For a blogger of more than 7-years standing who doesn’t take part in memes and challenges, I’m doing a good job this month. First it was 6 degrees of separation earlier this month, and now it’s a bingo game. I have good reasons for these exceptions, but I don’t expect you really want to know those, so let’s just get on with it.
Back in April, Kelly from Orange Pekoe Reviews created two Bingo cards for the AWW Challenge and posted them on the blog. The date for completion was set as 31 October. A couple of days ago, AWW participant Christy Collins became the first person to post that she’d completed the challenge. Now, my life has been so busy these last 6 months or so that I’ve not actively pursued the challenge. However, I’ve kept the cards next to my work area and have checked them every now and then. After Christy posted her completion, I had another look and blow me down but I’d complete one! Now, that’s the sort of challenge I like as you know, one that’s not a challenge!
So, here’s my post recording that I completed Card One:
- A book with a mystery: Not being a big reader of crime/mystery books, I was initially glad that this didn’t say “a mystery book”, because it meant I could choose any book which contained a mystery. However, as it turned out, I did read a crime mystery this year, Dorothy Johnston’s engaging Through a camel’s eye: A sea-change mystery (my review). It’s first in her new series set around where she lives on the southern Victorian coast.
- A book by someone under 30: I really thought this would be the stumbling block for me. I read quite a few books by young women writers, but which ones are under thirty and which are just over? It’s not always easy to find out. Fortunately, I was saved by Leah A who titled her book perfectly for my purpose, Ten silly poems by a ten year old (my review). Can’t be clearer than that. Thanks Leah! And thanks for your delightful book too.
- A book that’s more than ten years old: I haven’t read as many classics this year, but I did read Kate Jennings’ autobiographical novel Moral hazard (my review), which was first published in 2002. Not only did it help me meet this challenge but it introduced me to the existence of “business novels”.
- A book by an indigenous author: I’ve read a few indigenous authors this year, but the one I want to choose here is Ali Cobby Eckermann’s mesmeric verse novel Ruby Moonlight (my review). If I’d been going to do Card 2, I would have saved it for that, because it would have satisfied that card’s “book with poems” category”.
- My choice (Free square): Oh dear, what to choose here? It’s a toss-up between two collections of essays, Garner’s Everywhere I look and Fiona Wright’s Small acts of disappearance, and Julie Proudfoot’s award-winning novella, The neighbour. But, for her honest handling of such a difficult subject, the experience of an eating disorder, I’ll choose Wright’s book (my review).
- A bestseller: Fortunately, the challenge didn’t define what it meant by “bestseller”, otherwise I might have had a challenge here, but Charlotte Wood’s The natural way of things (my review) was listed a few times in Melbourne bookshop Readings’ Top Ten sellers of the week. I think that qualifies, don’t you?
- A book set in the outback: I tend mostly to think of “the outback” as Australia’s dry remote regions, but for this category I’m submitting Sarah Kanake’s debut novel Sing fox to me (my review) set in a remote mountainous area of Tasmania.
- A short story collection: Now, in this category I have a few excellent choices, including books by Tegan Bennett Daylight and Cassie Flanagan Wilanski, but I’m going to choose Elizabeth Harrower’s A few days in the country, and other stories (my review). That woman can so write, and I’m determined that now re-discovered she’s not going to disappear again.
- A book published this year: Again, I could choose from several books, but for her wonderful turns of phrase and exploration of mental illness, I’m choosing Anna Spargo-Ryan’s The paper house (my review)
Now, that wasn’t too hard … I rather enjoyed looking at this year’s reading from a different angle, and being reminded of some very fine reading I’ve done.
If you had done this challenge, what books would you have chosen in any of these categories. (Unlike us challenge participants, you don’t have to limit yourself to Australian women!)