in the shadow of mighty Deadwood).

Whether the tide will turn any time soon depends entirely on what lands on my desk next. Whatever it is, in whichever genre, all I hope is that it’s brilliant.