March 2020 Round Up

March was a strange month – it started out as normal as could be, though we knew about the coronavirus, and then a few weeks into March, everything changed, and by the end of it, they had changed again with strict social distancing rules. Despite this, I got a lot of reading done. My stats are:

20 books read overall
11 read for the Australian Women Writers Challenge
8 for the Nerd Daily Challenge
1 for the Dymocks Reading Challenge
1 for the STFU Reading Challenge
1 for Book Bingo
1 for Books and Bites Bingo

Overall stats so far:

The Modern Mrs Darcy 9/12
AWW2020 -26/25
Book Bingo – 10/12
The Nerd Daily Challenge 40/52
Dymocks Reading Challenge 12/25
STFU Reading Society 5/12
Books and Bites Bingo 11/25
General Goal – 51/165

Most of these books have been reviewed on my blog.

 

March – 20

Book Author Challenge
Esme’s Gift Elizabeth Foster AWW2020, Reading Challenge, The Nerd Daily, Dymocks Reading Challenge
Friday Barnes: Girl Detective R.A. Spratt AWW2020, Dymocks Reading Challenge, The Nerd Daily, Reading Challenge
The Last Firehawk: The Cloud Kingdom

 

Katrina Charman The Nerd Daily, Reading Challenge
Christmas in Paris (Miss Lily 3.5)

 

Jackie French Reading Challenge, AWW2020
The Lost Future of Pepperharrow Natasha Pulley The Nerd Daily, Reading Challenge
The Paris Secret Natasha Lester The Nerd Daily, Reading Challenge, Book Bingo, AWW2020
Museum Kittens: The Midnight Visitor Holly Webb The Nerd Daily, Reading Challenge
Firewatcher Chronicles: Phoenix Kelly Gardiner Reading Challenge, AWW2020, STFU Reading Challenge
The Lost Jewels Kirsty Manning The Nerd Daily, Reading Challenge, AWW2020
The Girl She Was Rebecca Freeborn Reading Challenge, AWW2020, Books and Bites Bingo
Ninjago: Back in Action Tracey West Reading Challenge,
Layla and the Bots: Happy Paws Vicky Fang Reading Challenge
Friday Barnes: Under Suspicion R.A. Spratt Reading Challenge, AWW2020
Daring Delly: Going for Gold

 

Matthew Dellavedova and Zanni Louise Reading Challenge,
Aussie Kids: Meet Katie at the Beach 

 

Rebecca Johnson and Lucia Masciullo Reading Challenge, AWW2020
Aussie Kids: Meet Eve in the Outback 

 

Raewyn Caisley and Karen Blair  Reading Challenge, AWW2020
The Besties Make A Splash Felice Arena and Tom Jellett Reading Challenge
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them JK Rowling/Newt Scamander Reading Challenge
Liberation 

 

Imogen Kealey The Nerd Daily, Reading Challenge
The Year the Maps Changed

 

 Danielle Binks Reading Challenge, AWW2020

 

Onto April and hopefully lots of reading during these trying times.

Willow Moss and the Lost Day (Starfell #1) by Dominique Valente

Starfell 1Title: Willow Moss and the Lost Day (Starfell #1)

Author: Dominique Valente

Genre: Fantasu

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: 2nd May 2019

Format: Paperback

Pages: 304

Price: $16.99

Synopsis: The first book in the most spellbinding children’s fantasy series of the year, now in paperback, with beautiful black-and-white inside illustrations by Sarah Warburton. Perfect for fans of Cressida Cowell and Nevermoor.

Willow Moss, the youngest and least powerful sister in a family of witches, has a magical ability for finding lost things – like keys, or socks, or spectacles. Useful, but not exactly exciting…

Then the most powerful witch in the world of Starfell turns up at Willow’s door and asks for her help. A whole day – last Tuesday to be precise – has gone missing. Completely. And without it the whole universe could unravel.

Now Willow holds the fate of Starfell in her rather unremarkable hands… Can she save the day – by finding the lost one?

Step into Starfell, a world crackling with warmth, wit and magic, perfect for readers aged 8–12. Book 2 coming in April 2020!

~*~

Willow Moss is supposed to have magic like her sisters, but she’s not as powerful as the rest of her family. However, she does have a magical talent that is probably more precious than any other gift. She can find things.

