#BookishBloggersUnite – Who Runs the World


Hi folks, welcome to another #Bookishbloggersunite post. This tag came about as a group of bookish friends decided they wanted to blog about books together. This week is being hosted by the lovely Jade over at Bindrosbookshelf. You can participate at any time, so please pop your link in over at Jade’s blog.

Jade is mixing it up this week with her Who Runs the World Spotify list (you can find the link on her page) and some wonderfully inspired prompts. (I’ve only done about half of the prompts, because I’m a wuss.) Here we go!

Your persuasion can build a nation, endless power, our love we can devour, you’ll do anything for me.

Beyoncé’s Run the World (Girls)

Favourite Queen/Ruler in a Novel.

I don’t read a lot of books with queens in it seems, but this one is pretty awesome. Maya seems to be cursed – her horoscope promises a marriage of death and destruction. She escapes an arranged marriage to become the Queen of Akaran and the wife of Amar and hijinks ensue. By hijinks, I mean a beautifully woven tale through mythological landscapes between life and death. This book is gorgeous and Maya is fabulous.

And it’s hard to dance with a Devil on your back so shake him off.

Florence + The Machine’s Shake it Off

Character battling with demons.

Grace and Ben are twins, Grace the younger by 19 minutes and feels that she is the moon to Ben’s sun. Ben is a rising surfing star in their small beachside town, popular at school, and Grace is happy to follow along in his shadow. A tragic accident turns Grace’s universe upside down and she has to come to terms with her life moving forward under very different circumstances.

This book has not had anywhere near the press it deserves. Lyrically written, it tells of Grace’s battle through grief and maps her disintegration and her slow pull back together. It is both beautiful and devastating. (This is a five alarm snot bomb, do not read in public, or you will probably end up snivelling on a train in peak hour the way I did.)

So no, I don’t want your number, no I don’t want to give you mine, and no I don’t want to meet you nowhere, and no I don’t want none of your time.

TLCs No Scrubs

Character who takes no “you know what” from anyone.

If you ever wanted a more murdery version of Jane Eyre, here it is. Jane takes no crap and also dishes out retribution. You go girl!

Oh, she’s got both feet on the ground and she’s burning it down.

Alicia Keyes Girl on Fire

Character on Fire

I’m pretty sure you know about this book (if you don’t, it’s time to get out from under your rock.). Starr’s journey in this book is heartbreaking and inspiring.

I’m spreading the love, there’s no need to fear, and I just feel so glad, Every time I hear I’m coming out I want the world to know.

Dianna Ross’s Coming Out.

Favourite Coming Out Novel

Dreadnought by April Daniels is probably not generally thought of as a coming out novel, but it’s definitely my favourite. Danny knows that he is actually a girl, but the only concession he allows is to buy a new nail polish to paint his toenails. He is doing this in an alley when a superhero fight explodes overhead and, fatally injured Dreadnought crashes to the ground beside Danny. Before he dies, Dreadnought passes on his powers to Danny, which has the unexpected side effect of blasting her into her ideal body. Danny is suddenly outed for the whole world to see. She has to deal with how this effects her at school and at home, AND deal with her new super powers.

Well my name’s not Alice but I know how she felt when her world started turning into something else.

Lisa Mitchell’s Sometimes I Feel Like Alice

Favourite fantasy book or character who gets thrown into one.

Jade mentioned The Night Circus for this prompt, which I just love. Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series leapt to my mind for this one, as it’s all about children who have gone through doors to other worlds, in the same way Alice fell down her rabbit hole. I love all three books, but I really enjoyed the story of Jack and Jill and how what happened through their door changed them into the people we meet in Every Heart a Doorway.

These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.

Nancy Sinatra These Boots Were Made for Walking

Favourite Sassy Character or Best Revenge Plot

I’m going old school for this one, but one of my all time favourite sassy characters is Beatrice from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. It’s one of my favourite Shakespearian comedies and the rebalance sparring between Beatrice and Benedick is wonderful.

I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that: I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.

You tell him girl!

If I were a boy I think I could understand How it feels to love a girl, I swear I’d be a better man.

Beyoncé’s If I Were a Boy.

Favourite “Girl Pretending to be a Boy” story.

