What is the best book that you read in 2006?

Each year the Library team create a summer reading list for the University comprising our favourite CSU Library books for that year. The list is posted on the blog. This year we invite you to contribute your favourite CSU Library book to our summer reading list. It can be a novel, a biography, a children’s story, history, a photography book, sport, whatever. Please send your favourite book title (and perhaps a few words about why it is your favourite) to Kerryn or use the comment option below this posting to tell us about your favourite.

Some of the Library team favourites for 2006 include:

  • Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie
  • In search of the Secret River by Kate Grenville
  • Out of my comfort zone by Steve Waugh
  • 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
  • The weathermakers by Tim Flannery
  • Molvania : a land untouched by modern dentistry by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner & Rob Sitch

57 thoughts

  1. My CSU Library favourte book for 2006 is Bleak House. I read it after watching the TV series on the ABC this year. I also borrowed the Bleak House DVD from that Library.


  2. I enjoyed The bedside book of birds by Graham Gibson. Thanks for asking for our input. I look forward to reading the summer reading list.

  3. The Secret River by Kate Grenville
    The boy in striped pyjamas (can’t remember who wrote it)
    A long, long way by Sebastian Barry
    March by Geraldine Brooks

  4. History of Love by Nicole Krauss
    Don’t be put off by the dovetailing. The complexity settles beautifully by the end.

    Old Filth by Jane Gardam
    Filth is an acronym for ‘Failed In London Try Hong Kong’.
    A charming, evocation of an emotionally stilted man and why. Love for Old Filth grows from his deep love of the time and his Very British Empire – this century and the last.

  5. Saving Fish from Drowning – Amy Tan.
    – is a funny, almost magical look at group dynamics, altruism, and self-interest set against the beauty and repressive politics of Myanmar. Impressive and surprisingly moving.


  6. My favourite this year was How to be French by Australian journalist Margaret Ambrose.

    I also enjoyed Best Australian essays 2005.

    I wish I’d had more time to read this year but study, work and children makes it hard to squeeze anything else in.



  7. I’ve read many good books this year, including many from the CSU Library. My best books are:

    Bleak House by Charles Dickens – wonderful (the TV series was also very good)
    Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard – one of my all time favourite novels.
    Bad faith: a forgotten history of family and fatherland by Carmen Callil
    The boy in the striped pyjamas by John Boyne – devastating ending
    Everyman’s rules for scientific living by Carrie Tiffany – very good Australian novel set in the Wimmera.
    Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky – wonderful novel written during the German invasion and occupation of France.


  8. A man’s got to have a hobby by William McInnes. Funny and moving memoir about childhood, cricket and growing up in Queensland. A very enjoyable read.


  9. Postwar: a history of Europe since 1945 by Tony Judt. This is probably one of the best history books I have ever read. Recommended.


  10. It’s a toss up between the last Harry Potter and The historian by Elizabeth Kostovai (not sure how to spell her surname). This novel is part thriller and part fantasy (vampires)with lots of hidden codes and mysteries. My sort of novel. Much better than the Da Vinci code.

    Thanks to the library for buying good fiction – we all need the occasional break from the study grind. The librarys dvds are also great.


  11. I enjoyed Doctorow’s last novel called The March about the American civil war. Couldn’t put it down.


  12. Tim Flannery’s The weathermakers was the best book that I read this year. I urge everyuone to read it and do their bit to save our planet.

  13. hi,
    a great survey

    the book thief – the author evades me…
    about ww2 and the nazis jewish solution from a young adult point of view. don’t yawn, not another one. poignant, and it gets better as you go… well worth the effort.

  14. I have just arrived at CSU so here are my favourites (among many favourites of course):

    Carpentaria by Alexis Wright – a blockbuster saga set in Queensland’s Gulf Country, with a touch of Tim Winton and South American magic realism

    An Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung – a funny and poignant memoir of a young Australian-Cambodian woman in Melbourne and the clash of cultures she confronts.