One day Moreg Vaine, Starfell’s most powerful witch asks for Willow’s help to find Tuesday – an entire day from the preceding week has disappeared and without it, Starfell could meet a very dark fate that nobody wants to experience.

Willow’s journey takes her across the land of Starfell, accompanied by a rather irate kobold named Oswin, who berates her and offers advice throughout the novel. Willow’s journey is not easy though, and she must face many dangers, including the Brothers of Wol who do not like witches or anything that goes against what they believe in – reminiscent of the witch hunts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It is this conflict that drives the novel, and Willow is a character who will grow and learn across the series. At the same time, she will prove that she can do the things that everyone says she can’t do or shouldn’t do. Yet only Willow can find the missing Tuesday and set the world right and ensure that she still has a family and place to live at the end of her journey.

Girls being front and centre in books is taking off, and these days, they are occupying a myriad of role and personalities to appeal to all readers – they’re not just stereotypes or strong female characters who occupy a specific time and place in their story. Here, we have characters like Willow who are reluctant and unsure of what to do, they’ve been told things that are not true and are forced to confront these memories  and through doing this, they grow and learn that they are more than what everyone has been telling them they are.

Middle grade is an age group that is gaining a lot of traction, and this book is aimed at readers aged eight and older – and I think will appeal to readers of all genders. It is a wonderful book, and a really good start to a series that I am very keen to follow as each book is released. This is one of those books I picked up on a whim, because the story looked interesting, and I think it is one that many will enjoy regardless of age, and one that will be fun to read out loud as well.

2020 ABIAs

Every year, the Australian Book Industry Awards are presented to various books published the year before. In the past week, the long list has gone up, and I have taken the following list from the Readings blog. Some of these I have read, and some I am hoping to read. I will not be able to get to them all, but it is nice to see a bit more diversity in titles this year, allowing more books to get some well-deserved attention on this list.

Of the books on this list, some I reviewed – and most I enjoyed, and some didn’t catch my interest, or I ran out of time last year to get to them. A panel of judges has decided on this longlist, and will from here, decide on a shortlist, which will be released on the 9th of April, with the winners in each category announced on the 29th of April. A couple of books are nominated in more than one category, which often happens, yet being able to see that there’s much more diversity in the titles chosen gives a better view of Australian literature, rather than what is just the “it” book of the year. This isn’t always a bad thing, but often there are other books in the category that are just as deserving and when they have more of a chance to win, that makes it more exciting.

The titles in each category are…
General fiction book of the year

 

Wide-General-Fiction-Book-of-the-Year
• Bruny by Heather Rose
• Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare
• Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris
• Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham
• Peace by Garry Disher
• Silver by Chris Hammer
• The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan
• The Wife and the Widow by Christian White
Literary fiction book of the year

Wide-Literary-Fiction
• Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas
• Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany
• Room for a Stranger by Melanie Cheng
• The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell
• The Weekend by Charlotte Wood
• The Yield by Tara June Winch
There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett
• Wolfe Island by Lucy Treloar
General nonfiction book of the year

Wide-General-Non-fiction-Book-of-the-Year• Accidental Feminists by Jane Caro
• Against All Odds by Craig Challen & Richard Harris with Ellis Henican
• Banking Bad by Adele Ferguson
• Fake by Stephanie Wood
Kitty Flanagan’s 488 Rules for Life by Kitty Flanagan
• See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill
• The Yellow Notebook by Helen Garner
• Troll Hunting by Ginger Gorman
Biography book of the year

BiographyBookWide
• Australia Day by Stan Grant
• Jack Charles: Born-again Blakfella by Jack Charles
• Gulpilil by Derek Rielly
• Penny Wong: Passion and Principle by Margaret Simons
• Tell Me Why by Archie Roach
• The Prettiest Horse In The Glue Factory by Corey White
• When All is Said & Done by Neale Daniher with Warwick Green
• Your Own Kind of Girl by Clare Bowditch

Book of the year for older children (ages 13+)

Wide-Book-of-the-Year-for-Older-Children-(ages-13+)
• Detention by Tristan Bancks
• How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox
• It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
• Kindred edited by Michael Earp
• The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim
• This Is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield
• Welcome to Country: Youth Edition by Marcia Langton
• Welcome To Your Period by Yumi Stynes & Dr Melissa Kang
Book of the year for younger children (ages 7-13)

