Monday 5 October 2020

AusReading Month 2020

It's that time of year again!

Time to think about how many Aussie books and author you can read during the month of November for AusReading Month.

Now in it's 8th year, AusReading Month is a chance to celebrate all the things we love about Australia. Beautiful scenery, amazing characters and great writing. All at a covid-safe distance, of course!

It's time to break out the lamingtons, open a pack of tim-tams and crack a violet crumble.
Why not try a vegemite sandwich or some fairy bread!
Travel our big, beautiful land by book (since you cannot actually travel here any other way this year!)
It's time to join the true blue, down under, socially distanced reading challenge!

AusReading Month Bingo is an easy, fun way to track what you're reading. Pick as many books as you like, or just one, to see you on your way. Your book can be set in the state of your choice, or the author can hail from the state of your choice. All book types are acceptable - novels, non-fiction, graphic novels, children's books, travel books, cook books, poetry, gardening books, art and design. Simply blog about it and match it to a square on the Bingo card.

Retrospective Bingo posts are welcome as well.
If you're not sure you can read and review something by the end of November, then look back at your reading year that was.
Our aim at AusReadingMonth is to highlight and celebrate as much Australian literature as we can!

Flyby Night
  • If time is of the essence, one book from the BINGO card may be the prefect option for you.
  • A quick getaway is better than none!
  • With their compact swags, backpackers need to travel light.
  • If this is you, simply select one line (horizontal, vertical of even diagonal) on the BINGO card and read three books about Australia.
Grey Nomad
  • If you have more time up your sleeve, then join the grey nomads in their self-contained campervans and travel around this big, brown land of ours.
  • With every crossroad on the map, there's a choice to be made; you cannot do it all, so select two lines on the BINGO card to be eligible for Grey Nomad status.
The Whole Hog
  • If you're feeling a little touched by the sun, then the Whole Hog may be for you.
  • Read NINE books this November from all of the 8 states and territories plus one freebie.
  • The FREEBIE can be any book by an Australian author or a book written by an overseas author but set entirely in Australia.
Easy, right?

Except that November is a busy month in blogging land.
Non-Fiction November, Novellas in November and AusReading Month, are all competing for your time and book knowledge. (I'm not sure if Laura will be once again, hosting her novella event, but watch this space for any updates).

The following AusReading suggestions are designed to help you combine all three events if you so desire.

Many of the books below are essay collections or memoirs, perfect for your Non-Fiction November or Novellas in November lists. Many of the authors below have written across multiple formats - short stories, essays, poetry and novels. 

Short Story & Essay Collections 

  • Ellen Van Neerven (Heat and Light) Indigenous author
  • Robert Dessaix (Twilight of Love, (and so forth), As I Was Saying, The Time of Our Lives) has some fabulous short stories collections featuring fiction, essays and articles. He has also studied and taught Russian Studies throughout his career. 
  • Helen Garner (Stories: The Collected Short Fiction, Everywhere I Look, True Stories: The Collected Short Non-Fiction)
  • Robert Drewe (The Bodysurfers, The Bay of Contented Men, The Rip, The True Colour of the Sea)
  • Cate Kennedy (Like A House on Fire)
  • Tim Winton (Island Home, The Boy Behind the Curtain)
  • Henry Lawson
  • Tom Carment (Womerah Lane)
  • Lily Brett
  • Fiona Wright
  • Luke Carmen
  • David Malouf
  • Gerard Murnane
  • Don Watson
  • Amanda Lohrey
  • Tara June Winch (After the Carnage)
  • Bruce Pascoe (Salt: Selected Stories and Essays)
  • The Best Australian Science Writing 2020
  • Quarterly Essay
  • Griffith Review
  • Meanjin
  • Overland
  • The Monthly


  • Omar Sakr
  • Alison Whitaker
  • Kirili Saunders
  • Les Murray
  • Judith Wright
  • John Kinsella
  • Dorothy Porter
  • Beverley Farmer
  • David Malouf
  • Judith Beveridge
  • Oodgeroo Noonuccal (aka as Kath Walker)
  • Clive James
  • Kate Lilley
  • Omar Musa
  • Australian Poetry Since 1788 edited by Geoffrey Lehmann & Robert Gray
  • Australian Poetry Review
  • Australian Poetry Journal

There are OODLES more to chose from, this is just to get you started. 

