It was really great to participate in the inaugural year of the Australian Women Writers Challenge in 2012!
I had signed up at the Stella (read 3 books and review at least two) and Dabbler (read more than one genre) levels. I read and reviewed three novels during the year. All were historical fiction and one was a young adult novel.
Here are the novels that I read & why I chose them:
- All That I Am (2012) by Anna Funder (review here). This was one of my favorite novels read in 2012 and among the top three books overall. It’s coming out in paperback in 2013 and I hope it finds a wide readership. I chose the book because of the Germany-Australia connection. My Mom’s side of the family is originally from Dresden and after the war some of the family stayed put, some made it to West Germany, and one branch went to Australia. We reconnected with our Australian relatives about 12 years ago. They’ve visited here (the U.S) a few times and we’ve met for a family reunion in Germany, but I’ve yet to make it to Australia. I’m saving my pennies for a trip, but, in the mean time, if anyone wants to send an American blogger on an all expense paid assignment to cover bookish things in Australia, I’m game!
- The Thorn Birds (1977) by Colleen McCullough (review here). After having lived through the craze over this novel and the mini-series in my childhood, it was exciting to finally read it. I can’t imagine not having read this one for AAW2012.
- A Rose for the ANZAC Boys (2008) by Jackie French (review here). I read this one to go along with the World War I reading challenge that I also participated in this year. Although I’ve read a decent bit of fiction and non-fiction about World War I, it has always been about the American, German or English experience. I was intrigued to read one from an Australian/New Zealand perspective. I learned not only about the ANZAC soldier’s experience through this novel, but also much about the experience of women who volunteered. This is a young adult novel, but I think it’s a fantastic read for adults as well.
Overall, this challenge has whetted my appetite to read more books by Australian women writers, so I plan on participating again in 2013. By the time I do make it to Australia, perhaps I won’t seem completely wet behind the ears to the locals.