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Seven books to read to celebrate Australian Reading Hour

To celebrate Australian Reading Hour - a not for profit reading initiative from Australia Reads - who are on a mission to get more people reading more books, more often, we wanted to shine a light on some of our favourite books by Australian authors. Featuring YA to short stories to memoir and beyond, read on for the crème de la crème of Australian reads.

Anything But Fine by Tobias Madden

A heartfelt and hilarious Australian YA debut from a rising star.

Luca is ready to audition for the Australian Ballet School. All it takes to crush his dreams is one missed step . . . and a broken foot. Jordan is the gorgeous rowing star and school captain of Luca's new school. Everyone says he's straight - but Luca’s not so sure… As their unlikely bond grows stronger, Luca starts to wonder: who is he without ballet? And is he setting himself up for another heartbreak? 

100 Remarkable Feats of Xander Maze by Clayton Zane Comber

Xander Maze loves lists, and his grandmother is #1 on his list of People I Love Most in the World. But now that Nanna has stage 4 cancer, can a new list of 100 Remarkable Feats really save her?

Particularly when his list contains difficult things like #2 Make a Friend and #3 Make a Best Friend - plus #10 Kiss a Girl (preferably Ally Collins, the girl of Xander's dreams).

Funny, moving and with a protagonist you can't help but fall in love with, 100 Remarkable Feats of Xander Maze is a book about:

The Orchard Murders by Robert Gott

A novel about revenge, obsession, and the dangerous gullibility of religious fanatics. The Orchard Murders is the fourth novel in Robert Gott’s acclaimed series, set in Melbourne during the dark days of the Second World War.

Dissolve by Nikki Gemmell

Having lived through the humiliation and bewildering complexity of heartbreak in her twenties, Nikki Gemmell eventually resurfaced, reclaimed space for herself and found her voice. Decades later she has written a deeply personal, profoundly intimate reflection on love and female creativity, and what happens when the two collide in a man's world. Dissolve is a conversation. A conversation with the young women of Gemmell's teenage daughter's generation, and of course with men.

The Painting by Alison Booth

When Anika Molnar flees her home country of Hungary not long before the break-up of the Soviet Union, she carries only a small suitcase – and a beautiful and much-loved painting of an auburn-haired woman in a cobalt blue dress from her family’s hidden collection. Arriving in Australia, Anika moves in with her aunt in Sydney, and the painting hangs in pride of place in her bedroom. But one day it is stolen in what seems to be a carefully planned theft, and Anika’s carefree life takes a more ominous turn. Sinister secrets from her family’s past and Hungary’s fraught history cast suspicion over the painting’s provenance, and she embarks on a gripping quest to uncover the truth.

Signs and Wonders by Delia Falconer

The celebrated, Walkley Award-winning author on how global warming is changing not only our climate but our culture. Beautifully observed, brilliantly argued and deeply felt, these essays show that our emotions, our art, our relationships with the generations around us – all the delicate networks that make us who we are – have already been transformed.

Dark as Last Night by Tony Birch

Dark as Last Night confirms, once again, that Tony Birch is a master of the short story. These exceptional stories capture the importance of human connection at pivotal moments in our lives, whether those occur because of the loss of a loved one or the uncertainties of childhood. In this collection we witness a young girl struggling to protect her mother from her father’s violence, two teenagers clumsily getting to know one another by way of a shared love of music, and a man mourning the death of his younger brother, while beset by memories and regrets from their shared past. Throughout this powerful collection, Birch’s concern for the humanity of those who are often marginalised or overlooked shines bright.