Best books this festive season


Perpetual Private Insights

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Walt Disney once quipped there is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.

So this festive season, once the loot under your tree has been unwrapped, why don’t you reward yourself with a good book? As Trustee for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, we have some brilliant reads to suggest for your festive season.

2018 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist

Each year, the prize is awarded to a novel of the highest literary merit which presents Australian life in any of its forms.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville, said: “The Miles Franklin 2018 shortlist engages with the complexities of Australian life in all of its phases, and the legacy of its timeless Indigenous past and its recent European present. The vibrancy of contemporary Australian literature, and its relevance to thinking through the challenges of modern Australia, is confirmed with this diverse and intelligent shortlist.”

Here’s a summary of the shortlisted novels:

NO MORE BOATS by Felicity Castagna
(Giramondo Publishing):

A man, once a migrant himself, finds his world imploding. The 2001 Tampa crisis is the background to his despair at the disappearance of the certainties he once knew.

THE LIFE TO COME by Michelle de Kretser
(Allen & Unwin):

Revolving around three characters in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, this novel is about the stories we tell and don’t tell ourselves as individuals, societies and nations.

THE LAST GARDEN by Eva Hornung
(Text Publishing):

When Matthias Orion shoots his wife and himself, on the same day their son Benedict returns from boarding school, a small religious community is shattered.

STORYLAND by Catherine McKinnon
(HarperCollins Publishers):

Set on Lake Illawarra, this is a novel of five separate narratives spanning four centuries. The characters are connected by blood, history, place and memory: together they tell the story of Australia.

Border Districts Gerald Murnane

BORDER DISTRICTS by Gerald Murnane
(Giramondo Publishing):

The narrator has moved from Melbourne to a small town, where he intends to spend the last years of his life. Mediating on fragments of his past, Border Districts explores the border land between life and death.

TABOO by Kim Scott
(Picador Australia – Pan Macmillan Australia):

Set in present-day rural Western Australia, this novel tells the story of a group of Noongar people, who after many decades revisit a taboo area: the site of a massacre.


There could only be one winner…

Michelle de Krester’s The Life to Come won the 2018 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Michelle joins a select group of female multi-award winners, including Thea Astley who won the Miles Franklin four times and Jessica Anderson who won it twice.

When describing how it feels to win the Miles Franklin for a second time, Michelle said: “I feel twice as lucky, twice as happy and twice as honoured.”

The judges said The Life to Come is a powerful novel that effortlessly blends sharp satire of the literary world with deeply compassionate portraits of lonely people and their strategies for survival.

A time to reflect – and consider your legacy

At Perpetual, we are proud of our role as Trustee of the Miles Franklin Literary Award. We are one of Australia’s largest managers and distributors of philanthropic funds, including acting as trustee for approximately 1,000 charitable trusts and endowments holding over $2.6 billion in funds and distributing over $75 million annually (as at 30 June 2017). If you’re thinking about giving this festive season, a Perpetual Foundation Endowment can be setup from an initial donation of as little as $20,000. To learn more, simply get in touch via the form below.

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Perpetual Private advice and services are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo) ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This information was prepared by PTCo. It contains general information only and is not intended to provide you with financial advice or take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider, with a financial adviser, who can provide you with the relevant Financial Services Guide, whether the information is suitable for your circumstances. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage because of any reliance on this information.