All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

June Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 20
Fiction: 19
Non-Fiction: 1
Library Books: 9
Books On My TBR List: 6
Books in a Series: 5
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 12
Male/Female Authors: 3/16 (plus one m/f anthology)
Kindle Books: 9
Audiobooks: 1
Books I Owned or Bought: 3
Favourite Book(s): The Last Reunion by Kayte Nunn, Someone I Used To Know by Paige Toon, The House In The Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune, You And Me On Vacation by Emily Henry.
Least Favourite Books: Talk Bookish To Me by Kate Bromley
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 9

Very happy with the reading stats for June – it felt like a very well rounded month. After reading 0 eBooks last month, I read a whopping 9 this month, almost 50% of my monthly total. I also listened to one audiobook, so ended up reading 10 books in print.

We came out of our 14 day lockdown but now quite a lot of the rest of the country are currently experiencing their own lockdowns after various outbreaks, so it feels quite unusual for us to have quite a bit of freedom whilst many others are undergoing restrictions. It’s currently school holidays, we are almost through the first week. Later after this post goes up, I’m taking my kids for a walk along the beach and through some Botanical Gardens because there’s supposed to be some pretty gross weather coming over the weekend – plenty of rain and about 11 degrees so we’re going to get some sun while we still can! We have plans for some other days next week as well and my husband is having a week off work. We also have quite a large amount of television to catch up on (we record a lot of things and watch later, as my husband works several nights a week) so I guess this coming weekend will give us plenty of opportunity to do that!

Challenge check in!

Australian Women Writers Challenge: 45/50

Read Non Fiction Challenge: 4/6

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: 23/25

I made quite a lot of progress on my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge this month – 7 of the books I read contributed towards the challenge! I also read 5 that count towards my Australian Women Writers Challenge and for both of those I’m 2 books and 5 books off my goal respectively and probably should reach both in July. I also still only have 1 book to read for my Read Non Fiction challenge to achieve my goal there – I actually thought I’d read one that would fit in July but it was published last year, not this year, so I’m on the hunt for something else!

Onto the July TBR pile!

I’m taking part in three publisher blog tours this month, for The Missing Girl by Kerry McGinnis, The Eighth Wonder by Tania Farrelly and Catch Us The Foxes by Nicola West. I’m also really keen for The Wattle Seed Inn by Leonie Kelsall because I loved her first novel. There’s a few on this pile that were surprise arrivals which is always fun. And I’ve heard some amazing things about Felix Ever After so that’s definitely one I’m really excited to read.

I also have some library books to get through – The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni (I loved her Medoran Chronicles), Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah so hopefully I can find some time for those this month as well.

If you’ve read anything on my pile be sure to let me know so I can prioritise! Happy reading.

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March Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 21
Fiction: 15
Non-Fiction: 6
Library Books: 7
Books On My TBR List: 4
Books in a Series: 1
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 10
Male/Female Authors: 1/20
Kindle Books: 2
Audiobooks: 3
Books I Owned or Bought: 1
Favourite Book(s): The Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair, A Home Like Ours by Fiona Lowe, The French Gift by Kirsty Manning and Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane
Least Favourite Books: It pains me but Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 10

March was a really nice reading month! I got through quite a lot of books and I really think a renewed interest in audiobooks is really helping there. I got through 3 in March (one I’d started in February and finished in March) and I read a lot too. Also read a nice variety of books with quite a high total of nonfiction – very unusual for me! After reading 0 ebooks last month I did manage 2 this both, both ARCs from NetGalley. But my total read by male authors didn’t really improve – it was 1 last month and it was only 1 full book this month as well, although a non-fiction book I read was curated by 3 authors, one of whom is male. However it’s a bit hard to include that.

Challenge check in!

Australian Women Writers Challenge: 23/50

Read Non Fiction Challenge: 1/6

Reading Women Challenge: 0/28

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: 10/25

Progress was made in 3/4 challenges but unfortunately, I still have not made any progress in my Reading Women Challenge, although I have at least sourced a few books from my local library that will count towards it. It’s becoming more and more likely that I won’t make as much progress on that one as I have in previous years (I’ve never finished it but I’ve usually got within 2-4 books of doing so). However this year the prompts feel a lot more specific, like it will be harder for me to find books for it without specifically buying them just for that. However I did kick off my Read Non Fiction Challenge and have now read 1/6 books for that, with a few more in my library pile that will count towards it. The other 2 challenges, Australian Women Writers and Historical Fiction continue to roll along – I read 9 books for the AWWC in March and 4 that counted towards the Historical Fiction Challenge. Some of these books cross over, so making double the progress.