Wide-Book-of-the-Year-for-Younger-Children-(ages-7-12)
• Explore Your World: Weird, Wild, Amazing! by Tim Flannery
• Funny Bones edited by Kate Temple, Jol Temple & Oliver Phommavanh
• How to Make a Movie in 12 Days by Fiona Hardy
• Real Pigeons Nest Hard by Andrew McDonald & Ben Wood
• The 117-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton
• The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals Sami Bayly
• Under the Stars by Lisa Harvey-Smith & Mel Matthews
• Young Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
Children’s picture book of the year (ages 0-6)

Wide-Children_s-Picture-Book-of-the-Year-(ages-0-6)
• All of the Factors of Why I Love Tractors by Davina Bell & Jenny Løvlie
• Bluey: The Beach
• Kindness Makes Us Strong by Sophie Beer
• Lottie and Walter by Anna Walker
• Mr Chicken All Over Australia by Leigh Hobbs
• The Painted Ponies by Alison Lester
• The Tiny Star by Mem Fox & Freya Blackwood
• Tilly by Jane Godwin & Anna Walker
• Wilam by Andrew Kelly, Aunty Joy Murphy & Lisa Kennedy
Illustrated book of the year

wide-Illustrated-Book-of-the-Year
• Australia Modern: Architecture, Landscape & Design 1925–1975 by Hannah Lewi & Philip Goad
• Ben Quilty by Ben Quilty
• Finding the Heart of the Nation by Thomas Mayor
• Macquarie Atlas of Indigenous Australia: Second Edition Bill Arthur by Frances Morphy (eds.)
• Olive Cotton by Helen Ennis
• Step into Paradise by Jenny Kee & Linda Jackson
• The Lost Boys: The untold stories of the under-age soldiers who fought in the First World War by Paul Byrnes
• The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland
• Three Birds Renovations by Erin Cayless, Bonnie Hindmarsh & Lana Taylor
International book of the year

Wide-International-Book-International-Book-of-the-Year
• Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow
• Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
• Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
• Lanny by Max Porter
• The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
• The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
• Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
• Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Small publishers’ adult book of the year

wide-Small-Publishers’-Adult-Book-of-the-Year_01
• Cosmic Chronicles by Fred Watson
• Feeding the Birds at Your Table: A guide for Australia by Darryl Jones
• Invented Lives by Andrea Goldsmith
• Kindred by Kirli Saunders
• Paris Savages by Katherine Johnson
• Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta
• Split by Lee Kofman
• The White Girl by Tony Birch
Small publishers’ children’s book of the year

wide-Small-Publishers_-Children_s-Book-of-the-Year
• Baby Business by Jasmine Seymour
• Cooee Mittigar by Jasmine Seymour & Leanne Mulgo Watson
• Little Bird’s Day by Sally Morgan & Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr
• Love Your Body by Jessica Sanders & Carol Rossetti
• Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street by Felicita Sala
• Sick Bay by Nova Weetman
• Summer Time by Hilary Bell & Antonia Pesenti
• You Can Change the World: The Kids’ Guide to a Better Planet by Lucy Bell
The Matt Richell award for new writer of the year

Wide-The-Matt-Richell-Award-for-New-Writer-of-the-Year
• Being Black ‘n Chicken, and Chips by Matt Okine
• Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare
• It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
• Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta
• The Prettiest Horse In The Glue Factory by Corey White
• The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland
• Troll Hunting by Ginger Gorman
• Your Own Kind of Girl by Clare Bowditch

Good luck to all the nominees – looks like an interesting list this year!

Books and Bites Book Bingo Published More than 100 Years Ago: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

books and bites game card

The Secret Garden (synopsis below taken from the Penguin Random House website) was published in 1911, 109 years ago, so it works out well for the published more than 100 years ago square. The edition I have also has a door on the cover, so it could equally have fitted into that square – but I am hoping I will find something else to fill this square. I may even have stuff one my shelves.

the secret garden

What I liked about this one is that it was one of the first books I read alone – one of the first middle grade novels at least, and whilst there are phrases and ideas that people may not like these days – these sorts of scenes can open up discussions about the attitudes reflected a century ago rather than changing it or ignoring it, and hopefully, this is how we can start to talk about issues of racism, for example in the world today.

