I signed up for the Australian Women Writers Challenge this year—the first reading challenge I’ve undertaken. I chose the Franklin level, committing myself to read at least ten books by Australian women writers and to review at least six. The year is nearly over, and it’s time to look back at my totals: twenty-three books read, six reviewed. Challenge successfully completed, although clearly there has to be a could do better comment against the reviewing total.
I noticed a couple of things in my pattern of reading. First, it decreased generally in the second half of the year and, especially, in the last two months. I wonder whether that’s just me or if other people experience that same sensation of life speeding up as the year draws to a close, with less time available for reading? And second, I have a bias towards reading Western Australian women writers. I’m sure the same could have been said of my reading in previous years, and I make no apology for it.
And so, here is my summary for 2013, with links to reviews and also to short extracts featured in my Reasons to love a novel series:
Dawn Barker, Fractured (Hachette, 2013)
Emma Chapman, How to Be a Good Wife (Picador, 2013) *extract here
Caroline Hamilton, Consumed (ABC Books, 2008) *reviewed here
Wendy James, The Mistake (Penguin, 2012)
Favel Parrett, Past the Shallows (Hachette, 2011)
Iris Lavell, Elsewhere in Success (Fremantle Press, 2013) *reviewed here
Lynne Leonhardt, Finding Jasper (Margaret River Press, 2012) *reviewed here
Natasha Lester, What Is Left Over, After (Fremantle Press, 2010) *extract here
Kirsty Murray, Vulture’s Gate (Allen & Unwin, 2009)
M.L. Stedman, The Light between Oceans (Vintage, 2012)
Courtney Collins, The Burial (Allen & Unwin, 2012) *reviewed here
Julienne van Loon, Harmless (Fremantle Press, 2013) *reviewed here
Felicity Young, Antidote to Murder (crime fiction, HarperCollins, 2013)
Hannah Kent, Burial Rites (Picador, 2013)
Deb Fitzpatrick, The Amazing Spencer Gray (junior fiction, Fremantle Press, 2013)
Yvette Walker, Letters to the End of Love (UQP, 2013) *reviewed here
Romy Ash, Floundering (Text, 2012)
Kirsten Krauth, just_a_girl (UWA Publishing, 2013)
Marlish Glorie, Sea Dog Hotel (Etext Press, 2013) *extract here
Paddy O’Reilly, The Fine Colour of Rust (HarperCollins, 2012) *extract here
Angela Savage, Behind the Night Bazaar (Text, 2006)
A.J. Betts, Zac & Mia (Text, 2013)
Debra Adelaide, The Household Guide to Dying (Picador, 2008)
These are fine works deserving of acclaim and respect—and my list only scratches the surface of what’s available from Australian women writers. A quick browse through the reviews on the AWWC site will introduce you to many more.
If there is to be an Australian Women Writers Challenge in 2014, I will sign up again—and resolve to do better with reviews!
Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers LitBlog
Magdalena Ball, The Compulsive Reader
Rashida Murphy, Rashida WriteNow
Serje Jones, Kill Your Darlings
Marisa Wikramanayake, Guys Read Gals
Marlish Glorie, Book Stew
Natasha Lester, While the Kids Are Sleeping
Britt Ingerson, Buggalugz Book Blog
Louise Allan, Life from the Attic
Emily Paull, The Incredible Rambling Elimy
Joy, Book Coasters
John Paul Newbury, Open Writing
A big heartfelt thank-you to you all!