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Pleasure reading

I’ve just finished a book about Australia, and I really wanted to write about it here because it’s now the third excellent book I’ve read about this country. I know most people at VLS aren’t in Australia, as I am, but, if ever you were curious to know about Australia, these are the books for you.

The one I just read is called Linkletter Down Under, and it is by Art Linkletter. I know he was a television icon at one point, though admittedly this was before my time. The Australia that he writes about is also from another time, but it gives you a great insight into what Australia was like not so long ago. The Government was desperate to develop the land for agriculture, and people largely believed that the climate in many parts of the country were perfect for various types of farming and ranching. However, most who try their luck end up with many more problems than they bargained for. I won’t give too many details, just to say it’s a quick read and worth it.

The second, which I may have mentioned before, is Tim Flannery‘s Country, which is actually called Chasing Kangaroos in the US. This is an excellent book about kangaroos, Australia, and Flannery’s own experiences that led to him becoming one of Australia’s foremost paleontologists.

The final book is one I read awhile back, called The Road from Coorain, by Jill Ker Conway. This is the story of Conway’s childhood in the outback of Australia, and provides an honest, and at times heart-wrenching, portrayal of life in the arid interior. Interestingly, Conway later became the first female president of Smith College, and her life story is a fascinating one.

I would recommend all of these books to anyone, even if you don’t plan to come to Australia. Of course, if you are coming, there’s even more reason for you to read them. They’ve certainly enhanced my understanding of this place and the people who live here.  It’s definitely worth making time in your busy schedule as a student for some pleasure reading, which can often be very educational : )

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