It has managed to slot in here by nine years, and into several other challenge categories about re-reads and one about a classic I didn’t read at school – which I interpreted as one I didn’t read to study at high school, so this one fits in nicely there as well. The friendship between Mary, Dickon and Colin was my favourite thing about this book – showing three children and celebrated friendship is refreshing when so many books focus on romantic love. It is fairly old, but the idea of a secret garden is something that will always spark imaginations of readers in years to come.

Below is the synopsis:

Synopsis: What little girl can turn a whole household upside down and breathe new life back into a strange, old manor? The wonderfully contrary, strong-willed, angry, misunderstood Mary Lennox.

Discover the favourite childhood classic
“People never like me and I never like people,” Mary thought.

When Mary Lennox is sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody says she is the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It is true, too. Mary is pale, spoilt and quite contrary. But she is also horribly lonely. Then one day she hears about a garden in the grounds of the Manor that has been kept locked and hidden for years. And when a friendly robin helps Mary find the key, she discovers the most magical place anyone could imagine…

Bookish Podcasts

In the last year, I’ve discovered podcasts, and the ones I mainly listen to revolve around books, history and popular culture. Because podcasts are generally short – usually no longer than an hour for the ones I listen to, I find them great to pop on whilst working or writing and just listen to them in the background and absorb the information in them. Podcasts cover just about every topic you could ever imagine, but in this post I am focusing on the bookish ones I listen to most days and weeks.

The Book Show

the book show

The Book Show is an ABC RN podcast, of a radio show hosted by Claire Nichols. The show airs live on Monday at ten in the morning, and repeated at nine p.m. on Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoons at two p.m.  Claire interviews authors from Australia and around the world and conducts in-depth conversations with them about the book and how they wrote it, what influenced them and lets the interview flow, so there are some very interesting discussions with authors I know and many I do not know. I listen via podcast on the ABC listen app, and the website if you’d like to access the show through there.

The Bookshelf

the bookshelf

Another ABC RN Show, hosted by Cassie McCullagh and Kate Evans, where they review the latest fiction books from Australia and around the world. Sister programme to The Book Show, Cassie and Kate sometimes feature snippets of The Book Show on their show, and at times, interview authors, and record from writer’s festivals from around Australia and in other places at times. It airs Fridays at eleven in the morning, and is repeated on Monday at eleven at night, and Sunday afternoons at three. As with the Book Show, I listen via the ABC listen app as a podcast. The website also has it if you prefer to access the show here.

Good Reading Magazine Podcast

good-reading-podcast 

In this podcast, various Good Reading employees interview Australian authors (so far) about their books, writing and what inspires them. Their very first interview was with Sulari Gentill, and many of my favourite authors have been interviewed. This is one I am still listening to the backlog of as I write this post in fact, and it can be accessed via a podcast app, such as the Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud or via the Good Reading Website. Like with many of the interviews, some episodes are more interesting than others, but it is nice to listen to all of them, as sometimes there are gems in there and lots of random trivia to store away.

 

Words and Nerds

words and nerds

I came to this one quite late – after it had been going for about two years, and spent a lot of time binge listening to it and now have one or two to catch up on, as with many of my podcasts, so I use my days where I don’t go anywhere to listen to as many episodes as I can. In this one, Dani Vee interviews authors from Australia, and sometimes overseas, who write for a myriad of age groups and in all genres, which makes it very interesting and she has interviewed some of my favourite authors and I think those are my favourite episodes. Some she has even had on more than once! Dani’s podcast can be accessed via the linked website, or via a podcast app such as Apple Podcasts.

Middle Grade Mavens

middle grade mavens

Middle grade books are a genre I enjoy reading, reviewing and close to the genre I work in as an educational quiz writer. I am yet to start listening to it, but their website says they interview key stakeholders in the industry, and it can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify Podcasts or Google Podcasts, or on the website. I look forward to hearing from Julie Anne Grusso and Pamela Ueckerman in the coming weeks as I get into listening to this podcast.

These are the five main bookish podcasts I listen to, and all are suitable for what they do. I’m looking forward to exploring Middle Grade Mavens, and hope you find something you like in these recommendations.

