Work, and a brief holiday in Darwin for psych daughter’s graduation, have kept me away from home for almost all of October, and woefully behind in my reading and writing. But posts yesterday by Sue from Whispering Gums (here) and then Lisa from ANZ LitLovers (here) served to remind me that I had ‘planned’ to undertake one of the two AWW Bingo card challenges due for completion by 31 Oct (ie. today). About two thirds of my reading/reviewing falls under the categories of ‘Australian’ and ‘Women Writers’ so how hard could it be?
A quick check to make sure I have chosen the card that does not include poetry, and here we go.
A book with a mystery: I’ve read guy mysteries – Arthur Upfield and Peter Corris – but unfortunately none of Kerry Greenwood’s fabulous Phryne Fisher, not this year at least. I could have gone with a Liane Moriarty, her novels seem to have strategically placed ‘reveals’ and a final ‘mystery’ but decided to go with Nikki Gemmell’s Love Song (2001) which contains mysteries around the cause of the school fire, and the paternity of the baby to whom she is writing – Review.
A book by someone under 30: I could cheat and say I re-read My Brilliant Career (that would be re-re-re-re- at least) but I’ll go with Justine Ettler’s The River Ophelia (1996) – Review – and then look up her birth year – 1965 – out by 1.
A book that’s more than 10 years old: A book that’s more than 10 years old! At my age that’s just a new book waiting to be read. It made me think: what’s a recent book and what’s an old book? My dividing line would be the 1960s – Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip this side of the line and Kylie Tennant and so on on the far side. Anyway, I’ll go with Miles Franklin writing as Brent of Bin Bin and Up the Country (1928) – Review
A book by an Indigenous author: Well, that’s the easy one, I’ve reviewed at least four, but how about Pictures From My Memory, a memoir by Western Desert woman Lizzie Marrkilyi Ellis (2016) – Review
A best seller: I see some of my friends struggled with this, but as Liane Moriarty is billed as ‘New York best seller author’ this is my reward for reviewing Truly Madly Guilty (2016) – Review
A book set in the outback: My intention had been to go with another book by Indigenous authors, the lovely Two Sisters (2016), Ngarta and Jukuna, set in WA’s Great Sandy Desert, but it occurred to me only while I was driving/meditating today that “the Outback” is a white construct, based on the concept of the “hostile interior” and so probably not applicable to a story of traditional life. As I haven’t read We of the Never Never, or From Strength to Strength this year, or even Tracks or Gemmell’s Alice Springs/Cleave I’ll go with Mary Gaunt’s Kirkham’s Find (1897) – Review
A short story collection: With apologies to Helen Garner’s 2001 collection of essays, The Feel of Steel, which I greatly enjoyed, No Contest! Henry Handel Richardson, The Adventures of Cuffy Mahony and other stories (1979) – Review
A book published this year: I’ve already listed a few, so for something different, Sue Parritt’s SF novel, the second in a series, Pia and the Skyman (2016) – Review
Free Square: Saving the best for last? Well maybe. I’ve read some excellent books by (and about) Australian Women Writers this year and this is definitely one of them. Sylivia Martin’s life of poet, activist (and daughter of Nettie and Vance) Aileen Palmer, Ink in her Veins (2016) – Review
Making a start yesterday on this Friday’s post for Lisa’s Christina Stead Week