Get pulled into a world of shady anthropologists and Asmat artifacts in Papua New Guinea, join an Aboriginal woman on the search for culture and family, go WWOOFing in New Zealand, search for an ancient pyramid in Samoa, or pick up a travel guide to Alice Springs.
Solve a mystery with an Australian immigrant’s tragedy woven into its centre, read a gripping thriller about a heart transplant patient, savor a poignant novel about missed chances, or read about the true adventure of a young man traveling across Australia in a 4-wheel drive.
Let this eclectic mix of mysteries, thrillers, adventure stories, and travel guides transport you to Australia and Oceania!
Featured in this post are books by Jennifer S. Alderson, Rosa Fedele, Jacki Ferro, Margaret Christine Halliday, Maya Lynch, Amanda Markham, Dean Mayes, Cass Moriarty and Gus Pegel. Click on the book cover to learn more or buy the book.
The complete list of books set in Australia and Oceania can be found here on Facebook.
Travel By Book is a Facebook group dedicated to travel fiction and non-fiction. If you love to read or write books strong in setting, consider joining us!
Rituals of the Dead by Jennifer S. Alderson
Art history student Zelda Richardson is thrilled to be working at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua New Guinea – the same area where a famous American anthropologist disappeared in 1962. When his journals are found inside one of the bis poles, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the man’s last days and his connection to these ritual objects.
Zelda is pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, headhunters, missionaries, art collectors, and smugglers – where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased.
Join Zelda as she grapples with the anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance fifty years earlier, and a present-day murderer who will do anything to prevent her from discovering the truth.
Pre-order it now for 99 cents (until February 26,2018)!
The Red Door by Rosa Fedele
It is 1983 and the new owner of the beautiful old Sydney mansion ‘Rosalind’ begins to believe she is being watched by the mysterious resident in Number Three, a reclusive man who happens to share his name with two teenage sisters, victims of a sinister and brutal murder. Her peace of mind slowly erodes as a fascination with the unsolved crime becomes obsession – consuming her life, shaking relationships with her newfound friends and leaving a trail of devastation.
This is a spellbinding tale, as much a mystery novel with an immigrant’s tragedy woven into its centre, as a portrait of women who carry dark secrets but also persevere through the strength of friendship. The Red Door will take hold of your imagination and never let go.
Alice’s Daughter: Lost Mission Child by Jacki Ferro and Rhonda Collard-Spratt
‘My story is not about blame. It’s about sharing history that belongs to all of Australia. I needed a push, but I am happy to finally give little Rhonda a voice, so that my words will live on after I leave this world.’
In 1954, aged three, Rhonda Collard-Spratt was taken from her Aboriginal family and placed on Carnarvon Native Mission, Western Australia. Growing up in the white world of chores and aprons, religious teachings, and cruel beatings, Rhonda drew strength and healing from her mission brothers and sisters, her art, music, and poetry, and her unbreakable bond with the Dreaming.
Alice’s Daughter is the story of Rhonda’s search for culture and family as she faces violence, racism, foster families, and her father’s death in custody; one of the first deaths investigated as part of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Written in Rhonda’s distinctive voice, Alice’s Daughter is fearless, compelling and intimate reading. Coupled with her vibrant and powerful paintings and poetry, Rhonda’s is a journey of sadness, humour, resilience, and ultimately survival.
WWOOFing North and South by Margaret Halliday
WWOOFing North and South, Margaret Halliday’s third memoir, describes her time as a WWOOFer in New Zealand and Scotland. She travels widely encountering an eclectic mix of people and animals. She gets butted by a billy goat, chased by geese, mobbed by chickens; swims with seals, explores New Zealand’s wilderness, gets close to sudden death and deepens her understanding of the meaning of life. Her work places include Scottish crofts, market gardens, retreat centres and organic farms, while her accommodation ranges from basic caravans to mansions. This book will appeal to, and maybe inspire, anyone contemplating an alternative lifestyle or a different way of travelling. WWOOFing can be undertaken in many countries, allowing people of all ages and backgrounds to experience a variety of cultures, leading to a profounder acceptance of the world. WWOOF= Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms
The Samoan Pyramid by Maya Lynch
Since the 1800s rumours have circulated about an ancient pyramid, built on an immense scale, hidden deep in the jungles of Samoa. Evidence perhaps of a great forgotten Pacific Empire. And yet there is no mention of the pyramid in the entire pantheon of Samoan myth. Samoan society is steeped in tradition but the local legends are silent on the subject of the pyramid.
