Lindy Jones - Australian Bookseller Association Inaugural Bookseller of the Year 2011
As the year end draws near, I asked Lindy Jones if she might kindly let me know her Top Five books of 2013 so that I might share them with you. I should have known that to a prolific reader like Lindy, five was never going to be enough. Her response?
Five. He asks for five. Five!!!!! Why limit oneself?
And so, here are Lindy's TOP FIVES...
My favourite five Non-fiction?
Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane. Thoughtful, elegant, poetic and just beguilingly beautiful.
Born in a Tent by Bill Garner. Interesting theory of the origin of the Australian character, and a fine read to boot.
Flocks of Colour by Penny Olsen. Another of those glorious productions the National Library does so well.
Coast by Ian Hoskins. A readable history (with scads of lovely illustrations) of human interactions with the NSW coast.
White Beech by Germaine Greer. With all the zeal of the newly-converted, Greer attempts to redress the ecological disaster of generations.
My favourite five historical fiction?
Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant. The Borgias give Thomas Cromwell a run for his money.
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. When she can vividly construct the 19th century in all its glory - why did she waste her time writing other stuff?
Paris by Edward Rutherfurd. A great sweeping epic that presents the development of the city over the centuries through the stories of families.
My Notorious Life by Madame X by Kate Manning. Colourful and gleeful in equal measure. One of the best female characters of the year!
Perfect North by Jenny Bond. Perfectly formed, perfectly satisfying.
My favourite five quirky fiction?
The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence. Lovable characters and serious issues, and one of quirkiest and best-intentioned narrators!
The Coincidence Authority by J W Ironmonger. Coincidence has been used as a narrative device before, but not as well as this!
Happily Eva After by Chris Harrison. The mix of grammatical pedantry and the outsider take on contemporary society was vastly entertaining.
Mr Wigg by Inga Simpson. Gentle story of a gentle man, but with such an appealing set of characters and rural lifestyle.
Feast of Artemis by Ann Zouroudi. The latest in the glorious Mysteries of the Greek Detective, Hermes Diaktoros. Colourfully entertaining!
My favourite five other fiction?
Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope. Thus showing a temporal relocation of the Austen classic only proves the story as being absolutely timeless!
The List of My Desires by Gregoire Delacourt. When you know what makes you happy, can achieving what others think should make you happy, make you happier?
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. The same stories from different narrators make this a fine example of the power of storytelling.
Z, A Novel by Therese Fowler. A sympathetic and true-feeling depiction of Zelda Fitzgerald and her destructive relationship with F. Scott.
Gotland by Fiona Capp. Elegaic and thoughtful, how a woman deals with love and her loved husband's ambitions.
My favourite five YA fiction?
All the Truth that's in Me by Julie Berry. Lyrically written, cleverly structured, unusual and absorbing story of silence, self-imposed and not.
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller. Examines the effects of war on a young man who is not yet emotionally mature.
Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil. Sweet-natured fresh-voiced and funny contemporary fiction. Says interesting things without being preachy.
Siege by Sarah Mussi. Pure adrenaline - and a heart-stopping ending.
Death, Dickinson and the Demented Life of Frankie Garcia by Jenny Torre Sanchez. Teenage angst, yes, but also, teenage wisdom.
My favourite five children's fiction?
Song for a Scarlet Runner by Julie Hunt. Wonderfully imaginative and totally satisfying. And those Marsh Aunties? Brilliant!
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. This year's Newbery winner, and absolutely well deserved. I don't even like gorillas! but I fell in love with Ivan.
Nell's Festival of Crisp Winter Glories by Glanda Millard. The last in the Kingdom of Silk series, and as tender and sweet as all the others.
Lily and the Traitor's Spell by Holly Webb. Because this brought the series to an end, and I loved the magical world she created.
I'll cheat with this last entry, and just say any Text Children's Classic because I enjoyed re-reading the books of my childhood!
Buy these books at Abbey's (131 York Street Sydney) ~ An Aladdin's cave for readers