Top Books to Read this Year: From the Booksellers

Girl reading book in chair

We asked two wonderful Canberran book retailers what their top 3 books to read this year were. This post supplements a bunch of articles found in the May edition of ACTWrite magazine themed around booksellers.

ACTWrite is the ACT Writers Centre’s monthly magazine for members. Become a member to get your copy in either your mailbox or your inbox each month. More information here.

Sally Burdon 
Asia Bookroom, Lawry Place, Macquarie ACT

1. Myself a Magistrate by Austin Coates.

Published in 1968 and still in print (doesn’t that tell you something?!) At first glance a colonial memoir from the New Territories (part of the Hong Kong region) but in reality it is so much more. It is a book full of intercultural observations and misunderstandings, insight, humanity and humour. It is a classic and a delight to read.

2. The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring by David Michie.

The second of the three in the Dalai Lama’s Cat series, these novels at first appear as light engaging stories told from the point of view of the Dalai Lama’s cat about the comings and goings of His Holiness’s household and office, but as you read further, you begin to realise they are so much more than this. A very interesting way of discussing Buddhism… I read this one first and think that is why I liked it the most but the first in the series The Dalai Lama’s Cat is also very good.

3. The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng.  2008 but still in print.

An extraordinary novel set in Penang. Most of the narrative takes place immediately prior to and during World War II. A fascinating tale which makes you think deeply about the issues raised.
Meredith Wright
Dymocks Canberra, Canberra Centre, Bunda Street, Canberra ACT

1. The Dry by Jane Harper  31/05/2016

From a new Australian crime writer who has a strong sense of the Australian landscape and the drought conditions effecting a small town community, made much worse by violent events both past and present.

2. The Fireman by Joe Hill  17/05/2016

An epic end of the world survival tale where a mystery virus has spread and the earth is burning – his best book so far by all reports.

3. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – out now

The first book in a new trilogy for young adults being an exhuberant mixture of space opera, romance, zombies and hackers set in the war-torn year of 2575.


So, no excuses now—time to get reading!

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