Save up to 30% off Hot Pre-order titles

Main Challenge Wrap Up

SmallLogo

Every year I challenge myself to read more – and last year I had a goal of 150 books and ended up reading 205 books in total. I didn’t manage to read all the Jane Austen books, but I am aiming to read more this year. Below are is a breakdown of my challenges, and the linked posts. I definitely surpassed my #Dymocks52Challenge as well.

Many of these books were either ones sent to me for review, or as books for work to write quizzes on for an educational publisher in Australia as well as my own reading, so it is a very varied list.

2019 also marked my first year as Young Adult editor for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge, and from this year, will be combining it with the Children’s entries. I wrote more about this in my other round up, so I won’t repeat it here.

AWW2019 – YA editor

Book Bingo with Theresa and AmandaBINGO  

POP Sugar 2019 challenge– one category to fill

Overall Goal: 150 – 205/150

AWW2019 Goal: 25 – reached. Up to 100 now.

#Dymocks52Challenge – up to 205 for the year.

Reading Log

  1. All the Tears in China by Sulari Gentill
  2. Bella Donna: Coven Road by Ruth Symes
  3. Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner
  4. Bella Donna: Too Many Spells by Ruth Symes
  5. Dragon Masters: Treasure of the Gold Dragon by Tracey West
  6. Vardaesia by Lynette Noni
  7. Best Foot Forward by Adam Hills
  8. Saving You by Charlotte Nash
  9. Zelda Stitch Term Two: Too Much Witch by Nicki Greenberg
  10. Australia’s Sweetheart by Michael Adams
  11. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Volume One: Squirrel Power by Ryan North
  12. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
  13. Enola Holmes: The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets (Enola Holmes #3) by Nancy Springer
  14. Enola Holmes: The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan (Enola Holmes #4) by Nancy Springer
  15. Beauty in Thorns by Kate Forsyth
  16. What Lies Beneath Us by Kirsty Ferguson
  17. The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble
  18. The House of Second Chances by Esther Campion
  19. The Familiars by Stacey Halls
  20. The Orchardist’s Daughter by Karen Viggers
  21. The French Photographer by Natasha Lester
  22. Harry Potter: A History of Magic, The Exhibition Guide by British Library, JK Rowling
  23. D-Bot #8: Dino Corp by Mac Park
  24. Kensy and Max: Undercover by Jacqueline Harvey
  25. The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
  26. 52 Mondays by Anna Ciddor
  27. The Incredible Hulk by Alex Irvine
  28. Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
  29. The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag
  30. The Deep: Selkie Warrior by Finn Black
  31. Zebra and Other Stories by Debra Adelaide
  32. Captain Marvel: Higher, Faster, Further by Kelly Sue DeConnick
  33. Free Rein: The Steeplechase Secret by Jeanette Lane
  34. Esther by Jessica North
  35. Mermaid Holidays: The Talent Show by Delphine Davis and Adele K. Thomas
  36. Cuddles by Ellen Miles
  37. The True Story of Maddie Bright by Mary-Rose MacColl
  38. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  39. Middle School: Born to Rock by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
  40. The Honeyman and the Hunter by Neil Grant
  41. A Dream of Italy by Nicky Pellegrino
  42. Archibald, The Naughtiest Elf in the World Causes Trouble with the Easter Bunny by Skye Davidson
  43. Poppy Field by Michael Morpurgo
  44. The Artist’s Portrait by Julie Keys
  45. The Lost Magician by Piers Torday
  46. The Suicide Bride by Tanya Bretherton
  47. The Bad Mother’s Book Club by Keris Stanton
  48. Rabbit and Bear: Attack of the Snack by Julian Gough
  49. Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley
  50. Deltora Quest: The Forest of Silence by Emily Rodda
  51. The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames
  52. Deltora Quest: The Lake of Tears by Emily Rodda
  53. Children of the Dragon: Race for the Red Dragon by Rebecca Lim
  54. Toto the Ninja Cat and the Incredible Cheese Heist by Dermot O’Leary
  55. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

56. Christopher Robin: The Little Book of Pooh-isms: With help from Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, and Tigger, too! by Brittany Rubiano

