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Spotlight on Australia

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXAUS190. Buy these 5 items as a set for $96 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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In a Sunburned Country

In a Sunburned Country

by Bill Bryson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 335 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

The intrepid, ever-resourceful Bryson revels in Australia's eccentric characters, dangerous flora and fauna and other oddities in this wildly funny, effortlessly informative travelogue. (AUS83, $15.99)

Aboriginal Australians

Aboriginal Australians

by Stephen Muecke

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 127 PAGES

A lively shirt-pocket encyclopedia, illustrating the culture, history and art of the Aborigines. (AUS230, $15.95)

Australia: The East, Travellers' Wildlife Guides

Australia: The East, Travellers' Wildlife Guides

by Les Beletsky

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 544 PAGES

Featuring 650 full-color illustrations of common fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds of Australia and an overview of parks and preserves including the Great Barrier Reef. (AUS167, $29.95)

Eyewitness Guide Australia

Eyewitness Guide Australia

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 587 PAGES

Featuring hundreds of innovative maps, color photographs and choice recommendations for excursions and sightseeing. (AUS101, $30.00)

Australia Map

Australia Map

by ITMB

  • 2010
  • MAP

A handy, folded map at a scale of 1:3,500,000. (AUS23, $12.95)

 
Culture Smart! Australia

Culture Smart! Australia


by Barry Penney

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice. (AUS189, $9.95)

A Commonwealth of Thieves, The Improbable Birth of Australia

A Commonwealth of Thieves, The Improbable Birth of Australia


by Thomas Keneally

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

Keneally illuminates the birth of New South Wales with drama and flair, richly evoking the social conditions in London, long sea voyage and the conditions in Australia. (AUS177, $16.00)

The Fatal Shore

The Fatal Shore


by Robert Hughes

  • HISTORY
  • 1988
  • PAPER
  • 752 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

In this celebrated social history, both scholarly and entertaining, Hughes traces the fate of those who were transported to the penal colonies of Australia between 1787 and 1868. It's an engaging popular account, drawn from the experiences of the colonists themselves. (AUS04, $21.00)

The Reef, A Passionate History: the Great Barrier Reef from Captain Cook to Climate Change

The Reef, A Passionate History: the Great Barrier Reef from Captain Cook to Climate Change


by Iain McCalman

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 352 PAGES

McCalman, a historian at the University of Sydney, brings to life the explorers and scientists, beachcombers, divers, indigenous peoples and castaways who first experienced the Great Barrier Reef. (AUS277, $27.00)

The Songlines

The Songlines


by Bruce Chatwin

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Rory Stewart provides the introduction to this 25th anniversary edition of Bruce Chatwin's celebrated travelogue. Chatwin transforms a journey through the Outback into an exhilarating, semi-fictional meditation on our place in the world. (AUS01, $16.00)

Aboriginal Art

Aboriginal Art


by Wally Caruana

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 239 PAGES

This well-illustrated survey focuses on the spiritual and geographic sources of art and ritual traditions in Australia. With 187 well produced black-and-white and color illustrations. (AUS14, $21.95)

Daisy Bates in the Desert: A Woman's Life Among the Aborigines

Daisy Bates in the Desert: A Woman's Life Among the Aborigines


by Julia Blackburn

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 232 PAGES

In this wonderfully original biography, Blackburn recreates the life of Daisy Bates (1861-1951), who abandoned her comfortable surroundings in 1913 to live for 30 years in the wilderness. It opens memorably "There was once a woman who lived in the desert." (AUS37, $15.00)

In the Land of Oz

In the Land of Oz


by Howard Jacobson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 517 PAGES

The 2010 Booker Award winner Jacobson travels around Australia with his Australian-born wife in this marvelously described tale of wonders down under, first published 25 years ago. He concludes that "there is no more variously beautiful country." (AUS272, $18.00)

My Place

My Place


by Sally Morgan

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1987
  • PAPER
  • 440 PAGES
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

