Tag Archives: Ruby Moonlight

A year of reading…

In this singular year when many people have said they had more time for reading than ever before, I haven’t. But oh, how I have enjoyed the books I have read—books that have taken me places I’ve never been (in a year when no-one is going anywhere), opened my eyes to the wrongs of both past and present, made me think, made me cry.

Excluding books read entirely for research—and there have been many of those—I’ve read 24 books. Of those, 22 were by Australian writers, 17 by women writers and 7 by Indigenous writers. Only three of those unrelated to research were non-fiction, and there was one verse novel among the many novels.

Favourites? Well, it’s been a stellar bunch this year, and I find myself resisting any hierarchical ordering, but I’ll just mention a few.

Tara June Winch’s Miles Franklin–winning The Yield has made many readers’ favourites lists this year, and with good reason. This beautiful novel is equally a work of history, and I hope it will become mandatory reading for all young people. I also loved Mirandi Riwoe’s Stone Sky Gold Mountain, which won the inaugural ARA Historical Prize, and Ally Cobby Eckerman’s verse novel Ruby Moonlight hit me in the heart. And my most recent read, Jamaican writer Alecia McKenzie’s new novel, A Million Aunties, was one of the year’s stand-outs: deeply moving, engrossing and a joy to read.

During the year I also featured the following new works in the ‘2, 2 and 2’ series, in which authors talk about (among other things) their inspirations and the connections of their work to place:

Thank you to all these authors for sharing their thoughts and insights.

And so to 2021. I’m going to be spending most of my time in my backyard studio, surrounded by photos and maps and boxes of research, hard at work on my new novel. But I’ll come up for air from time to time. I have a new interview series coming on looking up/looking down and look forward to introducing some exciting new works of literary fiction.

Until then, thank you for all the messages and comments during the year, and I wish you a happy, more peaceful, perhaps less eventful New Year.

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Indigenous Literacy Day

Ok, I’m a day late—Indigenous Literacy Day was yesterday—but I want to highlight a few of the novels by Indigenous writers that I have been enjoying recently.

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to find time for reviewing—something I like doing but won’t unless I can devote the time that all books deserve—so I’m including here links to reviews by Lisa at ANZ LitLovers LitBlog and Sue at Whispering Gums

The Yield by Tara June Winch, winner of this year’s Miles Franklin Award
Review by Lisa

The Wounded Sinner by Gus Henderson, shortlisted in last year’s WA Premier’s Book Awards (Emerging Writer categoy)
Review by Lisa

Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko, winner of the 2019 Miles Franklin Award
Review by Sue

Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman, shortlisted for the Stella Prize and many other awards
Review by Lisa
Review by Sue

And the following are next on the TBR list:

The White Girl by Tony Birch
Review by Sue

Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekial Kwaymullina
Review by Lisa

The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell
Review by Lisa

Ruby Moonlight by Ali Cobby Eckerman
Review by Sue

I also want to give a shout-out to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and the fabulous work they do in bringing books into remote Indigenous communities. You can find out more about their work here.

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