You’re in My Mind All the Time*

AnzacDayToday (or tomorrow, depending on when you read this) is Anzac Day. It’s a day set aside to thank and commemorate the men and women of Australia and New Zealand’s armed forces. They have served, and continue to serve, with distinction and bravery.

I’m neither an Australian nor a New Zealander. So why am I setting time aside for Anzac Day? One reason is that I am a world citizen. I know (at least a little) about the role the ANZAC forces have played in world history since WWI. Their bravery and sacrifice has helped keep me and my countrymen and women safe. There is no way to properly express gratitude for that. But you can at least learn a bit about it.

You can learn about the ANZAC forces here and here.


There’s another reason for which I set time aside for Anzac Day. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to both NZcountries. During my travels I’ve met some truly fine people. They’ve hosted me generously and treated me kindly, and I’ve made some good friends. I’ve had some memorable conversations about everything from politics to sport to film to education to social issues. And books. Of course, books. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve seen some amazing things. I’ve petted kangaroos, ‘toured’ Auckland from 328m up in the air, and seen some spectacular scenery. And that’s just the start!   All of this has been courtesy of people who wouldn’t want a fuss made about how kind they’ve been. But I remember.

AusRoosI’ve made some good online Australian and New Zealand friends too – friends I’ve not yet met in person. I hope that will change. We’ve had wonderful conversations about writing, books, and lots of other topics, too, and I’ve learned an awful lot. To all of you, thanks for reaching out.

So yes, I take some time on Anzac Day. I owe a lot, on many levels, to the good people of Australia and New Zealand. Here’s to you all!



Have you read these Australian authors?


Y.A. Erskine

Sulari Gentill 

Robert Gott

Katherine Howell

Adrian Hyland

Wendy James

Geoffrey McGeachin

Andrew Nette

Michael Robotham

Angela Savage

Peter Temple

David Whish-Wilson

Felicity Young


Australian Blogs You’ll Want to Follow



Australian Women Writers Challenge

The Crayon Files

Fair Dinkum Crime

Mysteries in Paradise

Reactions to Reading

Reading, Writing and Riesling


Have you read these New Zealand authors?


Cat Connor

Neil Cross

Donna Malane

Ngaio Marsh

Paddy Richardson

Bev Robitai

Grant Shanks (Andrew Grant)

Vanda Symon

Paul Thomas


New Zealand Blogs You’ll Want to Follow


Beattie’s Book Blog

Booksellers New Zealand

Crime Watch

The Crayon Files

NZ Book Lovers  


Give a little back. Support an Australian author. Support a New Zealand author. And let’s all of us be grateful for the way the Anzac forces have supported us.


*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Snapper’s Gentle Hour, also recorded by The Clean. Later, Yo La Tengo recorded a version of it too. Listen to all of the versions and see which you like best.


Filed under Adrian Hyland, Andrew Grant, Andrew Nette, Angela Savage, Bev Robitai, Cat Connor, David Whish-Wilson, Donna Malane, Felicity Young, Geoffrey McGeachin, Grant Shanks, Katherine Howell, Michael Robotham, Neil Cross, Ngaio Marsh, Paddy Richardson, Peter Temple, Robert Gott, Sulari Gentill, Vanda Symon, Wendy James, Y.A. Erskine

34 responses to “You’re in My Mind All the Time*

  1. What a resource, Margot,. I am in the middle of reading A FEW RIGHT-THINKING MEN by Gentill, and I do want to read more Australian authors. And New Zealand authors. I will check out the blogs you have mentioned.

    • Tracy – I’m so glad you’ve started reading some of Sulari Gentill’s work. She’s so talented. I know all about how TBRs can be – I really do. But I hope you’ll get the chance to try some other Australian and NZ authors.

  2. I always wanted to visit that part of the world, especially New Zealand after a neighbor traveled there on business and brought back beautiful photos. Now I doubt I could tolerate that many hours in an airplane — I have enough trouble with two-hour trips. However, living the experience vicariously through books and blogs helps.

    • Pat – I’ll admit; it’s a very long trip. Even leaving from LAX, it’s a 15-hour flight to the East Coast of Australia or to New Zealand. And flying from from Denver or somewhere else in Colorado would be even longer. If you ever do go though, it’s an amazing experience.

  3. kathy d.

    Hmmm, I’ve read 10 of the Australian authors and books by Paddy Richardson (3) and one by Vanda Symon of New Zealand. I like all of the books written by women, and wish that Adrian Hyland would write more about Emily Tempest and can’t wait for Geoffrey McGeachin’s new book.
    Just finished Wendy James’ The Lost Girls, which was very riveting and am awaiting Angela Savage’s new Jayne Keeney book; she is a favorite character, a bit like V.I. Warshawski in Sara Paretsky’s series.
    One can get lost in Katherine Howell’s books, and not get up until the last page is turned and Felicity Young’s series set in 1911 London, and which depict discrimination against women.
    All in all, an excellent batch of writers. The only difficulty is getting many of their books over here in the States. My library only carries a few of these authors.
    I love to read about Australia and New Zealand, and Thailand in Savage’s books. These books send me to search for information on geography, history, flora and fauna. I often examine maps of the regions. So there is not only the enjoyment of reading, but some learning goes on.

