In 2012, I made the committment to read 6 books by Australian women writers and review 3 (the ‘Miles’ level of the challenge). Ultimately, I read 11 books in this category and reviewed at least 9 and so, buoyed by the craziness of success, I this year vowed to read 10 and review 6 (the ‘Franklin’ level of challenge).
And then I panicked. Because what if something went wrong? What if I couldn’t read that many books?
Spurred on by the energising energies of that panic, I started on 1-January and read 2 books in about 3 days. Both were Shirley Hazzard books, so it wasn’t any kind of hardship. And then I started to read more widely (because there aren’t enough Shirley Hazzard books for me to get to ’10’).
It’s mid-May. I’ve already read 12 books by Australian women writers (well, 11.5, since one was co-written) and reviewed most of them to a small or larger extent. Here’s the list, & links to Goodreads:
- Shirley Hazzard, The Bay of Noon, 1970
- Shirley Hazzard, The Evening of the Holiday, 1966
- Judith Lucy, The Lucy Family Alphabet, 2008
- Honey Brown, After the Darkness, 2012
- Gillian Mears, A Map of the Gardens: Stories, 2002
- Caroline Overington, Ghost Child, 2009
- Leah Giarratano, Black Ice, 2009 (not reviewed)
- Scott Rankin & Leah Purcell, Box the Pony, 1999
- P.M. Newton, The Old School,
- Kerry Greenwood, Tamam Shud, 2012
- Patti Miller, The Mind of a Thief, 2012
- Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1967
Nothing from the eighties, interestingly enough. Some of the reviews above are quite short, but I’m sure there are at least 6 coherent reviews to be counted towards my Franklin challenge.
And it appears I have hit my target! Also, exceeded it. And intend to keep reading, since I’ve made barely a dent on the pile of books I collated for the exercise.
In particular, I would particularly recommend Honey Brown’s book, Kerry Greenwood’s, Leah Purcell’s, Judith Lucy’s and at least one of the Shirley Hazzard’s (The Bay of Noon).
Glancing at my To Read pile, I can see a couple of Janet Frames, a Sue Woolfe, Mary-Rose MacColl and another couple of Shirley Hazzards. Plus a sentimental favourite re-read, Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby. Nothing in my childhood stands out as brightly as the Silver Brumby series. It almost makes me afraid to re-read it.