I’m going old school for this one as well but staying in modern times. Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett is a wonderful story of Polly, who masquerades as a boy so she can join the army to find her brother. Trying to hide who she really is is tough, until she realises she’s not as alone as she thought she was.

I’d love to see your take on these prompts (or some of the others Jade has provided). Feel free to join in!


PS. I know it’s been a while since I’ve written an Aussies Rule post, but there will be one coming your way very soon!

#BookishBloggersUnite – International Womens Day


Hey folks!

This week our #BookishBloggersUnite post is in Celebration of International Women’s Day. #BookishBloggersUnite came about when a group of like minded writers decided they wanted to talk about books together. This week’s host is fellow Aussie, the lovely Bron, so make sure you visit her delightful blog. Remember anyone can play, so if you would like to join in, post your link in the linky on Bron’s page.

This week’s challenge is to talk about three women writers:

  • One who is a favourite, whose writing you love and love to recommend;
  • One whose work you have read some of and would like to read more; and
  • One whose work you haven’t read but totally want to.

I’m sure we all know how crap I am at picking favourites or just one of anything to know how this will go down. Gird your loins people!

A favourite whose writing you love and love to recommend

Dr Anita Heiss is a proud Wiradjuri woman who now lives in Brisbane. Her work ranges from memoir and poetry through to historical fiction and what she refers to as “choc-lit”. She is an auto-buy author for me and I always learn something from her books.

Special mentions to Hannah Kent, Emma Viskic and Becky Chambers.

Someone whose work you have read and would like to read more

N.K. Jemisin and Octavia Butler are both in this category for me. From Jemisin I’ve read the Broken Earth trilogy and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. From Butler I have read Dawn, Fledgling and Kindred. Their writing is both amazing and challenging in very different ways.

Someone whose work you haven’t read, but totally want to

I think this is best answered with a photo. And this isn’t even all of them.

I’m having on of those ‘why can’t all the books be in my brain right now’ moments. Do you get those? There are so many amazing women authors that I want to read!

What would your answers to these questions look like? What do you think of my selections?


#BookishBloggersUnite – Kicking off US Women’s History Month


Hello everyone!

Bookish Bloggers Unite was formed when a group of like-minded writers decided they want to talk about books together.

I’m lucky enough to be hosting this week’s tag which is Favourite Women Writers Across Multiple Genres. Pick your favourite genres and tell us about your favourite female authors writing within them (or around them or across them!) Anyone can play – just pop your link in the linky at the end.

The way I’m going to define a “favourite” is someone whose entire offerings I have read or plan to read. Also, everyone on this list I have read multiple works from. Hence there are notable people missing such as Melissa Lucashenko, Nikki Drayden and Martha Wells.

Let’s go!

Science Fiction

I first read Pat Cadigan’s Fools before the Pentium was invented. It was published in the very early 90s, when the best internet search engine was Ask Jeeves, you could only participate in the internet if you could code and Windows hadn’t been invented yet. Cadigan’s world building is inventive and detailed while still being gritty and realistic. I particularly love the way that the story of Fools is told with multiple narrative voices identified by different fonts. It’s a wild ride that I have taken many times.

Honourable mentions to:

Amie Kaufman (Most of her work that I have read has been written on conjunction with others, but I’ve seen her talk a couple of times and I think she’s pretty awesome.)

Kameron Hurley (The Stars are Legion is nothing like anything I have ever read and I need to visit more of her back catalogue.)

Becky Chambers (I love the Wayfarer books so much!)


I encountered N.K Jemisin’s work for the first time last year when I picked up The Fifth Season. The last thing I read with a second person narrative would have been the Choose Your Own Adventure books that were popular when I was a kid. The amazing world building and the intensity of the story absolutely sucked me in. Jemisin doesn’t pull her punches and I loved how fearless the story was in it’s explorations of love, loss and ideas about community, family and servitude. That series broke my heart!

Honourable mentions to

Nnedi Okorafor (I love the Binti books!)

Literary Fiction

Sorry but I’m playing a “Team Old” card for this one. I ran across Simone de Beauvoir when I was studying philosophy (after the Pentium was invented, but not by much) and I’ve read everything of hers I could get my hands on. My favourite of her novels is All Men are Mortal, where the main character, a young, image obsessed actress meets a man who is immortal. Listening to his stories about people he has loved in the past but lost, as well as his frank admissions about the fact that he won’t remember her in 100 years shake her to her core. It’s an interesting discussion about life and death and where we place our interests while we are alive.

