Well, I hope you all had a pleasant Christmas. The Resident Judge did a post on the origins of the day (here) which, as I might have discussed before is neither the anniversary of Jesus’ birth nor of any supposed census, but I guess it was handy for the Romans to tie in with the winter solstice.
I ate very well at Ludmilla Agnes’ festivities and by the time I got to the pavlova, cheesecake and cheese platter I was struggling. Everyone else must have been too because there was pavlova for breakfast. I caught a taxi home and rode my bike back in the morning to pick up my ute, so that’s my exercise for the holiday break.
A pleasant end to a good year. A very easy year. Since I stopped getting work from Sam & Dragan there’s been no one to push me along and I’ve dropped back from one round trip a fortnight to one every three weeks. With a concomitant drop in income. So, no more breaks. Hopefully, by the time this post is up I’ll be on my way back to Melbourne [No I’m not]. And then in the new year, I’ll get another trailer, to run as a B-Triple, effectively a road train.
I’ve done my reading stats for the year past and they are as follows –
Books read: 159 (down from 208 last year. You do fewer kms, you listen to fewer books)
Gender balance: Male authors 84, Female 75
Author from: Australia 47, USA 51, UK 36, Europe 19, Asia 4, Other 2
The ‘Other’ were both South America. Sorry Canada, Sorry Africa.
Genre: Non-fiction 14, Literature 44, General 43, SF 21, Crime/Thriller 37
Year: 2010-19 67, 2000-9 25, 1960-99 37, 1900-59 17, pre-1900 13
There were 16 new releases, more than I expected, and to whatever commentary I’ve made over the past week or so I must add that Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend but the Mountains was absolutely bloody exceptional.
A lot of the US crime/thriller etc. reflects what is available from the library, but Cockburn (my fourth suburban library in ten years) have a good selection of classics and lots of ‘hard’ SF which I enjoy, though I’m probably getting near the end now. I’ve started an Audible account, so ‘all’ I have to do is hook my phone up to the truck radio, and that with Borrow Box will make a difference next year. I hope.
Posts for year: 85
Reviews: 60 (Authors Women/Male: 31/29). Other/Journals: 25
Included in the above, I posted 14 times for AWW Gen 2 or Gen 3 Week, 6 of those were reposts or guests.
I reviewed/wrote about Indigenous writers/subjects 6 times, David Ireland 5 times.
Of the 60 books reviewed, 46 were Australian, 1 Indian, 2 Japanese, 4 US, 5 UK (and all those C19th), 1 Irish, 1 French
Kate W has nominated her ten best reads for the decade (here) which is more than I’m going to do, but I am willing to declare that the best Australian book published in the last ten years is The Swan Book (2013) by Alexis Wright, which will be a classic forever.
For those of you planning (well) ahead, my 70th birthday in Paris (in 2021) is off. Too hard for too many of my immediate family. A shame, because friends had already said they planned to be there.
Now, reminder time:
Australian Women Writers Gen 3 Week 12-18 Jan. 2020
Basically, we will be discussing Australian women who began writing between the World Wars. The following year, we will discuss the later Gen 3-ers who got going before the 1960s.
The themes of the Gen 3 period are: Modernism, Social Realism, Pioneering
If you need inspiration, check out the AWW Gen 3 page (here) which has an Introduction and long lists of authors, reviews, posts and related reading.
After that there’s Gen 4, my and Sue and Lisa’s generation, the Baby Boomers, and then Gen 5. Kate W, Kimbofo what’s your lot called? We should have some good ideas about how to define the literature that was being written as we became young adults. Write and tell me what you think. I actually can’t name a lot of Gen 4 women off the top of my head – Helen Garner definitely, but then …
I think (now anyway) that Gen 5 will begin with Grunge in the early 1990s. So Justine Ettler, Linda Javin (who’s actually a baby boomer), Nikki Gemmell.
It’s probably hard to pick a new generation while it’s actually getting underway, but I think Gen 6 may have started in the last few years with the rise to prominence of dystopian.Lit typefied by The Natural Way of Things.
And where does Indig.Lit fit in? Anita Heiss, Alexis Wright, Kim Scott have been going for longer than just a few years, so they’re more than just Gen 6. There are some who claim that they are separate from Aust.Lit. That’s possible, and maybe up to them, but Ellen van Neerven and Claire Coleman for instance would seem to be also very much mainstream Gen 6 by my definition – but of course, the trend to dystopian is world-wide.
Happy New Year!
Currently ‘Reading’ (for AWW Gen 3 Week):
Drusilla Modjeska, Exiles at Home
Myrtle Rose White, No Roads Go By
Ernestine Hill, The Great Australian Loneliness
Daisy Bates, The Passing of the Aborigines
Dymphna Cusack, Jungfrau