On to the April TBR and it is a doozy this month folks!

An absolute whopper. Not sure what happened this month, is April a popular one for new releases? I must’ve just accepted a lot of books without realising it! Anyway, they all look excellent though, very excited about some. And in the interest of the fact that this pile is well, massive, I’ve actually read a couple. I finished my March TBR pile quite early in the month and so I snuck in a few of these early to give myself a head start. But even with that, this is still a very large and daunting pile and bear in mind I also have a huge library haul as well! Plus I’ve borrowed about three audiobooks from my online library and clearly in April all I’m going to be doing is reading. I’m not mad about it!

We are just about to start 2 weeks holiday here….2 weeks of not having to get up and get school lunches made, get my kids off to school, etc. I’m hoping to start each morning off by reading for an hour or so in bed, when I’d normally be doing that stuff. See how I go!

Hope you all had a wonderful March – and if you’ve read something on my pile here, let me know! What should I push to the top?

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November Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 14
Fiction: 12
Non-Fiction: 2
Library Books: 4
Books On My TBR List: 4
Books in a Series: 6
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 7
Male/Female Authors: 4/10
Kindle Books: 3
Books I Owned or Bought: 4
Favourite Book(s): Catch & Kill by Ronan Farrow, A Promised Land by Barack Obama and The Shearer’s Wife by Fleur McDonald
Least Favourite Books: The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthal (a DNF for me)
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 5

Well I’m calling it early this month. Usually I don’t post my wrap up post until the first of the next month but I haven’t read a book in a week and I don’t see myself picking one up today so I’m posting this! My total is significantly down on previous months and I guess there’s a few reasons for that but mostly the first one is, Melbourne came out of lockdown. Like we have no restrictions on our movements anymore, we can visit pretty much anywhere now (except WA, hi WA) as by the time this goes up, most of the borders will be open. We have freedom of movement throughout the state as well, as the barrier separating Melbourne’s metropolitan area from regional Victoria was also removed. Cafes, restaurants and shops opened back up for eating in and browsing and we can start socialising again! Since the lockdown stages lifted, we have been back out to brunch every week at our favourite cafe, have had several of my stepchildren and their families if relevant, over for dinner or lunch and we even took a drive to a nearby city to buy something at a local business. We haven’t really done a lot of things so far though and masks are still required indoors. But Victoria has had 0 cases for 30+ days now, which is technically considered to be “elimination” from the community which is an absolutely phenomenal effort from the days where we had 700+ cases. The lockdown was tough, but it worked.

I also had a lot of headaches the last month or so, which could be from either hayfever season (I am a chronic sufferer) or needing new glasses. I was due an eye test and so I booked in for one a couple weeks ago and ended up with new glasses. So far things are ok – I’m still getting dull headaches but I feel they are sinus pressure related and they don’t occur when I’m reading so I’m pretty confident the new glasses (which I’ve actually only had about five days) are going ok so far. I got an anti-glare coating on my reading glasses for using the computer/laptop and reading on my iPad which will hopefully be beneficial.

So I read 14 books in November, most were good reads, some were really good. I also finally gave up on an audiobook I’d been struggling through, marking my first offical DNF of 2020. I’ve read a lot of books this year (thanks covid!) and to only have one DNF is pretty good I think.

Challenge check in!

Australian Women Writers Challenge: 85/50

Read Non Fiction Challenge: 11/12 {technically complete, upgraded the challenge to the top level and trying for all 12}

Reading Women Challenge: 23/26

I have four books to read to complete all my challenges this year. I need to read my final book for the Read Non Fiction Challenge (which I actually have, it’s just very sciency and I’ve fried my brain with a lot of heavy non fiction lately, so need to be in the mood) and also 3 for the Reading Women Challenge. The 3 for that are the 2 bonus prompts, which are read a book by Isabelle Allende (I do have one I haven’t read on my TBR shelf), read a book by Toni Morrison (I own Beloved) and also read a book by a new to you or favourite publisher, which is a bit of a puzzle. Not sure what to do for that one yet. I’m finished with my Australian Women Writers Challenge – I did intend to try and reach 100 titles but I don’t think I’ll make it now, seeing as my reading has dropped off significantly.

