It’s appropriate that Amanda Curtin has reminded me to write a wrap up of my Australian Women Writers Challenge reading for 2014, seeing as how her stunning novel Elemental (2013, UWA Publishing) was the first book I read and reviewed for the challenge. I’ve spent the rest of the year raving about it, recommending it and buying gift copies. I’m delighted to report that everyone I’ve recommended it to has loved it, especially my mother for whom the character of Meggie Duthie Tulloch rivals Anne Elliot in Jane Austen’s Persuasion as her favourite ever literary heroine.
Like Amanda, I read more books by Australian women writers than I reviewed, though the absence of a review is no indication of my feelings about the book. Again, I’ve raved about, recommended and bought gift copies of several books by Australian women writers, which I have not reviewed.
Overall, I read 20 books for adults written by Australian women in 2014, 11 crime novels, four literary works–three of them short story collections, and five non-fiction books.
Here are the nine books I did mange to review (or write up an author interview) on this blog for the AWW Challenge; those marked with an asterisk, I also reviewed for Radio National Books and Arts Daily:
Elemental — Amanda Curtin (2013, UWA Publishing)
The Lost Girls* — Wendy James (2013, Michael Joseph)
Holiday in Cambodia — Laura Jean McKay (2013, Black Inc.)
Beams Falling* — PM Newton (2014, Penguin)
Through the Cracks* — Honey Brown (2014, Penguin)
Every Word — Ellie Marney (2014, Allen & Unwin)
A Morbid Habit* — Annie Hauxwell (2014, Penguin)
What Came Before* — Anna George (2014, Viking)
Let Her Go* — Dawn Barker (2014, Hachette)
The following books by Australian women writers I didn’t manage to review but did mention in end of year wrap-ups:
A Murder Unmentioned — Sulari Gentill (2014, Pantera Press)
Foreign Soil — Maxine Beneba Clarke (2014, Hachette)
Only the Animals — Ceridwen Dovey (2014, Penguin)
Other books by Australian women writers I read this year (with links to writers festival write ups, where relevant):
Madame Bovary’s Haberdashery — Maurilia Meehan (2013, Transit Lounge)
Moving Among Strangers: Randolph Stowe and My Family — Gabrielle Carey (2013, UQP)
Last Bets — Michaela McGuire (2014, MUP)
Where is Daniel? — Lindsay Simpson & Jennifer Cooke (2014, Pan Macmillan)
Honeymoon Dive — Lindsay Simpson (2010, Pan Macmillan)
The Zigzag Effect — Lili Wilkinson (2013, Allen & Unwin)
The Lying-Down Room — Anna Jaquiery (2014, Mantle)
A Second Chance for Justice — Asher Flynn & Kate Fitz-Gibbon (2013, Cambridge Scholars Publishing)
Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention the wonderful books for young readers by Australian women writers, which I’ve enjoyed reading with my daughter Miss Eight in 2014, including:
The Garden of the Empress Cassia — Gabrielle Wang (2002, Puffin)
The Pearl of Tiger Bay — Gabrielle Wang (2004, Puffin)
The Ghost in the Suitcase — Gabrielle Wang (2009, Puffin)
The Meet Pearlie books in the Our Australian Girl series — Gabrielle Wang (2013, 2014, Puffin)
Truly Tan Spooked! — Jen Storer (2013, HarperCollins)
Truly Tan Freaked! — Jen Storer (2014, HarperCollins)
Here’s wishing all the Australian women writers and readers of Australian women writers a wonderful New Year in 2015.
Very helpful summing-up, Angela, for which thanks. It gives me some terrific ideas for Australian women crime writers to try in the new year (‘though I have read some on your list). Erm – speaking of Australian women crime writers…. are we to see more of Jayne Keeney coming up any time soon? Your fans are waiting…
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Hello Margot and Happy New Year! Apologies for the delay in responding to your comment. I’m really not trying to dodge the question. Honest. The short answer is that I hope to continue working on the next Jayne Keeney novel in the course of the year. Thank you for your interest 🙂
You did well with your reviews, Angela — you’ve put me to shame! Ah well, next year… I have Foreign Soil on my pile here and will buy the Ceridwen Dovey at the Perth Writers Festival. There will never be enough time for my aspirational TBR list! Heartfelt thanks again for recommending Elemental. x
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Thanks Amanda. Let me know what you think of Only the Animals. I really enjoyed it, especially the story about the chimpanzee!
As for Elemental, thank you for writing it. I look forward to reading The Sinkings this year.
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