  15. The no. 1 ladies’ detective agency series by Alexander McCall Smith

    Ian Goulter
    Vice Chancellor

  16. I don’t know if it is in the csu catalogue but if its not, it should be! my favourite book that I read (i bought it) is “pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett. It is amazing!


  17. Hi

    My favourite for this year was Into the Whirly Wind – Stories of ‘first year out’ teaching (Harris, Allan, Phillip & Reid, 2004). This is a must read for any education student; the stories are hysterical and eye-opening.

    The best part is knowing that these stories come from CSU graduates. I can only hope that my first year out (2007 – posted to God know where ’cause I ticked the box!) is as special and as entertaining as these were.


  18. Very hard to pick given the number of good CSU books I read this year but my vote is:

    The Tomorrow Series of books by John Marsden. For obvious reasons such as they are well written and suspenseful but also surprisingly thought provoking (for me anyway).

    Kind Regards,


  19. Blackberry wine”, Joanne Harris

    The story of a one-hit wonder English novelist, who moves to France to try and write another best seller. The character revisits childhood memories of lazy days home from boarding school spent with a slightly eccentric market gardener come wine maker, and the ghosts of Summers Past. He now finds he has bought, sight unseen, a much neglected house and orchard in the middle of a once prosperous, though sleepy, wine region in France. His retreat from city life and a return to simpler things. He is to learn that some of villagers are anxious to move forward with a new vision for the region, while others try to cling to the past and traditional life style. As an outsider he has to negotiate all the little intricacies and complications of village life where its inhabitants have long memories and their own ways of dealing with its little problems.

    I love it, mainly because I once had a Jackapple Joe in my life, (the book could have been written about my great uncle – coincidently also named Joe), some of my childhood memories are similar, and I guess it was the happy memories of time spent with Joe that led be to becoming a horticulturist. This book just appeals to me no end. Oh and lets not forget I too live in a small village and, like a number of characters in the book, would like it to remain just the way it is.

  20. Hello,

    One of my absolute favourite books is ‘Last Days of a Condemned Man’ by Victor Hugo. It is an interesting take on the experience of a man sentenced to death by guillotine. I felt sorry for him in the end. Although it is only a short book it is one I could not put down, it was like looking through a window into someone’s soul as they look back on their life, the decisions they made which led them to where they are presently and what they feel will become of their loved one’s and how people will think of them after they are gone.

    Kind regards,


  21. This is a great idea. My favourites were Farewell to my ovaries by Wendy Harmer and The devil wears Prada (can’t remember the author).



  22. We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver – very disturbing book about a mother and her son who is in jail for shooting a number of students at his high school.

    Jane B.

  23. I loved North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – a great romantic novel set in Manchester during the Industrial revolution. I read the novel 3 times! I also loved the tv series which I borrowed repeatedly from the library (I ended up buying my own copy of the novel and dvd.)


  24. Favourite books for 2006: Little, big by John Crowley (fantasy); A long, long way by Sebastian Barry (poetic novel about a young Irishman fighting in WWI , caught up in the turmoil of the Easter Rebellion and its aftermath); A Tale of love and darkness by Amos Oz (the autobiographical story of a boy growing up in the newly created state of Israel, dealing with the effects of the Holocaust on his family and society); and The Ballad of Desmond Kale by Roger McDonald (novel set in the early days of New South Wales, written in rollicking language about the fever to breed the finest Merinos).


  25. I loved “Dirt Music” by Tim Winton and “The True History of the Kelly Gang” by Peter Carey and for a good laugh “Holy Cow : an Indian Adventure” by Sarah McDonald


  26. Hello,

    My favourites are

    Inheritance of loss by Kiran Desai
    Inhaling the Mahatma by Christopher Kremmer
    The great war for civilisation: the conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk (still wading through this)
    Hungry tide by Amitav Ghosh
    Eleven on top, Janet Evanovich



  27. I would like to nominate Theft by Peter Carey. I found the characters fresh and interesting and Carey’s style original and challenging. On a couple of occasions I put the book down for a week or so before eventually finishing it. When I had finally finished the book memories of the characters haunted me for days!

