AWW 2017: Challenge Completed

Life’s about to get busier than usual for me, so I’d better post my ‘ AWW 2017 Challenge Completed’ post now, rather than wait until further into December.  Besides, I can always add to it if I write any more reviews between now and Christmas.

I’ve reviewed 63 books by Australian Women Writers for the 2017 challenge.  I’ve actually read more than 70, but as is always the case for me, review writing lags behind reading.

I’ve read some terrific books.  The links below are to my reviews on Goodreads, but if you are not a member there and don’t want to join (why ever not?) then you’ll find the reviews posted up on this blog.

My favourites?  Well that would depend on the day and the mood that I’m in.  But there’s something for everyone here.  Happy reading!

 

My first review for 2017:  Ruth Quibell’s ‘The Promise of Things’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1856238300

My second review for 2017: Jan Smith’s memoir: ‘Confession of a Homegrown Alien’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1869402236

My third review for 2017: ‘The Hidden Hours’ by Sara Foster.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1883268075

My fourth review for 2017: ‘Jerome and His Women’ by Joan O’Hagan.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1883331037

My fifth review for 2017: ‘The Circle and the Equator’ by Kyra Giorgi.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1860248050

My sixth review for 2017:  ‘To The Sea’ by Christine Dibley.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1912818866

My seventh review for 2017: ‘Family Skeleton’ by Carmel Bird.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1914770862

My ninth review for 2017: ‘The Hate Race’ by Maxine Beneba Clarke.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1922048357

My tenth review for 2017:  ‘One Leg Over’ by Robin Dalton.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1869405017

My eleventh review for 2017: ‘Dangerous to Know’ by Anne Buist.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1926843735

My twelfth review for 2017: ‘Three Wishes’ by Liane Moriarty.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1936197055

My thirteenth review for 2017: ‘The Last Anniversary’ by Liane Moriarty.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1938070601

My fourteenth review for 2017: ‘Dear Quentin’ by Quentin Bryce.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1975824052

My fifteenth review for 2017: ‘They Cannot Take The Sky’ edited by Michael Green, Andre Dao, Angelica Neville, Dana Affleck and Sienna Merope.  Two of the editors are Australian women.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1978615706

My sixteenth review for 2017: ‘The Shape of Water’ by Anne Blythe-Cooper.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1979554458

My seventeenth review for 2017: ‘Dying:A Memoir’ by Cory Taylor.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1966031083

My eighteenth review for 2017: ‘Do You Love Me or What?’ by Sue Woolfe.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1983528277

My nineteenth review for 2017: ‘The Better Son’ by Katherine Johnson.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1976753527

My twentieth review for 2017: ‘See What I have Done’ by Sarah Schmidt.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1976754019

My twenty-first review for 2017: ‘Fighting Hislam’ by Susan Carland.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2002270477

My twenty-second review for 2017: ‘The Golden Child’ by Wendy James.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2003198466

My twenty-third review for 2017: ‘Storyland’ by Catherine McKinnon.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2020153979

My twenty-fourth review for 2017: Eva Hornung’s ‘The Last Garden’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2016291975

My twenty-fifth review for 2017: Caroline Overington’s ‘The Lucky One’.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2025830240

My twenty-sixth review for 2017: Julia Baird’s ‘Victoria the Queen’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2017350400

My twenty-seventh review for 2017: Sally Abbott’s ‘Closing Down’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2027819431

My twenty-eighth review for 2017: Sarah Bailey’s ‘The Dark Lake’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2029882390

My twenty-ninth review for 2017: Karenlee Thompson’s ‘Flame Tip’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2032513269

My thirtieth review for 2017: Eliza Henry-Jones’s ‘Ache’.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2032512180

My thirty-first review for 2017: Baba Schwartz’s memoir ‘The May Beetles’.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2016292585

My thirty-second review for 2017: Katherine Brabon’s ‘The Memory Artist’.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2002271308

My thirty-third review for 2017: Tania Blanchard’s ‘The Girl from Munich’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2034586815

My thirty-fourth review for 2017: Catherine Lee’s ‘Dark Chemistry’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2058539962

My thirty-fifth review for 2017:  Sheila Fitzpatrick’s ‘Mischka’s War’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2049558282

My thirty-sixth review for 2017: Pip Smith’s ‘Half Wild’.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2073193845

My thirty-seventh review for 2017: Louise Milligan’s  ‘Cardinal’ (The Rise and Fall of George Pell).  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2077301675

My thirty-eighth review for 2017: Claire Corbett’s ‘Watch Over Me’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2066236549

My thirty-ninth review for 2017: Zana Fraillon’s ‘The Bone Sparrow’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2084707820

My fortieth review for 2017: Catherine Lee’s ‘Dark Paradise’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2087184561

My forty-first review for 2017: Kate Cole-Adams’ ‘Anaesthesia’.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2067978123

My forty-second review for 2017: M.J. Tjia’s ‘She Be Damned’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2094068016

My forty-third review for 2017: Joanne Verikios’s ‘Winning Horsemanship’.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2096996109

My forty-fourth review for 2017:  Sheridan Jobbins’s ‘Wish You Were Here’.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2067059504

My forty-fifth review for 2017: ‘My side of the Bridge’ by Veronica Brodie as told to Mary-Anne Gale.  Here’s a link to my review:   https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2108145982

My forty-sixth review for 2017: ‘The Choke’ by Sofie Laguna.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2114184678

My forty-seventh review for 2017: ‘Three Little Maids’ by Ethel Turner.  This book was first published in 1900.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2099071465

