Radical Melbourne, a book my sister Jill and I wrote in 2001, was part of the State Library of Victoria’s Summer Read program, which has now concluded:
I am Melba by Ann Blainey (Black Inc)
A gripping account of Dame Nellie Melba’s life, from defying her father and escaping to Paris, to becoming Australia’s first international singing star.
Blood Sunset by Jarad Henry (Allen & Unwin)
In this enthralling novel, a middle-aged detective uncovers a shady world of drug dealing and paedophilia linked to a teenager’s death in St Kilda.
Radical Melbourne by Jeff Sparrow & Jill Sparrow (Vulgar)
This exploration of Melbourne’s hidden alternative political history reveals the struggles gone by in familiar inner-city streets and buildings.
Addition by Toni Jordan (Text)
The engaging story of Grace Vandenburg, who obsessively counts everything in her daily life, until she meets Seamus and numbers can no longer hold her world together.
Beaten by a Blow (Penguin) by Dennis McIntosh
The gritty memoir of a young sheep-shearer learning life’s hard lessons in the tough environment of the shearing sheds.
It’s great that the SLV devotes so much time to conversations about books. The librarians who worked with us on a walking tour that happened to coincide with the hottest day Melbourne has ever experienced were lovely people. And it’s fantastic that people still get something from RM.
On the other hand, the need to tabulate and rank everything is kinda depressing. As Capleton says somewhere, music is a mission, not a competition. So too writing.