It is time you all learnt to be happy little Vegemites.
Because, as you’ve probably gathered: I AM AN AUSTRALIAN. And, shamefully, I don’t talk about Australian books nearly enough on this blog. Although I have reasons. And considering you are just desperate to know those reasons (I see it in your eyes) I’ll kindly enlighten you: it’s because (A) Australian publishers don’t readily have their books available internationally, ergo I say “read this grand Aussie book” and all non-Australians are like “but I can’t buy it anywhere Cait why do you do this to me” so I’d rather talk about widely available books, and also (B) I read like 70% American literature so odds are I want to talk about them instead, which leads me to (C) I don’t own a lot of Aussie books, ergo I can’t photograph them, ergo I DON’T TALK ABOUT THEM BECAUSE I’M JUST THAT SHALLOW.
But today is aaaaall about vegemite and Aussie YA books you need to read immediately. Even if you have to construct a boat out of yogurt tubs and, using mainly spoons, paddle here to come buy these books — THEN JUST DO IT.
Although before we go on, OBVIOUSLY, we need to talk about vegemite. You need an education.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT VEGEMITE
- It is like a black salty spread that you put on toast, preferably with butter.
- It’s extremely salty.
- Hence you spread it EXTREMELY THINLY.
- If you eat a spoonful of vegemite: YOU WILL DIE.
- I haven’t had Vegemite in 79 years because (A) I don’t eat bread so that puts a damper on things, and (B) it has wheat in it and wheat hates me. #rude
- BUT 79 YEARS AGO WHEN I DID HAVE IT, I RECALL LIKING IT.
- People who say they hate vegemite are sad little dejected souls who clearly don’t have hearts as black as coal and I just don’t understand them. What do you eat instead?? Happiness????
- Also doooon’t say you don’t like vegemite if you haven’t tried it OR if you’ve been eating it wrong. Please. Sit down.
- Also, fun fact: not all Australians eat vegemite every day like the stereotypes would have you believe. I mean, look at my family. We’re allergic to it so it’s not even in the house.
- There are many ways to eat vegemite if you don’t want it on toast. Like vegemite chocolate for instance. Or vegemite…potato chips??????
- And here is a super creepy vintage ad that will explain why I say “Happy Little Vegemites”. Although I question why these kids are so happy when vegemite is like the coal spread of the dead. But whatever. You’re welcome for this education.
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is “Ten Books Set Outside The US“ and HALLELUJAH TO THE UNIVERSE for finally a non-American-centric prompt. Because, omg, I love Top Ten Tuesday, I truly do…but I get very frustrated with how USA focused it is. LET’S TALK ABOUT OZ. *
* That’s right people. We are in OZ now. Possibilities of me being secretly a wizard are in the high percentiles now.
Also I’m aware that there’s more than 10 books in this list. I CAN’T COUNT APPARENTLY.
First we’ll start off with the BEST of the BEST…well according to me. But when I am ever wrong? Barely never ever.
- EVERY BREATH: If you can only read ONE book off today’s list — THIS IS IT. Sherlock retelling. The best Sherlock retelling in the history of the ever. It’s so very Australian and clever and features people getting blown up and shot at and mysteries and tragic geniuses.
- THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CINNAMON GIRL: This is about (A) a comic artist, (B) who is in love with her best friend but doesn’t know it, and (C) it’s set in a bakery. I ate my copy.
- ONE WOULD THINK THE DEEP: This is about a tragically violently sad cinnamon roll who surfs and I don’t know how much more convincing I can be. IT’S EVERYTHING. I flailed so wildly in my review. Also,Claire Zorn’s editor read my review (!!!!!) and liked it (!!!!) (omg!!!!)
- MY SISTER ROSA: Psychopaths. Psychopaths EVERYWHERE. THIS IS A GRAND BLACK-HEARTED VEGEMITE BOOK. Also boxing and sandwiches and seriously disturbing small children. Should you be worried about how much I like psychopath books??? Hahahaha.
Here are ones that are by Australians…but they’re not in Australia. Because there’s a whole world out there for our actiony adventures.
- ILLUMINAE: You know this super mega famous book? AUSTRALIAN AUTHORS, OH YEAH. I mean, it’s not set in Australian and it didn’t even feel Australian, but I feel it’s worth mentioning what country this awesome came from.
- THESE BROKEN STARS: This is only 50% Australian, but puh-lease. Clearly that’s the reason it’s so awesome. And the intense levels of sarcasm are definitely Aussie inspired. I just know it. It’s like an adventure/survival/Titanic/alien story and it’s brilliant.
