Friday 1 November 2019

Welcome to AusReadingMonth

Given the number of blogging events now in November, you may well ask why is AusReadingMonth in November? 

It's simple really. 

November is the month that Triple J hosts AusMusicMonth. Back in 2013 it seemed like a logical choice to combine these two events. 

Even though I have outgrown Triple J in recent times, it was the radio station that kept me sane and connected during my twenties and thirties whilst living & working in rural NSW. It will always have a special place in my heart.

I love Non-Fiction November (born in the same year as AusReadingMonth) and have usually managed to combine the two quite successfully, if not a little stressfully! But now, I've also discovered German Literature Month (created by Caroline & Lizzy back in 2011)  and Novellas in November.

And just to make life really interesting this year, Naomi & Marcie are hosting Margaret Atwood Reading Month to celebrate Atwood's 80th birthday on the 18th. 

Obviously it's not possible to do all of these at once, so if you have wandered over to join in AusReadingMonth, I congratulate you on your wise choice and welcome you with open arms!

I heartily encourage you to combine, merge or integrate your reading plans anyway you can - Aussie novellas, Aussie non-fiction, perhaps German nationals who have moved to Australia or Aussies with German heritage (Mark Baker, Lily Brett, Raimond Gaita, Eva Hornung, Anna Funder, Mireille Juchau, Rose Zwi, Ramona Koval, Susan Varga, Arnold Zable, Marcus Zusak)?

My plan is keep your blogging commitments to a minimum. 
  • One start up post with Q&A 
  • Plus a live linky for the entire month where you can return to add any Aussie books read & reviewed during November.
  • One final post at the end of the month to wrap things up.

However, if you do feel up for a bigger Aussie reading challenge, then check out my AusReadingMonth Bingo card. You can sign up for a Flyby Night, Backpacker, Grey Nomad or the Whole Hog experience!

You can use the Bingo card to guide your reading choices throughout November, or you can apply the card retrospectively to your year of Australian reading a là Bill @The Australian Legend or Lisa @AnzLit Lovers. Whatever works best for you.

So let's get this show on the road!

At your leisure, please complete the Q&A below and when you have time, visit our other participants to see what they're reading, explode your wish-lists and cheer each other on.

Aussie Q&A

1. Who are you? Where in the world are you? What are your impressions of the reading & writing scene in Australia?

2. Tell us about the Australian books you've read so far this year.
What were your favourites?

3. Have you ever visited Australia? Or thought about it? 
What are the pro's and con's about travelling to/in Australia for you?
Where would/did you visit?
What are/were your impressions? 

4. Do you have a favourite Australian author or book?
Tell us about him/her/it.

5. What are you reading goals for AusReadingMonth 2019?

Bonus Question: Can you name our current Prime Minister (plus four more from memory)? 
No googling allowed!


  1. Thank you Brona for hosting this month, Aust.Lit. can always use more promotion. Which leads to - there have been some interesting/depressing articles in the news recently about the failure of U.Syd choosing not to replace the current Chair of Australian Literature. This one is very good: › whatever-happened-to-australian-literature

    1. I'm in Melb today, loaded for Perth.
    2. My favourite Aust book for the year past would be Gerald Murnane's A Season on Earth
    3. I visited Melbourne once, a few years ago, as a tourist, stayed in a city hotel and did touristy things. It was a very different view of my 'home' city.
    4. Favourite Aust. book: Eve Langley's The Pea Pickers
    5. My goal is to fill as many squares in the Bingo card as I can. I'll have a week off when I get home and have ordered a Marie Munkara for the NT square

    1. I really must read my copy of The Pea Pickers! The O’Flynn book based on her last days was fascinating, but something else always gets in the way. Sadly, I have the same problems with Murnane. After being astounded by The Plains, I acquired a couple of his other books, but they also sit waiting patiently, for my gaze to settle on them.

      I’ve only been in Sydney 10 yrs & still regularly feel like a tourist. The harbour can do that to the most jaded Sydney-sided though. Some days it’s too beautiful for words!

