Joining the Australian Women Writers Challenge in 2018 was one of the best things to happen in my reading life for a long time. At the end of last year I wrote about how the challenge had opened my eyes to a whole lot of new favourite books and authors, and now that I’ve started, I can’t imagine not looking out for Australian women writers in the library and at bookstores and continuing to discover our local talent. I’ll also be volunteering as General Fiction editor for the challenge 2019, which means I will be summarising the reviews for that category on a monthly basis.
This is my official sign-up for the Australian Women Writers Challenge in 2019. I’m going to take the challenge at ‘Franklin’ level, which is to read at least 10 books and review at least 6. I imagine that I will read more than 10 books but it helps me to keep my reviewing goal reasonable. I prefer to review only books that I really love, and as a book glutton I find it hard to take the time (away from reading the next book) to thoroughly review a book.
I’ve started off this year strongly with my Australian women writers reading. The first book I read in 2019 was From the Wreck, by Jane Rawson, which really impressed me. For some reason I had thought I’d be diving into something quite difficult, but instead found the book highly diverting as well as lyrical. For those who haven’t heard of it, From the Wreck is a book of speculative fiction that intertwines the history of the wreck of the steamship Admella off the coast of Adelaide in 1859 with the first-person experience of an alien life form on Earth. Don’t be put off if this sounds too much like science fiction for your tastes – the experience of reading was much more like magic realism or unusual literary fiction, so if you like those genres then definitely give this one a try.
I’ve now started reading The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose, which won the 2017 Stella Prize, and which I have been meaning to read for a while.
Happy reading in 2019, and please let me know of books by Aussie Women Writers that I should add to my reading list.