The time has come to write my annual completion post for my one challenge of the year, the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge. As in previous years, I signed up for the top-level, Franklin, which involves reading 10 books and reviewing at least 6. I’ve exceeded this, and I plan to continue to add to the challenge, as I’ve done in previous years, but half-way through the year seems a good time to write my completion post.
I have, so far this year, contributed 14 reviews to the challenge.
- Debra Adelaide’s The women’s pages (Novel)
- Emma Ayre’s Cadence: Travels with music (Memoir)
- Anna Rosner Blay’s Sister, sister (Biography-cum-memoir)
- Tegan Bennett Daylight’s Six bedrooms (Short story collection)
- Elizabeth Harrower’s A few days in the country, and other stories (Short story collection)
- Elizabeth Harrower’s In certain circles (Novel)
- Sonya Hartnett’s Golden boys (Novel)
- Kate Jennings’ Moral hazard (Novel)
- Bidda Jones and Julian Davies’ Backlash: Australia’s conflict of values over live exports (Non-fiction)
- Jane Jose’s Places women make (Non-fiction)
- Sarah Kanake’s Sing fox to me (Novel)
- Halina Rubin’s Journeys with my mother (Biography-cum-memoir)
- Charlotte Wood’s The natural way of things (Novel)
- Fiona Wright’s Small acts of disappearance (Essays)
This is quite different to last year’s completion post list which included one classic and one book by an indigenous author. I like to read classics, and I also like to read indigenous authors, but this year so far I’ve read neither. Instead, I seem to have read significantly more non-fiction, six out of 14 in fact. By the end of last year’s challenge, I’d read seven non-fiction out of 27 books in total. Looks like I’ll exceed that this year unless I stop reading Australian women’s non-fiction pretty well right now.
It’s also a little different because it includes two books by an author, the wonderful Elizabeth Harrower. Of course, it’s not that I don’t read multiple books by authors – but this usually happens over time. I tend not to find an author and immediately go hell-for-leather with that author – not because I don’t want to, but because I have books lined up, which brings me to …
… plans for the rest of the year. I know I’ll be reading at least one indigenous woman, Ali Cobby Eckermann, and I do have a couple of classics I really want to get to this year, but the review copies are piling up and there’s my reading group schedule, so I’m just going to see how it goes. The best laid plans, and all that!
Do you plan your reading in advance – and if so, do you keep to it – or do you just read what comes?