Posts Tagged ‘Peter Temple’

For those whose tastes run to the literary, the crime novel to die for this Christmas is Peter Temple’s Truth. The fictional underbelly of the Victorian police, dry as the crackle of eucalypt leaves in the moment before the fireball hits.

A stripped-down, elegant and elliptical story of hard men and violence on both sides of the law, where Truth is a lovely little grey who “won at her second start, won three from twelve, always game, never gave up. She sickened and died in hours, buckled and lay, her sweet eyes forgave them their stupid inability to save her.” This writer, this book, my favourite for 2009.

Fantasy lovers aged from twelve to eleventy-seven will bask in the gorgeous glow of Karen Brooks’ Tallow: “In a world of  darkness, there is one who will bring light.”

In a canel-laced city, a stolen child, the heir to extraordinary powers, is hidden and abused in the candle-maker’s quarter until her emerging powers betray her to those who would use her in their machiavellian games.  Karen Brooks cannot deliver the next in this trilogy fast enough for me.

As a reward for surviving girl schoolyard politics for another year, pamper your teenage miss with the latest Luxe novel by Anna Godbersen. Set in 1899 Manhatten, this is Gossip Girl  in crinolines, replete with bounders and cads,  and sumptuous with scandal and setting.

Then rocket her back into the 21st century with Justine Larbalestier’s Liar … what happens when a compulsive liar decides to tell the truth… or does she? You decide. Guaranteed to keep you up all night reading. And awake the next. Wondering….

Lure teenage boys away from the X-box with Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Post-apocolyptic vision of a world where reality television is an annual kill-or-be-killed event.

My pre-teens will want the latest Emily Rodda, The Battle for Rondo, so I’m not going to fight it. I don’t even want to referee. They’ve read the first two and going by their previous attempts to read the same book at the same time, it could get ugly.

Perhaps I can separate them with a peace offering: Bigands MC, the latest in Robert Muchamore’s Cherub series for the boy-child; and for my girl-child who is about to graduate from primary school, Glenda Millard’s A small free kiss in the dark.

Finally, my non-fiction recommendation for those Dads who stubbornly prefer real life to the inventive pleasures of the novel : Australians by master story teller Thomas Keneally. The first of a three-volume history of Australia with people always centre-stage.

Which books are on your Christmas list this year?

Being a writer makes a virtue of my bad habits. I was a shocking liar as a kid, but now that I’m an adult, I’m using my powers for good rather than evil.

Q. If that’s your virtue, what’s your secret vice?

A. Turkish Delight and writing something that makes me laugh or cry out loud. Now that’s addictive.

Q. How long did it take you to write your first novel Dust?

A. Way too long. I did everything wrong in the first draft and had to pull the whole thing apart and start again from scratch. It taught me a lot though and I hope never to make any of those 147 basic errors again.

Q. What was the motivation for writing your first novel?

A. Long story. I’ve devoted a whole page of my website to the answer so Click this link On writing Dust if you haven’t already. It’s for everyone who loves writing and loves their Dads.

Q. What is the best writing advice you have ever received?

A. Don’t give up after the first draft; the real writing starts with the rewrite. Write every day – the more you write, the better you get. Join organizations like the Queensland Writers Centre. Do courses, be prepared to learn from other writers and never be afraid to show people your work. QWC workshops I did with Veny Armanno, Kim Wilkins and Kate Eltham taught me things that I may never have been able to figure out for myself.

Q. Do you have a pet hate?

A. Advertising – it’s horrible that people are manipulated into wanting a whole heap of stuff they don’t need.

Q. Who are some of your favourite authors?

A. Peter Temple – he’s probably going to hate me saying this, but I just love all his early work, the Jack Irish novels, Iron Rose and Shooting Star – he just nails dialogue and the Australian vernacular. In YA, I am a big fan of Marcus Zusak and Melina Marchetta, and Karen Foxlee’s debut novel The Anatomy of Wings is just wonderful. Ditto the Mallory detective novels by US writer Carol O’Connell and the Jackson Brody novels by British writer Kate Atkinson.

Q. If you were an animal, what would you be?

A. I’m a fool for my dog, Huggy, but have to say that personally, I’m more of a cat – I have the requisite laziness, attention to personal hygiene and tendency to bite if rubbed up the wrong way!

PS. Don’t buy me books for Xmas, that’s what the library’s for! xxx.

Don’t you just love teenagers and their Christmas wish lists?

I’m thinking of punishing mine by giving Breaking Dawn, the latest of the Stephanie Meyer vampire bestsellers, to her eleven-year-old sister. Letting Ms I-need-a-cooler-phone watch her baby sister curl up with that vampire hottie Edward Cullen will teach her not to taunt the writer in the family.

Given the choice though, Ms Eleven would prefer Inkdeath, the latest Cornelia Funke novel, in her Christmas stocking. For those who haven’t yet discovered the literary pleasures of a story where books come to life, get in before the rush. Inkheart, the movie, is coming out at the end of January.

Nine-year-old boys can be won over by the latest in Robert Muchamore’s Cherub series about child spies – “for official purposes these children do not exist.” Though it’s a bit of a worry when the sixteen-year-old footy players tell him they are reading them too!

For the eighteen-year-old who is moving into his first shared house, it just has to be the John Birmingham classic, He died with a Falafel in his hand.

Nana will love anything from the classy Kate “I don’t write crime” Atkinson (oh, yes you do!) And for men in your life who are more fascinated by fact than fiction, how about the magnificent hardcover The New York Times – The Complete Front Pages 1851-2008?

For me, just fill my stocking please with the sublime pleasures of Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels, Alison Goodman’s Two Pearls of Wisdom, and Peter Temple’s Truth, his sequel to The Broken Shore. That, and anything you’ve read, loved and care to recommend in the space below, is all I want for Christmas this year.  🙂