When I signed up for the Australian Women Writers challenge, I opted for “Franklin-fantastic” level: read 10 books and review four.
My reading selections weighed heavily in favour of literary works and crime, so I’m more of a “Dabbler” than an “Devoted Eclectic”, despite the name of this review blog, but I did manage to include some other genres, including historical fiction/romance, children’s fiction and contemporary women’s fiction.
The first three books are ones I discussed in depth. With Eva Hornung’s Dog Boy, I gave a personal response, rather than a review. The remainder are books I either wrote a (sometimes very brief) review on Good Reads, or didn’t review.
- Dreams of Speaking by Gail Jones (Literary fiction)
- “What’s all the fuss about?” Geraldine Brooks’ Caleb’s Crossing (Historical fiction/romance)
- “Eva Hornung’s Dog Boy and the challenge to moral thinking; or Towards a Systems’ Theory view of Subjectivity” (Young Adult/literary fiction):
- PM Newton, The Old School (Literary crime fiction; debut author)
- Tansy Rayner Roberts, Sea Castle (Children’s fiction)
- Angela Savage, The Half-Child (Crime fiction)
- Melanie Joosten, Berlin Syndrome (Literary crime fiction; debut author)
- Favel Parrett, Past the Shallows (Literary fiction; debut author)
- Rosalie Ham, Summer at Mount Hope (Historical fiction)
- Lisa Heidke, Stella Makes Good (Contemporary women’s fiction)
For this challenge I went out of my comfort zone. Apart from readings books by friends, it’s years since I read literary fiction, children’s stories, historical romance or contemporary women’s fiction. My preferred genre is psychological suspense.
What surprised me was how much I enjoyed the books for which I’m clearly not the target audience. I could easily become a fan of Lisa Heidke, for example, and I’d like to read some adult fantasy by Tansy Rayner Roberts. One book I was very excited to discover and which has remained with me was PM Newton’s debut novel, The Old School, which blends literary fiction and crime. But the stand out for me was Eva Hornung’s Dog Boy. I’ll let my review/discussion reveal why.
I intend to continue reading books by Australian women writers throughout 2012 and to coordinate the AWW blog, Twitter feed and Facebook page, but for now I plan to take a break and concentrate on my own writing. (This post has been cross-posted with my personal blog.)