Time to wrap up what I read and reviewed for the Australian Women Writers Challenge during 2016.
This year I read 35 books and reviewed 12 – up on my reading tally and down on my reviewing from previous years. Although I kept reading in the latter part of the year, I didn’t find the time or energy to review. This was especially true if I left too much of a gap between finishing and putting fingers to keyboard. I tried to make the effort when a publisher sent me a review copy. Of the books I read but didn’t review, the majority were bought or borrowed from the library – or, in the case of My Sister Rosa, won in a competition. (Thanks, Newtown Review of Books!) Some books were chosen simply to help me fill the AWW Challenge Bingo cards. Others were selected as part of my research into 19th- and early 20th-century Australian life, something I’ve become interested in since helping my 93-year-old aunt with her memoirs and researching our family tree.
In terms of categories, my reading lived up to my blog title, “Devoted Eclectic”. Books read included psychological suspense, classics, literary, historical and speculative fiction, YA, “women’s fiction”, romance and nonfiction. Books reviewed tended to be what I think of as “intense human drama”, stories that got my heart and mind churning. Of these, the one that has stuck in my mind most is Dying in the First Person by Nike Sulway. I’m hoping it gets to the Stella Prize long list – if not further! A book I wished I’d made the effort to review is In the Quiet by Eliza Henry-Jones. A very moving debut.
So, here are the books, including hot links to reviews (the first twelve). The remainder includes some books I reviewed on Goodreads but, as they only contained a few lines, I haven’t bothered giving links. (Though every little review helps the authors’ visibility, I’m told. I must update the rest!)
- That Devil’s Madness by Dominique Wilson
- The Light on the Water by Olga Lorenzo
- Ghost Girls by Cath Ferla
- I For Isobel by Amy Witting
- Out of the Ice by Ann Turner
- Dying in the First Person by Nike Sulway
- Wild Chicory by Kim Kelly
- A Loving, Faithful Animal by Josephine Rowe
- Hired By the Brooding Billionaire by Kandy Shepherd
- Running Against the Tide by Amanda Ortlepp
- Our Eva by Anna Jacobs
- Rebellious Daughters eds Maria Katsonis and Lee Koffman
- Crown Prince’s Chosen Bride by Kandy Shepherd.
- All The Birds Singing by Evie Wyld (audio book)
- Defying Doomsday eds Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench
- Like I Can Love by Kim Lock
- The Group Settler’s Wife, a novella by Anna Jacob
- A Pennyworth of Sunshine by Anna Jacob
- Intensive Care by Nikki Edwards
- Desperate Deception by DB Tait
- My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
- Wild Lavender by Belinda Alexandra
- Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar
- In the Quiet by Eliza Henry-Jones
- Heat and Light by Ellen Van Neerven
- Hopscotch by Jane Messer
- The Time of the Peacock by Mina Abdullah and Ray Mathew
- The Little Bush Maid by Mary Grant Bruce
- Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O’Neill
- Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright
- The Safest Place in London by Maggie Joel
- Greek Tycoon’s Mistletoe Propoal by Kandy Shepherd
- A Match Made in Mistletoe, a novella by Anna Campbell
- Millionaire Under the Mistletoe, a novella by Kandy Shepherd
- Festive Deception, a novella by DB Tait
How did you go with the challenge? Are you going to participate next year? You can sign up for #aww2017 here. And a reminder that we now have a new Facebook group for AWW challenge participants, and another for authors’ and publishers’ news. Hope to see you there!