Sunday, June 22, 2014

Halfway Check In

Caspar looking for books at a good bookstore in Melbourne last year

At the beginning of the year I signed up for some reading challenges - four to be precise (oh and the Good Reads Challenge of 50 books for the year - again):

  1. Australian Women Writer's Challenge
  2. Great War Theme Read
  3. Eclectic Reader Challenge
  4. Non-Fiction Reading Challenge

I am on track with my 50 books for the year (I'm 3 books ahead of schedule on that one - phew!)

But how am I faring with the other challenges?  Huh? Huh?

Well for the first challenge - Australian Women Writers - the goal was to read 10 books by Australian women and review six of them.  One could say that I've just about blitzed this one. Looking at my books, I have read ten books by Australian women this year already.  They are as follows:

  1. My Brother but One by T.M. Clark
  2. Moving Among Strangers by Gabrielle Carey
  3. Madeleine: a life of Madeleine St John by Helen Trinca
  4. The Essence of the Thing by Madeleine St John
  5. The Women in Black by Madeleine St John
  6. Surrender by Sonya Hartnett
  7. Innocence Lost: The Last Man Hanged in Queensland by Jacqueline Craigie
  8. Fatal Impact by Kathryn Fox
  9. You're Still Hot to Me by Jean Kittson
  10. Wild Things by Brigid Delaney
Have I reviewed six of them though?  Well possibly not to the standards set down here.

My reviews tend to be perhaps too short and not analytical enough so I need to do some work here.

My great-grandfather and his brother in France during WW1

The second challenge - Great War Theme Read - has fallen by the wayside.  I wanted to read 5 books and have only read the first one.  Testament of Youth is still sitting beside the bed.  I watched the TV series though. Does that count?  No  - I don't think so.  I need to lift my game here and get on with it.

The third challenge - Eclectic Reader Challenge - isn't doing so badly.  There were 12 goals to fill here and I've highlighted the six I've completed, so I'm on track.

  1. Award Winning - The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize 
  2. True Crime (Non Fiction) - Innocence Lost by Jacqueline Craigie
  3. Romantic Comedy 
  4. Alternate History Fiction - I'm going to claim Life after Life by Kate Atkinson for this one
  5. Graphic Novel
  6. Cosy Mystery Fiction
  7. Gothic Fiction
  8. War/Military Fiction - William an Englishman by Cecily Hamilton
  9. Anthology
  10. Medical Thriller Fiction - Fatal Impact by Kathryn Fox 
  11. Travel (Non Fiction)
  12. Published in 2014 - Wild Things by Brigid Delaney

The fourth challenge - Non-Fiction Reading - I was aiming to be a Dilettante reading 1 - 5 books and I think I am pretty much blitzing this one too.
  1. Moving among Strangers by Gabrielle Carey
  2. Madeleine: a Life of Madeleine St John by Helen Trinca
  3. Innocence Lost: The Last Man Hanged in Queensland by Jacqueline Craigie
  4. You're Still Hot to Me by Jean Kittson

And, because I am completely hopeless, I said I would also participate in the Mary Hocking Reading Month because I'd never heard of her and she died this year and my friends in the Virago Group thought a lot of her.  I'm struggling a bit with this one.  I've borrowed three of her books from the library.  I couldn't get into A Particular Place, so I'm going to give The Meeting Place a good go as it's got the most stars on Librarything, although I'm finding it a bit tough too.

So, to re- frame goals for the balance of the year ....
  1. Write those reviews!!
  2. Read four Great War books 
  3. Read one from each of the following genres/groups: Romantic Comedy, Graphic Novel, Cosy Mystery, Gothic Fiction, an Anthology and a Travel book.
  4. Try and finish a Mary Hocking book
How are you going with your goals?