#Bookishbloggersunite – Midyear Reading in Review

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#BookishBloggersUnite began as a group of bookish friends who wanted to write about books together. This is a catch up post from last week (because my last week has been a little crap) and the lovely Jade over at Bindros Bookshelf was our host. Make sure you check out her stunning blog.

1. Number of books read

I tend to set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 150, although I have smashed that total the last couple of years. I want to make sure I give myself the freedom to be reading longer books that may take more time, and I do feel like I’ve read a lot more books over 400 pages this year than I have in previous years. That being said, my total is currently sitting at 114 for the year, meaning that 200 for the year should be attainable.

2. Tracking my Books

Goodreads is a tried and true method for me. I did make up a manual journal to track pages, diversity and so forth, but it’s been a good couple of months since I’ve made any entries in that. (I don’t use a spreadsheet because a look at those suckers all day at work.)

3. Reading Challenges

Hmm excellent question!

Read Harder – I have 6 left, all ones I’m struggling with.

The Reading Women Challenge – I have 8 to go, again ones I’m struggling with.

The Aussies Rule Challenge – I have 12 to go. (Next month is Black History month here, so I’m planning to smash out a few then!)

4. Favourite Books So Far

My top 10 in no particular order:

In Carpenteria, Alexis Wright beautifully shows the frustrations and anger of A original people trying to live with whites in a small remote community.

John Boyne will break your heart over and over with this story of a gay Irishman born just after WW2 and his life’s journey.

Kameron Hurley creates a unique world with a diverse cast of characters and a seriously flawed main character.

Really interesting perspective on the history of the USA from an Indigenous viewpoint. This book taught me some horrifying stuff.

Do I need to say anything more about this one? Coming to the US in September, Tor has listed it as one of their most anticipated reads for that month.

I’ve mentioned Azar’s Book previously as well. Her writing is beautiful.

I love Alice Oseman’s writing and the way her characters jump off the page.

The third in this series has just come out. Fox captures both the sweltering heat of Cairns and the despair of a man with nothing left to lose. I’m looking forward to catching up on this series.

I’ve mentioned this one before as well. E.K Johnston is great and this alternate future story is pretty awesome.

I finished Dread Nation yesterday and it’s just so good. Jane is a kick-arse heroine and I love her grit. Also lots of social commentary about what slavery, freedom and racism look like, with bonus zombies.

How is your year of reading going so far?

Cheers,

#BookishBloggersUnite – Pride Month TBR

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Hi everyone, welcome to the latest #booksihbloggersunite post. Bookish Bloggers Unite was a tag created by a group of bookish friends who wanted to talk about books together.

This month is Pride month in the US (I’m not sure if there’s a specific Pride month here in Australia? In my home town of Brisbane there’s a Pride Festival in September, and the Sydney Mardi Gras tends to happen in February or March? Year round queer celebrations suit me just fine).

This week we’re going to talk about our LGBTQIA+ (or QUILTBAG – I’ve seen this starting to appear around the place) TBRs for the month of June.

So far I have nailed

I’m not sure if I can put into words why I love Kameron Hurley’s writing so much. Nothing is off limits, she wants to push all the boundaries and she’s happy to write characters who aren’t great people but who you end up liking anyway.

I’m currently listening to

I’m enjoying it TBR looks like this:

Revenant Gun is the final in the Machineries of Empire series by Yoon Ha Lee. I desperately love the first two books, and I’m waiting impatiently for my copy of this to turn up.

Foz Meadows’ name has been on my list for a little while, but I realised in the last week that not only is she queer, but she is a Brissie local! (She also just won the Nora K Hemming award for short fiction for her story Coral Bones!)

This one I picked up at my local library – it’s a story set in the US about a gay son born to conservative Nigerian parents, which looks totally heartbreaking.

I recently read Brown Girl in the Ring so Nalo Hopkinson is on my list of people I need to red immediately. This one I’ve picked up on audio (only option from the Aussie audible site – come on guys!)

What’s on your list for this month? Do you have any recommendations?

Also remember you can join in at any time! Just pop your link in the linky thing šŸ™‚

Cheers!

#BookishBloggersUnite – A Book for all Seasons

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#Bookishbloggersunite is a tag created by a bunch of bookish friends who wanted to talk and write about books together. This week’s post is hosted by the sensational Sarah over at Reviews and Readathons. Make sure you drop by to check out her blog. Also you can join up at any time – just share your link at the link up on the host’s page.

This week we’re talking about books for all seasons. Here in Brisbane it finally feels like winter might happen (I spotted someone on the street in a beanie and gloves last week, a sure indication that the morning’s temp had dropped below 17 degrees Celsius – Brisbanites are notorious wusses when it comes to the “cold”)

Here are some seasonal recommendations for you:

Summer:

The Waves by Virginia Woolf is my favourite beach read. Her lyrical prose magically captures the rhythm of the waves, and having them in the background while reading this made the experience of this book an incredible one.

Autumn:

We don’t really have an autumn here – the colours of the trees don’t change or anything. Autumn is more being aware that you can go back outside again without the sun melting you into a little puddle.

Although it’s set in the Canadian summer That Inexplicable Victorian Thing has more of a fun “it’s no longer summer and you can do fun things outside” feel to me.

Winter:

One of the great things about living in a sub tropical climate is that most of our winter days are very similar to summer days in places like the UK and Europe, so I don’t mind too much reading about people freezing their arses off and reminding myself about how good I have it. The terrible cold is like a character in Burial Rites, making itself known and felt, like a wolf at the door.

Spring:

Again, Spring isn’t really a thing that happens here. I’m always sad when my jasmine flowers in August as I know the heat isn’t far away, and by the time the jacarandas are flowing in November, the summer heat is already extending it’s tentacles.

Picnic at Hanging Rock is a fun spring read – girls in stiff dresses climbing through the bush and disappearing? All the fun times!

Do you have any favourite seasonal reads?

Cheers,

#BookishBloggersUnite: Authors Iā€™d Like to Meet

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#Bookishbloggersunite is a regular tag created by a group of avid readers who wanted to write about books together. I’m playing catch up this week – this post is from last week’s round, which was hosted by the ever-delightful Bron. Make sure you check out her blog. Plus you can join in any time – just add your page link to the link up on the hosts’s page.

I’ve been pretty lucky to meet some amazing authors in recent time, but my wishlist of people who I would like to meet is ever growing. I’m a little sad that I haven’t been to an author event yet this year (most of the ones I would like to get to are happening during the week here in Brisbane, which just isn’t feasible given the hours I work.)

Anyhoo, here is a bunch of amazing authors I would love to listen to/fangirl at/ hear how their brains work.

Claire Coleman – author of Terra Nullius. As far as I’m aware, Coleman is the first Aboriginal author to produce sci-fi, which to me is incredibly exciting (and if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you will have seen me being generally excited about this book for a while). She’s recently received a deal for her second book. She’s been doing the rounds of the writing festivals in the southern states, so I’m hoping she’ll make it to the Brisbane festival in September.

Yoon Ha Lee – author of the Machineries of Empire trilogy. I’m waiting with bated breath for the third book in this amazing series (I’ve even pre-ordered it, which isn’t generally a thing I do). I love these books so much, there is so much in them. Raven Stratagem left a huge hole in my heart that I’m hoping book three will sort out. Lee works as a mathematician and is also a trans person (there is some seriously amazing gender bending going on in these books). This article by Lee about being trans and writing trans characters is well worth a read.

Kameron Hurley – author of The Stars are Legion plus a bunch of other stuff. The Stars are Legion is nothing like anything I’ve ever read – warring lesbians in space (there are no male characters) with some serious body horror going on. Her backlist (and anything else she ever writes) is on my TBR. Hurley works in marketing when she isn’t writing books, and I recently discovered that she has a delightfully sweary podcast called Back to Work Hurley.

N.K. Jemisin – author of the Broken Earth trilogy and others. Jemisin has won the Hugo two years running for the first two instalments in this trilogy and has been nominated for the third. Emotionally devastating is the only way I can summarise these books, but their exploration of slavery, diversity, betrayal and the human condition and determination to survive is totally worth it.

I could definitely add more to this list (and you’ll note this is my sci-fi list) – Becky Chambers, Rivers Solomon and Nnedi Okorafor for instance – but I will leave it here.

Which authors would you most like to meet?

Cheers,

Bout of Books Check In

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Bout of Books is nearly over.

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

I Imogen and I were discussing the other day that Native Americans, their work and legacy is basically invisible to anyone outside the US. I learned a lot about the USA from this book. Please read it.

I love Scalzi. This book comes after Lock In and it was so good. I love Leslie Vann.

Borne was okay? There was a bunch of stuff revealed in the last 20 pages that I would have enjoyed more seeing actually played out on the page.

I’ve just started this one and I am hooked! Set in China in the near future, the one child policy and preference for boys has resulted in women being the ones with the marital and reproductive power, but homosexuality is a crime. Looking forward to seeing how the story plays out.

What have you been reading?

Bout of Books!

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Ok bit random, but one of my BRI mates has put me onto the Bout of Books.

Bout of Books is a week long readathon which is pretty chill (which is good as I don’t get a lot of reading done in the week).

I have no idea how much I will get through, but all my holds for the Arthur C Clarke awards came in from my local library, plus the new Scalzi, so here’s a photo of them!

Cheers,

#BookishBloggersUnite – My Life in Books Tag

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#BookishBloggersUnite is a group of like-minded bloggers wanted to write about books together. This week I found this cool tag over at Talking Tales by the lovely Amy, who runs our local book store. Make sure you check out her blog! Remember you can join us at any time!

I’m hosting us this week, so feel free to pop in your link at the bottom of this post!

My Life in Books Tag

1. Find a book for each of your initials.

S –

A fictional retelling of the Lizzie Borden murders – this one is on my TBR.

J – Jinangga by Monty Walgar – Walgar’s memoir of his life of hard work and struggle with alcohol addiction from a member of the first generation of Aboriginal Australians who had access to alcohol.

D –

This is the second in the Wayward Children series, this is the second book and follows Jack and Jill on their initial journey through their door.

2. Count your age across your bookshelf.

Hmmm, which shelf? I picked the one that’s best arranged and came up with Autonomous by Annalee Newitz. This book is an amazing exploration of gender and consent, with additional social commentary about big pharma and bonus lady pirates.

3. Pick a book set in your city/country.

The Boundary by Nicole Watson really brings to life the feel of the Brisbane I grew up in. Set in the 80s it explores the tension between politicians at the time and the Aboriginal people.

4. Pick a book that represents a destination you want to travel to.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I’ve always been fascinated by Iceland and this book really brought the landscape to life. I’ll be happy to go in this century with modern heating conveniences though.

5. Pick a book that’s your favourite colour.

All of the purple, thank you.

6. Which book do you have fondest memories of?

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you’ll know my fondness for HHGTTG. I first read it when I was 15 (when all my friends were reading Flowers in the Attic) and it completely changed my thinking.

7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Curse you, Joyce! Ulysses was an absolute slog, and I’m not even sure it was worth it.

8. Which book on your TBR will give you the biggest accomplishment when you read it?

Probably The Quiet Violence of Dreams. I picked it up last year but stalled. That sucker is big.

That’s it from me – again feel free to add your post in the link up if you’re playing along.

Cheers!