Aurealis Award Finalists

Standard

Another week, another list of awesome stories and books from Aussies for you to get into.

The finalists for the Aurealis awards have been announced and you can find a full list here. The Aurealis awards covers short fiction through to novels and horror, fantasy and sci-fi.

I’m going to list the science fiction nominees here (great options for prompt 18 of the Aussies Rule challenge):

Closing Down by Sally Abbott

Terra Nullius by Claire G Coleman

Year of the Orphan by Daniel Findlay

An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen

From the Wreck by Jane Rawson

Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks

What a great list! It’s wonderful to see Kneen and Coleman receiving further acknowledgements of their work. I was also really happy to see both Jane Rawson and Cat Sparks on this list for their fine books.

The LoveOzYa anthology of short stories didn’t receive a nomination for the anthology (not all stories fell within the spec fic spectrum) but so many of the stories in the collection have been nominated. If you enjoy YA, definitely check it out. (First Casualty by Michael Pryor nearly had me in tears.)

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada has been nominated for best YA novel – it has been sitting on my TBR shelf for a while now and I’ve heard good things!

Have you read any of these? Are you planning to?

The Stella Longlist

Standard

Hi everyone!

The Stella Award is specifically for Aussie Women writers and the longlist was released on February 8 with all due celebration.

I was really pleased to note that Terra Nullius by Claire Coleman, which I’ve mentioned a couple of times, was part of the list! There would be something terribly wrong if Alexis Wright, author of amazing books such as The Swan Book and Carpentaria wasn’t included for her nonfiction book Tracker, about the life of Tracker Tilmouth. It’s also nice to see An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen from Avid Reader on the list as well).

Here’s the full list for your reading pleasure – I’ve linked each book title to the relevant Stellas page so you can read the description and judges comments:

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar

A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work by Bernadette Brennan

Anaesthesia: The Gift of Oblivion and the Mystery of Consciousness by Kate Cole-Adams

Terra Nullius by Claire G Coleman

The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser

This Water: Five Tales by Beverley Farmer

The Green Bell: A Memoir of Love, Madness and Poetry by Paula Keogh

An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen

The Choke by Sofie Laguna

Martin Sharp: His Life and Times by Joyce Morgan

The Fish Girl by Mirandi Riwoe

Tracker by Alexis Wright

I have to confess that most of these were not on my radar, which is why I love the Stellas for bringing them to my attention.

What do you think of the list? Are you happy? Is there something missing? Are you going to read through the list? Do any strike your fancy for the Aussies Rule Challenge ?

24 in 48!

Standard

(Please note this post references Aboriginal people who are deceased.)

The 24 in 48 Readathon is well and truly underway. I’ve been a tad distracted today (housework, who needs it?) but I’ve just finished A Bastard Like Me by Charles Perkins. I’m so glad I was able to find a copy to read. There’s lots of heartbreaking stuff in there – and lots of opinions that wouldn’t find their way into a book in this day and age! I found his political observations really interesting, especially given he was writing prior to the dismissal of Gough Whitlam in 1975.

My next read is Sourdough by Robin Sloan.

How is your readathon going? Do you have a stack set up?

Aussies Rule Prompt 12 And Terra Nullius

Standard

Hi everyone, today my focus is on prompt 12 for the Aussies Rule Challenge, which is a book by an Aussie of Colour who is an immigrant or refugee.

I haven’t been as successful with my research this time as I was hoping, but here are my suggestions:

  • Anh Do The Happiest Refugee (Do also has a delightful series of kids books in his WeirDo series which my nephew, Cooper, highly recommends)
  • Deng Adut Song of a War Boy
  • Akmal Saleh The Life of Akmal
  • Nam Le The Boat
  • Yassmin Abdel-Magied Yassmin’s Story
  • Yasmin Gooneratne A Change of Skies (and others)
  • Sulari Gentill Rowland Sinclair series plus others (Thanks to Bron for bringing Gentill to my attention)
  • Lee Lin Chin Iced Beer And Other Tantalising Tips For Life
  • Saroo Brierley Lion

Do you have any other suggestions for this list? I’m keen to hear them if you do.

In celebration is Australia Day/Invasion Day I’m going to be finishing this beauty by new author Claire G. Coleman. I’m really enjoying it.

Also don’t forget the 24 in 48 Readathon starts tomorrow! My snacks, books and I are ready to roll!

Peace out folks.

A Bastard Like Me and 24 in 48

Standard

It arrived! And I was able to bring it home!

I’m pretty happy to have this volume in my home, even if only temporarily. It’s really, light and small.

I’m going to be reading it this weekend during the 24 in 48 Readathon. The what? I hear you ask.

