#BookishBloggersUnite: 2018 in Review


Hello friends!

In this edition of #BookishBloggersUnite, we’re looking back through our achievements of 2018 and some of our favourite reads from the year. This week the lovely emmy from Books Beyond Binaries is hosting – make sure you check out their blog!

First of all – Challenges:

I nailed my Goodreads challenge – I tend to set it low so I don’t stress myself out. It was set at 150, and at the moment I’m at 215 books for the year. I’ll probably finish another couple before the year is out but I’d be surprised if I made it to 220. Either way I’m happy with that number.

I have finished the Read Harder Challenge and my Aussies Rule Challenge. I’m one book off finishing the Reading Women Challenge and I may not get there.

Even thought I was trying really hard to read more Aussies this year I’m finishing with Aussie authors as 21.8% of my total. I really want to do better with that next year. My Authors of Colour percentage was a lot higher at 47.4% but I still want to get that higher next year as well. I haven’t really focussed on LGBTQ authors this year so that percentage is woeful and will be another area of focus for me next year. I’m really hoping to find more queer Aussie authors next year to support and I’ve found a lot more resources this year to help me find queer reads in general.

Favourite reads this year:

I have read a bunch of amazing books this year. I picked up my first Candice Fox book and was hooked. The Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant books I read this year were so good, and ditto for Martha Wells’ Murderbot books.

Here are my top 5:

1. Terra Nullius by Claire Coleman

2. Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar

3. Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee

4. The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

5. A Planet for Rent by Yoss

Another special mention for Melanin Garden by Anisa Nandaula, which is a stunning book of poetry from a local author and slam poet. I hope we get more to read from her soon!

How was your 2018 in reading? What were your favourite reads this year? Did you meet your goals? Do you have places where you want to improve next year?


Congrats @lauredhel from Litsy


Congratulations to @lauredhel over at Litsy for being the first person to finish the Aussies Rule Reading Challenge 2018! She has posted a photo offer book list so you can see what she has read.

I think the first person ever to finish the challenge deserves a prize so I’m sending her a little package of goodies.

I’ve also finished the challenge and you can see over on my Challenge page which books I’ve read.

I’m really glad that I put the challenge together but I still want to read more Aussie books. The last time I checked my stats, the books by Aussie authors still only makes up 18% of my reading this year. I’m sure I can do better. I’m putting another challenge together for 2019, so I hope you’ll check it out.

How are you going with the challenge? Have you discovered any new favourite books or authors? Make sure you let me know when you’re done!


#BookishBloggersUnite: An (Almost) End of Year Reading Challenge Update


I’m a little (a lot) behind posting this instalment of #BookishBloggersUnite. This week is being hosted by Sarah over at Reviews and Readathons so make sure you check out her post, and link yourself in there if you would like to join in.

This week we’re looking at how our Reading Challenges are going for 2018 (and not panicking that it is halfway through November nearly!)

I track all my challenges (mostly, not necessarily in a timely manner) over on this page so you can check the titles I’ve used here.

Read Harder Challenge – completed. Yay! I’ve attempted the Read Harder Challenge for a number of years now, but this is the first time I’ve finished, so I’m pretty happy with myself (and am waiting patiently for next years list to be released.)

Reading Women – I’m struggling with this one a little bit.

I need to complete:

4. A short story collection.

17. A book with a food item in the title.

19. A book from the Reading Women 2017 shortlist.

21. A book inspired by a fairy tale.

Which doesn’t seem too bad – a couple I could get by doubling up titles if I’m desperate, but a couple of the ones I want to read for this are quite long and I can’t get them on audio (Like Pachinko, which is so frustrating.) I also have no idea what to read for a short story collection – I have a love hate relationship with short stories.

These are my proposed solutions:

The Aussies Rule Challenge – not yet completed.

I need to complete:

7. A classic by an Aboriginal author.

9. A book from a state you haven’t visited.

13. A book by an Aussie of colour who is not Aboriginal and was born in Australia.

17. A book by an LGBTQ+ author.

The only one of these I need to check on is number 9 – the rest are all books I have which are also not too long. I’m feeling pretty confident about this list.

This is what I’m planning:

And that’s me. How are your challenges for the year going? Are you on top of them? Or are feelings of panic starting to set in? You can do it!!

