An avid reader calls it as she sees it on books, publishing and the written word in general.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Australian Women Writers' Challenge - update

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was signing up to the Australian Women Writers’ challenge, although it was way back in January. My full-of-enthusiasm initial post is here. Now that we’re more than three quarters of the way through the year, I thought it would be a good time to review progress (read – work out whether I need to panic).

There have been a few difficulties along the way. It turns out that funnily enough, not many databases allow you to search by gender or even nationality. When you find a book online or in a bookstore, it’s relatively easy to work out if the author is a woman or not, but trying to find if they are Australian often necessitates trying to deduce from the publisher name or searching for clues in the biography.

So how am I tracking against the goal of reading at least ten books by Australian women writers and reviewing four? I’ve listed them below with genre and a potted summary.


·         Sharp Shooter by Marianne Delacourt (urban fantasy – Stephanie Plum gets psychic)

·         The Spare Room by Helen Garner (literary fiction - heartbreaking story of caring for a cancer patient)

·         A Few Right Thinking Men by Sulari Gentill (historical crime – murder amidst the political intrigues of 1930s Sydney)

Read but not (yet) reviewed:

·         Cooking the Books by Kerry Greenwood (crime – Corinna Chapman solves mysteries while cooking & eating fantastic food)

·         On Passion by Dorothy Porter (non-fiction – poetic musings on the nature of passion in its many guises)

·         Nothing but Gold by Robyn Annear (non-fiction – life in the Victorian goldfields of 1852)

Yet to crack the spine:

·         Diving Belles by Lucy Wood

·         A Beautiful Place by Malla Nunn

So in summary…not quite panicking yet but still more work to do! One more review and four more to read.

One other thing worth mentioning is that the Australian Women Writers’ project recently passed the milestone of over 1000 reviews. That’s an absolutely mind-boggling number and a huge credit to Elizabeth Lhuede and team. I’m proud to be part of such a worthwhile project which is really no chore at all, discovering writers I didn’t know before and fantastic books. I've also been really impressed by the sheer diversity of books reviewed, in all genres, new, old, and classic. So a big congratulations to the good ship AWW Challenge and all who sail in her!

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