The 24 in 48 is run by Rachel Manwill and her little band of helpers. In theory, the idea is to spend 24 hours of the 48 hours in the weekend reading. In practise that is really hard, so it’s mainly an excuse to kick back with your books.

If you haven’t already signed up I would encourage you to do so – the link is here for your convenience. The Readathon is tons of fun – you can follow along both on the blog and on Litsy and there are always great prizes available even if you aren’t located in the US. It’s a great opportunity to get a head start on your reading for the year and hang out with a bunch of like minded people in a very introverted way (ie you can switch them off whenever you want!)

See you there!

Prompt 4 – Aussies Rule Challenge

Standard

Hi folks!

How is 2018 treating you? It’s Bookfest time here in Brisbane, so we headed in yesterday. As always, so many books in one place made me pretty happy. Look at all this bookish goodness!

Anyway, I’m going to skip to prompt 4 today which is a mystery or thriller by a female writer. Here are some suggestions!

  • Emma Viskic Resurrection Bay and Then Fire Came Down (Vic)
  • Jane Harper The Dry and Force of Nature (Vic)
  • Sarah Schmidt See What I Have Done
  • Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fischer books (Vic)
  • Jennifer Rowe – I had no idea that Emily Rodda was a pseudonym for crime writer Jennifer Rowe! (NSW)
  • Emily Macguire An Isolated Incident (Vic)
  • Nicole Watson The Boundary (Qld)
  • P.M. Newton The Old School, Beams Falling (NSW)
  • Candice Fox Archer and Bennett and Crimson Lake series (NSW)

I’ve only read a few of these (Emma Viskic, Emily Maguire and Nicole Watson) But most of the others have been on my TBR for a while – with the exception of Jennifer Rowe who I stumbled across by accident.

If you are wanting further Aussie crime writing, I would strongly recommend you check out the Ned Kelly Awards (Jane Harper won in 2017 and Emma Viskic in 2016 for best first fiction. Candice Fox has also taken out a couple) for further authors.

What are you planning to read for this prompt? Have you read any of my suggestions?

Kicking off my Aussies Rule Challenge

Standard

(Please note this post references Aboriginal people who are deceased.)

As I’ve been on leave from work this week I thought it would be a good opportunity to get a head start on my reads for the Aussie Rules Challenge.

My first pick was for prompt 6 (featuring a character/person with a chronic illness or disability).

I picked up Between a Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain last year as it was shortlisted for the Stella awards. I discovered that she had tragically passed away from a brain tumour (the same affliction suffered one of her characters). I spotted this book on Litsy a few weeks ago and luckily my library had it available.

In The Museum of Words, Blain tells her own story after the writing of Between a Wolf and a Dog. She had been dealing with her mother’s (author Anne Deveson) descent into Alzheimers and the stress that comes with having an unwell, aging parent who is in denial about their own weaknesses, when her close friend and mentor (author Rosie Scott) was diagnosed with a brain tumour in the speech centre of her brain. Not long afterwards, Blain suffers a seizure which leads to her own diagnosis and battle with a brain tumour attacking her speech centre. This is an incredibly sad but beautifully written memoir of what it is like to see death coming and to have illness threaten to take away the things you value most.

My second read for the challenge is Dhuuluu-Yala: To Talk Straight by Dr Anita Heiss. This is for prompt 5 – a nonfiction book by an Aboriginal author. Heiss explores what it means to be an Aboriginal writer, how white structures of language and book editing can be used to hinder the Aboriginal voice. She looks at how little support is available for our emerging Aboriginal writers, and also discusses that at the time, the academic world of Aboriginal writing was mostly dominated by white men. Heiss explores her own experiences and those of her peers, and then discusses the different structures in place for the First Nations people of Canada and the Maori people in New Zealand. There are also extensive lists of Aboriginal, First Nations and Maori literature up until the time of publication provided as appendices.

I learnt so much from this book, and it saddens me to think that it is still so very relevant although it was published in 2003. Australia should be doing better.

I’ve also been spending some time getting together a bunch of books that I want to read for the first prompt. I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading multiple books for each of the prompts, and I’ve been very happy with how much material I’ve been able to access through my local library.

One of the books I definitely want to read is Charles Perkin’s autobiography A Bastard Like Me. I was born in the early 70s and grew up in the 80s, and two of the Aboriginal people I remember most admiring during that time are Charles Perkins and Oodgeroo Noonuccal (whose biography is also in my pile.) I have found it relatively difficult to locate a copy of A Bastard Like Me. It’s currently unavailable on my usual book purchasing sources, my usual second-hand purchasing sources also don’t have it, and neither do the local libraries. I did manage to locate a copy at the State Library and have requested it (which is the first time I’ve tried that process, so I’ll let you know how it goes).

Have you started selecting books or reading for the challenge? Let me know what you’re going to read!