- DISRUPTION: This is one of my favourite books of ever. AND one of my top OTPs. Why? Because they hate each other so so bad. #shipit ANYWAY! It’s a sci-fi universe (probably set in the US actually…you fail me Jessica Shirvington) where you can only marry people if you’re “compatible”. You might think it’ll be super mushy. BUT NO. It’s all action, guns, fighting, and incredible sass. Also this book is notoriously hard to find anywhere but I noticed it’s up on Edelweiss. You’re welcome.
Sometimes Aussie authors don’t write about Australia (LE GASP) but they’re still Aussie, so we claim their genius as our own.
- THE BOOK THIEF: If you haven’t read this absolutely perfect WWII story (narrated by DEATH) then you need to. Just….bring along some tissues and chocolate is all I’m saying.
- RANGER’S APPRENTICE: I grew up on this series!! Adventure! Archery! Horses! Magic! More archery! Sass! It’s brilliant, okay? Childhood fantasy obsession. I tried to do archery in my backyard and got whiplash on my face because I’m just that talented at it.
- ARE YOU SEEING ME: This is technically set in Canada…shhh. But Aussie author!! It’s about a girl and her Autistic brother out on their Last Hoilday Ever before their lives part. IT’S SUPER GOOD.
- FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK: Only my favourite fantasy book ever. Well mostly of ever. I haven’t read the rest of the series which is a heinous crime. But it’s got such complex and detailed world building and prisons and torture and bleeding and YOU WANT IT, I KNOW YOU DO. Plus these characters are very badass and would eat vegemite by the spoon to grow hairs on their chest, probably. (If you like Throne of Glass, you’ll like this one.)
Aussie books do SUPER WELL at diversity since we’re a fairly multi-cultural nation. Go us.
- WHISPER: This is about a girl who is deaf and starting a new school and it’s just generally awesome.
- DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS: I found this wildly marvellously informative about what it’s like to be Muslim…so much judging, wow. Plus it’s quite funnily written.
- HATE IS SUCH A STRONG WORD: This is about what it’s like to be a Lebanese immigrant. And the food in this book…THE FOOD IS ON POINT.
- LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI: Is this like THE most famous Aussie book of ever??! More immigrant conversations (Italian this time) and complicated family histories and a girl looking for her father and a hate/love romance that I ship to Jupiter and back. Twice.
There’s nothing like a good SAD book to get those eyeballs liquefying. 10/10 would recommend getting your feels punched by these ones again.
- GIRL SAVES BOY: Dude, how long ago did I read this??? Like 2012 or something? BACK WHEN I WAS A SMALL IMPRESSIONABLE CHILD. Anyway. Steph Bowe wrote/published this when she was sixteen. Which is way too freaking talented and I am the envy. It’s really good though. VERY quirky. Garden gnome theft, adorable romance, lobsters and tragedy.
- ZAC & MIA: Humans refer to this as the “Australian TFIOS” and it has exactly zero similarities except for the fact it’s about caner. I mean??? C’mon!!! WORK ON YOUR COMPARATIVE TITLES, PEOPLE. Anyway. Mia is a bitter espresso and Zac is adorable. So read it.
- THE MINNOW: This is very, very whimsical and the ending had me drowning in a confused crab claw — but it’s still beautiful. There are floods and the most best friendships ever and teen pregnancy and drowning, probably.
For some bizarre reasons, the bulk of Aussie books seem to be contemporary…my least favourite genre. Woo. BUT AT LEAST THESE ARE GOOD CREATURES!
- PRELOVED: I read this back in 2012…which is a LONG LONG TIME AGO FOR MY SWISS CHEESE BRAIN. But it has (A) ghosts, which is my greatest weakness, and (B) it is built on a sturdy foundation of Princess Bride quotes. I will literally slap this book in your face forever. IT IS SO GOOD.
- YELLOW: See? More ghosts. I love ghosts. I freaking adore ghosts. Apparently many Aussie authors do.
- GRAFFITI MOON: This is one of those “it happened in a night!” sort of whirlwind adventures. There is much law breaking and paint.
- THE THINGS I DIDN’T SAY: So I’m currently reading this, ergo I have no idea how it ends, but shhhh I CAN CHEAT ON MY OWN LIST IF I WANT. I just am adoring this book and it’s A+ representation of social anxiety.