I signed up to do the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge as usual, aimed for the Franklin level (read 10 books, review 6) but only managed to get as far as Stella (read 4, review 3). The main thing that got in the way was the creative writing course I started through Tabor Adelaide, which ate time and led me to read differently. Getting an iPad for my birthday also contributed.
The three books I reviewed were:
Her Father’s Daughter by Alice Pung
Tasting Life Twice by Ramona Koval
The Messenger Bird by Rosanne Hawke
I read more than four, have read 9 and counting, these were mainly nonfiction:
A Fig at the Gate by Kate Llewellyn (again)
First Things First – Selected Letters by Kate Llewellyn (read it twice) Editors were Ruth Bacchus and Barbara Hill
Piano Lessons by Anna Goldsworthy (again)
The Floral Mother by Kate Llewellyn (again)
The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss
Kerenza by Rosanne Hawke.
I have borrowed a stack of Rosanne Hawke books and some Kate Morton, who I’ve not read before, to read over the summer. Then I must read them, instead of playing Pocket Trains!
Have just worked out that I’ve completed the Australian Women Writers Challenge, which I enjoyed very much. I may still do the odd review as the year goes on. Well, some of the posts are not quite reviews, but I had fun running off into different directions. The books I read and reviewed were:
After Cleo: Came Jonah by Helen Brown
The Spider Goddess by Tara Moss
Reading By Moonlight by Brenda Walker
Piano Lessons by Anna Goldsworthy
A Writing Life by Giulia Giuffre
The Waterlily by Kate Llewellyn
The Bride Stripped Bare by Nikki Gemmell
The Diaries of Miles Franklin
The other books I read (but didn’t review) were:
Burning: A Journal by Kate Llewellyn
A Passionate Gardener by Ninette Dutton
First Published 2011 by Pan Macmillan Australia
After the brain-rearranging Brenda Walker book I was crying out for something that wasn’t literary. And for personal reasons I have chosen a Tara Moss book, because Moss is the author I love to hate, much the way Miles Franklin loved to hate Mary Gilmore. Now while I am in no way comparing my writing with Franklin’s, I can definitely compare my professional envy.
I was 27 and had only recently gotten my first rejection for my first book, when this model turned author (gak! gak! gak!) first became famous. At that time she was still working on Fetish, which I did read some years later, once I’d put aside most of the envy. The rest of it disappeared on reading the book, which while competent, was not something that was so good I wanted to read another. (I did not have the desire to read another Phryne Fisher book either). There was also a realisation that Moss, having had a few marketing advantages, would have had to work harder to earn her place as an author.