Today is the day Australia celebrates what’s great about Australia.
As the Australia Day Website explains:
Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788. Though 26 January marks this specific event, today Australia Day celebrations reflect contemporary Australia: our diverse society and landscape, our remarkable achievements and our bright future. It also is an opportunity to reflect on our nation’s history, and to consider how we can make Australia an even better place in future.”
One of the things I love about Australia is the abundance of great authors who come from there. The list of Australian authors includes many familiar to Americans, such as Geraldine Brooks, Kate Morton, Markus Zusak, and Thomas Keneally, but also many others not so familiar. The availability in the U.S. of books by Australians is hit and miss. Here are some authors whose books we can get:
John Marsden: His “Tomorrow” series is one of the most popular book series for young adults ever written in Australia. The first book of this series, Tomorrow When The War Began, has been reprinted 26 times in Australia.
Margo Lanagan: (multiple award winner)
Justine Larbalestier (irrelevant but interesting gossip: she is married to author Scott Westerfeld):
Melina Marchetta: (she has become one of my favorite authors)
Lucy Christopher: (technically Welsh but she has lived the longest in Australia)
Books by other noted Australian authors are unfortunately harder to find (but at least some of their works are available in e-book form):
Help celebrate Australia Day by requesting that your favorite bookseller stock books by these wonderful Australian authors! And while you’re at it, have a Tim Tam Slam!
A “Tim Tam” is a chocolate cookie made by Arnott’s in Australia and widely known as “the unofficial biscuit of Australia.” Nearly 400 million Tim Tams are produced every year! A Tim Tam is composed of two layers of chocolate malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate cream filling, and coated in a thin layer of textured chocolate.
Tim Tams were named by Ross Arnott after attending the 1958 Kentucky Derby and decided the winning horse had the perfect name for his new biscuit.
According to Wikipedia:
The Tim Tam Slam, Tim Tam Shotgun, Tim Tam Bomb, or Tim Tam Explosion is the practice of drinking a beverage through a Tim Tam. Opposite corners of the Tim Tam are bitten off, one end is submerged in the drink, and the drink sucked through the biscuit. The crisp inside biscuit is softened and the outer chocolate coating begins to melt. For best results, use a hot (not warm) beverage, and stuff the entire Tim Tam in your mouth once you feel the hot beverage touch your tongue through the Tim Tam. You have to be fast in putting it in your mouth or else it may break off into your drink.”
Want to see how to slam? This short and very cute video will demonstrate. (It looks a bit like they’re doing cocaine. Not that I would know personally, but from movies, you know….)