Looking for the best Australian authors? Or just a must-read book? Here’s our guide to 10 books you won’t be able to put down in 2023…
With so many great Australian authors coming out with debuts and new novels, it’s high time to appreciate our own. After all, we could do with a bit of self-love across Australia.
Sit amongst the scenery at a local park or one of Australia’s best beaches, or even lounge within the safety of your humble abode, and flick through our list of the best Australian novels that you must read in 2023!
From hard-hitting real-life stories to exceptional short stories, and even the tales that make Australia amazing, the following books are sure to dazzle your eyes in 2023.
The Avoidable War by Kevin Rudd
With sanctions and tariffs flying between China and the USA – as their relationship frays by each sunset – it seems we’re hurtling towards a declaration of war. But it’s quite difficult to follow it all. However, there is one man who can help us understand the growing conflict between China and the western world: good old Kevin ’07! In January 2021, he became the president and CEO of Asia Society. He was also foreign minister under the Gillard government. And he was Prime Minister for a time, too. Is there a better Australian for this task?
Believe by Sam Frost
Sam Frost made headlines in 2014 when she was titled as the winner of the second season of The Bachelor. Fame and glory knocked on her door; she was in fame heaven. But the happiness was short-lived. Soon the fresh star fell into the dark side of fame, drowning in a mind flooded with self-destructing thoughts as she continued to face the public. But as the dust settles, Sam rises as her authentic self. And here is her story, in all it’s raw energy and power, ready to make you believe in yourself and the world again.
Endo Unfiltered by Erin Barnett
According to Endometriosis Australia, more than 830,000 Australian women suffer from the illness at some point in their lifetime. It’s a painful disorder where the tissue that should grow inside the uterus develops on the outside which can cause irregular menstruation. If you suffer from it, or believe you do, then this is the book for you. Written by Erin Barnett, whom many will remember from reality TV (Love Island Australia), it’s a first-hand account of the debilitating illness while offering wisdom and strength to women who are struggling.
Facts And Other Lies by Ed Coper
We’re stuck in the catastrophe of misinformation and disinformation, conspiracy theories and alternative facts. And Ed Coper is here to unravel it all in his poignant book Facts and Other Lies. Ask yourself: would your younger self believe half the news that is spewed today? A president who suggests injecting bleach to cure COVID-19. A pandemic that some people still believe is fake? Cryptic cryptocurrencies? Ed Coper pulls it all apart to see how we got here, why, and where it will lead… or end. One of our top books to read in 2023!
If You're Happy by Fiona Robertson
Fiona Robertson is a doctor and also a best-selling Australian author, most notable for her short fiction stories. In her new short story collection called If You’re Happy, Fiona masters her literary art by exploring the human heart and its desire for joy. Each story brings forth an adoring character in a dire situation: a lonely man finds an abandoned toddler; a second wife in a fundamentalist community questions her religion; and a young Australian veteran of the Afghanistan conflict is haunted by a memory from his last mission. Expect to feel joy and pain together.
Making Australian History by Anna Clark
History, while a past truth, is also socially constructed. That’s why Indigenous history seems overloaded by colonisation rather than all the things they did before the British came – see Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe. In Making Australian History, Anna Clark wades through the revisions and reinterpretations of Australian history to discover how it has changed and who makes the cut. It’s bold and it’s extensive, cataloguing a scrambled past. A must-read Australian book in 2023 – we guarantee that you will see Australian history differently after reading this.
Son of Sin by Omar Sakr
The harsh reality is, being a young queer Muslim immigrant is a mighty battle between who you are and who other people want you to be. And Omar Sakr’s debut novel, Son of Sin, attempts to unwrap this reality. Wavering between the past and present, Jamal Smith must pursue their desire for love and happiness in a problematic world — not to mention a fracturing family. Woven across generations and geographies, from Turkey to Western Sydney, with racist kangaroos and adoring bats, this could easily be one of the best Australian books of 2023.
Speaking in Tongues by Tom Tilley
Speaking in tongues is the act of praising God in a gospel-like language. But, to many, it more closely resembles gibberish. It’s the same thought that Tom Tilley had, growing up in a Pentecostal family with strict rules and insurmountable expectations. As Tom got older, the more he questioned his church – especially the act of speaking in tongues. And when he finally lets his thoughts loose, it costs him a lot; but he gains so much more. If you’ve watched The Project on Channel 7, chances are you’ve seen Tom Tilley. One of the best Australian books to read in 2023!
The Torrent by Dinuka McKenzie
There is now a great competitor in Australian crime fiction called Dinuka McKenzie. Her upcoming novel The Torrent, follows two unseemingly connected cases that push Detective Sergeant Kate Miles to the edge. A loving husband who drowned in recent summer floods, and a teenage girl caught up in a violent robbery. Kate is counting down the days to maternity leave, but when these two cases land on her desk, she can either write the report that’s expected or investigate the case the way she wants to.
27 Letters To My Daughter by Ella Ward
At 36 years of age, Ella Ward was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. There, the bustling life she lived seemed to drift off before her. Her family, her legacy, all dwindling. As Ella’s treatment began, she started drafting letters to her daughter; letters about love, life, and the importance of cotton knickers. Based on the author’s true story, 27 Letters To My Daughter paints the picture of perseverance under terrible circumstances. It asks the question: how do you want to be remembered when death comes dancing at your door?
Looking for something more to read? Check out our list of the 10 Best Books by Australian Authors You Don’t Want to Miss. Want to achieve something more? Check out our list of the 10 Best Books to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions.