Saturday, December 30, 2017

Aussie Author Challenge 2018

I didn't manage to make the time to read as many books as usual in 2017, but am planning on reading more in 2018. I have decided to sign up for the 2018 Aussie Author Challenge - at least at the Wallaroo level, and potentially the Kangaroo level...we will see as the year progresses! I have taken part in the Challenge in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 - it's a great way to discover great books and new authors. If you are interested in joining the Aussie Author Challenge or would just like some recommendations of excellent books written by Australians - head over to the Book Lover's Book Review website where Jo is hosting the Challenge for the 9th year.

"The Power" by Naomi Alderman.

Recommended by the PopUp Bookshop owners for people who enjoyed the Handmaid's Tale book.

Started reading: 10/12/2017
Finished: 17/01/2018
My score:6.5-7/10

I will write my review and upload it soon.

“Dark Emu Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident?” By Bruce Pascoe

I’ve had several people recommend this book to me over the last few years, but also had some trouble tracking down a copy of it. After hearing the author speak at the free Open State festival in October my mind was blown. Fascinated, excited, ashamed at my ignorance, and upset about why this is not common knowledge that we celebrate as a nation. I bought the book at the festival. There’s a good Richard Fidler interview with Bruce Pascoe you can listen to if you are interested.

Started reading: 1st Dec 2017 (approx).
Finished: 10th Feb 2018 (approx).
My score/review: 10/10 - every Australian should read it.

“All the light we cannot see” by Anthony Doerr

Recommended by my Mum :-) I bought this book at least 2 years ago but only now prioritising more time to read novels again (mostly on the bus) as I really miss it.

Such an excellent book! It's an historic novel set in the Second World War, very moving and beautifully written, with such lovely moments of love and compassion and bravery shining strongly through that makes you have faith in the goodness of most humans even when surrounded by so much violence and horror inflicted by others. Also makes me wonder why we humans don't seem to learn from the horrific wars of the past and keep repeating them over and over in different places and different contexts.
Started reading: 7th Nov 2017
Finished: November 2017
My score: 10/10

“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.

I bought this book second hand from my favourite bookstore: Adelaide’s Pop-Up Bookshop at the Central Markets. Just started reading it 2 days ago on the bus and absolutely hooked and about half way already. It’s a dystopian novel but I love the writing style. I haven’t watched the TV series based on this book yet - I bought this book about 2 years ago well before I even knew there was a TV series coming out, but only just getting time to read it now.

Started reading: 1 Nov 2017
Finished reading: 7 Nov 2017
My score: 9/10 - love her writing style plus it was hard to put down. Way better than other dystopian novels I’ve read (not that I’ve read a huge number).

"The Good People" by Hannah Kent

I’ll try to upload a proper review soon. I’ve hardly had any time to read novels this year (I think I’ve read about 3 compared to my usual 30+) but this was a good one by a young South Aussie in my fav genre - historical fiction. Not quite as good as her awesome first novel from her PhD “burial rites” but still very interesting and dark. I’ve been fascinated in faerie lore since I was about 7 years old (or younger - it was the day of Hayley’s comet sighting in Sydney in the 1980s) when I first saw (and was later given) a treasured book “faeries” by Brian Froud & Alan Lee by a family friend -Sandy.

My score: 7.5/10

"A fig at the gate" by Kate Llewellyn.

Borrowed this book from the local library. The author is one of the lovely ladies in my Strength For Life fitness classes that I teach at my local community centre, the one who brought me the most delicious fig from her garden a couple of weeks ago. This book is about her garden she set up in Adelaide in her 70s plus musings on life in general. Would love to see her garden one day.
April 2017.

"The Birdman’s Wife" by Melissa Ashley

This is an historical novel about the life of Elizabeth Gould, who was the talented artist who illustrated "Birds of Australia", written by her famous husband John Gould. I first heard of the book when I listened to an interview with the author on ABC Radio National.

Borrowed from the Library and started reading: 16th February 2017
Finished: 3rd March 2017. 

My score: 8/10.

"The River and the Book" by Alison Croggon

I bought this book second-hand from the Adelaide PopUp Bookshop (my fav Adelaide bookshop). This book is endorsed by Amnesty International as contributing to a better understanding of human rights and the values that underpin them. 

Started reading: approx. 12th January 2017 

Finished approx 25th Jan. 
My score: 7.5/10 

A book along the genre of The Alchemist or Little Price, not quite in the same league but still good, superficially simple but the concepts underlying the almost childlike stories are quite profound and make an impact even when it's hard to pinpoint why exactly.

"The Best of Adam Sharp" by Graeme Simsion

"The best of Adam Sharp" by Graeme Simsion. This book is written by the same author as "The Rosie Project" so hopefully it is good too, although hard to live up to such an excellent first book.

Started reading on my kindle: 7th October 2016
Finished: 15th November 2016.
My score: 5-6/10. Definitely not in the same league as "The Rosie Project" in my opinion.