There is a lot you can learn from a continent just by the books written about it. ReadersMagnet recommends these five books about the great land down under.

The Secret River by Kate Grenville

Source: Amazon

It is hard to talk about Australia and not discuss the native people of the continent- the Aborigines. Kate Greenville’s The Secret River is a historical novel set in the 19th century. It tells the story of William Thornhill, a fictional character and his family’s journey to New South Wales in 1806. Greenville based his character from his ancestor Solomon Wiseman. The Secret Rivers centers on the early years of the British colonial gentry in Australia and the hostilities between the settlers and the Aborigines. Though a work of fiction, many historical accuracies will help readers educate about the history of Australia.

Catherine Elizabeth Greenville has published 15 books both fiction and non-fiction. The Secret River has won many awards and nominations and is one of Greenville’s bestseller novels.

Australian Art: A History by Sasha Grishin

Source: Amazon

Sasha Grishin offers a comprehensive and definitive study of the history of Australia’s art. Australian Art: A History features major developments in Australian art. It begins with the ancient Aboriginal rock art and early interpretations of the surroundings made by the early colonialist settlers. Grishin takes readers to the formative years of Australia through art, the rise of early modernism and the famous Heide Circle. Along with illustrations and well-researched history of Australian art, the book also covers the country’s contemporary art. Grishin also emphasizes on the last fifty years of Australian art, a period when both indigenous and non-indigenous art gained international recognition. Australian Art: A History discussed multiple disciplines including painting, sculpture, photography, graphic arts, installation art, applied arts, and digital arts.

Sasha Grishin is the author of more than 25 books on art. He is a professor at the Australian National University, Canberra.

Bianca’s Big Adventure by Nicki Collins Geigert

Source: blurb.com

Australia is famous for its biodiversity. The continent features a diverse range of habitats as well. The country’s wildlife boasts more than 3,000 types of species including mammals, reptiles, and marine life. However, since the start of human settlement, a huge part of Australia’s wildlife has been lost. Human activities continue to threaten a large number of species. Today, the government and various environmental organizations work together to protect and preserve what remains of the country’s flora and fauna. Nicki Collins Geigert’s book Bianca’s Big Adventure features the story of an aspiring wildlife conservationist who travels to Australia for the first time. During her adventure, she discovers the many efforts and programs that are being carried out to preserve the Australian wildlife. With stunning photos, Bianca’s Big Adventure is set to inspire readers to appreciate the wonders of majestic Australia.

Nicki Collins Geigert is an author, photographer, and adventurer. She is the author of the books Magical Madagascar and Holy Cow!

A Shorter History of Australia by Geoffrey Blainey


Source: Amazon

This revised and updated version of Geoffrey Blainey’s A shorter History of Australia is a must-read for all those who want to have a concise and comprehensive vision of Australia’s national history and her place in international history. In this book, we get a closer look at what comprises the Australian identity and the events in history that contributed to the birth of a nation. Blainey truthfully covers the mania for a spectator sport, suspicion of the tall poppy, rivalries of Catholic and Protestant, Sydney and Melbourne. Readers also get to revisit new and old homelands, the conflicts of war abroad and race at home. Other features include the importance of technology, defining the outback, the rise of the mining industry, the recognition of our Aboriginal past. The successes and failures of the Australian nation are highlighted by a ready-reference timeline of major events in Australian history.

 Geoffrey Blainey is an Australian historian, academic, philanthropist. A Shorter History of Australia was published in 2012.

Ned Kelly: The Story of Australia’s Most Notorious Legend by Peter FitzSimons

Source: Amazon

 Ned Kelly is perhaps the most famous Australian outlaw. The legend of this iron-clad warrior has been a part of Australian culture and identity. To many people, Ned Kelly was a criminal, a bushranger, and a gang leader. However, some regard Kelly as a modern-day Robin Hood. Peter FitzSimon’s chronicle of the famous Ned Kelly sheds light on the life and times of this celebrated folk hero. The book tackles the history of Kelly, his childhood, his early brushes with the law, the Fitzpatrick incident, and the infamous shootout with the Victorian police which led to his death. Ned Kelly was only 25 years old when he died.

Peter FitzSimons is an Australian author, journalist, radio and television presenter. Mr. FitzSimons is the author of numerous books from biography to sports chronicles.

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