In a Sunburned Country – Bill Bryson
In A Sunburned Country is his report on what he found in an entirely different place: Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiousity.
Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book. Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide.
Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback – Robyn Davidson
Robyn Davidson’s opens the memoir of her perilous journey across 1,700 miles of hostile Australian desert to the sea with only four camels and a dog for company with the following words: “I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there’s no going back.”
Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine driven by a love of Australia’s landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity. Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation.
Sister Heart – Sally Morgan
A young Aboriginal girl is taken from the north of Australia and sent to an institution in the distant south. There, she slowly makes a new life for herself and, in the face of tragedy, finds strength in new friendships.
Poignantly told from the child’s perspective, Sister Heart affirms the power of family and kinship.
A Woman Transported – Sharon Robards
At the height of the convict transportation to Australia, an unseen boundary separates the poor from the rich. Isabel’s stunning beauty and strong will attract the attention of a wealthy man, but the upper classes have their own secrets, secrets entwined with hers. Daily, she has learned hard lessons on the mean streets of London, but they can’t teach her fast enough about the treachery of the wealthy. She must navigate both the gardens of the upper class and back alleys of the downtrodden in two continents. And she will, or die trying to find her mother.
Great Australian Outback School Stories – Bill Marsh
If your teacher commuted to school in a plane; if you had to watch out for rogue bulls rather than traffic; if your daily pick-up was done by a horse – you probably went to an outback school.
This collection of more than sixty stories, gathered by Bill ′Swampy′ Marsh in his travels across Australia, perfectly captures the experience of life growing up in the outback. Whether you loved school or not, these stories will bring a smile to your face and maybe even a tear to your eye, as students and teachers alike share their yarns and memories of a time gone by.
…this little kid, he spun around at me and he snapped, ′Piss off, Miss.′
Of course, I immediately replied with, ′Excuse me. In this school we always use our best manners when we talk to teachers and adults. So what should we say, then?′
And this little kid, well, he looked up at me all sheepish and he said, ′Well then, Miss, piss off, PLEASE.′