Monday, September 24, 2012

Tassie books

Over the past couple of years I've been slowly reading my way through a small pile of books about Tasmania or written by Tasmanian authors, in the hope of understanding my new home better. I've only just scratched the surface really, but the latest I've read are:
  • A Story of Seven Summers - a new book by Hilary Burden. I love this type of book - you know, those city-girl-swaps-high-heels-for-gumboots-and-dirt tales. I read recently that it is referred to as "chook lit". No wonder I like it. I saw it advertised in Country Style magazine and picked it up at the launch of the Gourmet Farmer Deli Book at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart. Fitting, really. I was especially interested I guess because we very nearly bought a house in Lalla not far from where Hilary bought her 'Nun's House' in Tasmania, and right next to the 'Pear Walk' described in her book, before ending up in the Huon Valley more than two years ago.
  • King of the Wilderness by Christobel Mattingley, a book about Deny King who lived much of his life in Tasmania's remote south west. I was most interested in his early life in the Huon and Weld areas not far from where we live. The area also featured in the book Win and Clyde by Janet Fenton (Deny King's daughter) about Deny's sister and brother-in-law. A friend in our social walking group has told me of meeting Deny King and his tale is consistent with those in the book.
One of my favourites so far has been In Tasmania by Nicholas Shakespeare. I love how he tells pieces of Tasmanian history through his own journey to discover his past in Tasmania. Plus the two elderly sisters he meets living in Tasmania's north west are such brilliant, memorable characters. I learnt quite a lot about Tasmania's history through it. And more about the Hobart psyche in In Search of Hobart by Peter Timms. The Sound of One Hand Clapping by Richard Flanagan is not the most cheery book, it must be said, but a good read regardless. Aside from the novels and history books, I've enjoyed Matthew Evans' cookbooks, especially Winter on the Farm (have cooked many things from it already) and the reference books on Tasmanian birds, mammals, flowers and plants.

Where to buy Tassie books: well, anywhere really, but they have a great selection at Fullers in Collins Street,   The Hobart Book Shop on Salamanca Square (I met the owners' son in Sydney this week) and of course at Just Tassie Books in Elizabeth Street (they also sell at Salamanca Market on Saturdays). The shop at Hobart Airport usually has a good selection as well.

What's your favourite Tassie book?

1 comment:

  1. Great books by the looks. I was pleased to find the GF Deli book & a story of Seven Summers are available from our super amazing library system- Best in Australia! A good prompt to read local, so far I've only managed the visually appealing Field guide to Tasmanian Birds- Bit slack really!