Here’s my December TBR:

As you can see, it’s probably by far the smallest one I’ve posted all year. The Monica McInerney I actually had in a previous TBR and never got to it. It’s the December selection for the online bookclub I’m in, so it’s my intention to get to it this month before that discussion. The other 2 are books I received from the publishers – I actually did not make any requests this month and just decided to leave it to the review gods to see what appeared and I’m quite happy with the fact that it’s a {very} small selection because it’s not an amount of books where I feel pressured. I still have some library books checked out and also some books that I’ve purchased recently that I’m hoping to get to over the summer break. Plus, there’s Christmas haha. Christmas always brings books.

I’m actually really excited for Christmas this year. Lockdown was good for one thing – I did quite a bit of online shopping to pass the time and because of that, I’ve been pretty much finished Christmas wise, for a while now. Everything has already arrived and is stashed in various hiding places and I was able to be pretty sneaky. I don’t need to go out to the shops at all, which is good because malls at Christmas time always give me anxiety.

 

I hope you all had a great reading November and stayed safe. If you’ve read anything on my pile (small as it may be), let me know.

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October Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 21
Fiction: 16
Non-Fiction: 5
Library Books: 5
Books On My TBR List: 2
Books in a Series: 7
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 13
Male/Female Authors: 5/16
Kindle Books: 8
Books I Owned or Bought: 6
Favourite Book(s): Beach Read by Emily Henry, Flying The Nest by Rachael Johns
Least Favourite Books: Earthlings by Sayaka Murata, Christmas At Claridges by Karen Swan
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 9

October brought some light to the end of the tunnel for those of us in Melbourne! My kids went back to school, we had restrictions ease in multiple ways. On the 8th November, most of the last few remaining rules (don’t travel more than 25km from home and the divide between metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria) will be removed. People are still advised to work from home when they can, wear masks, keep their distance. There are still some rules about the amount of people you can have to your house and indoor gatherings are restricted in number (including restaurants, cafes, bars, indoor sports venues etc) but we are experiencing much more freedom than we’ve had in months. Having said that, I have only been out twice, to a smaller local shopping centre rather than the really large one. Still, it’s good. There’s a feeling of having accomplished something, through all the hard work and struggle, because you look at places in Europe, who had the same numbers as us a few months ago and see where they are vs where we are.

I read 21 books in the month of October, 16 fiction and 5 non-fiction. I actually finished all my requested review books with time to spare so I sat down one day and went through what I had to do to finish the challenges I had signed up for and did my best to source some books that would fit in with the prompts I had remaining. Last month I still had 5 books to read to complete my 2020 Non-Fiction Reader Challenge and 10 to read to complete the Reading Women Challenge. I have already finished the third challenge I signed up for, The Australian Women Writers Challenge. I am actually very pleased with the progress I made in the latter part of October:

Challenge check in!

Australian Women Writers Challenge: 82/50

Read Non Fiction Challenge: 11/12 {technically complete, upgraded the challenge to the top level and trying for all 12}

Reading Women Challenge: 20/26

So now I have just one book left to complete all the prompts for the Read Non-Fiction Challenge (and I have a book ready to go for it) and 6 books left to read to complete the Reading Women Challenge. I do have several books ready to go for that too but there are still a couple of the topics that are giving me grief!

Here’s my November TBR:

Quite a small pile this month (and it’s actually smaller already, because I read 2 of these over the weekend). But that’s good because it will give me some time to hopefully finish the non-fiction challenge and also contribute a few more books towards the Reading Women Challenge. I’m not 100% confident I’ll finish that one but I should go close.

Hopefully you all had a really enjoyable reading October – if you’ve read anything from my TBR let me know

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September Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 25
Fiction: 24
Non-Fiction: 1
Library Books: 3
Books On My TBR List: 6
Books in a Series: 8
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 12
Male/Female Authors: 4.5/20.5 (one book is by a male/female pairing writing under one name)
Kindle Books: 10
Books I Owned or Bought: 8
Favourite Book(s): Elsa’s Stand by Cathryn Hein, Road To Ironbark by Kaye Dobbie, The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker & The F Team by Rawah Arja
Least Favourite Books: Dreams They Forgot by Emma Ashmere, The Lying Life Of Adults by Elena Ferrante
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 14 (12 individual titles, 2 qualified for 2 different challenges)

Life…… Stage 4 lockdown continued throughout the month of September (until the 28th, where we entered the “next stage” but the new steps don’t affect us for a couple weeks) which means I didn’t leave my house really which means I did a lot of reading! My husband was home for the entire month (well almost, he went back to work on the 29th) recovering from the operation he had and my kids were also on school holidays for the last portion of September as well. The last week of school was a plethora of half days as they had zoom parent teacher interviews on two of the days and had half days for that and the last day of term is always a half day. But we do have some good news here in terms of Melbourne and its battle against corona – my kids will return to face to face schooling the week beginning the 12th October although it’ll probably not be full time and they may not even attend on the same days. Still waiting for more information there. And we have done amazing work getting the case numbers down so hopefully on the 19th October, we can move out of this and get back to some sort of “normal” life, although what that looks like I don’t know. Seems like whenever a place feels like it’s getting back to normal, a resurgence in the virus occurs, so we’re always going to have to live with some sort of concession to it I think, until there’s a vaccine. If there’s a vaccine.

So of the 25 books I read in September, 24 of them were fiction. I did manage to squeeze in one non-fiction title right towards the end of the month, which was Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which I thought was beautifully written and very blunt in terms of describing a black man’s life in America and a lot of the complexities, grief and anger surrounding that. It’s written as a letter to his adolescent son, all the things he wants him to know. I’ve been mulling it over for a few days, it’s one of those books where I find it very hard to review!

Challenge check in!

Australian Women Writers Challenge: 75/50

Read Non Fiction Challenge: 7/12 {technically complete, upgraded the challenge to the top level and trying for all 12}

Reading Women Challenge: 16/26

Not as much progress as I would’ve liked in September! I did read 2 books towards my Reading Women Challenge but I didn’t read anything for the Non-Fiction Challenge. I’m still finding it hard to source what I am after there, as the online non-fiction selection through my library isn’t great and my library was closed throughout all of the month of September. I did see they’re gearing up to return to click & collect and also their delivery service, which I was taking advantage of before it had to cease when we entered Stage 4 restrictions, so hopefully I can use that in the future. I read 11 books towards The Australian Women Writers Challenge but that one is never an issue! It’s going to be pretty hard to finish both of these now, with only 3 months left in the year, so I’ll have to see how I go.

I did finish all the books I set for my September TBR, even The Thorn Birds! 

Onto my October TBR:

No 735p behemoths in this pile!

Lots to be excited about though. Definitely looking forward to reading Monica McInerney’s new one and I’ve read the first couple of chapters of The Mother Fault and was loving it so I’m keen to get stuck into that one too. Also have a new Rachael Johns book and that’s always a guaranteed good read. I’m part of a publisher-organised blog tour for Letters From Berlin so look out for my post for that one on October the 14th. I’m also really curious about the Dash & Lily book – it’s been a long time since I read the first one (and there’s actually been one since, which I’ve not read) but it’ll be cute to revisit them before the Netflix series begins. I’m a bit on the fence about the Alice Hoffman – it’s apparently a prequel to Practical Magic which I’ve not read, nor seen the movie but given it’s a prequel….it’s probably not so bad.

Hope you all had a good reading September. The end of the year is coming up quickly, quicker than I’d like, it doesn’t feel like I should soon be preparing for Christmas. I’ve no idea what Christmas is going to look like this year, hopefully by then we can maybe snatch a couple of days away within the same state somewhere, which would be nice. If not, some day trips I guess? And visiting some people we haven’t seen since last year!

 

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August Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 22
Fiction: 19
Non-Fiction: 3
Library Books: 6
Books On My TBR List: 12
Books in a Series: 5
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 12
Male/Female Authors: 3/19
Kindle Books: 10
Books I Owned or Bought: 0
Favourite Book(s): The Sister’s Gift by Barbara Hannah, The Secret Life Of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland, The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy, A Nanny Called Alice by Barbara Hannay and The Bush Telegraph by Fiona McArthur.
Least Favourite Books: I Give My Marriage A Year by Holly Wainwright
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 16

August was a mixed reading month! In the first 10 days, I had read 11 books. But in the 11 days after that, I read only 3. My husband went in for surgery on the 11th and remained in hospital for that 11 days and I found a lot of it quite stressful and I couldn’t really relax enough to read. The day he had the operation, it ended up lasting over 8 hours when for some reason, I thought that it would be much shorter. It wasn’t a very serious operation as such (other than all operations are serious and carry with them inherent risks, etc) but it was a very precise one with a plastic surgery and reconstruction component that ended up taking about 6 hours after the orthopaedic component. Because there was a huge risk of infection, his hospital stay had to be lengthy so he could be closely monitored and to avoid having to go back if anything did happen. Thankfully his recovery has been textbook, he’s been home for about 10 days now but I’ve had less time than normal to read because he’s not really able to do anything. He’s in a full leg brace and on crutches although his mobility is improving every day. So I did still read a lot of books for August, but mostly because I read so many in the first third of the month! Also a lot of the books I read were quite short – I’d say probably more than half a dozen were under 200p and there was probably almost nothing over 400.

We are still in Stage 4 lockdown here. Only allowed out for essential items like food/medical supplies and we can’t travel more than 5km from home for them. To be honest I pretty much haven’t gone anywhere. I arranged for some groceries to be delivered and I’ve made one trip to a supermarket for bread and milk. The weather has been slowly improving (today is the first day of spring here in Australia!) but we’ve also had some last kicks of winter too and it’s been all too easy to stay inside. We have about 2 weeks left of this Stage 4 implementation and the numbers have really been falling steadily although they will be cautious in lifting restrictions, I’m sure. They don’t want things to escalate and get out of control again and I’m 100% supportive of that even though it’s inconvenient and I know I’m coming from the lucky position of no one in my household having lost their job. There are many other people doing it a lot tougher.

Challenge check in!

Australian Women Writers Challenge: 64/50

Read Non Fiction Challenge: 7/12 {technically complete, upgraded the challenge to the top level and trying for all 12}

Reading Women Challenge: 14/26

I’ve fallen slightly behind on the bottom two challenges, I only read one book towards the Reading Women Challenge in August and nothing towards the Non-fiction challenge. I think that was largely because I was seeking a certain type of read in August and those types of reads don’t count towards those challenges. I did however, read 15 books that count towards The Australian Women Writers Challenge which means I’ve achieved my goal of 50 books read in 2020 although I’ll continue to count the books I read that qualify. I did deliberately pick a low number for that in terms of what I knew I’d read because I knew the other two challenges would be “more” of a challenge and require more time devoted to finding books that qualified. I’m going to need to read 3 books a month that count to finish the RWC and another five books in 4 months to complete the Read Non-Fic.

Here’s my September TBR pile and it’s a bit of a tower!

The pile on the left are ARCs for the month and the one on the right, The Thorn Birds is for the Rachael Johns Online Book Club September read. The club has almost 3000 members and there’s a dedicated book each month that we read and then there’s a discussion at the end of the month. Usually we choose a newer book but I think one of the choices was pushed back in publication because of covid so we ended up with a free month and there was a vote and this retro title won. I’ve never read The Thorn Birds although I have owned this copy for a few years and have intended to read it for ages. It’s a very large book though and as you can see, I have a lot to read throughout the month so my plan is to break it down into chunks and devote each weekend to reading a certain amount of the book.

Hope your July was productive and/or enjoyable! If you’ve read anything on my TBR pile, feel free to let me know – likewise if you see something you’d like to read. Stay safe everyone 🙂

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November Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 20
Fiction: 18
Non-Fiction: 2
Library Books: 2
Books On My TBR List: 6
Books in a Series: 11
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 7
Male/Female Authors: 5/15
Kindle Books: 5
Books I Owned or Bought: 8
Favourite Book(s): Up On Horseshoe Hill by Penelope Janu, The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black.
Least Favourite Books: So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 6

Bye November. Feels like you went so fast.

And so it’s December. The last month of 2019. I feel like I say this every month but I am not sure what happened to 2019. So much of this year just seems lost in a bit of a blur, things have gone so quickly. At the moment we are immersed in end-of-year things – my kids have 2.5 weeks left of school and after that we leave to go interstate for 3 weeks. We are having Christmas with my family this year (they live 14hrs drive away) and I’ve been making arrangements for our cat and travel arrangements, sorting out getting our car serviced and tyres checked before we leave, all that sort of stuff. We are driving up so that we will have our car with us while we’re there and it’s much cheaper than flying and hiring a car.

