Can you believe it? It only seemed like the other day that we were ushering in a new year and the start of Australian Literature Month. But now January is drawing to a close and my month-long reading project is over. Here's my final wrap-up...
The books read
This week I've travelled to some very dark places.
First, I felt overwhelmed by several murders and high-level corruption in Melbourne, courtesy of Peter Temple's award-winning Truth.
I then travelled to Berlin with an Australian tourist, who falls in love with a German boy and gets caught up in a dangerous pyschological game, courtesy of Melanie Joosten's Berlin Syndrome.
And finally, I sailed to an island off the Western Australian coast during the 1920s where I witnessed a husband and wife keep a baby that wasn't theirs, courtesy of M.L. Stedman's Light Between Oceans, which is due to be published in the UK this April.
I hosted three giveaways this past week.
The first, to win one of two copies of Tim Winton's Cloudstreet, was sponsored by Picador, and I'm happy to report that copies will soon be winging their way to Janet in Lincolnshire and Glynis in Spain.
The second, to win one of three sets of Kate Grenville's "colonial trilogy", was sponsored by Canongate. These wonderful books will be shipped to Philip in England and Zbyszekspir in Poland. I still haven't heard from Sdav, so not quite sure which part of the world the third set will be shipped to.
And the third, to win a copy of Peter Carey's Illywhacker, was sponsored by Faber and Faber. A copy of this doorstep of a book — it's 600-plus pages — will soon be delivered to Nadine Nys.
The books reviewed
This week I reviewed the following:
That's FIVE reviews! No wonder I am officially exhausted!
Other bloggers have been hard at work too. I'm so impressed with this week's list — spot the Peter Carey and Carrie Tiffany fest!:
- My Brother Jack by George Johnston (Booklog for Charlotte)
- Drylands by Thea Astley (Booklog for Charlotte)
- Me of the Never Never by Fiona O'Loughlin (Book'd Out)
- I Came to Say Goodbye by Caroline Overington (Sam Still Reading)
- The Freudian Slip by Marion Von Adlerstein (Sam Still Reading)
- Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living by Carrie Tiffany (Tony's Reading List)
- Mateship of Birds by Carrie Tiffany (ANZLitLovers)
- The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey (ANZLitLovers)
- Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey (Lizzy's Literary Life)
- The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey (366 days, 366 books)
- Bereft by Chris Womersley (Savidge Reads)
- Riding the Black Cockatoo by John Damalis (Farm Lane Books Blog)
- Maestro by Peter Goldsworthy (Stuck in a Book)
- The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus W. Hume (Whispering Gums)
- Sister Ships and Other Stories by Joan London (Read, Ramble)
- Remembering Babylon by David Malouf (Words and Peace)
- Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson (Kinna Reads)
- The Book of My Enemy has been Remaindered by Clive James (Lizzy's Literary Life)
- The Last Thread by Michael Sala (Whispering Gums)
- Bereft by Chris Womersley (The Black Sheep Dances)
Well, just because Australian Literature Month is over, it doesn't mean I'm suddenly going to stop reading and reviewing Australian fiction. I've really enjoyed discovering so many interesting and varied books over the past month, and I'm determined to keep working my way through my Aussie pile to see what other gems I may unearth.
Of course, I've still got a few more reviews to write (The World Beneath, Sarah Thornhill and The Light Between Oceans), so do keep coming back to see my thoughts on those novels. My book group is also reading Helen Garner's Monkey Grip, so that will be posted here some time next week.
And tonight, thanks to a kind invite from Canongate, I'm off to Australia House, where Kate Grenville will be launching her new novel, Sarah Thornhill, so I'll be writing about that at some point, too.
Finally, thanks to everyone — publishers, bloggers and readers alike — for your support of, and participation in, Australian Literature Month. It's been fun having you all along for the ride!
Did I miss your Australian book review or your post about Australian Literature Month? Let me know and I’ll add it in.