I'm very much looking forward to settling down with a cup of tea on Tuesday night and turning on the ABC to watch Books That Made Us with Claudia Karvan.
For one, Claudia. She is so cool, so together, so yoga-healthy gorgeous.
Secondly, books. We all have our list of favourites. They all say something about us. But what does a nation's list of its favourite books and writers say about it?
Thirdly, the three-part series appears to have been beautifully shot, as Karvan traverses Australia in search of its soul, as revealed by words.
Karvan sets out to discover "the stories behind the stories, the workings of the writers' imaginations and their motivation to write novels that have been shaped by Australia and, in turn, shaped this country".
She goes exploring, talking to - according to the ABC - some of our "most beloved and brilliant writers", including Richard Flanagan, Alexis Wright, Helen Garner, Tim Winton, David Malouf, Kate Grenville, Christos Tsiolkas, Thomas Keneally, Liane Moriarty, Trent Dalton, Kim Scott, and Melissa Lucashenko.
It's a worthy list of authors. Although perhaps a little devoid of humour.
I don't think Claudia will be dissecting the 1993 tome Sylvania Waters Diary by Noeline Donaher, a tattered copy of which I still have somewhere.
The book of the incredible 1992 documentary series about real-life upper-middle bogans probably tells us a lot about who we really are - at times materialistic, crude and, yes, ignorant. We can't be just all good.
In the Books that Made Us, critics and creative minds including Tim Minchin and Annabel Crabb also give their take on the stories.
The trailer includes a glimpse of Kathy Lette - pun alert! - as commentator and author, who should no doubt provide some levity.
It remains to be seen how the list of favourite books was compiled - whether by sales or awards given or something else.
Karvan hints that, of course, any list of favourite books has to be inherently subjective.
"There are thousands of novels to choose from, classics to bestsellers," she says.
"So I'll be seeking out some of those books that have really touched a nerve and revealed something about who we are."
It's a tantalising prospect.
So, I'll throw in my two cents' worth. My favourite Australian books range from Praise by Andrew McGahan to the page-turner Ghost Child by Caroline Overington. But these are the ones that remain front of mind.
A Fortunate Life by Albert Facey
I remember reading this first as a teenager and realising any 1980s-era angst I was feeling was nothing compared to this man, who experienced the depths of deprivation, from the bush to Gallipoli, but never lost his sense of grace or gratitude.
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Tolz
A 2008 Booker Prize nominee, this is just a rollicking, hilarious ride with the Dean family, with lots of laugh-out-loud observations about life.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
I'm kind of on a Liane Moriarty hiatus, after reading too many of her page-turners and actually remembering very little of any of them. But I do remember the thrill of finding an author who spoke to me, who was reflecting something of myself in her suburban noir.
The First Stone by Helen Garner
Damned by luvvies as outdated, this non-fictional look at the 1992 sexual harassment scandal at Ormond College remains brave and refreshing.
What's on your list?
- Books That Made Us starts on Tuesday at8.30pm, ABC TV and ABC iview.
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