For my fellow Aussie bloggers - can you recommend any other collections of essays, short stories or poets for our overseas friends?

Will you be joining us for this year's AusReading Month?


  1. So good to see you’re having the challenge this year!! Yes, I’d love to join in. I have The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney witting in all its 940 pages of glory on the shelf but I don’t think I’ll choose that. 🤨 I’ll gave a think and then write a post.

    1. I did love the Fortunes of Richard Mahoney the year I read it for AusReading Month, but it was a HUGE commitment!

      Looking forward to seeing what you do chose Carol...

  2. I am so sick of the world news...especially USA
    ..I will gladly join your challenge for the 8th time!
    Sign me up for The Whole Hog...and then some!
    Making list...checking it twice
    ...let's get ready to rumble!

    1. Can't wait to see what you find this year Nancy. You always find such an eclectic mix :-)

  3. I’m going to have to work it in with NonFiction November but I’ll do my best, I already have a few fiction titles scheduled though most of them are set in SA, I’ll have to do some planning :)

    1. I hope my list of essays helps you find some relatively easy/short non-fiction that could fit both challenges Shelley.

      SA and TAS certainly seem to be the pick of states for authors in the past 12 mnths! I'm curious which ones you will choose :-)

  4. I will be a Fly-By-Night mainly because I am trying to only do challenges from books I have on my TBR (tho I've made an exception for 1956 week, which is off my shelves) and so I have put aside The Three Miss Kings by Ada Cambridge for it. This may have the distinction of being the only work of fiction I read in November, as I'm doing Non-Fiction November, too! Hope it all goes really well!

    1. I've been wanting to read The Three Miss Kings for years, ever since a review by Ali in 2013!!
      Ali's review
      I did read Sisters a few years ago and managed to post my review on her birthday on the 21st Nov. I really enjoyed it.

  5. I'll do my best to participate as I still have some Aussie books on the shelf.
    I'll leave you the vegemite sandwiches if you don't mind. They're for Australians only, it can't be an acquired taste. :-)

    1. True, mum used to put a little bit of vegemite on my rusks when I was teething. You could say I was born eating vegemite! However everyone agrees that we all love fairy bread!!

  6. I’m excited to join the challenge for the first time. I’m sure I can at least complete Backpacker. I’ve got a swag of Aussie books on my shelf so we will see how it goes.

    1. Welcome Veronica!
      Looking forward to seeing what you end up reading.

  7. I might be a non-goer this year sorry Brona. I am theoretically reading A Cardboard Crown at the moment but it's a couple of weeks since I picked it up. If I read one book specially it will be Guwayu - For All Times: A collection of First Nations Poems. Perhaps I could review one poem for each bingo card square. Bill

    1. Your comment made me realise Bill, that I forgot to add that a RETROSPECTIVE bingo card is just as welcome. I'm planning on making a couple to highlight the books I've read in the past year. Perhaps if you have time you could make one that was your reading year instead?

      I'll revise the post to add this in :-)

    2. I was too embarassed to suggest a retrospective card because I've read so little. But I'll see what I can come up with. Bill

    3. I suspect my retro card will be heavy on the Tasmanian and NSW books. I'm currently reading Gentlemen at Gyang Gyang to satisfy requirements for the #1956club and #AWW, but it's another NSW setting, of course.

  8. I'd like to read & review one novel for Aussie Month (Nov) ... would you consider Evie Wyld's "The Bass Rock" okay ... or is she too split -- half Aussie & half British? If so, I will look for another alternative. Thanks for hosting this event again ...

    1. Yes indeed! The Bass Rock would be more than fine.
      Wyld has been nominated for most of the Australian literary prizes at various times. She was born in London but grew up on her grandparents sugar cane farm in northern NSW before moving back to London as an adult. I believe she runs an Indie bookshop in Peckham.

  9. Doh, I keep forgetting this event is in November, while Naomi and I are hosting Margaret Atwood Reading Month, and I do want to take part. I've had that Prichard trilogy of novels--I think it starts with Winged Seeds?--on my TBR for ages!

  10. Yes, will *very* happily join in, just a matter of deciding what level to tackle.
    BTW to help with finding authors state by state, I've categorised them on my blog: look under ORIGIN of Author, and scroll down to Australia, or, go to SETTINGS, and find them there.
    Lisa, ANZ LitLovers


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