I don’t know how much reading I’ll get done while I’m away. I can never tell – sometimes I think I’ll get very little done and I end up reading a lot. Sometimes I think, well the conditions will be perfect. It’s summer, my parents have a pool, my kids can swim while I read. But it rarely works out the way I imagine it will. My husband will be with us, he’s on holidays too so it’s possible we’ll spend more time doing things than just lazing around at home. It’ll probably be a mix, but there’s also family to visit as well and catch up with so I’m not making any reading plans past the 18th December. Prior to that though…..here’s my December pile:

All publisher ARCs apart from the top book, Dark Emu which I purchased after it was trending on twitter because Andrew Bolt had his knickers in a knot over it. Anything that gets up that right wing zealot’s nose is worth investigating so I decided to check it out and it sounds very interesting. It’s basically about a suggestion that indigenous Australians were not just the nomadic hunter-gatherers that Europeans assumed and were sowing, harvesting and storing crops, which doesn’t fit the tag. The author suggests that the usage of the term hunter gatherer was a convenient lie, presumably to better the argument or justify the colonisation of the country. There’s a lot of very interesting primary sources that the author uses to support his argument. It’s blown up quite a lot on twitter in recent times so I picked up a copy.

Challenge check in – with just one month left to go, I have completed my Goodreads reading goal of 200 books for the year (thanks October, for being such a crazy reading month!) and am sitting on 204 books read. So far I’ve completed 22/26 books for the Reading Women Podcast Challenge and realistically, I can probably only complete another 2 of the prompts, maximum. I don’t see myself reading a play and I don’t see myself reading a translated book published before 1945 because I’ve trawled through the recommendations and nothing suggested is available at my local library. Some are available on eBook but to be honest they’re rather expensive (almost $20AU) and I’m just not interested in purchasing a book I’ll probably never read again just to satisfy a prompt. Same with the play. My library does not have any plays that I can see available for borrowing so I’m just going to have to wipe those two out basically. The prompts I can complete are read a Jesmyn Ward book (I own Salvage The Bones somewhere) and read a myth retelling (either The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey or Circe by Madeline Miller). Interestingly I’m potentially going to struggle with finishing the goal I set of 80 books in the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I’ve read 73 and two of the books on my December pile would qualify, bringing me to 75. Potentially the Pip Drysdale might, I’ve seen some people count her books as I think she spent time growing up in Australia but it’s probably stretching it. I also have The Weekend by Charlotte Wood out from my library for an online buddy read, which would be 76. So I still need to find another four books by Australian women to read by the end of the year in order to successfully finish that challenge. Well, finding them isn’t the issue – I probably have several hundred in my TBR piles of both print and eBooks. It’s actually reading them! But I shall try. Plus I’m going to raid NetGalley before I go away so I should be able to find some candidates there.

Hope you all had a wonderful reading November and that December is a stress-free time in the build up to Christmas.

 

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October Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 29
Fiction: 26
Non-Fiction: 3
Library Books: 4
Books On My TBR List: 7
Books in a Series: 12
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 12
Male/Female Authors: 4/25
Kindle Books: 2
Books I Owned or Bought: 11
Favourite Book(s): I Am Change by Suzy Zail, Guest House For Young Widows: Among The Women Of ISIS by Azadeh Moaveni.
Least Favourite Books: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 11

October was a big reading month.

I’m not 100% sure why I managed to get through so many books – a combination of having a lot of good books to read, making more reading time, especially at night when I’d usually be watching mindless TV and also joining the Mate-A-Thon Challenge, which had set challenges but all pages read counted towards your overall total, so I was motivated to read more and add more pages for my team! I read a lot of really solid books in October, but there were two real stand outs for me. Both of these titles tackled women’s issues and being women in difficult situations. In I Am Change, the main character is a young girl in rural Uganda, struggling to break tradition and get herself an education so that she might become a writer. This was an amazing, eye opening book, often difficult to read at times. And Guest House For Young Widows was also difficult too, in lots of ways, challenging thinking about women who left in some cases, safe and secure countries to go and be a part of something new. I only had one book that I didn’t really enjoy that much for October, which was an audiobook. Actually the only audiobook I think I have listened to this year. It’s not really my preferred format but it suited my situation at the time.