When one woman digging into the archives discovers an outlier in the dataset of Pacific history, it is the catalyst for an adventure that takes us on a treasure hunt deep into the jungles of Samoa.
The Samoan Pyramid interweaves the spellbinding stories behind archaeology’s centuries-long quest to find the forgotten pyramid with the author’s own journey into the jungles of Samoa as she unravels one of the greatest archaeological mysteries of the Pacific.
Buy the Samoan Pyramid and uncover the secret today.
Alice Springs to Ayers Rock/Uluru Driving Guide by Amanda Markham
A complete driving guide to one of outback Australia’s most iconic road trips through Australia’s spectacular Red Center.
Over 110 pages of information, maps, photos, sightseeing and trip planning advice, written by outback locals with over 20 years of experience living and working Australia’s Red Center.
- TWO complete, detailed driving itineraries (not just what’s on the web)
- Four original local/expert sightseeing itineraries of 5-10 days not published elsewhere
- Uluru to Alice Springs itinerary plus extended side trips and options
- Detailed sightseeing, accommodation, trip planning and preparation advice
- Our detailed beginner’s guide to vehicle preparation and packing guides, based on more than 20 years of living and working in Outback Australia
Written by the people behind the number one travel resource for the Australian outback on the web, Travel Outback Australia.com, this guide will show you everything you need to know to plan your Ayers Rock- Alice Springs outback trip of a lifetime.
The Recipient by Dean Mayes
Casey Schillinge is a vivacious young woman on the verge of making her mark on the world. While backpacking, she is struck down by a tropical disease and suffers cardiac failure. But at the eleventh hour, Casey receives a life-saving heart transplant and a rare second chance to begin again.
Three years later, Casey has become a withdrawn shell of her former self: she is estranged from her loved ones, afraid of open spaces and rides the line between legitimate and criminal work. The worst of her troubles come in the form of violent night terrors; so frightening that she resorts to extreme measures to keep herself from sleeping.
When she can take no more, she embarks on a desperate search for the source of her dreams. In so doing, she makes a shocking discovery surrounding the tragic fate of the donor whose heart now beats inside her chest. As she delves deeper into the mystery of her donor, she realizes her dreams are not a figment of her imagination, but a real life nightmare.
The Promise Seed by Cass Moriarty
An elderly man, living alone in the suburbs, thinks back on his life—the missed opportunities, the shocking betrayals, the rare moments of joy. When his 10-year-old neighbor hides in his garden one afternoon, they begin an unexpected friendship that gives them a reprieve from their individual struggles.
The boy, left to his own devices by his mother, finds solace in gardening and playing chess with his new friend, who is still battling the demons of his past. When a sinister figure enters the boy’s life, he has to choose between his burgeoning friendship and blood ties.
Can the old man protect the boy he has come to know—and redeem the boy he once was? A poignant novel by a fresh new voice, The Promise Seed will linger long after the last page is turned.
Australia From Australia to Germany by Gus Pegel
A true story of a fifteen year old, who traveled in a Postie van 4-wheel drive from Melbourne, Australia to Stuttgart in Germany with two others. Crossing the vast expanse of the Australian outback to Perth in Western Australia, where they caught a container ship and sailed via Singapore to Sri Lanka and India, and from there, continued overland crisscrossing India up to Pakistan, all the way to Europe via Turkey and what was then Yugoslavia. This book gives an account of the journey, with all its ups and downs. It is not a tourist guide, but a detail of the things they experienced along the way… many of which most tourists would never see.
From Australia to Germany will be enjoyed by those who love to travel along back roads and off beaten paths. Get your copy and go on a 4×4 adventure!
And don’t forget to check out the Travel By Book to Africa and the Middle East, Travel By Book to Europe (fiction), Travel By Book to North America, Travel By Book to Asia, Travel By Non-Fiction Book to Europe, and Travel By Book to Latin American & the Caribbean posts to find even more great books to read.