Bet you thought I’d forgotten all about the Australian Women Writers Challenge, hadn’t you? I haven’t; but I have failed to keep up my end of the Challenge bargain. I’m just not *on* social media enough. I have my moments but then life, or more accurately work, swallows all of my time. That may change, as I am now equipped with a smart phone. Or I may just end up playing Fruit Pops all the time.
I signed up for the Franklin Fantastic level (read 10, review 6, 4 substantially) as a Devoted Eclectic (mix your genres, including branching out.)
At the commencement of the Challenge, I made the below reading list:-
– The Good Daughter by Honey Brown READ! December 2012. Goodreads review here
– The Hunter by Julia Leigh
– House on the Hill by Estelle Pinney
– The Comfort of Water by Maya Ward READ February 2012, short review here
– Brotherhood , The by Y A Erskine READ January 2012; Review here
– Red Queen by Honey Brown
– The Legacy by Kirsten Tranter – READ January 2012; Review here
– Behind the Moon by Hsu Ming Teo
– The Travel Writer by Simone Lazaroo
There’s no particularly sinister reason why I’ve failed read any of the others. The list was more of a guide, and a reminder of what to look for in libraries and bookshops, and I just read what came to me. I do now have The Good Daughter sitting on my bookshelf. I might manage it before the end of the year!
I had hoped to also read a few non-contemporary women crime writers, but almost all of them are out of print. A few are available from the university library and a few are available in the State Library. I had plans to spend some of my days off in the State Library reading at least one of the authors, but that did not happen this year. It may happen in future!
Here’s the list of non-contemporary women crime writers whom I hope to read:-
– Mary Fortune
– Ellen Davitt
– Margot Neville
– Jean Spender
– June Wright
– Pat Flower
– Charlotte Joy / Geraldine Hall
– Patricia Carlon
– Pat Flower
I also read and reviewed (some on this blog – review linked; some on Goodreads – my (usually quite short) review is hyperlinked to the book title) a number of books not on either list. I will group them into fairly rough genres:-
– The Solemn Lantern Maker by Merlinda Bobis
– Dark Roots by Cate Kennedy – collection of short stories
– Five Bells by Gail Jones
– Lantana Lane by Eleanor Dark: review here.
– The Children by Charlotte Wood
– A Pure Clear Light and A Stairway to Paradise by Madeleine St John
– This is How by MJ Hyland
– Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
– Vanishing Points by Thea Astley
– The Old School by PM Newton: review here.
– A Few Right Thinking Men, Miles Off Course, A Decline in Prophets – crime – and Chasing Odysseus – retelling of the Fall of Troy and its aftermath, YA fiction -, all by Sulari Gentill
Personal / Memoir / Non-Fiction
– Her Father’s Daughter by Alice Pung: review here.
– The Pin-Striped Prison by Lisa Pryor
– Stasiland by Anna Funder – long-ish review
– Eating Between the Lines by Rebecca Huntley – non-fiction, about food equality
So, it looks like I read a total of 25 books by Australian Women Writers and managed to review at least 5 of them substantially (the reviews on this blog; some of the reviews on Goodreads were longer than “well-written” and some aren’t. It was hard enough work getting all those links…)
Almost all the authors were new to me except for Thea Astley, Madeleine St John, Alice Pung and MJ Hyland. Also, I will most likely read almost all the authors again and intend to particularly seek out Eleanor Dark and Margo Lanagan.
I probably did not do as much genre breaking out as I could have. Generally, I read literature, crime and personal/memoir. Occasionally, I read romance or chick-lit. I did the same with my challenge reading. So, I think that means I failed that part of the challenge. Sorry.
The challenge goes on in 2013. I am currently reading Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett; I have plenty on my shelves waiting for me and plenty in the library. And those non-contemporary crime women – I will read them. Maybe in 2013. Maybe in 2014. But I will read them. I will use the challenge resource to add to my ever-expanding reading list. I won’t formally sign on, but I certainly won’t stop reading, including reading Australian women writers. Always have, always will.