    • Kathy – I completely agree with you about Adrian Hyland. I would love to see him come out with another Emily Tempest novel. I hope that he will. And as you know, I love Angela Savage’s work, too – her Jayne Keeney is a terrific protagonist. And Katherine Howell’s Ella Marconi books are great. As you say, one can get completely lost in them.
      And I’m very much excited about the new McGeachin. What a great series that is, and Felicity Young’s work is great too. And as you know, I’m a major fan of Paddy Richardson’s work. So yes, there’s a a lot to celebrate when it comes to Australian and New Zealand crime fiction. I agree with you though that it is sometimes hard to get some of those novels in the States or the UK. It’s worth the effort though! And you’re right; one learns about those countries while one’s reading a great story – what’s not to like?

  4. At the risk of being politically incorrect, may I add Arthur Upfield and his DI Napoleon Bonaparte – Bony – novels to the list of Australian authors? I am embarrassed at the number of authors on your list whose work I have NOT yet read. I really must make certain that “yet” is the operative word there!

    • Les – Yes, please do add Upfield! His plots are great, and a ‘must’ for anyone who truly wants to understand Australian crime fiction. And I do like the character of Bony.

  5. kathy d.

    And thanks for this list of blogs. Some I check regularly, but some are new to me.

  6. Thanks as always for the shout out, Margot. May I add one of my favourite contemporary Australian thriller writers to your list, the wonderfully named but seriously scary Honey Brown. I’ve just started her latest, THROUGH THE CRACKS, and it is terrifically tense.

    As for ANZAC Day, I think of this as a day of mourning for young lives lost in awful conditions, rather than as the nationalist celebration some would like it to be.

    Lest we forget.

    • Angela – Thanks for your thoughts on Anzac Day. Too, too many young lives have been lost in, as you say, appalling conditions. We should not ever forget that. Hopefully there will come a time when war does not happen. But even then, we should not forget.
      Thanks also for suggesting the work of Honey Brown. She’s an author whose work I’m very keen to read, and I’m quite certain I’ll be glad that I did. And as for your own work – there’s no way I’d leave that out.

  7. kathy d.

    I agree on Angela’s stress emphasis about lives lost during war. When I think about the loss of life in the two world wars and the war in Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia and the Iraq war, it’s too much to process.

  8. Great lists Margot – I have sampled a few on those lists and I am about to read the McGeachin – my first – sounds like I wont be disappointed.

  9. A very touching article, Margot. Thank you.

  10. Col

    A couple more Australians for the list – Dave Warner and P.B. Newton, plus Chad Taylor – New Zealand…….all on the pile!

  11. Margot: Whenever I hear of ANZAC Day I think of the song “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” by Eric Bogle. I recall becoming still and reflective and having a catch in my throat when I heard it for the first time. I continue to find it a haunting evocation of loss in war.

    • Bill – It is indeed haunting. And I’m not surprised you got a catch in your throat when you first heard it. It’s one of those songs, and it’s a real reminder of the loss and pain of war.

  12. A thoughtful post, Ms. Kinberg. I haven’t read any of the authors in your lists and I’m glad you brought them to my notice. I’m so focused on reading American and British fiction that I forget about fiction from other parts of the world including my own country.

    • Prashant – There are so many talented authors from all over the world that I think it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all of them. I would love to have more time to read, myself.

  13. Thanks Margot – this is ideal for me as I have been collecting your posts on OZ writers as I have family out there – thanks, as always.

  14. A nice way to remember Anzac Day. I’d love to get over to Australia and New Zealand…and plan to make it some day. And thanks for the lists of authors–that will help me round out my reading list.

    • Elizabeth – Thanks for the kind words. Both Australia and New Zealand are wonderful places. I hope you’ll get to see them both someday. And I’m always happy to add to people’s TBRs. 😉

  15. I’ve never been but have several friends and family that have lived in both spots. Some of my fave writers are Australian but not so many in the crime game except the wonderful Peter Temple! I think Peter Carey is one of my top five favorite writers and I also like Christos Tsiolkas, Tim Winton and of course, Patrick White. I visit some Aussie and NZ sites but mostly in the realm of craft and living light on the land!

    • Jan – I didn’t know you had family and friends in the Southern Hemisphere. And I don’t blame you for loving Peter Temple’s work – isn’t he gifted? There is some real talent among Australian and New Zealand writers, and I always like to do my part in getting the word out. I’m glad you’ve found some Australian and New Zealand sites to love, too. There are some great things going on in both places in terms of sustainable living.

  16. Lovely thoughtful post Margot, and thanks for the list of recommendations.

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