Sydney Writers’ Festival authors’ book tips rock

Recommended reads

The recommended reads from authors just keep coming. This latest offering hails from our second episode of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, and includes recommendations from Stella Prize Winner Charlotte Wood, debut authors Sophie Green, and recommendations from the very well-read crowd at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, as well as some great cookbook recommendations. There will be no excuses come the book-club choosing.

Authors’ best books read lately

Sophie Green, author of The Inaugural Fairvale Ladies Book Club, recommends:

Eligible
by Curtis Sittenfeld

A modern day romance, this version of the Bennet family and Mr Darcy is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray. Two men enter the scene and it is left to love itself to sort it out.

Charlotte Wood, author of The Natural Way of Things and Love and Hunger, recommends:

The Cage
by Lloyd Jones

Two mysterious strangers appear at a hotel in a small country town. Where have they come from? Who are they? What catastrophe are they fleeing?

The townspeople want answers, but the strangers are unable to speak of their trauma. And before long, wary hospitality shifts to suspicion and fear, and the care of the men slides into appalling cruelty.

Lloyd Jones’s fable-like novel The Cage is a profound and unsettling novel about humanity and dignity and the ease with which we’re able to justify brutality.

Authors’ favourite cookbooks

Jacqueline Harvey, author of the Kensy and Max, Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series, recommends:

Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks.

Charlotte Wood recommends:

Elizabeth David’s cookbooks.

Recommendations from the crowd

Ring of Brightwater
By Gavin Maxwell

Hailed a masterpiece when it was first published, the story of Gavin Maxwell’s life with otters on the remote west coast of Scotland remains one of the most lyrical, moving descriptions of a man’s relationship with the natural world. “”One of the outstanding wildlife books of all time.”- New York Herald Tribune First published 1960 by Longmans, Green & Co.

The Dry
by Jane Harper

After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.

The Trauma Cleaner
by Sarah Krasnostein

Husband, father, drag queen, sex worker, wife. You’ve got to hear Sandra’s incredible story.

Sarah Krasnostein’s The Trauma Cleaner is a love letter to an extraordinary ordinary life. In Sandra Pankhurst she discovered a woman capable of taking a lifetime of hostility and transphobic abuse and using it to care for some of society’s most in-need people.

The Secret River
by Kate Grenville

In 1806 William Thornhill, an illiterate English bargeman and a man of quick temper but deep compassion, steals a load of wood and, as a part of his lenient sentence, is deported, along with his beloved wife, Sal, to the New South Wales colony in what would become Australia. The Secret River is the tale of William and Sal’s deep love for their small, exotic corner of the new world, and William’s gradual realization that if he wants to make a home for his family, he must forcibly take the land from the people who came before him. Acclaimed around the world, The Secret River is a magnificent, transporting work of historical fiction.

Ruin
by Dervla McTiernan

It’s been twenty years since Cormac Reilly discovered the body of Hilaria Blake in her crumbling Georgian home. But he’s never forgotten the two children she left behind…

When Aisling Conroy’s boyfriend Jack is found in the freezing black waters of the river Corrib, the police tell her it was suicide. A surgical resident, she throws herself into study and work, trying to forget – until Jack’s sister Maude shows up. Maude suspects foul play, and she is determined to prove it.

Cookbooks from the crowd

Simplissime: The Easiest French Cookbook in the world
by Jean-Francois Mallet

Taking cooking back to basics, Simplissime is bursting with easy-to-follow and quick recipes for delicious French food. Discover how to make a mouth-watering Apple Tart with Cinnamon with just five ingredients, or Spaghetti with Asparagus and Orange in just three steps. For an impressive dish, whip up mouth-watering Mussels in Curry in a short 15 minutes.

Each of the 160 recipes in this book is made up of only 2-6 ingredients, and can be made in a short amount of time.

The Moosewood Cookbook
by Mollie Katzen

Since the original publication of the Moosewood Cookbook in 1977, author Mollie Katzen has been leading the revolution in American eating habits. Moosewood was listed by the New York Times as one of the top 10 best-selling cookbooks of all time, and no wonder. With her sophisticated, easy-to-prepare vegetarian recipes, charming drawings, and hand lettering, Mollie introduced millions to a more healthy, natural way of cooking.