Honourable mention:

Virginia Woolf (Another Team Old pick. The Waves and Orlando both have my heart.)


I don’t tend to read a lot of these although it was one of my favourite genres when I was young. But – Emma Viskic come on down. Resurrection Bay and And Fire Came Down are such great books. Her casting is diverse, the pacing is great and I’m thoroughly invested in Caleb Zelic. I’m ready for the next one Emma! Whenever you are, no rush. (This year? Please?)

Young Adult

This is a tough one. Who do I choose?

April Daniels for her superhero stories about Danny, who knows she is a girl on the inside although everyone thinks she is a boy, and how she is suddenly born into her ideal body when the local hero Dreadnought dies and gives her his powers?

Leigh Bardugo? I loved her The Six of Crows and Wonderwoman. Crows was so gritty and wonderful with great interweaving storylines and I really enjoyed the humour of Wonderwoman.

E.K. Johnston? Exit, Pursued by a Bear was both difficult and wonderful, and I recently fell in love with her latest, wonderful and very pretty That Inevitable Victorian Thing, which reimagines English colonisation as the English mingling with the societies and people they overthrew rather than wiping them out.

So that’s my list. What do you think? I’m sure I’ve missed your faves, so tell me who they are! Remember to add your link below if you are playing along! (Edited to add -Team Old has no idea how to put the linky thing in – I’ll let you know when I’ve figured it out!)


US Black History Month


I can’t believe it’s March in tomorrow, I’ve been meaning to write this post for a good 2 weeks now! Better late than never right?

February marks Black History month in the US (it’s in July for us Aussies) and this year I realised something. Most books that I own which are by Black US authors are all in digital formats. This is for two reasons – the lag between the book being published in the US and becoming available here is significantly more to the lag between a white authors books, and overall they just seem to not be as readily available especially not in hard copies.

So this month I took the step of signing up to an online subscription service (not related to Amazon) so I could see what I was missing out on. And boy, do we miss out! I shouldn’t be surprised, the Aussie book market is a small, odd beast and given how terrible most Aussies are at reading our own not-white people, it’s probably not surprising that we wouldn’t get much of an influx of African-American authors and their books into the market.

So here is what I’ve read for US Black History Month:

I started with some memoirs first:

  • The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
  • We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
  • The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

Because I’m pretty woeful with popular culture that isn’t book related, I wasn’t familiar with the work of any of these amazing ladies prior to picking up their stories. Their recounting of their experiences were raw, compelling and utterly heartbreaking. Their strength and determination is incredibly inspiring. Rae talks of the struggle of living between African and American culture and how restrictive it is to live within the expectation placed on Black people by white culture. Union talks about the way white people look at her with suspicion and how she fears for her family because they live in a mostly white neighbourhood, where being Black means you are automatically suspect. Haddish’s life story is so incredibly heartbreaking.

This Will be my Undoing by Morgan Jenkins

While this is also technically a memoir, this debut is more a series of feminist essays (I think). Morgan Jenkins writes specifically about what it is like to be in a black body while living in a white world and how this shaped her thoughts about herself living in that world. I enjoyed this collection and I’m really excited to see Jenkins’s future work.

I also read Murder in G Major and Death in D Minor both by Alexis Gordon – be warned, the cliffhanger at the end of the first will have you screaming at whatever format you are reading.

Gethsemane Brown is an African American woman who has been hired by an Irish boy’s school to get their school orchestra up to speed for the regional competition. It turns out that she ends up having an unexpected housemate – the ghost of a man killed 25 years previously who begs for her to help him by uncovering proof that he didn’t murder his wife. I was involved in music from a very early age, so a cozy mystery that comes with a Black main character and musical nerdery made me very happy.

I’m so happy I’ve found a new repository of African American authors and books and I’m looking forward to working my way through all the new-to-me stuff I’ve found, I’m also grateful for the work these people are doing to talk about institutionalised racism. I really hope the human race can figure out how to not be dicks to each other over things like melanin.