This is my November ARC pile. It’s actually relatively tame but I do have quite a lot of other books I hope to read this month. I’ve got a few out from my local library at the moment plus I’ve bought some recently that I am looking to make time for as well. I am definitely trying to read more books that I own, rather than just moving them to my unread shelf! I’m attempting to make my way through the Leigh Bardugo Grisha books – I read Shadow & Bone this month, which was actually a re-read but it’s been 6 or so years since I’ve read it! Hopefully I’ll move on to Siege & Storm this month. I also have to read Smoke In The Sun to round out that duology and considering I have In Darkness Visible in my ARC pile, I picked up the first book, The Twentieth Man from my local library. In October I also bought The Blue Rose by Kate Forsyth and I also have Scrublands Silver by Chris Hammer which I’d like to fit in too. I’ve heard really amazing things about both of those and I want to see what all the fuss is about! Last month I got through all of my ARC pile except one so that rolls over to this month too, I need to fit it in because it’s the December read for my online book club.

The year is beginning to wind down, we are getting pretty close to the end now. We will be heading away in mid December or so, trekking north for Christmas and I won’t be taking any books away with me, although I’ll have my iPad and access to everything that’s on there. Ideally I’d like to be finished with my challenges by then, and just take the three weeks that I’m away to read purely books that I’ve had on my iPad for a long time and fluffy holiday type reads. So November is my ‘ticking things off’ month, where I hope to finish my Goodreads challenge and try and get to 80 books read for my Australian Women Writers Challenge.

Hope you all had a great October!

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August Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 16
Fiction: 12
Non-Fiction: 4
Library Books: 5
Books On My TBR List: 3
Books in a Series: 1
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 11
Male/Female Authors: 1/15
Kindle Books: 2
Books I Owned or Bought: 3
Favourite Book(s): Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
Least Favourite Books: The Most Difficult Thing by Charlotte Philby
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 11

August was both a success and a fail, reading wise! In terms of numbers, I’m pretty happy with how many books I managed to read throughout the month. My parents were visiting for two weeks, which coincided with my oldest son’s 11th birthday and so I didn’t really do a lot of reading while they were here, just a couple of afternoons when the weather was a bit crap. So to read 16 books for the month, check off quite a lot towards challenges and also explore 11 new authors was, I feel, a really good reading month. I had 1 book that I didn’t really love but mostly it was a solid reading month with lots of 4 star books.

I was less successful in getting through my August TBR pile. Of the 10 books, I still have 4 I haven’t read, nor have I read the 3 I didn’t get to from July’s pile! So there’s quite a lot of books building up there…..oops. They’ll all go onto my Not Right Now TBR pile to hopefully dig out in some quieter months. I did quite a bit of reading from my local library this month, with 5 books and I still have a couple checked out to read, all of which are to help me with my Reading Women Podcast Challenge, which I made good progress on.

Here is the September TBR pile:

Am I the only one weirded out by the fact that I’m writing September? This year has just gone so ridiculously fast. My kids are nearly on school holidays again (they only have three weeks to go) and it feels like we just came back from the previous set of school holidays. Anyway, this is what I’ll be (hopefully) reading this month.

I’m really excited and also quite sad about The Rich Man’s House by Andrew McGahan. He died earlier this year and although this book is complete, there’s a note at the beginning of it that addresses that he was critically ill when he was editing and that it’s probably not perfect.

The only book not received from the publishers here is The Chain by Adrian McGinty, which I bought myself recently. I have heard so many amazing things about it and the story surrounding its writing/publishing is really quite interesting.

Those are not all of my plans for the month. I also have the library books I mentioned before – 3 of them, all of which are for prompts in my Reading Women Podcast Challenge. If I can get those ticked off, I will definitely be on the home stretch for that challenge with a few months left to complete some of the more difficult prompts, like read a play (I don’t like reading plays) and read a book translated before 1945 which I’ve been having a lot of difficulty with.

And then of course there’s these……

I read the first book, The Seven Sisters last week and although I definitely won’t read all of these in September, I do hope to read perhaps 2 of them. The bottom one is book 2, which was sent by the publisher a few years ago, which is why it’s a different format to all the rest, although at least the covers match.

