Reading Women 2018 Challenge Update.

Earlier in the year, you may recall, I posted about the Reading Women Challenge that I was planning to participate in. As with most good intentions it has fallen slightly to the wayside over the past few months and yet I have managed to complete another five prompts, which I’ll discuss below. Are you reading goals on track? What are your tips with sticking to them?

A fantasy novel written by a woman of colour.

I recently read The Parable of the Sower by acclaimed author Octavia E. Butler. This lady was incredibly kick-ass in her day writing fantasy/sci-fi when the field was completely dominated by while males. This was a fantastic read and I cannot wait to read the next in the series. I also have The Swan Book by Alexis Wright, an Indigenous writer here in Australia which I plan to read soon.

A book published by an Independent Press

Rain Birds by Harriet McKnight was my independent press choice. A beautiful and touching story of a wife struggling with her husband’s descent into dementia and the rare black cockatoos that seem to help tether him to the present. Published by Black Inc. and independent publisher based on Melbourne here in Australia.

A book with a viewpoint character that is an immigrant or refugee.

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie was my pick for this prompt, which has since won the Women’s Prize for Fiction. This book is all kinds of wonderful and is one I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone.

A true crime book.

I have read two books that fulfill this prompt and was incredibly lucky to meet both of these amazing women who have shared their stories. The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich and Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee are both well written, poignant and intelligent reads that are worth picking up, although trigger warnings of sexual abuse for both of these reads.

A book where the characters are travelling somewhere.

I have managed to complete two books from this prompt: one from a local Australian author and another from famed Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Half of a Yellow Sun by Adichie tells the story of four characters caught up in the Nigerian/Biafran conflict and involves much moving and travelling by the characters as they try to stay safe living in a war zone. From the Wreck tells of a transport ship that is wrecked travelling between Adelaide and Melbourne and how passengers aboard had to fight to stay alive and how they manage to live after. A unique fascinating story that blends historical fiction with a touch of speculative fiction.

Check back in the future for further updates as I’m currently working on a book of essays, about to start the book that’s been on my TBR the longest and have a local author and some short stories lined up this month.

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