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

Standard

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!!

#Bookish Bloggers Unite – Empowering and/or Comfort Reads

Standard

Welcome to another instalment of #BookishBloggersUnite – a tag put together by a group of friends who wanted to talk about books together. I’m hosting this week, so pop your link in the linky at the bottom if you’d like to play along.

The news is pretty rotten wherever you are right now. Here in Australia politicians are continuing to behave in ignorant and appalling ways, and I have nothing but admiration for the Aboriginal community who kicked out the new “Indigenous Envoy” Tony Abbott, whose previous behaviour shows him to be completely incompatible with the job (not to mention that the Aboriginal people were not consulted).

If you are in the US you’ve been subjected to some pretty hideous behaviours from old white guys in the form of Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony to the senate. I hope you’re all taking whatever form of self care you need during this time and not subjecting yourselves to the news cycle, especially if you find it triggering.

This week we will talk about empowering reads, comfort reads or an amalgamation of the two depending on how people are feeling.

I’m feeling a little ragey, so I’m going for some empowering reads.

I’m pretty excited about Clementine Ford’s new release Boys will be Boys which is all about toxic masculinity. I haven’t read this one yet, but if it’s anything like her breakout book Fight Like a Girl it will be totally awesome.

I’ve just started this one today and I’m pretty hooked. Chemaly examines anger and how socially acceptable it is depending on your gender/s and race, and the health effects it has on people who are expected to swallow their anger. I’m really enjoying this and doing some aggressive highlighting.

I think I’ve mentioned before on the blog that I wished I was better with poetry. I don’t always get it and don’t always appreciate it as much as I wish I did. This book by Amanda Lovelace is brilliant. It’s full of love, wisdom, insight and encouragement.

Take care of yourselves people.

#BookishBloggersUnite – Justice League Tag

Standard

Welcome to another #Bookishbloggersunite post! This week we spotted this tag and thought it looked like fun. The Justice League tag was created by The Book Cover Girls . Our host this week is the delightful Katy over at The Bookish Cronk. If you want to join in, just jump over to her blog and add your link.

Just to be clear, my personal knowledge of the Justice League is non existent. I saw Thor: Ragnarok completely due to Taika Waititi’s involvement. Deadpool is probably my fave comic-type character.

Here we go:

Batman: Your favourite antihero.

Shuos Jedao from the Machineries of Empire series.

I’m not sure this guy is classed as an antihero, or if there is anything even much to like about him, but I was definitely drawn in by Shuos Jedao. He is psychotic and entirely unlike ale, and yet I could see his point a lot of the time. (I have to confess I haven’t read Revenant Gun yet! But I have a week off work coming up really soon…)

Aquaman: A book or character that turned out better than you expected.

You know how there are books that everyone seems to love? People rave about them, and you’re not too sure what the appeal is. It doesn’t sound like your kind of book. But then you end up picking it up somewhat reluctantly and it’s completely amazing and you don’t know why you didn’t read it sooner?

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray was that book for me. IT’S JUST SO GOOD! Listen to the audio book if you can – it’s narrated by the author and she is amazing.

Wonder Woman: Most Bad Ass Female Character

I can’t possibly pick just one of these, so here’s a few!

Kameron Hurley writes amazing women. Nyx from God’s War is one of them. She is flawed, looks after her people and kicks a lot of arse (while wearing sandals!). Things might have devolved to a big stinking pile of crap, but she still perseveres.

Kel Cheris from the Machineries of Empire series. There was a moment in Raven Stratagem where I was running around the house jumping and punching the air. (If you’ve read the book, I’m sure you know the moment!)

Essun from the Broken Earth Trilogy. That poor woman went through so much and yet carried herself to the bitter end to do what she knew she must.

I could keep going but I’ll stop there.

Cyborg: Favourite Science Fiction Novel

I’m going to change this up a bit and talk about my favourite sci-fi stories with a cyborg character. Which is of course The Murderbot Diaries !!

Murderbot (it’s name for itself) would prefer to spend it’s days streaming entertainment rather than having to deal with humans, but it can’t help itself. I’m really looking forward to the third instalment coming out soon.

The Flash: A book you sped through

The Book of M is so good folks. It sucked me in and I read it in a day. The story is so artfully told … I’m looking forward to more from Shepherd.

Superman: Saddest Character Death

***SPOILER ALERT***

Holy crap. I’m normally pretty good at seeing endings coming, but Mira Grant astounded me and ripped my heart out with this one! I had to read that section multiple times because I just didn’t believe it. I cried actual tears (which never happens.)

Let me know if you decide to participate – I’d love to know what your choices are for each option!

Cheers,

#BookishBloggersUnite – Impactful Books

Standard

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 – July 24 in 48 Readathon

Standard

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

Standard

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

Standard

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!