The Books That Made Us and Ham

Late last year Australian actor, Claudia Karvan, hosted a three part television documentary that explored the stories that have shaped our nation’s identity in Books That Made Us.

Courtesy of the ABC

Claudia met with some of our most beloved and brilliant writers, including Booker Prize winners and best-selling authors and writers who have penned seminal stories, such as Richard Flanagan, Alexis Wright, Helen Garner, Tim Winton, David Malouf, Kate Grenville, Christos Tsiolkas, Thomas Keneally, Liane Moriarty, Trent Dalton, Kim Scott, and Melissa Lucashenko.

Did anyone watch this series?

I had read a handful of the books listed over the years though my Zoom Book Club have determined that we will read from the Books That Made Us List over the coming months starting with Kate Grenville’s “The Secret River.” I’m loving it!

A fellow Little Community Librarian in Western Australia – Leah’s Little Library – has massaged a Reading Challenge to better reflect Australian culture. I’ve attached if you are looking for direction in your reading this year.

With a house full of people and dogs my holiday reading has been pathetic with the TBR once again out of control. I had a date to visit the Lifeline Bookfest in the city later in the month. Maybe it’s just as well it has been cancelled because of you-know-what ( which we refuse to give a name in an endeavour to reduce its power).

And the really good news?

The Christmas Ham made it through to January 10th. So two things : 1) I never want to see ham again and 2) let the ham and vege soup making process begin.

18 thoughts on “The Books That Made Us and Ham

  1. I’m making a list of books to read this year and have added a couple from your list. We had an exceptionally good ham and it was gone in 8 days! I made ham & broccoli quiche, ham and cheese omelets, and some outstanding ham sandwiches!
    How did your sweet potato casserole come out? I saw the photo but no reviews…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Muri, HUGE success. Your recipe has been shared with family and most picked it as an “American Thanksgiving” dish. It is really lovely that we , and I mean the blogosphere, can share these things and learn from each other: ) Ham and cheese croissants were popular here, as well as corn and ham fritters, and ham toasted sambos. Our ham was spectacular : moist and smokey. 🍗🥮🥗🥙🧀🥐🫒🍉🍒

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Sharon

    Yes loved The books that made us, had read quite a few but by no means all, not a bad idea to read from those presented. We went with a very small shoulder ham and it lasted about a week, when all gone we were still left wanting more, but that was due to Bronte’s impressive ability with creating a glazed baked ham, very yummy! I think her glazed ham may be a new tradition.


  3. I am guessing not a single one of those books had anything to do with making me. Unless Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is on that list. My list includes Clancy, Dale Brown, Vince Flynn, Clive Cussler, Harold Coyle, Ben Coes, Larry Bond, Brad Thor, Stephen Coonts….and I see none of those on her list. So she is being a bit presumptuous with a subjective category, don’t you think?


  4. Ha Ha, know you exactly how you feel about ham. We had a crowd of 16 for Christmas lunch, but then they all departed and left Bec and I with a mountain of ham! Just got the last few slices to go and that’s it, ham is OFF the menu. I was going to watch Books That Made Us and then totally forgot about it. We watch so little tv we actually just forget about it. Sometimes it sits lost and alone for weeks without ever being switched on, but it sounds like it would have been a great series. I enjoyed The Secret River when I read it a few years ago for Uni. Reading is at least one thing that will remain on the menu.


  5. I like the list from Leah’s Little Library. I’m not a fan of reading lists that are of specific books – mainly because they all tend to be stuffy ‘classics,’ and as a former English Lit major, I know just how many of those classics are absolute dreck. But even if the lists are more varied, I still don’t care for them, because I don’t like someone else picking something for me to read. (Much as I love reading, I also hate being given books as gifts. To me, the process of choosing what to read is as important as reading itself.) LLL’s list gives direction, but still allows the reader to search out something that works for them. A perfect compromise!


    1. Feel much the same. Nothing wrong with a little direction but don’t dictate too me. Ditto re the “classics”.
      My first Book Club was an epic fail. All classics, which made this girl unhappy. When it was my term to select a book for reading I chose something contemporary and Indigenous. The others hated it , some even refused to read it, simply because it was not deemed a classic. Sayonara Dipsticks…..

      Liked by 1 person

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