#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


    Aussies Rule Prompt 22 – Winners of the David Unaipon Award


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

    Hi folks,

    Welcome to another instalment of the Aussies Rule Challenge. This week I thought I would talk about winners of the David Unaipon award.

    David Unaipon (he’s on our $50 note) was from the Ngarrindjeri people, and was and inventor and author. He was commissioned by the University of Adelaide to capture a book of Aboriginal stories, and he was the first Aboriginal writer to be published in English.

    The David Unaipon Award is part of the Queensland Literary Awards, and is for the best writing of the year by an unpublished Aboriginal writer.

    Here are some recent winners for you to check out:


    Aussies Rule Challenge 11 – A book that features Aboriginal Spirituality


    Hi folks, it’s been a while since I’ve posted specifically about the Aussies Rule Challenge (life has been doing a thing) but we’re back! How is it September already? How is your challenge going?

    I thought I would talk about prompt 11 today, which is a book that features Aboriginal spirituality (by an Aboriginal author).

    The more I explore Aboriginal writing the less I realise I know (true for all things for me, but definitely in this area). Most of the reading I have done of Aboriginal writing up until recently seems to have been of memoir styled stories. A number of fiction writers that I have read more recently beautifully weave their spirituality through their works, and this are the ones I’m going to be suggesting today. This is probably the smallest number of authors and books that I have suggested for a prompt, but I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them.

    Alexis Wright

    Kim Scott

    Melissa Lucashenko

    What other books would you add to this list?