Exploring the landscape of Australia's written words.

Category Archives: Blogging

GetReadingIt’s that time of year again: Get Reading! Australia have released their list of Top 50 Books You Can’t Put Down. Of those on the list this year, I have read only one so far (Burial Rites, Hannah Kent) and two others are loaded onto my e-reader, awaiting their turn to be read (Mateship with Birds, Carrie Tiffany and Questions of Travel, Michelle de Krester). A few other titles are already on my mental hit list. I love this initiative of encouraging people to read, and I especially love that the list includes books from all genres, including picture books.

This year, Get Reading! have taken things further, announcing Australia’s Top 100 Favourite Homegrown Reads, as voted by Australians. Again, this list includes books from all genres, and I was pleased to see that many of my favourites made top100homegrownthe cut. There are so many wonderful titles on the list, and of the 100 books, I’ve read 26 of them. Not terrible, but there are definitely some fantastic titles on the list which I’ve overlooked. Some I even have sitting on my bookshelf, yet they keep getting pushed to the back of the queue and somewhere along the line forgotten.

In the spirit of the Get Reading! initiative and in order to acquaint myself with some more Aussie classics, I’m going to start my own Get Reading! challenge and read my way through the 76 books I haven’t yet read. This will include committing to giving Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet a third attempt, despite my resolution to get on with reading books I enjoy. Instead of writing straight reviews of these titles, I will blog about my experience of reading these books as I go. My goal will be to finish reading all 76 books by September next year, when the 2014 Get Reading! initiative is launched.

Join me in the challenge! I would love to hear other readers’ thoughts about the books on the list, and their experiences of reading them.

So what are we waiting for? Shut your laptop screen, disable your WiFi and dive into that book you’ve been meaning to read for ages. My only dilemma is which of the 76 books to read first…


LiebsterI must say, it feels so good to know that there are people out who are reading my blog. I would write it anyway, but to know that there are people who are interested in what I have to say makes it all so much more worthwhile. So I was stoked when Doing Dewey nominated me for my first award, The Liebster Award. Thank you for seeing value in what I write!

The Liebster Award is then passed on by bloggers to new bloggers who have less than 200 followers, and to support the blogs that you like by sharing them with your readers.

Before I list the blogs I want to share with you, these are the rules of the award:

Recipients of the Liebster Award must:

  1. List 11 Random Facts about you
  2. Answer the questions that were asked of you (By the blogger that nominated you)
  3. Nominate 11 other blogs for the Liebster  Blog Award and Link to their Blogs
  4. Notify the bloggers of their award.
  5. Ask the award winners 11 questions to answer once they accept the award

So, my 11 Random Facts…

  1. I don’t like reading fantasy, although I have read a few wonderful fantasy titles that have made me rethink this dislike recently.
  2. Bubsy on the Super Nintendo is my favourite video game.
  3. I can speak German and have studied Spanish and French. At the moment I’m learning Czech and Chinese.
  4. I’m a writer of YA and children’s books.
  5. I’m allergic to fur.
  6. My favourite colour is yellow.
  7. I used to take hip-hop dance classes.
  8. I have a long-held obsession with the Baby-Sitters Club and Little Sister books by Ann M Martin. I am currently trying to complete my collection.
  9. My ereader is a Kobo.
  10. I’m five weeks away from completing my Masters in Applied Linguistics.
  11. I love wearing bright colours on a cold winter’s day.


And my answers to the question Doing Dewey asked…

  1. How did you get started blogging?

It occurred to me that as a Australian writer, I had read very few Australian books and I wanted to change that. The Miles Franklin Award is one of Australia’s top literary awards, and one of the conditions of winning the award is that the book must convey something of Australian life. Which means it could also be won by a non-Australian writer.

This got me thinking about what actually constitutes an Australian book- is it enough for a book to simply be written by an Australian writer? So I decided to start reading books by Australian writers and blog about them.

  1. Do you have a favourite genre?

Young Adult is still probably my favourite- there are so many brilliant YA novels out there.

  1. What was the last thing you read, watched, and listened too?

Last thing I read- a chapter of So lebe ich jetzt, the German translation of Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now.

Last thing I watched- Rage, music video program on TV.

Last thing I listened to- Songs from The Lifted Brow’s (Australian literary magazine) mix tapes which were free downloads with their recent music issue.

  1. What are your hobbies?

Reading, writing, learning foreign languages, beading and origami.

  1. Of the books you have read this year, which is your favourite?

It was actually a book not written by an Australian, and non-fiction- Michael Erard’s Babel No More. A wonderful insight into the lives of hyperpolyglots (people who speak more than 11 languages) and how they learn, maintain and use their languages.

  1. Where would you go for a dream vacation?

The Caribbean.

  1. Are you a cat person or a dog person?

Neither, but I do have a soft spot for golden Labradors.

  1. Do you always match your socks?

Definitely not.

  1. Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla?


  1. Ebooks or hard copies?

Both! Although the majority of the books I read are still hard copies, I’m going travelling soon and planning on loading up my ereader with as many books as it will hold. Gone are the days when I had to choose a select few to take on holiday with me.

  1. Do you play an instrument? If so, which one?

I play the keyboard. Computer keyboard, that is. I tried piano and guitar, but I’m just not that musical.


And now, the blogs I’d like to nominate for the award…

  1. Freedom Tights. Shannon is a writer, and blogs about reading, writing and day to day life. Her posts are always so engaging and entertaining.
  2. Passages of Writing. Julie Proudfoot is a fiction writer, and her blog is full of thoughts on writing, books and art, and I love the insight and inspiration which I always find in her posts.
  3. Whimsical [Space]. This blog is beautiful, full of whimsical words and inspiring photography. A place to go for inspiration.
  4. Book Gossips. Four cousins from Perth who write book reviews and gossip with their readers about books. They review such a wide range of books and have such a wide range of opinions.
  5. Writereaderly. This blog features considered, thoughtful reviews of books, and I especially love the information at the bottom of each post of where the book was obtained from, how it was read and where it ended up. I also loved the fact that a review written in Spanish was in there too- enabled me to test out my fledging Spanish skills!
  6. The Paperbook Blog. The posts on this blog are so considered and insightful, again about life, books and writing, and all three entwined together in the same posts.
  7. FrusteratedReader. I love the rants and ramblings on books and reading and life on this blog. Lots of fun to read.
  8. Work Your Way Out. I only recently discovered this blog, but wished I’d found it sooner! Writer June Furore is currently attempting to write 365 days of poetry, one poem each day, and her poetry is absolutely beautiful.
  9. Der Linguistische SprAAchen Blog. This blog is in German, but if you’re into linguistics and know some German, this is a wonderful blog. Lots of information and thoughts on language, words and linguistics.
  10. Language Lens. For those of you who don’t speak German and aren’t as linguistically minded, Meg’s blog is a lovely site filled with quotes about language, and less technical posts about language and linguistics.
  11. One Doodle at a Time. I find this blog so inspiring- the words, the artwork and the writing all get my creativity flowing and make me want to sit down and write.


11 questions for the nominated blogs…

  1. What inspires you?
  2. Which languages do you speak?
  3. What was the last holiday you went on?
  4. Do you carry an umbrella with you in case it starts raining?
  5. How long have you been blogging for?
  6. Why do you blog?
  7. If you could speak any language fluently, which would you choose, and why?
  8. Poetry or prose?
  9. Which is the book which has made the greatest impact on you?
  10. Summer or winter?
  11. What is your favourite song?


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