Preparing for the Long Weekend 12/18-19/2010

It is (at least to me) a little known fact that one of Australia's nicknames is the Land of the Long Weekend (though this seems to be more related to student culture, with no classes on Fridays, than to any other demographic). Therefore, in honor of my impending trip Down Under, I would like you to join me here Friday evenings for a new post about preparing to move to Australia!

Posting topics will vary but may include: the student/worker/dependent visa process (after all, the fiance may be going with me), packing for an extended 'trip', local attractions, vaccinations, books, etc.

This week I will be sharing my 'to read' list. My goal is to have all 13 books read before I touch down in SYD (Sydney's international airport). I have roughly 32 weeks to accomplish this, so it shouldn't be a problem, right?

1)The Fatal Shore. Robert Hughes - historical non-fiction novel about exiling prisoners to Australia from which stemmed colonization.

2) Australia, A Traveler's Literary Companion. Robert Ross  - overview of Australia’s culture, geography, people and outlook.

3) In a Sunburned Country. Bill Bryson - comical recount of Bryson's encounters with Australians while living Down Under.

4 (Travelers’ Tales Guides.) Australia: true stories of life down under. Habegger - Thirty-nine travel tales about varying experiences vacationing and traveling in Australia.

5) Prehistory of Australia. John Mulvaney & Johan Kamminga - An overview of Aboriginal history, culture and art.

6) Rabbit-Proof Fence: The True Story of One of the Greatest Escapes of All Time. Doris Pilkington - True story about the Stolen Generation (Aboriginal children who were taken away from their parents and placed in white Australian families in an effort to assimilate them into 'mainstream' culture and society).

7) The Explorers. Tim F. Flannery - 67 personal accounts of the development of Australia.

8) A Photographic Guide to Mammals of Australia. Ronald Strahan - pocket-sized photographic guide to all the mammals the average Joe would want to see in Australia.

9) A Natural History of Australia. Tim Berra -an illustrated and detailed introduction to the natural history of Australia.

10) A Town Like Alice. Neville Shute - Classic tale of post WWII recovery in Australia. Most modern-day Australians are said to identify in some way.

11) True History of the Kelly Gang. Peter Carey - Booker Prize winner.

12) We of the Never-Never. Mrs Aeneus Gunn - An Australian version of Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, this story is about life on a 1920's outback station focusing mainly on the social and cultural life of the Aboriginal workers.

13) Cultural Atlas of Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific. Richard Nile & Christian Clerk - Short essays accompanied by maps and copious illustrations of the arts and cultures of the South Pacific.

Wish me luck!
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