57. Daughter of Bad Times by Rohan Wilson

58. Deltora Quest: The City of Rats by Emily Rodda

59. Fabio, the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective: Mystery on the Ostrich Express by Laura James

60. Life Before by Carmel Reilly

61. Alice to Prague by Tanya Heaslip

62. Upside Down Magic #5: Weather or Not by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins

  1. The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle by Sophie Green
  2. The Monster Who Wasn’t by T.C. Shelley
  3. The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn
  4. Squidge Dibley Destroys the School by Mick Elliott
  5. Lintang and The Pirate Queen by Tamara Moss
  6. Alfie takes Action by Karen Wallace
  7. The Great Toy Rescue (Puppy Diaries #1) by Yvette Poshoglian
  8. As Happy as Here by Jane Godwin
  9. Women to the Front: The Extraordinary Australian Women Doctors of the Great War by Heather Sheard and Ruth Lee
  10. Deltora Quest: The Shifting Sands by Emily Rodda
  11. Deltora Quest: Dread Mountain by Emily Rodda
  12. Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl and Ms Marvel by Devin Grayson, Ryan North and Willow Wilson
  13. Mermaid Holidays: The Magic Pearl by Delphine Davis and Adele K Thomas
  14. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
  15. Eco Warriors: Microbat Mayhem by Candice Lemon-Scott
  16. Explorer’s Academy: Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit
  17. The Time Travel Diaries #1 by Caroline Lawrence
  18. Chanel’s Riviera by Anne De Courcy
  19. Maternal Instinct by Rebecca Bowyer
  20. When We Were Warriors by Emma Carroll
  21. Powers of a Girl by Lorraine Clink and Alice X Zhang
  22. Stasi 77 by David Young
  23. The Blue Rose by Kate Forsyth
  24. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (20th Anniversary Ravenclaw Edition)
  25. Rumple Buttercup by Matthew Gray Gubler
  26. Fled by Meg Keneally
  27. Squirrel Girl #2: Squirrel You Know It’s True by Ryan North
  28. Split edited by Lee Kofman
  29. Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann M Martin (Babysitters Club #1)
  30. Choose Your Own Adventure #2: Journey Under the Sea by R.A. Montgomery
  31. The Last Dingo Summer by Jackie French (Matilda Saga #8)
  32. The Silver Well by Kate Forsyth and Kim Wilkins
  33. Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher #6)
  34. The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay
  35. The Secret Dragon by Ed Clarke
  36. Aladdin and the Arabian Nights
  37. Deltora Quest: The Maze of the Beast by Emily Rodda
  38. Deltora Quest: The Valley of the Lost by Emily Rodda
  39. Deltora Quest: Return to Del by Emily Rodda
  40. Deltora Quest #1 by Emily Rodda
  41. Somewhere Around the Corner by Jackie French
  42. Alexander Altmann A10567 by Suzy Zail
  43. The Binder of Doom: Brute Cake by Troy Cummings
  44. Beatrix the Bold and the Curse of the Wobblers by Simon Mockler
  45. Where the Dead Go by Sarah Bailey
  46. Firewatcher #1: Brimstone by Kelly Gardiner
  47. Purrmaids #1: The Scaredy Cat by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
  48. The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell
  49. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition by JK Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay
  50. The Burnt Country by Joy Rhoades
  51. The Book Ninja by Ali Berg and Michelle Klaus
  52. Pages and Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James
  53. Top Marks for Murder by Robin Stevens (A Murder Most Unladylike #8)
  54. Bentley by Ellen Miles
  55. Fast Forward to the Future (Time Jumpers #3) by Wendy Mass
  56. Is it Night or Day? by Fern Schumer Chapman
  57. The Battle for Perodia (The Last Firehawk #6) by Katrina Chapman
  58. Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda
  59. A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison
  60. The Puppy Who Couldn’t Sleep by Holly Webb
  61. Mermaid Holidays #3: The Bake Off by Delphine Davis
  62. Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls by Ann M Martin
  63. The Truth About Stacey by Ann M Martin
  64. Mary Anne Saves the Day by Ann M Martin
  65. While You Were Reading by Ali Berg and Michelle Klaus
  66. The Unforgiving City by Maggie Joel
  67. Matters of the Heart by Fiona Palmer
  68. Harry Potter: Spells and Charms: A Movie Scrapbook by Judy Revenson