A deeply moving autobiography of three generations in Australia, which artfully evokes Aboriginal culture. Morgan, who spent her childhood in Perth, didn't discover her Aboriginal background until she was in her teens. (AUS19, $19.95)

Stilwater: Finding Wild Mercy in the Outback

Stilwater: Finding Wild Mercy in the Outback


by de Grenade, Rafael

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

A vividly descriptive account of a woman's experiences as a cattle rancher at the Stilwater cattle station in Queensland; de Grenade contrasts the startling, pastoral beauty of the land and wildlife with the harshness of ranch life. (AUS279, $16.00)

Australia, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Australia, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by Robert Ross

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Arranged geographically, this collection of works by mostly local writers, including Patrick White, Peter Carey and other luminaries introduces the cultures, geography and mindset of Australia. (AUS38, $13.95)

Moonlight Downs

Moonlight Downs


by Adrian Hyland

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 322 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

The Ned Kelly Award-winning first Emily Tempest investigation set in the Australia. Emily, a half-white, half-Aboriginal woman returns to her hometown in the Outback only to find that the tribe's elderly leader has been murdered. (AUS251, $14.00)

The Bone is Pointed

The Bone is Pointed


by Arthur Upfield

  • MYSTERY
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

This Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte mystery finds the half-Aborigine detective in the place he knows best, the Australian outback, where he is investigating the disappearance of a local scoundrel. (AUS171, $20.95)

The Secret River

The Secret River


by Kate Grenville

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 334 PAGES

Inspired by the history of her own family, Kate Grenville evokes all the bravado, trickery and conflict over the settlement of New South Wales in her tale of a Thames boatsman banished to the new colony in 1806 (AUS179, $14.00)

True History of the Kelly Gang

True History of the Kelly Gang


by Peter Carey

  • LITERATURE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 386 PAGES

Carey's powerful, daring novel, steeped in the colonial history of late 19th-century Australia, won him a second Booker (the first was for Oscar & Lucinda). Outlaw, folk hero, thief and patriot, the Irish immigrant Ned Kelly and his clan figure large in the Australian mindset. (AUS119, $15.95)

Chasing Kangaroos

Chasing Kangaroos


by Tim Flannery

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

In this ode to the kangaroo, Flannery weaves his own coming of age as a scientist with tales of the strange marsupial, past and present. (AUS186, $14.00)

The Snorkeller's Guide to the Coral Reef, From the Red Sea to the Pacific Ocean

The Snorkeller's Guide to the Coral Reef, From the Red Sea to the Pacific Ocean


by Paddy Ryan

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 184 PAGES

A bestseller, this take-along guide covers coral reefs, fish, invertebrates and plants of the Indo-Pacific and includes 200 color photographs. (DIV18, $21.99)

Australian Birds

Australian Birds


by Pocket Naturalist

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2000
  • PLASTIC CARD

A laminated card featuring commonly encountered Australian birds. (AUS99, $6.95)

Australian Wildlife

Australian Wildlife


by Raymond Leung | James Kavanaugh

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 1999
  • PLASTIC CARD

This handy fold-out guide features illustrations of almost 150 species of Australian animals. Laminated and pocket-sized, it easily slips into your daypack. (AUS111, $6.95)

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia


by Ken Simpson | Nicholas Day

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 440 PAGES

A handbook and field guide to Australia's birds with 2,000 vivid color illustrations, each accompanied by a brief description and revised range map. (AUS06, $39.95)

Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia

Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia


by Peter Menkhorst | Frank Knight

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

A comprehensive guide to 376 species (kangaroos, bandicoots, koalas, wombats, and more), featuring 376 full color illustrations. (AUS117, $50.00)

Fishwatcher's Field Guide, Great Barrier Reef

Fishwatcher's Field Guide, Great Barrier Reef


by Idaz Greenberg

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • PLASTIC CARD

A double-sided, laminated card covering the reef fish of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the tropical Pacific. (DIV41, $7.50)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.