Aussies Rule Prompt (Monster) Mash Up Part 2


Hi folks,

Here is the last instalment of the Aussies Rule Prompt Mash Up!

18. Some Aussie Sci-fi

The Aurealis awards are a good source for finding sci-fi. Here are some from the 2017 shortlist:

  • Terra Nullius by Claire Coleman
  • This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada
  • The Year of the Orphan by Daniel Findlay
  • An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen
  • From the Wreck by Jane Rawson
  • Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks

20. An Aussie writing about a different country or culture.

  • Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler
  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  • The Crappiest Refugee by Hung Le
  • Saga Land by Richard Fidler
  • The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar
  • The Fish Girl by Miranda Riwoe

21. A book set in the outback or a small country town.

  • Carpentaria by Alexis Wright
  • Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
  • The Dry by Jane Harper
  • Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
  • The Swan Book by Alexis Wright
  • Tracks by Robyn Davidson

23. A book by a New York Times best selling author

The info for this was more difficult to find than I expected! I’ll just list the authors for this one:

    Amie Kaufman
    Jay Kristoff
    Jane Harper
    Candice Fox
    Markus Zusak
    Liane Moriarty
    Kate Morton

And we’re done!

As always I welcome any feedback or input you may have. I’d love to know how you’re going with the challenge and what you’ve been reading for it.

Thanks for playing!

Aussies Rule Prompt (Monster) Mash Up! (Part One)


Hi friends,

I know I have been a bit slack posting about the Aussies Rule prompts and somehow it’s November this week! So I’m going to tackle the remaining prompts in a couple ofinstallmentswith a few suggestions to send you on your way!

(On another note, please let me know if you would be interested in another Aussies Rule Challenge in 2019!)

3. An Aussie True Crime or Tragedy

  • This House of Grief by Helen Garner
  • The Snowtown Murders by Jeremy Pudney
  • Unsolved Australia by Justine Ford
  • Trace by Rachel Brown (based on the ABC podcast)
  • Remembering The Myall Creek Massacre by Jane Lydon (ed)

5. A nonfiction book by an Aboriginal author:

(Noting that I’m not including memoirs in this category)

  • Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
  • Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia ed Anita Heiss
  • Yorro Yorro: Aboriginal Creation and the Renewal of Nature by David Mowaijarlai, Jutta Malnic
  • Dhuuluu-Yala by Anita Heiss
  • Convincing Ground by Bruce Pascoe
  • Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton
  • It’s Our Country ed Megan Davis, Marcia Langton

6. A book that features a character with a chronic illness or disability.

  • Museum of Words by Georgie Blain
  • Queens of Geek by Jenn Wilde
  • The Spare Room by Helen Garner
  • Gemina/Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • Quentin: Not All Superheroes Wear Capes by Quentin Kenihan
  • Best Foot Forward by Adam Hills

10. A recent book about colonisation/white ‘exploration’.

I think it’s safe to say that all books by Aboriginal authors are about colonisation.

  • Ruby Moonlight by Ali Cobby Eckermann
  • The Secret River by Kate Grenville
  • Terra Nullius by Claire G Coleman (I will be listing this book multiple times because it’s so good and you should definitely read it.)
  • Burke and Wills by Peter Fitzsimons (this guy has a huge list of books about white Australian history)
  • True Girt by David Hunt

13 A book by an Aussie of colour who is not Aboriginal and was born in Australia.

I’m not going to list books for these folks as they all have multiple offerings:

  • Maxine Beneba Clarke
  • Benjamin Law
  • Alice Pung
  • Christos Tsiolkas
  • Randall Abdel-Fattah

15. A YA book with LGBT+ representation.

    Queens of Geek and Brightsiders by Jenn Wilde
    Begin, End, Begin ed Danielle Binks
    The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis
    The Flywheel by Erin Gough
    The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson by Sean Kennedy
  • 16. Published by a university press

    I’m not going to lay this one out for you. A bunch of books I’ve listed for the challenge are published by a university press. Instead here are a couple of links:

    University of Qld Press

    Melbourne University Press

    ANU Press


    17. A book by an LGBT author (bonus points if also a person of colour)

    • Gaysia by Benjamin Law
    • Down the Hume by Peter Polites
    • Heat and Light by Ellen Van Neerven
    • These Wild Houses by Orman Sakr
    • Outer Shell by Paige Krystal Wilcox
    • Milk Teeth by Rae White

    Be on the look out for Part 2 – it will be up soon.


