Best books

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 08-Dec-2011

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We asked Bendigo Weekly bookclubbers to send us the titles of  books they have enjoyed this year. Most are new, some are classics...

Ape House by Sara Gruen: the follow-up to Water for Elephants, about a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab


The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach: a big fast-paced first novel about a couple of amateur baseball teams


Bumble Ardy by Maurice Sendak: setting the benchmark for exuberant, meaningful picture books, Sendak's pig who has a party for himself will be as entertaining for adults as kids

The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje: another acclaimed novel by the award-winning writer, about the shipboard journey of a young boy from what was then Ceylon to England in the 1950s (a journey much like the author's own)

Chantelle's Cloak by Lorraine Marwood: a story for young readers about a girl coming to terms with the birth of her sister: also Lorraine's book of poems about family for younger readers, A Note on the Door

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll: heart-rending true story about chimps saved from test laboratories

A Dance with Dragons by George R Martin: Martin's trilogy is now five books long and he's aiming for seven. This is epic fantasy of wild adventure.

For All Creatures by Glenda Millard: A glorious hymn of praise for animals, to share with children

Go the F**K to Sleep by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortes: a alternative bedtime story that became a shock bestseller

Here on Earth by Tim Flannery: Australia's most outspoken science writer tries to find hope among all the bad news

The Magician King by Lev Grossman: for fantasy lovers, Grossman mixes he contemporary with magic and scary adventures

Mandela's Way by Nelson Mandela: now a classic, fifteen lessons on "life, love and courage" from 91-year-old Mandela, written in collaboration with Time editor Stengel.

Miss Fisher Murder Mystery collection by Kerry Greenwood: the books behind the tv series due next year, by Melbourne crime queen

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave: first published in 2008, a contemporary political story about a young Nigerian asylum seeker in detention in the UK.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver: now over a decade old, this still gaining new readers: a saga about a missionary family in the Belgian Congo in the 1950s.

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes: a short, tough entertaining but troubling story about a man looking back at youth

Sins of the Father by Eamonn Duff: a blow-by-blow account of the lead-up to the day when marijuana was found in Schapelle Corby 's luggage, denting her claims that she knew nothing about it.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson: a big story about one of the most influential lives of the past century.

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson: a new edition of the hear-warming lovely classic by the Finnish author of the Moomin books

The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt: won the National Book Prize in the United States; brilliant history about how a poem written by a Roman poet around 60 BCE "swerved" thinking and eventually set in motion the Renaissance.


Two Greeks by John Charalambous: An unflinching reminder of life in Australian suburbs, before women's rights were debated

Why be Happy When You Could be Normal by Jeanette Winterson: another memoir by the unique author of Oranges are not the Only Fruit.

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