I have been participating in the Australian Women Writers Challenge for a few years now – I track my progress here – and it’s by far my favourite of all the challenges (yes, including the one I used to host!).
In 2016, I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 10 books by Australian women writers, and managed 12:
1. Who’s Afraid? by Maria Lewis
2. The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
3. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
4. The Foretelling of Georgie Spider by Ambelin Kwaymullina
5. The Engagement by Chloe Hooper
6. The Golden Age by Joan London
7. Hope Farm by Peggy Frew
8. Red Queen by Honey Brown
9. This House of Grief by Helen Garner
10. The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham
11. Leap by Myfanwy Jones
12. Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany
I didn’t count picture books this time, only because I couldn’t keep on top of it (and it’s harder to know where picture book authors are from, unless they’re super-successful/famous). So this list is for novels and non-fiction work only.
Of the titles above, my favourite would have to be The Natural Way of Things, which I read in a day in the summer holidays and is so memorable, confronting, tense, gripping, thought-provoking – all those things you want from a great book (well I do: I love confronting, disturbing books!).
I finished reading Ambelin Kwaymullina’s YA Fantasy trilogy, The Tribe, which ended as strongly as it began and puts me firmly in Kwaymullina’s fan group! I can’t recommend it highly enough. Hope Farm, Leap and Mateship with Birds were also wonderful and quite lovely to read – I plan on using Leap in one of my courses next year – whoops, I mean this year! I haven’t quite got my head around the fact that it’s 2017 already! Liane Moriarty is always a great read, too, and This House of Grief is as compelling as it is upsetting.
For 2017, I am setting myself the same goal: 10 books, the “Franklin” level, and hope to not only meet it but to also review them when they’re fresh in my head.
I have already started the year strong, reading two novels by female Australian writers: The Better Son by Katherine Johnson and The Grass is Greener by Loretta Hill, and I am currently reading Rosalie Ham’s 2005 novel, Summer at Mount Hope.
Books I’m currently reading and need to finish soon are:
Other titles high up on the TBR mountain include: