Aussie Author Challenge 2012 – Bolaño Group Read – Henry Green Week

I discovered the  Aussie Author Challenge 2012 hosted by  Booklover Book Reviews on Tony’s Reading List. I’m not sure how many Australian authors I’ve read in my life so far, but I’m pretty sure not all that many. While browsing my piles I discovered five novels. One of them also qualifies for the War Through the Generations Challenge. Lisa from ANZ Litlovers has kindly given input and my choices seem worthy. Should you want to join the challenge, her blog offers lists where you will find a lot of reading suggestions. I have signed up for the  “beginner” level or, as the challenge terms it, “tourist”.

These are the books I’d like to read

David Malouf’s Fly Away Peter

Tim Winton’s Dirt Music


Murray Bail’s Eucalyptus

Charlotte Wood’s Submerged Cathedral (OOP?)

Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip

January is a busy month but some of the events were too good. I had to join.

I signed up for the Bolaño The Savage Detectives group read hosted by Richard and Rise last year and now is the time to start reading as the novel is on the chunky side. If you’d like to read along you better get a copy soon or you will not make it through the 770 pages in time. I have a feeling I won’t but if I mange to read 2/3 I’m already pleased with myself.

The week of January 23 sees another event coming that  I absolutely had to join. Stu from Winstonsdad’s Blog is hosting a Henry Green week. Henry Green was once thought to be one of the greatest stylists of British literature but is now almost forgotten. I have never read Henry Green and think Stu’s idea is really wonderful. Penguin has issued a tome containing three of his famous novels Loving, Living and Party Going. I’m going to read Loving.

Do you have any Aussie author suggestions?

Will you join the Bolaño group  read or Henry Green Week?

44 thoughts on “Aussie Author Challenge 2012 – Bolaño Group Read – Henry Green Week

  1. Yikes, I forgot The Savage Detectives was so long…! But I’m joining the readalong and even if I don’t read the whole thing (I’ve read it before) it will be great to dip in and join the conversation.

    I just read a grood YA novel by an English writer who grew up in Australia – kind of counts for the Aussie reading challenge. Regardless you might like it – The Returning by Christine Hinwood. It’s about what happens after the heroes come back from war.

    • Yes, it is long. Lucky you! I really have my doubts that I will manage to finish it unless I read nothing else… I can still post on my impressions, even if I manage only 2/3 or so.
      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll look it up.
      That at least is a one year challange, I can read whenever I want.

    • Thanks. It should be interesting. January will be a lot but then I will take it slow. The idea is to pick three books from my list and read them before the end of the year, that’s “tourist”.

  2. My first read of The Savage Detectives took me five months. But I just dipped in and out of it without following a schedule. Appreciate your joining us at this start of year. No pressure though.

    • That a bit what i was thinking. I know I could manage 770 pages but I want to enjoy it and will not force anything. Some books are better read slow. If that’s the case here… i still think i can post something and join the discussion and read other’s thoughts. I already read a few pages and it offers a lot of things I like.

  3. I’ve promised Gummie (Whispering Gums)to read some Aussie lit this year, but as much as I would love to join the Green group there’s just no way for the next couple of months. Green has been on the radar now for a while so I’ll get to him sooner or later. Looks like later.

    • I have a feeling Green will be someone I will like and he seesm in the line of writers you would like as well.
      The books are quite shrt but squeezing in something is no fun.
      What did really amaze me was when Stu set up the post and so many signed up who had never read him. He seemed a bit of a well kept secret.
      I’ll be looking forward to your Australian choices. There is such a lot to discover, I think.

  4. The only Aussie writers I’ve read are total opposites: Colleen McCullough and Jill ker Conway. I loved The Thorn Birds and True North, but for completely different reasons. Conway’s The Road from Coorain was also good.

    Good luck with the reading, Caroline!

    • Thanks, Carole.
      I’m glad that you mention the Thorn Birds. I’ve got that here somewhere too. It’s quite long though. I think it’s a nice engrossing read, I’ve only heard good things.
      Jill Conway rings a bell but none of the titles you mention. I wonder what it was.

    • Hi Jo, thanks for visiting and the welcome. I’m glad I picked good books.
      I’m also looking forward to see what others will review. I hope to start reading in February when my other reading life is quieter again.