Later this month my youngest son turns 8 and we are also going away, just for four days, back to Phillip Island. We went in March for the first time and loved it so much that we had to go back. It’s just such a beautiful place, amazing scenery and beaches, lots of lovely cafes and the like as well. We plan to visit the penguins of course but nothing else – just relax and hopefully get some good weather but Phillip Island can be wonderfully moody too. So I am thinking about what book to take for that and I think either one of the Lucinda Riley’s or the Andrew McGahan would be perfect. A big chunky book.

What I’m reading at the moment: err, nothing. I finished my last August book on Saturday and it’s time to choose something new. I’m not sure what I’ll pick actually. Maybe The Breeding Season.

Hope you all had a great reading month for August!

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July Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 19
Fiction: 17
Non-Fiction: 2
Library Books: 0
Books On My TBR List: 7
Books in a Series: 5
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 12
Male/Female Authors: 2/17
Kindle Books: 4
Books I Owned or Bought: 5
Favourite Book(s): Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, Bowraville by Dan Box.
Least Favourite Books: Just like last month, nothing below a 3/5 this month!
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 11

I feel as though July helped bounce me back into a bit of a reading rhythm. I spent the first 2 weeks on holiday taking my kids to see my family. My grandmother is 90 this year, my brother and his kids are there, my parents too and I don’t get up there as often as I used to these days, with both kids in school restricting my visiting times, flight costs etc. But it was great to get away from a Victorian winter – the weather was glorious up there. About 20*C every day and a bit more sometimes, there were 2-3 days of on/off rain and the rest was brilliant sunshine. My kids even swam at the beach! We did quite a bit of walking along the river/ocean break wall, a bit of beach walking and my oldest went whale watching in this wave runner boat and got to see humpbacks making their northerly migration. And while I was there, I read 8 books and a 9th going home on the plane.

Since I got back, I read another 10 books to give me a total of 19 for the month, which helps after last month’s low total. It was also a really great reading month. I rated just one book 3/5 on Goodreads and the rest were 4 with 2x 5-star reads. I absolutely adored the book Red, White & Royal Blue and if the movie rights for that have not been snatched up yet then it will make the most amazing rom com one day, in the right hands. It’s funny and sweet and the two characters have great chemistry and contrast. Also great was Bowraville by Dan Box, a look into the disappearance and murder of three Indigenous children from Bowraville, a small town on the mid north coast of New South Wales, actually just over an hour away from where I spent the first 2 weeks of the month. That book was an eye opener for sure, in many different ways.

Moving on to August. Okay my plans for this month, they feel a bit intimidating.

Here are the review books! I don’t know much about any of these, most arrived while I was away and I really haven’t even sat down and had a proper look at most of them yet. I am excited about the new Barbara Hannay though, I love her books. I’ve heard great things about A Lifetime Of Impossible Days which was sent to me by the author (thank you Tabitha!) and also The Boy With Blue Trousers which gets a great review from my fellow blogger Theresa Smith. The Burnt Country looks interesting and I’ve read Kate Furnivall before and enjoyed the book. It’s been a long time since I read Philippa Gregory so curious to see what that’s like. Taking Tom Murray Home is the winner of the (inaugural) Banjo Prize, a Harper Collins award for an unpublished manuscript. So, lots to dive into here.

But! There’s more haha. I also have a couple of books that I didn’t quite get to last month, so they’re still on the pile.

Also I’ve requested a bunch of books from my local library to help me catch up a bit on my Reading Women Challenge. After getting off to quite a good start early in the year, I’ve slacked off over the last few months and I hadn’t read anything for a while. I did manage to complete two books in July that count toward it and so I’ve been searching for recommendations and plugging them into my library’s catalogue to try and knock off some of the trickier prompts where I don’t really have anything in the pile that fits. I’m also trying to read a good mix for that challenge as well, so fiction and non-fiction, women authors of colour and books set in places I don’t read about a lot. So I have to go pick up some books that have come in today so you can see how things this month look a bit ambitious! Also my parents will be visiting during the month for Child #1’s 11th birthday and I obviously read less when I have visitors! I haven’t been to the library in a while but I’m lucky that my local one is very good and it’s a convenient way to be able to flesh out this challenge.

What I’m reading at the moment: A book from my shelf that I’ve had for years that I’m going to be counting towards the Reading Women Challenge – The Signature Of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is actually eligible for several of the prompts so I’ll decide later which one I decide it’s for, depending on some other reads.

Hope you all had a wonderful reading July! If you’ve read anything on my pile, let me know!

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