15 great books from Sydney authors

From well-known writers like Liane Moriarty and Charlotte Wood to talented newcomers you’ve yet to explore, add these titles to your reading list.

What better time to discover or rediscover our talented local authors. Our librarians have delved into our collection of ebooks and eaudiobooks to suggest 15 titles for adults, young adults and children to enjoy.

All the titles are available to borrow from our digital collection as well as many other great reads from authors near and far.

Adult fiction and non-fiction

Portable Curiosities by Julie Koh (ebook)
Enjoy this quirky collection of short stories available on Indyreads. The dark and fantastical stories combine absurd humour with a searing satirical critique of modern society. Julie is a former lawyer who is now a bold new voice in the Sydney literary scene.

The Whole Bright Year by Debra Oswald (ebook)
Dive deep into this tender story of a mother daughter relationship, holding on tightly to what we love and knowing when to let go. A contemporary Australian retelling of the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephon, set on an Australian stone fruit orchard. Debra was the head writer of celebrated Australia TV series Offspring and is married to Richard Glover.

The Family Law by Benjamin Law (ebook)
Enter the world of Benjamin’s endearing yet eccentric family in this personal memoir told in essays. This is a profoundly funny portrait of family life that is both universal and utterly particular. Benjamin co-hosts ABC Radio National’s weekly pop culture show Stop Everything.

Napoleon’s Last Island by Tom Keneally (ebook and eaudiobook)
Exploring the connection between ordinary people and those we deem exceptional, this historical novel is available as an ebook and eaudiobook. The story recreates the friendship between Emperor Napoleon and Betsy Balcombe, a young girl who later immigrated to Australia, during his exile in St Helena. Tom is one of Australia’s most well-known novelists.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty (ebook and eaudiobook)
Complete strangers with little in common have no idea what is about to hit them when they come together at a wellness retreat. Available as an ebook and eaudiobook, the story that unfolds is full of suspense and told with wit, compassion and an uncanny understanding of human behaviour. Many of Lianne’s bestselling novels are set in Sydney.

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood (ebook)
Shortlisted for the 2020 Stella Prize, this is a compelling story about friendship and growing older. 3 women come together to pack up the life of one of their dearest and oldest friends. They must examine the ties that hold their friendship together and the secrets that may cause their common bonds to break. Charlotte has written 5 other novels including The Natural Way of Things.

The Crimes of Billy Fish by Sarah Hopkins (ebook)
In this moving and hopeful story about what it takes to survive on the outside, follow Billy as he navigates life after his release from jail. Billy’s life has revolved around drugs, crime and custody, while his sister Rose has lived a structured existence working and caring for her son. When Rose’s life unravels, he has to leave his past behind to save his sister. This is the first of 4 novels written by Sarah, a criminal lawyer.

Not Meeting Mr Right by Anita Heiss (ebook)
Deadly, desirable and delicious, is Alice’s mantra as she hilariously negotiates her way through the rocky terrain of singledom. Alice, the Koori heroine of this inspiring novel, is determined to prove that a woman can have it all. Author Anita is a Lifetime Ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW. Currently residing in Brisbane, she has lived most of her life in Sydney.

The Secret River by Kate Grenville (eaudiobook)
Explore early Sydney and the Hawkesbury region through the eyes of 19th century convict William Thornhill and his family. What started as research into the author’s family history became a bestselling novel that was also adapted as a TV mini-series and stage play.

Smoke in the Room by Emily McGuire (ebook)
Holed up in a tiny flat off Broadway, idealistic Adam, weary Graeme and wild, misunderstood Katie are searching for answers to big questions. Over an intense 2-week period they each confront their demons and begin to find answers in this compelling and honest novel. Emily McGuire also wrote the bestseller Taming the Beast.

Young adult fiction

Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim (ebook)
This inspirational novel is based on an incredible true story. In search of freedom from poverty and oppression, 2 boys, who couldn’t be more different, swim from mainland China to Hong Kong. Wai is a first generation Chinese-American author from New York City who has lived in Sydney since 2006.

Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah (ebook)
A work exploring identity and belonging, interracial relations and political consciousness through the eyes of young Lebanese-Muslim girl. Randa has written 11 novels and she is also an academic, human rights advocate and former lawyer.

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (ebook and eaudiobook)
The insightful and much-loved novel is available as an ebook and eaudiobook. In her final year at school, Josephine establishes a relationship with her estranged father, learns about love and discovers the real truth about her family.

Children’s fiction

The Joke Trap by Richard Glover (ebook)
Kids will love this hilarious tale exploring the terrible jokes that dads make and what it means to have the world’s most embarrassing parents. Friends Jessie and Ben concoct their own hilarious revenge on their dads to give them a taste of their own medicine. Richard presents Drive and the comedy program Thank God It’s Friday on ABC Radio Sydney.

The Cryptic Casebook series by Ursula Dubosarsky and Terry Denton (ebook)
Challenge your kids to a mind-bending read with these puzzles. The intrepid Coco and his cousin Alberta work together to solve mysteries in exotic Buenos Aries, often going deep undercover to reveal the answers. The series was inspired by Ursula’s travels to Buenos Aries with her Argentinian husband. Ursula also has written several children’s eaudiobooks.

Not a City of Sydney Library member? We've introduced temporary online memberships for City of Sydney residents and ratepayers living in NSW, allowing you to join without visiting a branch. With this membership, you'll get free access to our entire digital collection including ebooks, eaudiobooks, emagazines, enewspapers, and film and music steaming services. Temporary memberships are valid until 30 June 2020.

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