Australia’s Biggest Book Group

The State Library of Victoria is asking Victorians to help choose a book that describes the Victorian experience and can represent the state in the 2012 National Year of Reading ‘Our Story’ program.

Using reader voting, ‘Our Story’ will select one book from each Australian state and territory to form the reading list for Australia’s biggest book group. An independent selection committee in each state and territory has created a shortlist of six titles which readers can vote for to determine the book which best represents their region.

The aim, according to State Library director Debra Rosenfeldt, is “to create a collection of books that together describe the Australian experience … Ultimately we hope these eight books will give thousands of readers a greater depth of understanding about what it means to be Australian.”

Votes, which begin today, can be registered online at abc.net.au/yearofreading or at participating libraries and bookshops. Voting continues until 6 January 2012.

The list of eight winning titles and the start of Australia’s biggest book group for the National Year of Reading will be announced on 14 February 2012, at the National Library of Australia in Canberra. After that, existing book groups, new groups and individual readers can go online and register as a member of ‘Our Story’, joining in the discussion about the books the nation has chosen.

The Victorian program is coordinated by the State Library of Victoria in collaboration with the Public Libraries Victoria Network.

Our Story Victorian shortlist:

  • Bearbrass, Robyn Annear, Black Ink

  • Sold, Brendan Gullifer, Sleepers

  • Well Done Those Men, Barry Heard, Scribe

  • Unpolished Gem, Alice Pung, Black Ink

  • Radical Melbourne, Jeff & Jill Sparrow, Vulgar Press

  • The Comfort of Water, Maya Ward, Transit Lounge

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