  69. Mary Poppins She Wrote: The extraordinary life of Australian writer P.L. Travers by Valerie Wilson
  70. Kensy and Max: Out of Sight by Jacqueline Harvey
  71. The Loneliest Kitten by Holly Webb
  72. The Land of Long-Lost Friends by Alexander McCall-Smith
  73. The Lily and the Rose by Jackie French
  74. The Impossible Quest #1: Escape from Wolfhaven Castle by Kate Forsyth
  75. A Lighthouse in Time by Sandra Bennett
  76. Tiny Timmy: The New Coach by Tim Cahill
  77. 488 Rules for Life by Kitty Flanagan
  78. Boa Constructor (Binder of Doom) by Troy Cummings
  79. Silver by Chris Hammer
  80. Beauty, Beast and Belladonna by Maia Chance
  81. There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett
  82. Rebel Women who Changed Australia by Susanna de Vries
  83. The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  84. The Book of Dust Volume 2: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
  85. The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch by Tom Fletcher
  86. Dragon Masters: The Land of the Spring Dragon by Tracey West
  87. The Mitford Scandal by Jessica Fellowes
  88. Whisper by Lynette Noni
  89. The Glimme by Emily Rodda
  90. The Frozen Sea by Piers Torday
  91. Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames by Lara Maiklem
  92. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  93. The Orange Grove by Kate Murdoch
  94. Weapon by Lynette Noni
  95. Pages and Co #2: Tilly and the Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James
  96. Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
  97. Total Quack Up Again by Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck
  98. The Starthorn Tree by Kate Forsyth
  99. With Love from Miss Lily by Jackie French (short story)
  100. The Lily in the Snow by Jackie French
  101. Christmas Lilies by Jackie French
  102. Skate Monkey: Fear Mountain by Paul Mason
  103. Illustrated Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
  104. The Case of the Wandering Scholar by Kate Saunders
  105. The Wildkin’s Curse by Kate Forsyth
  106. Why You Should Read Children’s Books Even Though You Are So Old and Wise by Katherine Rundell
  107. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  108. The Starkin Crown by Kate Forsyth
  109. Clancy of the Overflow by Jackie French
  110. Jane Doe and the Cradle of the Worlds by Jeremy Lachlan
  111. Wolves of the Witchwood (Impossible Quest #2) by Kate Forsyth
  112. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  113. The Sisters of Auschwitz by Roxane van Ipren
  114. The Beast of Blackmoor Bog (Impossible Quest #3) by Kate Forsyth
  115. Mr Dog and a Hedge Called Hog by Ben Fogle and Steve Cole
  116. The Drowned Kingdom (Impossible Quest #4) by Kate Forsyth
  117. Cavern of The Fear (Deltora Shadowlands #1) by Emily Rodda
  118. Battle of the Heroes (Impossible Quest #5) by Kate Forsyth
  119. A Game of Birds and Wolves: The Secret Game that Won the War by Simon Parkin
  120. Ella and Olivia: Reef Explorers by Yvette Poshoglian
  121. Pippa’s Island: The Beach Shack Café by Belinda Murrell
  122. Venus and Aphrodite: History of a Goddess by Bettany Hughes
  123. Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill
  124. Gom’s Gold by S.L. Mills
  125. Pippa’s Island: Cub Reporters by Belinda Murrell
  126. Pippa’s Island: Kira Dreaming by Belinda Murrell
  127. The Clergyman’s Wife by Molly Greeley
  128. Mermaid Holidays #4: The Reef Rescue by Delphine Davis and Adele K Thomas
  129. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll and Mina Lima
  130. The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher
  131. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: The Secret of the Realms by Meredith Rusu
  132. Tiger Heart by Penny Chrimes
  133. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A Hoffman/The Tale of the Nutcracker by Alexandre Dumas
  134. Ask Hercules Quick by Ursula Dubosarsky
  135. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
  136. The Nutcracker and Other Christmas Stories
  137. Isle of Illusion (Deltora Quest: Shadowlands #2) by Emily Rodda
  138. The Shadowlands (Deltora Quest Shadowlands #3) by Emily Rodda
  139. Deltora Quest Shadowlands Omnibus by Emily Rodda
  140. Roxy by Ellen Miles
  141. Pippa’s Island: Camp Castaway by Belinda Murrell
  142. Time Warp: The Seventh Journey Through Time by Geronimo Stilton
  143. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

