As we get ready to enter the last full week of Australian Literature Month, now's a good time to recap the past week's activities.
The books I read
Last Sunday I mentioned I had started reading Wayne Macauley's The Cook. I didn't have a lot of time to myself this week, so it took me awhile to get through this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved its satire on the celebrity chef/foodie industry and the shock ending was brilliant. I'll try to review it later this week.
And yesterday I started Courtney Collins' The Burial, about a female bushranger in the early 20th century, which was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Within the first couple of pages I was gripped by the story, which feels a bit like an American western rather than being peculiarly Australian. I'm about half-way through it already... and I suspect this one is going to rank very highly in my affections by the end.
The books reviewed
This week I reviewed two very different novels — one was very male, the other was very female — but both were hugely enjoyable. The first was David Ireland's award-winning The Glass Canoe; the second was Madeleine St John's black comedy The Women in Black.
Elsewhere in the blogosphere, lots of you have been busy reviewing all kinds of Australian novels, from the aforementioned The Burial to Gail Jones' Five Bells. All the reviews are listed on my Australian Literature Month review page — at the time of writing there were 41.
Remember that for every review posted during Australian Literature Month, which includes my logo and/or is linked here, I will donate 50 pence to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF), a charity which gives books to families in remote communities in Australia. Let's see if we can make a final push this week and add dozens more. My original target was to see 100 reviews listed online... we are quite a way off this, so do dig out those Aussie books and pen a review or two — and relieve me of my money!
Australian writer Carrie Tiffany won the inaugural Stella Prize during the week. I "watched" the announcement via Twitter, which was quite exciting, and by all accounts Tiffany's acceptance speech was pretty special. Through the magic of the internet, I was delighted to discover a recording of it online, which you can listen to by clicking here.
And yesterday Reading Matters got name-checked on The Age website, along with some wonderful Australian bloggers I know and respect — Lisa Hill, Angela Meyer, Whispering Gums and Book to the Future — in a piece headlined, somewhat cringingly, Bookworms on the web. But it's wonderful to see bloggers being written about in a positive way and I was delighted to see Lisa's AnzLitLovers blog get the recognition it deserves.
Finally, last week I neglected to mention a wonderful post celebrating Banjo Patterson's classic poem Mulga Bill's Bicycle on the ibikelondon blog. Mark is normally a cycling blogger (something I try to do too), but decided to take part in Australian Literature Month. Thanks, Mark, much appreciated!
Thank you for all your support and do come back for more Oz lit fun during the week.