Homegrown authors dominate a new list of Australians’ favourite books, with poll respondents exhibiting a preference for locally-grown romance, drama, historical fiction and non-fiction.
Dymocks has released its 10th annual Top 101 poll of Australian book-lovers’ favourites, after tallying more than 140,000 votes from readers around the country.
Sydney-based author Markus Zusak’s WWII Germany novel The Book Thief was knocked off the No.1 spot after three years in favour of American Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, set in Nazi-occupied France.
The Book Thief only slipped to second place, however, just ahead of Paula Hawkins’ juggernaut The Girl on the Train.
Australian authors increased their foothold on the Top 101 by 31 per cent to 29 books, accounting for half of the top 10 and almost two-thirds of the top 20.
Ali Hammond, fiction buyer at Dymocks said: “Sadly it’s not an Australian book at No.1, which we always love seeing, but they’re both really great stories looking at different ways people were affected by WWII.”
Rounding out the Aussies in the top 10 are ML Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans, Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites, Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project and Anh Do’s memoir The Happiest Refugee.
Craig Silvey’s Jasper Jones just missed out at No.11, with the film adaptation currently in cinemas.
Boosted by the TV series starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies placed 17th.
Moriarty was the only author to secure three coveted spots bar JK Rowling, although the Harry Potter author had to rely on her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, for one of her entries.
“Big Little Lies has obviously been such a phenomenal success and that’s really helping sales of all of Liane’s books,” Ms Hammond said.
There was also a great showing for Australian non-fiction, including Stan Grant’s Talking to My Country, Clementine Ford’s Fight Like a Girl and Jimmy Barnes’ memoir Working Class Boy.
“You just feel like you know Jimmy so well, like that he’s your uncle, then you read that story and find this whole other side to him,” Ms Hammond notes. “That was such a powerful piece of writing.”
Emily Sexton, head of programming at The Wheeler Centre for books, writing and ideas, shared Ms Hammond’s joy at Dymocks readers’ enthusiasm for Australian stories.
She was also impressed by the spread of the Top 101, including a very welcome first entry for poetry by Insta-poet Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey.
“Who would have thought that Instagram might be a way for poets to reach new audiences?” Ms Sexton said.
“You can really see an appreciation amongst this list for exciting narrative, with Liane Moriarty and JK Rowling, or adventuring into the dark recesses of human intention and spirit, with Hanya Yanigihara and Hannah Kent, and passionate argument on modern life, with Clementine Ford and Stan Grant,” she added.
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
- The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
- The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
- Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
- The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
- Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
- The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Dry by Jane Harper
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
- Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
- The Good People by Hannah Kent
- Jack West Jr series by Matthew Reilly
To check out the full Top 101 list, head to the Dymocks website.