Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014 Wrap-up


I enjoy the Australian Women Writers Challenge – it goes a little way to addressing the gender bias in literary review pages, plus I try to buy my AWW titles from an independent book shop (doing my bit for the Australian publishing industry and independent booksellers).

This year, I upped the ante and signed up for the Franklin level (read ten books, review at least six). I romped it in.

1. Just_a_Girl by Kirsten Krauth
2. The Children by Charlotte Wood
3. The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
4. March by Geraldine Brooks
5. Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting
6. What Came Before by Anna George
7. Lost and Found by Brooke Davis
8. Game Day by Miriam Sved
9. When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett
10. Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett
11. The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna
12. This House of Grief by Helen Garner

My AWW reading included some brilliant books this year, notably The Light Between the Oceans, The Eye of the Sheep and This House of Grief although the absolute highlights were Golden Boys and When the Night Comes. Both of these books will appear on my favourite books for 2014 list (for very different reasons).

I can’t quite believe I only discovered Favel Parrett this year – I’m saving her debut novel for my summer holiday. I’d read anything Sonya Hartnett wrote and I’m thrilled that one of her novels is on my son’s high school reading list (The Silver Donkey).

Eleven months after reading it, I’m still thinking about the characters in Krauth’s Just a Girl and similarly, much of March has lingered.

Looking forward to more in 2015.

6 responses

  1. This is a bit outside my normal reading zone though I was pleasantly surprised to see that Geraldine Brooks ‘March’ is on your list – I read that a few years ago and really liked it (though in my ignorance I thought she was an American writer – sorry!). I’ll also take a leaf from your book and start to buy more from my local independent bookshop!

    • Brooks is an Australian who has lived in the US for quite some time I believe (although she still does her bit for Australian writers eg. mentored Hannah Kent during her writing of Burial Rites!).

      Because I have a Kindle, I do buy from Amazon and I also have books on my Kindle from Netgalley, however, for everything else I go independent!

      • I’m a bit lazy so I order virtually all my books online. I tend to use the chains Waterstones or Foyles, because I can collect books easily at branches in London when I am at work – but you make me realised I’m being lazy and I need to support my local independent! (and anyway there’s a lovely coffee and cake shop along the road from it!)

  2. You had a great year with Aussie women. I really love Sonya Hartnett too, but I haven’t read The Silver Donkey yet. Just A Girl is high up on my radar too. So many books….

  3. You did great. One AWW book per month is what I aim for – although it doesn’t always work out that way. My fave AWW read last year was Emily Bitto’s The Strays. From your list I enjoyed Just a Girl a lot. I found The Children terribly depressing, maybe because I have depression myself, it was a little too close to the bone for me.

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