I told myself I wasn’t going to participate in any reading challenges this year other than whittling away at my Classics Club list. The Australian Women Writers Challenge, however, has drawn me in once again. I’ve participated every year since it’s inception in 2012, minus one. I missed out in 2015 which was the year Emily and I started the Book Cougars and I was figuring out how to add the podcast into my reading routine.
I’m usually not a very active participant in any reading challenge, but this one does help keep me on the lookout for Australian woman writers to read here in the U.S., which isn’t exactly easy. I’ve usually had to mailorder the books I’ve wanted to read.
An Excellent Resource
Even if you’re not interested in signing up as an official participant, the Australian Women Writers Challenge website is an excellent resource for finding books to read in whatever genre you prefer. Check it out: australianwomenwriters.com. Look for your genre of choice via the tags listed on the lower right sidebar. On the navigation bar, there is a tab for diversity reading and also one called “Stories by Australian women” which lists works that are available to read online or downloadable, broken down by decade.
The moderators do an excellent job of maintaining a master list of books read and reviewed that’s searchable. Each month they write round-up posts for each genre. They also have Facebook and Goodreads groups and are active on Twitter. The official hashtag is #AWW2019.
My 2018 Results
I ended the year one short of my four-book goal. I read:
- From the Wreck by Jane Rawson. Australian history, folktale, and nautical lore are splendidly woven into a unique story that’s part historical fiction and part literary ghost story. Currently not available via Amazon the Book Depository. The link goes directly to the publisher. Chances are high I’ll re-read it this year. I liked it that much.
- Force of Nature: A Novel by Jane Harper. This is the second mystery novel from Harper. Her first, The Dry, was an international bestseller, now being made into a film by Reese Witherspoon. Her second novel is absolutely no slouch.
- March by Geraldine Brooks. Surprised to see Brooks on this list? Her novels may be about American people and places, but she was born and raised in Australia.
My 2019 Goal
I’m signing up for the same level as last year, Stella, which is to read four books and review at least three of those.
I’m currently reading a review copy of Jane Harper’s forthcoming (in the U.S., anyway) novel, The Lost Man, so I’m off to a good start (pub date is 2/5/19). I’ll likely look to for other crime fiction or lesbian/Queer writers to read.
To participate in this challenge visit the signup post here.
Are there novels or nonfiction books by Australian women writers that you’ve really enjoyed? I’d love your recommendations.
Books read in 2019: