#BookishBloggersUnite – Impactful Books

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Hi folks,

Welcome to another edition of Bookish Bloggers Unite, a tag put together by a group of friends who wanted to write about books together. This week we’re being hosted by Summer over at Paper Cathedrals, so make sure you check out her blog, and add your link there if you would like to join us

This week we’re talking about impactful books, books that make you think or feel differently, or see the world from a different point of view. As we’re coming to the end of Australian Black History Month, I’m going to talk about impactful books by Aboriginal authors.

Too Afraid to Cry is a memoir by poet Ali Cobby Eckermann. Cobby Eckermann was removed from her mother when a baby and was adopted by a white family along with a number of other Aboriginal children. She didn’t realised she was Aboriginal until later in her childhood when she was bullied for her appearance by students at her school. Abuse and trauma during hr childhood and teen years, followed by her own child being taken away, Cobby Eckermann tells of her journey through addiction and depression, her struggle to find where she belongs. She eventually finds both her birth mother and her son. This book shows the human face to the Stolen Generations and the cyclical trauma placed on Aboriginal people by the government’s terrible policies.

Taboo by Kim Scott has been nominated for the Miles Franklin this year. Based on actual events, Taboo follows Tilly as she finds her way back to her father’s land and people after being raised by her white mother. This happens at the same time as a proposed Peace Park/Plaque being discussed by her father’s family, victims of a local massacre. Taboo is another exploration of loss and trauma and how those things impact today’s Aboriginal people. (One of the white characters keeps saying “I don’t like the word ‘massacre'” in what appears to be an attempt to downplay the event, and it’s a completely infuriating, although accurate, portrayal of the way white Australia seems to want to wash it’s hands of what happened to the Aboriginal population.)

I spotted this article on Twitter yesterday which talks about 500 massacre sites being mapped across the country. You can see the map itself here. It’s a sickening reminder that the government’s plan for the Aboriginal people was for them to be exterminated completely.

I feel like I can’t talk about this book enough, especially to Australians. If you have had any level of education about the Aboriginal people, you would have been taught that prior to invasion, they were a nomadic people who didn’t have any agricultural structures . Dark Emu shows that the Aboriginal people used sowing, harvesting, irrigating and food storage techniques that don’t line up with the “hunter/gatherer” tag their society was usually described as. (And these techniques were deliberately downplayed/hidden by the whites to make Terra Nullius an option. Please read this book.

That’s it from me. What books have significantly impacted you?

Cheers,

#BookishBloggersUnite – 24 in 48 Day 1 Wrap Up

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The Bookish BloggersUnite tag is talking about the 24 in 48 readathon all weekend. You can still sign up and check in for prizes! Also I would recommend having a read of Katy’s post over at The Bookish Cronk for some excellent readathon tips.

I made it to just over 7 hours yesterday which wasn’t awesome. Starting off with a big dense book was a tactical error and made me feel like I wasn’t getting anywhere
(although it is excellent!).

I had some invaluable help during the day.

And I changed up my location in the afternoon so I could get some sun and feed the ducks. But the wind was freezing, so I beat a retreat home after only an hour.

I finished:

  • Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
  • Ruby Moonlight by Ali Cobby Eckermann
  • Too Afraid to Cry by Ali Cobby Eckermann.

This year you can submit the titles of your books through the 24 in 48 website. The titles are getting added to Goodreads, and I suspect that spreadsheet queen Rachel Manwill will have some cool stats for us about page numbers, authors of colour and LGBTQI+ representation once the dusts settles.

I’m about to kick off day 2 with Taboo by Kim Scott on audio. This biggest dilemma I’m working on right now is do I want to work on a baby blanket or socks?

Let me know how your day one went! You can link your day 1 wrap up post in the linky below.

Cheers!


#BookishBloggersUnite – July 24 in 48 Readathon

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Welcome to this weekend’s edition of Bookish Bloggers Unite, a tag that was started by a group of friends who wanted to talk about books together.

This weekend we’ll be posting about the 24 in 48 Readathon. You can still sign up and follow all Readathon related shenanigans here. Massive ups to Rachel Manwill, and her able assistants Kristen and Kerry. If you’re not familiar with the readathon, the goal is to read for 24 hours out of the 48 of the weekend. I have never made it to 24, but its a lot of fun trying!

Jade over at Bindros Bookshelf is hosting the Aussie and NZ kick off post, and we’ll have other hosts over the course of the weekend.

Here’s my stack for this weekend:

You’re right -it’s not much of a stack – I’m envisaging Tracker will take most of my time at nearly 600 pages. I’m also going to do Taboo on audio so I can rest my eyes and work on some yarn related projects at the same time.

It’s just after 6 am and I’m going to get into it!

Are you participating? Head over to Bindros Bookshelf and show us your stacks!

Cheers,

#BookishBloggersUnite – Comfort Reads

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Hi folks, welcome to your weekly edition of Bookish Bloggers Unite, a tag that was started by a group of friends wanting to blog about books together. This week is all about comfort reads, and we’re being hosted by the lovely Kimmy over at Pingwings. Make sure you check out her blog! Remember you can join in at any time by adding your link to the host’s post.

Sometimes when the world is a dumpster fire and life seems tough, pushing through a new book can be more than you can manage, especially if you try to read challenging material on the regular. There are times you need to let your brain relax into the familiar, comfortable and beloved reads that get you know will get you through. Here are mine:

Becky Chambers, where were you all my life? I love The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet so much. The characters are all unique and have depth, it’s queer, there are great aliens and different cultures and it always makes me laugh. (The audio is brilliant as well.)

Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series are another familiar spot for me to lay my reading head. There are so many of them, you can dip in and out without getting bored. I love his humour and social commentary. My favourite though are the books about the Night Watch characters. Vimes and his crew always welcome me back into their stories.

The last one is a little embarrassing, but here we go.

This is my battered copy of Swann’s Way that dates back to the late 90s. I’m really sorry, but I just love Proust. I am a classics nerd, and originally read it (off my own bat, not for an assignment) when I was studying a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit. It took me a year to read all of In Search of Lost Time and I was hooked. I love the language and the way he weaves the story. This is the ultimate comfort read for me – I even have a digital copy on my iPad for easy access.

What books do you turn to when you need a bookish hug?

Cheers!

#BookishBloggersUnite – Influential Childhood Books

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Welcome to another edition of Bookish Bloggers Unite. The #bookishbloggersunite tag came about when a bunch of likeminded friends wanted to talk about books together. This week we’re talking about influential childhood books, and we’re being hosted by the wonderful Katy over at The Bookish Cronk.

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t able to read. I also don’t really remember any favourite picture books from my childhood. There is one series that loomed large for me.

I had every Trixie Belden book and I read them obsessively over and over from the age of about 7. I was already a tomboy, now I just needed a club and adventures – none of which really materialised. I even managed to convince my parents to get me some Bob-White quails (so cute!) Trixie was great – she was strong, independent and wouldn’t take any crap. As much as I loved these books, I haven’t tried to reread them as an adult as I’m worried about how they would hold up. I don’t remember a single character who wasn’t white.

As I got a bit older and entered high school, I discovered another series of mystery novels – Arthur Upfield’s “Bony” Books.

I don’t need to reread these as an adult – what I can remember has me cringing for real. Plot summary for those of you not familiar with these gems. Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte (aka Bony) is “half” Aboriginal and works on police cases in the outback. He is subjected to racism until the people he is dealing with realise he’s a police Inspector. The final nail went into the coffin of these books for me when a movie was put together in the early 90s with a white actor “blacking up” to play the lead. No, no, no. It is also a sad indictment on my education that I learned way more about Aboriginal culture from these books than anything else in the formal curriculum. (Not saying that was accurate or appropriate, merely noting the meagre offerings.) Shame on you, Queensland Education.

Of course the holy grail of my childhood reading was this.

Adams taught me about language, pacing, comedy and social commentary. I still love this book so much (and I also still have a digital watch.)

What books shaped you growing up? You can join in by adding your link to Katy’s blog post.

Cheers!

Australian Black History Month TBR

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should note that this post may contain the names and images of deceased persons.

Welcome to July, which is Black History Month here in Australia. I have a bunch of books on my TBR this month that I’m really excited to get to. I’m looking forward to the #24in48 Readathon on the weekend of July 21 – 22 to help me get through this stack. (Don’t forget to sign up for the Readathon! There are prizes and everything!)

Before I get to the books there are a couple of things I would suggest you do if you’re not familiar with the Australian Black History Month. This year is the 10th anniversary and the focus is on amazing Aboriginal women.

  • Check out the Blak History Month official site which has resources and information.
  • Check out your local council website to find out what is going on locally and go get involved! If you’re in Brisbane, you can find more information here.
  • Follow @IndigenousX on Twitter. Founded by Luke Pearson, the IndigenousX twitter handle is run by a different and amazing member of the Aboriginal community each week. This week Ngarra Murray has the wheel, and is posting about remarkable Aboriginal women.
  • Please consider signing this petition – VicRoads is due to desecrate the site of the Djapwurrung Birthing Trees and cut them down. If you are close by, please also consider adding your voice to the protests.

Okay, let’s get down to business. Here is my main stack.

The Kadaitcha Sung was gifted to me by a friend in the US as it’s basically impossible to find here. I’ve seen the words “confronting” and “aggressive” used in reviews. One of the things the white majority seems to expect from Aboriginal people is a lack of aggression and anger when talking about the atrocities of the past, which seems completely unreasonable.

Up From the Mission is a collection of essays from Noel Pearson, lawyer and activist.

Taboo by Kim Scott has been on my TBR since it came out. It is currently shortlisted for the Miles Franklin.

Tracker by Alexis Wright won this year’s Stella Prize. It’s chunky and I expect this is where my readathon hours will go.

I’m also hoping to devour as much of this stack as I can.

I also have Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book on audio for my commute.

This is a great opportunity to get stuck into your Aussies Rule Challenge reading goals. We’re halfway through the year – how are you doing?

Do you have reading goals for Black History Month? Let me know!

Cheers,

#BookishBloggersUnite – Books I’m excited about – 2018 part 2

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This week our #BookishBloggersUnite tag is devoted to titles that are on our
TBR for the second half of 2018. Bookish Bloggers Unite came about when a group or bookish friends wanted to write about books together. This week our host is the delightful Bookish Bron so make sure you check out her post. Remember you can join in at any time by submitting your blog post through the linky on the host’s page.

So, what books am I excited about that I plan to read in the second half of this year. This is difficult because:

  1. Dammit, don’t make me pick! I get excited about a lot of stuff;
  2. As a mood reader, who knows what I will actually read during the rest of the year? My reading plans tend to be pretty flexible, and by flexible I’m talking about one of those super supple gymnasts that can turn themselves into a pretzel.

Here is a list of the books that i have the best of intentions to read this year and that I’m really stoked about.

(Note: I’m going to be posting really soon about my intended reads for July, which is Black History Month in the Great Land of Aus. As such I won’t talk about any of those titles now, even though I’m really jazzed about them, to save on doubling up.)

You must have been hiding under a rock if you haven’t heard of this one. Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel has had some awesome press. (She is totally worth a follow on Instagram as well.)

Eurovision meets Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? Yes please!

I’m very much looking forward to the sequel for All Systems Red. Murderbot is a delight.

A bunch of retelling of Asian myths and legends by Asian authors, this book is also getting some great reviews.

I also love a good Shakespeare retelling. This is the latest addition to the Hogarth Shakespeare series, and who better to have a go at Macbeth than creepy, murdery Jo Nesbo. (As in his writing is creepy and murdery.)

The events surrounding this book’s publication and the sudden capture of the culprit shortly thereafter put this on my TBR. This copy was gifted to me by one of my delightful Book Riot Insiders friends, and I am keen!

Okay, I know I should have read this one already, but the reading gods and goddesses have not been smiling on me over the last couple of weeks. So I’ll still totally stoked for my brain to be functioning enough for me to read this one.

What books are you excited about for the second half of the year? Are any of these on your list?

Cheers,