  2. 1.) Reese in Canada (though I grew up in the US)
    2.) None. Yet!
    3.) Four times to Australia, all started out as work trips, but two of them I added some vacation. 3 times to Sydney, once to Adelaide.
    4.) Can't say I'm well read in Australian literature. I quite liked Les Murray/Fredy Neptune & Patrick White/Riders in the Chariot. I've read a lot of Coetzee, but all from before he became Australian, I think...
    5.) I've got some unread Australian things around here. Judith Wright or Peter Carey's Oscar & Lucinda are high on the list.
    Bonus Question.) No! ;-) I could come up with three old ones off the top of my head...though I didn't quite have the recent female prime minister's last name correct.

    1. Wow, for someone in the other side of the world, you’ve been here plenty of times! I was in my early 20’s the first time I went to Europe, in my late 30’s for the revisit, then late 40’s for a Mexico/Cuba trip. It took me longer than I remember to bounce back from the long haul flights with the last one. It’s such a trek!!

      I have still not read any Patrick white (all the way through that is) I abandoned Voss in my twenties & have never returned. Peter Carey I find is hit or miss. I studied Judith Wright at school & hated it, but I remember her very fondly now 😊

  3. I just woke up here on the other side of the world
    ..and am getting ready to join #AusReadingMonth.
    I'm going to make some coffee and get right to filling in the
    Q&A. I wonder if my answers will be different in comparison to
    my Q&A post dd. Oct 16 2017. I've learned much more
    about Australia in the last 2 years!

    1. Well done for naming 5 prime ministers!

  4. Hi

    1) I'm French.
    2) I've read Lexicon by Max Barry, The Essence of the Thing by Madeleine St John, Five Bells by Gail Jones and Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms by Anita Heiss.
    My favorite one is The Essence of the Thing.

    3) I visited Australia last year or at least part of it.

    4) I've read all of Max Barry's books. Loved them all. I suppose he's my favorite Australian writer.

    5) I've already read three books for this month (see above) and I'd like to read the Chloe Hopper that I have on the shelf. (this one also covers Non Fiction month)

    I can't name Australia's prime Minister. Is he worth remembering?

    Emma from Book Around the Corner

    1. Working backwards - no he’s not!
      Now you’ve got me very intrigued about Max Barry - not a reader I know much about at all.
      I’ve read & enjoyed other books by St John, Jones & Heiss, but not the ones you’ve read so far.

  5. Brona now I'm Thea Astley from NSW or Queensland?
    She was born in Brisbane.

    1. She’s both Nancy!
      Born & schooled in Qld, but moved south when she married. Then they moved back to Qld when she decided to write full-time. In their old(er) age they moved back to NSW, where he died. Thea died later in Brisbane.
      I think most of her books were set in Qld.

    2. oke...than I will use Astley on Bingo Card for QLD!!
      Question: May I link 1 or 2 reviews I wrote earlier about AUS playwright and poet...just to highlight their work during #AUSReadingMonth ?

    3. Of course!
      You may even like to put together retrospective bingo cards like Bill & Lisa as a way to highlight all the great Aust books you’ve read this past year or 2.

    4. Good idea!! Never thought of that!

    5. Neither had I. It’s so brilliant, I plan to do one myself 😊

  6. Hi Brona! As you know, I drew My Brilliant Career for the Classics Club spin, and I really enjoyed reading this Australian classic. Kate Forsyth is another Australian author I have enjoyed in recent years. I will welcome more recommendations.

  7. I don't THINK I have any Aus writers on my TBR this year but I will double-check. I am still only doing challenges that are on the TBR as it's so enorme without me adding to it! I hope you all have fun, though!

  8. Hi Brona, I don't know exactly where you live, but I'm looking at the news and worrying about the folks down there. :(

    Also I finished True North over the weekend after reading The Road from Coorain; both were lovely. I enjoyed them so much.


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