It’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 the 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…
June is turning out to be a big month in Australian writing and Australian reading. June is National Young Writer’s Month, run by Express Media, where young writers set themselves a goal for the month and can participate in activities and opportunities online and offline. They have a blog, which is updated daily with advice and motivation for young writers, and they also profile some of the writers taking part. My goal for the month is to write two new short stories and finish writing a non-fiction piece I am working on.
June has also seen the launch of a nationwide search to find Australia’s favourite home grown books by Get Reading. Every year they put out a list of 50 Books You Can’t Put Down, and this year they’ve also decided to announce a list of Australia’s favourite books, as voted by Australians. It was tough deciding which books to vote for, as there are so many Australian books I love, but I decided to narrow my list down to the following books:
Saving Francesca, Melina Marchetta
Two Weeks with the Queen, Morris Gleitzman
The Arrival, Shaun Tan
My Brilliant Career, Miles Franklin
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
Ice Station, Matthew Reilly
An Imaginary Life, David Malouf
All of the books on the list are the first I read of the authors, and the books which made me fall in love with their writing and their work. Voting closes on July 26th, and you can vote on the Get Reading website.
So if there was ever a time to rekindle your love for Australian writing, June is the month to do it. So put pen to paper, eyes to the page and read or write your way through the winter months!