  28. Favourite book from 2006 is John McGahern’s ‘Memoir’, pub in 2005. McGahern’s recollections of childhood in rural Leitrim in the 1930s and 1940s is simply memorable because it is so well written, so evocative of a time, a place and a dysfunctional family. Highly recommended.



  29. I found Mark Leonard’s book was great, called “Why Europe will run the 21st Century”

    Leonard agues that Europe will be a stronger force in the world because of its transformational power. Whilst America is bent on ‘hard power’, using coercion and force to instil its values whilst Europe delivers a ‘soft power’ of inclusion and conciliation. He believes this approach works in the long term and is about reshaping the world rather than winning short term tussles.

    Quite thought provoking.


  30. If I had to recommend one book this year it would have to be:

    Absurdistan – by Eric Campbell

    This memoir gives a very interesting and humorous insight into the life of award winning journalist Eric Campbell during his time as a foreign correspondent for ABC television.

    I didn’t know what to expect when I first picked it up, but really enjoyed the ride.

    Jenny (library, wagga)

  31. I like to read biographies particulary about people who overcome things like disability, death, illness and discover within themselves strengths and abilities that they did not know they had.

    Head over heels by Sam and Jenny Bailey and Salvation Creek: an unexpected life by Sue Duncan are both very inspiring biographies about loss and triumph.

    I like to read biographies with a French connection. These three were very enjoyable.
    How to be French by Marg Ambrose
    Tete-a-tete – biography of Simone de Beauvois and jean-Paul Satre by Hazel Rowley
    On Rue Tatin by Susan Loomis (mouthwatering book about cooking and buying a house in a French town.

  32. Twilight of love – travels with Turgenev by Robert Dessaix was my favourite book.

    Thank you


  33. My favourite 2006 book is the novel ‘A Suitable Boy’ by Vikram Seth. It is a rich, vivid and colourful, slowly unfolding story about a family in India, sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always great reading.

    Megan C

  34. Hi,

    Is it too late to add my favourite book?

    I want to nominate Promise me, and The Innocent by Harlan Coben. These books are full of suspense and surprises. Loved them.


  35. I discovered Dorothy L Sayers this year. I’d like to recommend ‘Nine Tailors’ as my favourite book. Its very clever and the end is a complete surprise.



  36. Wagga Library has a great collection of crime novels which I love to read when I need a break from study. These are my favourites:

    #The Devil’s feather by Minette Walters (terrifyingly good)
    #Medusa by Michael Dibdin (one of my favourite writers, set in Italy with the wonderful detective Inspector Zen)
    #Entombed by Linda Fairstein (frightening)
    #Keep me close by Clare Francis (another scary book, kept me guessing right up to the last page)
    #A death divided by Clare Francis (great page turner)

    Best wishes


  37. I read a novel called Silent Parts (can’t spell the author’s name) which I enjoyed a lot. The story swaps between the present time and the first world war. The main character is Harry who deserts from the frontline and hides in the house of a French woman who he eventually falls in love with. I recommend it.


  38. Hello,

    My best books for 2005 were

    A thinking reed by Barry Jones,Ten thousand acres: a love story by Patrice Newell and Jamie Oliver’s Italy. The photographs in Patrice Newell’s book about her farm are stunning. I’ve only just bought the Barry Jones book and only half way thru – its very enjoyable.

    Your list is a great idea. I hope I’m not too late in recommending my favourites. Thank you and best regards.


  39. Jillaroo by Rachael Treasure is a great love story set on an Australian farm
    Thousand days in Venice: an unexpected romance by Marlena de Blasi is a true love story set in beautiful venice.

    I enjoyed them very much.


  40. The Murrumbidgee kid by Peter Yeldham and It’s all good by Andrew Daddo (not a kid’s book but about motorbikes and mates)were my best books this year.

    Thank you.

  41. Mark Twain by Ron Powers. I heard Ramona Koval interviewing the author about this book on Radio National this year. I was delighted to find that CSU had the book. I also reread Huckleberry Finn which I hadn’t read since school – still a great book.


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