What did you read for Black History Month? What would you recommend for a non-US person to read? Who are some of your favourite African-American authors that I wouldn’t have heard of?

#BookishBloggersUnite !


Hey folks! This is my first post for the #BookishBloggersUnite Tag. This was developed by a group of likeminded bookish friends who thought that blogging about books together would be fun! Anyone is welcome to join. The first tag is being hosted by Katy over at The Bookish Cronk so make sure you pay her a visit. You can add your link to her post. The first post is some introductory questions, so here we go!

It me!

1. What got you into reading?

My parents I guess. I don’t remember not being able to read. There’s a photo of me at the age of about 3 with a book on my lap and a pile beside me. Nothing much has changed, except my hair is cooler now. 🙂

2. What are your favourite genres?

I’m a big sci fi and mystery fan from the time I was little. I will read almost anything though.

3. What are your least favourite genres?

Horror and romance. I’m not great with bodily fluids.

4. If you had to choose bringing a mediocre series or one great standalone to a desert island, which would you choose.

The mediocre series. I would get bored with even an awesome standalone pretty quickly.

5. How do you organise your bookshelves?

Like the rest of my life, my bookshelves exist in organised chaos. I try to put books from each author together. All my philosophy books are together. The rest will go where they fit! It’s like an adventure!

6.What’s the next book on your TBR that you’re excited about?

I’m excited about all of them, which makes prioritorisation a bitch.

7. Have you ever gone to any book signings? Which was your favourite?

I don’t know if I could pick a favourite. I’ve been lucky enough to go to some great events in the last couple of years. I’ve seen Anita Heiss and Amie Kaufman a few times and they have always been delightful. I had a wonderful 10 minute conversation with Hebe de Souza (author of Black British) at the end of her event and she had some wonderful insights. I fangirled over Catherine Jinks, Magda Szubanski and Susan Faludi who all took it with wonderfully good grace. Kim Scott and Paul Beatty were both humble and a joy to chat to.

8. Hardcovers, paperbacks, ebooks or audiobooks?

Yes please! As an Australian who likes to read widely, I will take whatever I can get.

9. What’s your favourite book to recommend which isn’t a common recommendation for new readers?

I think that would be reader specific, but I’m recommending Terra Nullius by Claire Coleman to anyone who stands still long enough at the moment, so I guess that counts?

10. What does your ideal reading day look like?

Ideally it’s a nice cool day and I can sloth around in my favourite daggy clothes, with endless cups of tea and excellent books with no interruptions.

11. What makes you DNF a book?

I have to really hate a book to not finish it. Even if I really hate something I may still finish it so I feel justified in ranting about it.

12. What book are you most excited about in 2018?

SO MANY! Obsidio by Kaufman and Kristoff will be out before too long. Autonomous is due out in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait for the two new Murderbot books, and Dread Nation looks awesome! Also the third in the Machineries of Empire series by Yoon Ha Lee is due out and I can’t wait for that either! Imma stop now….

13. Which series or book do you revisit for self care/nostalgia?

This is going to sound terribly wanky, but Swann’s Way by Proust. I loves it.

14. Do you have a bookish pet?

There is this guy. But he doesn’t want to be a bookish pet. Look how cross he is!

Marshmallow of Death hates Shakespeare

15. Do you enjoy readathons? Which ones do you participate in?

My favourite type of weekend looks like a readathon anyway so HELLZ YES to all the readathons. The 24 in 48 happens in January and July and I’m always attempting that one. I will tend to treat Dewey’s readathon in a similar manner to the 24 in 48 because I’m old and sleep is important. Are there other readathons? Tell me!

16. What is one part of your bookish life that you enjoy that isn’t reading?

The book community, and in particular the Book Riot Insiders slack. It’s been great to meet a bunch of like minded book nerds who care about the same sorts of things I do. I have learned a lot thanks to that amazing group of people, and will no doubt continue to do so.

17. Is there a genre you wished you read more of?

Not really. If something sounds good I will read it regardless of the genre it belongs to.

18. What is your favourite book cover of all time.

Okay, brace yourself.

Welcome to the 1970s ladies and gentlemen. I bought this in the late 80s and I think it has imprinted on me.


Aurealis Award Finalists


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


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 ?