    Aussies Rule Prompt 13 – An Aussie Author of Colour who is not Aboriginal


    Hi folks,

    Time for another Aussies Rule post!

    One of the things that annoys me about Anglo Australians is that a large number of them seem to have this tacitly ingrained understanding that only white people are born in this country. If you are a person of colour (or have a non-Anglo name) you must have been born overseas. (Unless you are Aboriginal of course, in which case cue a whole different swathe of white misunderstandings and prejudices.) On reflection, I should probably have made this prompt about non Anglo authors rather than authors of colour. Hind sight is awesome!

    If you google search “Australian authors” your result will give you a line of mostly white faces, with some Aboriginal representation (well known award winners) and the odd person such as Michelle de Krester who took out the Miles Franklin this year. Here are some more wonderful authors to add to your lists:

    • Alice Pung
    • Gabrielle Wang
    • Benjamin Law
    • Michelle Law
    • Maxine Beneba Clarke
    • Omar Sakr
    • Randa Abdel- Fattah
    • Omar Musa
    • Michael Mohammed Ahmad

    Christos Tsiolkas and Peter Polites should also be on this list if I’m looking at it from a non-Anglo point of view.

    Benjamin Law and Maxine Beneba Clark are particular favourites of mine (and are worth a follow on twitter) and I was pretty happy when I saw this post from Benjamin Law on twitter a couple of weeks ago.

    I wish them every success!

    Who have I missed? Let me know your favourite Aussie author of colour or non-Anglo author who isn’t on this list.

    While I was researching this list I found this really interesting article about diversity in Australian publishing. (Spoiler alert – it’s terrible). I was talking to a member of my team at work about resistance reading, and she was a little shocked that something as passive as reading could be thought of as an act of resistance. I would again encourage you to your local book stores and libraries and ask for diverse books if they do not stock them. We need diverse stories and diverse representation

    Read your Resistance, people!


    [Note: I’ve posted previously about Aussies of colour who have come here as immigrants or refugees – I just want to note that I don’t think these people are any less Aussie than those of us who are born here.]

    Aussies Rules Prompt 24 – A book shortlisted for the Ned Kelly‚Äôs, Stellas or Miles Franklin


    Hi folks,

    I thought I’d drop you another quick list of awesome Aussie titles.

    Prompt 24 refers to some of the literary prizes available in this wide brown land. Both the Stella Prize and the Miles Franklin award are named for Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, Aussie author and journalist best known for her novel My Brilliant Career. While the Miles Franklin award is solely for literature, the Stella Prize is for women writing in any genre.

    The Ned Kelly Award is for both true crime and crime fiction.

    The long and short lists for these three prizes are pretty easy to find, so I’m going to give you the short lists from 2018. I’m sure you will find something of substance there!

    Ned Kelly Award Shortlist 2018:

    Best Crime Novel:

    • Marlborough Man by Alan Carter
    • Under Cold Bright Lights by Garry Disher
    • Redemption Point by Candice Fox
    • Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill
    • The Lone Child by Anna George
    • The Student by Iain Ryan

    Best First Crime Novel:

    • Wimmera by Mark Brandi
    • The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
    • The Girl in Keller’s Way by Megan Goldin
    • See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

    Best True Crime:

    • The Contractor by Mark Abernathy
    • Unmaking a Murder: The Mysterious Death of Anna Jane Cheney by Graham Archer
    • The Suitcase Baby by Tanya Bretherton
    • The Fatalist by Campbell McConachie
    • Whiteley on Trial by Gabrielle Coslovich

    Stella Prize Shortlist 2018

    • Tracker by Alexis Wright
    • Terra Nullius by Claire Coleman
    • The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar
    • The Life to Come by Michelle de Krester
    • An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen
    • The Fish Girl by Mirandi Riwoe

    The Miles Franklin Shortlist 2018

    • No More Boats by Felicity Cartagena
    • The Life to Come by Michelle de Krester
    • The Last Garden by Eve Hornung
    • Storyland by Catherine McKinnon
    • Border Districts by Gerald Murnane
    • Taboo by Kim Scott