I was a late starter with the 2018 Australian Women Writers Challenge and I have reviewed a modest five books by Australian women writers since August. The books I reviewed were:
- Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
- Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko
- The Second Cure by Margaret Morgan
- The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland
- The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell
The challenge has had far more of an impact on my reading than that though. Of 67 books that I recorded reading this year (I started my list late and had to patch together the information from Goodreads and memory), 31 were by Australian women writers. What this basically reflects is my voracious reading habit combined with discovering a whole host of new authors to love. It wasn’t so much that I’d dismissed Australian authors, or Australian women authors, but that I’d got into a rut of reading particular trusted authors and genres (eg Barbara Kingsolver, Kate Atkinson, Sue Grafton, Alexander McCall Smith) and the challenge pushed me out of this comfort zone into completely new territory.
Some of the highlights of the challenge:
- My top two recommended reads for the year are Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko and The Second Cure by Margaret Morgan
- I’ve ‘discovered’ historical fiction and new favourite authors Kate Forsyth and Geraldine Brooks
- A new (1930s Sydney) detective series that I’m loving – the Rowland Sinclair series by Sulari Gentill, beginning with A Few Right Thinking Men
- The hilarious R.A. Spratt and her Friday Barnes series for shared giggles with my daughter
- Recent discovery of Western Australian Joan London, whose book The Good Parents reminded me of Patricia Highsmith (literary suspense).
Here’s a snapshot of those 67 books!
I’ve loved the Australian Women Writers Challenge so much that next year I’ll be writing the monthly round-ups for the General Fiction category of the challenge!
Until 2019, happy holidays. I hope you have something good to read!