  5. Wow I don’t really know any Aussie writers, or at least none come to mind. I need to fix that. Hopefully they do this challenge next year so I can get on board. Enjoy!

  6. Of the five Aussie choices here, I’ve read ‘Dirt Music’ and ‘Monkey Grip’ – both good, but I love Tim Winton 🙂 Another good one of his is ‘The Riders’ (which is actually set in various European countries).

  7. I really like Madeleine St John, although her books are not in print so much these days. (She was born in Sydney even if she did end up living in London!) I also read a very good non-fiction book about Turgenev by Robert Dessaix. I’m swearing off challenges at the moment because I did quite a lot towards the end of last year. But I will certainly cheer you on from the sidelines!

    • I don’t know Madeleine St.John, I’ll see if I can find something, thanks.
      I only do challenges that are in line with my reading and this year I will not force myself. If I can’t make a deadline, I won’t.

  8. It is nice to know about Australian literature month, Caroline. I feel that for some reason Australian writers are under-represented in reading lists and in literary awards. So, I think this is a good time for someone like me to get to know about more Australian writers. I remember reading Geoffrey Blainey’s book ‘A Short History of the World’ many years back and loving it. I also loved ‘Walkabout’ by James Vance Marshall. I have Tim Winton’s ‘The Riders’ on my ‘TBR’ list. I also want to read his novels ‘Dirt Music’ and ‘Breath’. Another Australian novel I want to read is Colleen McCullough’s ‘The Innocence of Miss Mary Bennet’, which seems to be a sequel to ‘Pride and Prejudice’ from Mary Bennet’s point of view. And another Australian novel I want to read is ‘The Power of One’ by Bryce Courtennay.

    • You have quite a few books… all great choices, I think. Maybe you should sign up? I think it’s a nice challenge, not too big and one can take ones time. It’s running a whole year. All I should do, as a tourist, is read 3 books. That’s manageable. I will be very good and read the Tim Winto I got first and only then maybe buy The Riders. I will look up te others you mention. I didn’t know Colleen McCullough also wrote a Pride and Prejudice sequel. Interesting.

  9. I’d love to join,I have checked the link…but there’s no place to ask whether short stories collection can be considered in the challenge. I had a macabre anthology by some Aussie authors that I haven’t finished since 3 or 4 years ago…maybe with a challenge I can finally finish it

  10. I’ve read Loving, Living, Partygoing and Nothing – and am currently reading Doting (there is a second, more obscure book, with Nothing, Doting and Blindness in it). – I liked Partygoing best. (Everyone reads Loving, but in some ways I think it’s the least interesting. Though, come to think of it, Nothing wasn’t all that interesting either).

    • I will read Loving because it’s the first in the book and I won’t have enough time to read all three in January. I thought they were in a chronological order and it made sense to read them in a sequence. Maybe not after all and I could start with Party Going. On the other hand, why not start with the weakest first?

  11. I would love to read Henry Green this month, but I know I already have too much going on to add anything else. I’ve read a smattering of Australian literature–I usually read at least a couple of books by Australian authors every year, but not nearly enough. And Bolano is also someone who I would like to read (I had thought I might read 2666 last year, but of course it didn’t happen. I’m going to concentrate on the Dunmore, reading a Reif Larsen book for another online group and hopefully finishing a few from my own pile! Lots of good reading this month. Enjoy your books!

    • Thanks, Danielle, you too.
      Although Green’s novels are quite short…
      I started Bolano and it’s very captivating, to say the least but soo long. 2666 is even longer. But he has written short stories as well. They seem a good starting point too.

  12. Very best of luck with The Savage Detectives – I read it a while ago and found it a struggle – but worth it eventually.

    I’m going to join the Aussie author challenge as well. On the gentle read front Joan London has two lovely books and Lovesong by Alex Miller was one of my favourite reads last year.

    After the Fire, A Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld is also good (and reminded me a little bit of Disgrace with it’s isolated setting) – enjoy, I look forward to seeing what you choose.

    • Thanks so much for the recommendations, Tracey. I’ll look them up and see whether I’ll include the one or the other. Glad you are joining as well. It will be interesting to see what you choose.
      I’ve only read 50 pages of the Bolano so far and it’s an easy read so far but I expect it to change.

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