#AusLit Round-Up – January 2020

The Australian literary community has been a balm for the soul this week, with authors coming together and running auctions on twitter to raise funds for the bushfire relief effort, join in this week with #AuthorsForFireys. Author Holly Ringland has also put together this helpful index of donation points if you are looking to contribute from anywhere in the world and not sure where to direct your money.

In the spirit of celebrating the #AusLit community, I wanted to share some more bookish updates and content from other readers (y’all gave such lovely feedback about the November update I posted, thankyou!). One of the reading challenges running this year that will kick-start your enthusiasm is the Aussie’s Rule Reading Challenge, hosted by Sue at Doddy About Books.

I shared wrap ups of my top Aussie fiction and nonfiction reads of the year. For the first time in my adult reading life, I feel like I covered enough ground to be able to produce such a list. An exciting personal achievement in itself for me!

Literary Awards

A literary prize I’m highly anticipating, and a great one to kick off  #AusLit reading in the new year, is the Stella Prize – a prize that includes both fiction and nonfiction. The 12 longlisted titles will be announced at a function on 6 February 2020. Now is the perfect time to catch up on the 2019 list, and if you need some ideas I have reviews for most of the titles in this playlist. And if you just want to read some of the titles that have been longlisted over the years, you can join in with the monthly online bookclub with #StellaProject on Goodreads.

#AusLit Content I’ve Been Loving

Erika of Erika Reads Books, recently included Yellow Notebook by Helen Garner (one I also read recently, and loved!) in one of her five-book wrap ups

Britta Bohler named Unfettered and Alive by Anne Summers as one of her top reads of the year (I was particularly excited to see this as we buddy read this together!) in her recent tops and flops video

Simon of Savidge Reads listed both A Constant Hum by Alice Bishop and This Taste for Silence by Amanda O’Callaghan in his top fiction reads of 2019

Aussie booktuber, Natalie of My Reading Days, kicked off her #BoutOfBooks reading with Murray Bail’s Eucalyptus and shared her thoughts in one of her delightful reading vlogs

UK booktuber Tom, of Tom Reads Things, listed Burial Rites by Hannah Kent as one of his top books of the year

One of my favorite booktube friends, Matthew, also named one of my favorite books as one of his favorites of 2019! We’re both huge fans of Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe

Stella of Thirty Books shared her review of a rural romance, Wildflower Ridge by Maya Linnell

Recently Read and Reviewed

I’m currently reading Cherry Beach, a debut novel by Melbourne writer Laura McPhee-Browne, out from Text Publishing on 4 February. It is a story about two young friends who move to Toronto, Ness and Hetty. The two have been best friends as they grew up, and Ness is in love with Hetty (unbeknownst to her, though evident to others). The narrative follows their changing relationship, namely as the physical and mental state of Hetty deteriorates, and Ness finds love and lust with another woman (no spoilers – this is all mentioned in the blurb!). It has been an incredibly compelling read, so look out for my final thoughts on that one soon. McPhee-Browne’s prose absolutely sings, and the tenderness with which she writes these women is just exquisite. As an expat, I also love how well she writes those early days navigating life in North America as an Aussie!

Yellow Notebook by Helen Garner (Text Publishing) – review

The Hall Chimp by Robbie Arnott (Atlantic) – review 

Salt by Bruce Pascoe(Black Inc) – review

On The Horizon

I came across two great lists that are so through and cover such a range of exciting Aussie releases, the first was one featured in the Sydney Morning Herald and is an incredibly comprehensive list of 2020 #AusLit releases.

The second was a more curated list by one of my favorite literary journalists, Thuy On. You can find her on twitter and also look out for her debut poetry collection, Turbulence, out in March 2020!


Disclaimer: some books mentioned were provided for review but all opinions expressed are my own. Some links used are affiliate links.

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