I was recently asked to contribute a page to this new website that is of course essentially a marketing tool for books and writing. And so even if I’ve never been terribly enamored of what I call the listomania that infects the internet, I thought that nominating my Top 5 Australian music books was at least something not already done to death, and was all in a good cause (promotion, self or otherwise); and then I was totally tipped over the line when I asked if the list could include out-of-print titles – because if it was restricted to only the here and now, that would not genuinely reflect my opinion of the best – and they said, Sure. The ‘Buy’ link, in those cases, goes to second-hand copies...
It’s always a shame, of course, when good books are allowed to slip out of print, but as I myself know only too well, if a groundswell of interest clearly builds up whether, say, in spiraling collector’s-item prices, or in on-going discussion, then that can lead to a book getting back in print… so this feature, I think, is an all-round good thing, and while I will list below my Top 5, in chronological order, you will have to go to the website here to find out the reasons for my choices…
1993 – Glad All Over, by Peter Wilmoth
2004 – Wild About You, by Ian D. Marks and Iain McIntyre
2004 – Pig City, by Andrew Stafford
2009 – Ballad of Blind Tom, by Deirdre O’Connell
2015 – Down Under, by Trevor Conomy
(False modesty, and the site’s rules, prevented me from listing any of my own titles, but if you asked me for a Top 10 without any such caveat, might it comprise these five plus, umm, five of mine?... I wouldn’t dare! – or would I?)