So, it's the end of the first week of Australian Literature Month. Here's a wrap-up of what's happened so far...
The books read
I've spent the past week touring Australia. First, I spent some time in rural NSW, courtesy of Gillian Mears' Foal's Bread, where I learnt about the showjumping circuit in between the wars and got caught up the story of two generations of the Nancarrow family.
I then hit the coast of rural Western Australia and learnt about the danger and excitement of surfing during the 1970s, all thanks to Tim Winton's Breath.
Then it was off to suburban Melbourne in the 1990s, where I experienced 24 hours in the life of Ari, a 19-year-old Greek-Australian, hell bent on doing all kinds of drugs and undertaking casual sex encounters with complete strangers — all very eye-opening and, at times, confronting, courtesy of Christos Tsiolkas' Loaded.
I then moved south — to Tasmania — thanks to Cate Kennedy's extraordinarily good novel The World Beneath, where I strapped on my walking boots and traversed the Overland Track in Cradle Mountain National Park accompanied by former hippy Rich and his emo daughter Sophie.
And now I'm still decamped in Tasmania, albeit a little further south, drowning in the Franklin River alongside Aljaz, the narrator of Richard Flanagan's Death of a River Guide.
Where have you been?
The books reviewed
Um, well, I'm still playing catch-up with reviews of books read in 2011, so I'm a bit behind in reviewing the books I've read for Australian Literature Month. I plan on rectifying that very soon. In the meantime, here's what other participants have reviewed so far:
- Comeback by Peter Corris (Book'd Out)
- The Bachelor and Spinster Ball by Janet Glover (Cathy Powell)
- The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville (Booklog for Charlotte)
- All That I Am by Anna Funder (The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader)
I hosted one giveaway — and a pristine UK edition of Christos Tsiolkas aforementioned Loaded is now on its way to The Netherlands, where I hope Deidre will enjoy it very much and leave a comment under my review when it goes live.
More giveaways are planned over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, Shelleyrae at Book'd Out is giving away a copy of Peter Corris' Comeback (entries close January 14), so do pop along and stick your name in the hat if you are interested.
Loads of you have mentioned Australian Literature Month in passing or in dedicated posts this past week or so. So thanks to the following for all your shout-outs: The Readers (episode 14); BookSexy; Tony's Reading List; Gaskella; Paperback Reader; Savidge Reads; Stuck in a Book; Whispering Gums; Winstonsdad's blog; Book'd Out; Words and Peace; and The Black Sheep Dances.
Did I miss your Australian book review or your post about Australian Literature Month? Let me know and I’ll add it in.