If you ask a room full of readers to name their favourite book, don’t expect to get another word in. We’re a nation of avid readers, passionate about the books we love and not shy about telling other readers about them.
Each year, Better Reading asks Australian readers and their families that very question and this time around, over 9,000 booklovers happily joined in and had their say. The results reveal an interesting new trend in book publishing with an upsurge of interest and pride in local writing talent.
Going by the results, Australian readers love Australian authors and Australian stories. As in previous Better Reading polls, Australian icons Tim Winton, Tom Keneally, Judy Nunn and Bryce Courtenay rank in the Top 100. Interestingly – and for the first time ever – debut Australian fiction authors made their mark, big time.
The inclusion of Holly Ringland’s The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe, Christian White’s The Nowhere Child, Dervla McTiernan’s The Ruin, Chris Hammer’s Scrublands, and Lauren Chater’s The Lace Weaver reflects a new and growing appetite for debut Australian authors.
“We constantly see readers jumping on to our Facebook page recommending books to each other,’ said Better Reading’s Cheryl Akle. ‘More often than not it’s Australian authors, both established writers and those new to the scene, that our readers are most excited about.”
The survey also revealed:
– More than half the Top 100 are by Australian authors
– Australians enjoy a diverse mix of literary and popular fiction
– The gender balance of authors was almost equal at 51% female and 49% male
– General fiction is the most popular genre followed by crime/thriller and classics
– Australians enjoy a mix of international and home-grown authors – The Book Thief by Australian author Marcus Zusak took out the #1 spot and three of the top 10 positions were taken out by Australian authors. However, the top 10 also included classics and modern classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
– Liane Moriarty was revealed as the most popular Australian author, closely followed by Tim Winton, Jane Harper, Matthew Reilly, Di Morrisey, Judy Nunn and Bryce Courtney, with numerous titles of theirs on the list.
– Australians are loving debut home grown authors.
Akle initiated the annual poll in the hope that it would inspire Australians to read and give them some ideas for books they might like.
“People are always telling me how hard it is to find the right book,” says Akle. “With so many new releases every month, plus the not so new ones we haven’t read yet, making a decision can be overwhelming. No one has time to read everything – or the money – so when you do pick up a book, you want to know it’s a book you’re going to love.”
“Readers love to share their favourite titles,” added Akle, “and this year’s Top 100 list will be a great way for people to select some of the best books to read over the next few months.”
Better Reading compiles the Top 100 list annually, and expects it to be a great resource for libraries, gift-givers and readers in general.
Better Reading’s Top 10 reads:
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
- Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
- The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons
- The Trip of a Lifetime by Monica McInerney
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
- The Dry by Jane Harper
Thank you to all who voted, and a huge congratulations to our Top 100 winners! The following people will be receiving a copy of each title on the Top 100 list. Happy Reading!
1. Cath Fryer, QLD
2. Christy Clayton, SA
3. Jacqui Williams, VIC
4. Belinda Sammut, NSW
5. Cassie Acosta, WA
6. Priscilla Caragh, ACT
7. Brooke van Ruiswyk, TAS
Download the full list here