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Australian Women Writers 2020 Challenge completed

September 10, 2020

I’m very late with my traditional completion post for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge – it’s been a weird and difficult year all round. As always, I will continue to contribute until the year’s end, and do a final round-up then, but I do like to get the completion admin done!

I signed up, of course, for the top-level, Franklin, which involves reading 10 books and reviewing at least 6, and of course I’ve exceeded this. In fact, by June 30, my usual marker for my completion post, I’d contributed 13 reviews to the challenge,

Here’s my list in alphabetical order (by author), with the links on the titles being to my reviews:

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Challenge logo

I don’t set myself specific reading goals, but I do keep in mind a wish to read more indigenous and diverse writers, more classics, and more from my TBR pile. As I wrote last year, these continue to be my non-goal goals. So, how did I go? Well, I read just one Indigenous Australian writer, an Iranian Australian writer, two classics (thanks to Bill’s AWW Gen 3 week), and four (Hooper, Park, Thirkell and Azar) from my TBR*. This is not too bad out of 13 books (I think!), particularly given this weird year. However, I’d like to do more. Let’s see how I go by the end of the year.

Book coverNot included in the above list is Heidi Sze’s book Nurturing your new life, which I have not specifically reviewed. However, I have read a significant proportion of it, and did write up the author event I attended.

Watch out for my 2020 AWW Challenge wrap-up post for the year’s full story!

* All books I read are, by definition, on my TBR, but in terms of my book management, I define my TBR pile as those I’ve had for more than 12 months!

30 Comments leave one →
  1. Sara Dowse permalink
    September 10, 2020 8:23 pm

    All things considered, WG, that’s quite an impressive list!

  2. September 10, 2020 8:25 pm

    Congratulations, Sue! I will save some of your book titles and hope 2021 will be a better reading year for me. Due to Covid….my focus just disappeared. I failed to complete this challenge…only read 5 books by Australian writers. In 2019 I read 70 books…so you can see the impact 2020 has had on me. See you in 2021 Aus Reading Challenge!

  3. September 10, 2020 9:50 pm

    I’m not sure how many I’ve read so far, though I have read two Jess White’s so there’s a start, and Gen 3 Week parts one and two should bump me up a bit further. I’ll add them up at the end of the year. I’ve read 3 off your list, so I have some catching up to do. Tonight was unexpectedly free, I looked at Thirkell, I looked at Jolley, but I plumped for a European guy (not that I’ve got off the computer to start reading yet).

  4. September 10, 2020 10:03 pm

    Well done, Sue, you’ve had a tough year and you’ve still managed to read more than many people ever do.
    I hope some of those books brought you solace when you needed it.
    I don’t do this (or any other) challenge, but I’ve done my bit with reviewing Australian women writers, not least with Thea Astley Week who accounted for five of them all by herself!

    • September 11, 2020 9:43 pm

      Thanks Lisa … yes, I think they have.

      You sure do do your bit for Australian Women Writers! I was thrilled with your Thea Astley week.

  5. September 10, 2020 10:33 pm

    Well done Sue. It has been a strange reading year, and a particularly difficult one for you.

    I’ve read six from your list – loved both the Wood and the Parrett, purely because I just became completely absorbed by the characters. I’ve recommended the Hooper to many people who don’t consider themselves ‘big readers’, and all have loved it. And the Winch – I’m still thinking about the dictionary elements of the book, and how brilliantly they added to the story.

    • September 11, 2020 7:46 am

      Thanks Kate. I love that you loved those books too. How great that those “lesser” readers loved Hooper.

      • September 12, 2020 8:10 am

        Re the Hooper – I think there’s something about narrative nonfiction that hooks people in who otherwise don’t read much – perhaps they don’t feel it’s a waste of time because what they are reading is ‘real’?

        • September 12, 2020 8:28 am

          Oh yes, I think you’re right. Most people like stories, I think, but there is still that sense around, isnt there, that fiction is frivolous while nonfiction is important.

  6. September 11, 2020 6:13 am

    A very impressive list of books. They are also diverse in terms of subjects.

    I think that I mentioned this before but I am jealous of how many books that you read.

    • September 11, 2020 7:48 am

      Thanks Brian. I don’t think you are retired so you have an excuse. I know many retirees who read FAR more than I do. I envy them!

  7. September 11, 2020 7:59 am

    Amazing! I don’t know how you do it. I’ve read several of them, but my wider reading is always slowed by my essential reading around research for the manuscript I’m presently working on. My TBR pile grows by the day so I’ve added a few more from this great list!

    • September 11, 2020 8:08 am

      I can understand that Jan. It must be frustrating being a writer sometimes, but your research reading must also be invigorating?

      • September 11, 2020 8:26 am

        Yes Sue, the research reading is fabulous, but I also find that the more time I take off for other reading, (fiction/non-fiction) the better and more easily my own writing flows. Every single book has something to reflect on, to either emulate or avoid or try out. Or offers solace or escape. I’m still getting through a novel a week in unrelated stuff! This week’s read was a prize-winner, not Australian, (& shall remain nameless) and I found it disappointing: overblown and wordy and forced. But even when that happens it forces you as a reader & a writer, to ask yourself how that happened and what worked & what didn’t. Reading just is, for me, like breathing. Or like eating, and there sure has been a lot of both during this weird time!!!! I hope reading has also brought solace for you and so many people who have suffered during this past winter.

        • September 11, 2020 8:47 am

          Thanks Jan. That’s good to hear. I feel about reading the way you do though with my mother’s somewhat sudden death in June I did find it hard to focus for a while. Sometimes even reading doesn’t cut it. But I’m coming back.

  8. September 11, 2020 12:17 pm

    A nice spread there!

  9. September 12, 2020 3:10 am

    Over achieving again Sue 🙂

  10. September 12, 2020 9:35 pm

    Well done! Especially considering the challenging year you’ve had!

  11. September 13, 2020 12:16 pm

    Wow I’m really impressed by the video (slide show?) that introduces your list. Did you make it yourself? How’d you do it, WG? Again, thanks for introducing me to more Australian women writers. BTW, I’ve just read a woman writer too, with multiple ‘nationalities’, nature writing mixed with memoir, about a place close to your country. 🙂

    • September 13, 2020 3:03 pm

      Thanks Arti. It’s a WordPress feature called Gallery. You have options once you create a gallery, one being slideshow. Can you find it?

      Which book?

      • September 13, 2020 3:09 pm

        O thanks! That’s what Gallery is for. I’ve recently changed to a new WP Theme (upon the urging by WP people) and am still finding my way.

        • September 13, 2020 4:20 pm

          You can display multiple images in a few ways but I think the slide show is best if you have several pics.

      • September 13, 2020 3:12 pm

        O the book I recently read is “Two Trees Make a Forest” by Jessica J. Lee. A unique voice in nature writing. Just reviewed it on Ripple.

        • September 13, 2020 4:22 pm

          Thanks Arti, I’ll check it out … I’m not keeping up very well these days.

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