My forty-eighth review for 2017.  ‘Fatal Mistake’ by Karen M Davis.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2122460695

My forty-ninth review for 2017.  ‘Bridget Crack’ by Rachel Leary.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2125184396

My fiftieth review for 2017.  ‘The Way Back’ by Kylie Ladd.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2126162571

My fifty-first review for 2017.  ‘A Dangerous Language’ by Sulari Gentill.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2128279463

My fifty-second review for 2017.  ‘Driving Too Fast’, a collection of poetry by Dorothy Porter.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2095031576

My fifty-third review for 2017.  ‘The Lone Child’ by Anna George.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2136207838

My fifty-fourth review for 2017.  ‘Sixty Seconds’ by Jesse Blackadder.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2137314655

My fifty-fifth review for 2017.  ‘How to Dress a Dummy’ by Cassie Lane.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2143063710

My fifty-sixth review for 2017.  ‘Falling Pomegranate Seeds’ by Wendy J Dunn.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2153449270

My fifty-seventh review for 2017.  ‘The Tides Between’ by Elizabeth Jane Corbett.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2170121049

My fifty-eighth review for 2017.’Drawing Sybylla’ by Odette Kelada.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2176490281

My fifty-ninth review for 2017. ‘Accidental Heroes’ (‘The Rogues’ #1) by Lian Tanner.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2176494041

My sixtieth review for 2017.  ‘The Trauma Cleaner’ by Sarah Krasnostein.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2180507753

My sixty-first review for 2017. ‘Mirror Sydney’ by Vanessa Berry.  Here’s a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2181439191

My sixty-second review for 2017. ‘Whitehaven Beach’ (a children’s book) by Cathy Maisano.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2189421556

My sixty-third review for 2017. ‘A Crying in the Wind’ by Elizabeth Fleetwood.  Here’s a link to my review:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2197240310

A Crying in the Wind by Elizabeth Fleetwood

I picked this novel purely by chance: it was on the new acquisitions list at my library.  Any novel about Tasmania will catch my attention, but not all will hold it in quite the same way as this novel did.

‘By an unwritten agreement, nobody ever spoke of the past.’

Spanning two hundred years and involving four families, Ms Fleetwood divides her story into four parts and writes of a Tasmania that few of us can have a complete understanding of.  I picked the novel up because it is set in Tasmania and because, although I’ve not lived there for over forty years, I still consider it ‘home’.

The four families, introduced in Part One (which opens in 1812) are the Aborigines (starting with ‘Tom’ Kickerterpoller, stolen from his family in 1812), the Fairfield settlers from Scotland (starting with Susannah), the convicts (starting with George Turner) and (much more briefly) the Dutch Dijkstra family, beginning with Katrijin’s dream.

In the subsequent three parts of the novel, the stories of different family members are told.  These stories will involve dispossession and removal for many of the Aborigines, contrasted with the relative prosperity for many of the European settlers. The Turner descendants will be part of the settlement of the North West, and the Dijkstras will seek refuge in Tasmania after being displaced from both Java and Europe.

Tasmania itself provides another story: of changed land use, of attempts to try to make the land respond to European demands.  Some of these attempts work, others don’t and there is a brooding undertone for those who are sensitive.   Consider this, from one of the more powerful passages in the novel:

‘.. and that awful crying in the wind that apparently nobody else could hear.’

“I hear it”, said Marner. “It’s the cry of the wounded and dispossessed, it’s the groan of nature destroyed for greed, the wailing of the animals driven out and the broken song of the birds shot for no reason, the sadness of those who don’t count, and those whose dignity was trampled on.  It’s the tears of the broken hearts and it’s the cry of those who didn’t love when they could have.”

I kept reading.  I know this crying in the wind more as a feeling of unease in some places.

I enjoyed this novel, recognised some history (especially as it relates to the settlement of the North-West coast region where I was born), learned more about the dispossession of the Aborigines, and wondered about the impact of the past two hundred years.

If you like family sagas, if Tasmania is part of your life or intrigues you because of its beauty, its contrasts and (or) its history, you may enjoy this novel as much as I did.  I loved the way in which Ms Fleetwood wove her characters into the history.  Real or representative, the characters bring the story to life.

I finished the novel wondering what the next chapter would be, both for the characters and Tasmania.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

#AWW2017

Best Books of 2017 – a list of lists

I need to look through these lists when I have a little more time to see how many inclusions I may have read, or hope to read. I love looking at the ‘best of’ lists compiled by others. How about you? Which ten books would you rate most highly in 2017?

booksaremyfavouriteandbest

It’s that time of the year when newspapers and magazines publish their ‘Best of 2017’ lists.

I know, it’s November…

I have noticed that this year many of the lists include a Best of 2017 ‘so far’ disclaimer – do you think the publishers have finally realised that a lot of reading can happen in the last five weeks of the year?! Or perhaps it’s a loophole so that they can publish another list when I reveal the list of books that made the most Best of 2017 lists? Either way, all of these fabulous lists will probably do some serious damage to the TBR stack.

The Best of 2017 According to #ALLTHELISTS will be coming in the next week or so – stay tuned!

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A Wreath of Roses by Elizabeth Taylor

Until reading this post, I was unaware of this Elizabeth Taylor. Another author to read. I love how the various webs of connectedness lead me in new reading (and other) directions. I’ll need to live for a very long time to read all the books I want to.

booksaremyfavouriteandbest

I feel like Elizabeth Taylor gets overlooked.

I don’t mean this Taylor:

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