I almost made it to 206 books in 2019 – but didn’t get the other one finished, but as the majority of that will be read in 2020, it will count towards this year’s count. For book bingo, I have to hit the ground running, choose my square and book from what I have available, and have it done by next Saturday! Not all of these books were reviewed, but many were, and many will be this year as well. If you’re doing any reading challenges this year, best of luck!

2019 Australian Women Writer’s Challenge Completed,

2019 Badge

At the start of the year, I pledged to read fifteen books across the year, and ended up reading one hundred, and reviewing about ninety-seven of those – as some were read for my job as a quiz writer and I didn’t get a chance to review them all.

Of the one hundred, it is hard to choose a favourite, however one highlight was meeting the author of the Ella and Olivia books, and the Puppy Diaries books, Yvette Poshoglian, and getting to read and review a book I edited earlier this year. I read quite broadly, in various genres, as well as kids, young adult and adult books.

I completed the Matilda Saga this year – and hope to reread the entire series back to back soon. It was a journey of one hundred years of the people of Gibber’s Creek, and has to be one of the most well written and well-researched series I’ve ever read. Below is my list, and linked reviews.

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge

All the Tears in China by Sulari Gentill – Reviewed

  1. Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner – Reviewed
  2. Vardaesia by Lynette Noni– Reviewed
  3. Saving You by Charlotte Nash – Reviewed
  4. Zelda Stitch Term Two: Too Much Witch by Nikki Greenberg – Reviewed
  5. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne– Reviewed
  6. Beauty in Thorns by Kate Forsyth– Reviewed/Revisited post
  7. What Lies Beneath Us by Kirsty Ferguson – Reviewed
  8. The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble – Reviewed
  9. The House of Second Chances by Esther Campion – Reviewed
  10. The Orchardist’s Daughter by Karen Viggers – Reviewed
  11. The French Photographer by Natasha Lester – Reviewed and Q&A
  12. Kensy and Max: Undercover by Jacqueline Harvey – Reviewed
  13. The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer– Reviewed
  14. 52 Mondays by Anna Ciddor– Reviewed
  15. Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte– Reviewed
  16. Zebra and Other Stories by Debra Adelaide – Reviewed
  17. Esther by Jessica North – Reviewed
  18. Mermaid Holidays: The Talent Show by Delphine Davis and Adele K. Thomas – Reviewed
  19. The True Story of Maddie Bright by Mary-Rose MacColl – Reviewed
  20. Miss Franklin: How Miles Franklin’s Brilliant Career Began by Libby Hathorn – Reviewed
  21. Archibald, The Naughtiest Elf in the World Causes Trouble with the Easter Bunny by Skye Davidson – Reviewed
  22. The Artist’s Portrait by Julie Keys – Reviewed
  23. The Suicide Bride by Tanya Bretherton– Reviewed, Interview
  24. Deltora Quest: The Forest of Silence by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  25. Children of the Dragon: Race for the Red Dragon by Rebecca Lim – Reviewed
  26. Deltora Quest: The Lake of Tears by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  27. Deltora Quest: The City of Rats by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  28. Alice to Prague by Tanya Heaslip– Reviewed
  29. Life Before by Carmel Reilly– Reviewed
  30. The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle by Sophie Green – Reviewed
  31. The Monster Who Wasn’t by T.C. Shelley – Reviewed
  32. The Lost Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn – Reviewed
  33. Lintang and The Pirate Queen by Tamara Moss– Reviewed
  34. The Great Toy Rescue (Puppy Diaries #1) by Yvette Poshoglian – Work book, not reviewed
  35. As Happy as Here by Jane Godwin – Reviewed
  36. Women to the Front: The Extraordinary Australian Women Doctors of the Great War by Heather Sheard and Ruth Lee – Reviewed
  37. Deltora Quest: The Shifting Sands by Emily Rodda– Reviewed
  38. Deltora Quest: Dread Mountain by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  39. Mermaid Holidays: The Magic Pearl by Delphine Davis and Adele K Thomas – Reviewed
  40. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers– Reviewed
  41. Eco Warriors: Microbat Mayhem by Candice Lemon-Scott – Work book, not reviewed.
  42. Maternal Instinct by Rebecca Bowyer – Reviewed
  43. The Blue Rose by Kate Forsyth– Reviewed
  44. Fled by Meg Keneally – Reviewed
  45. The Last Dingo Summer by Jackie French (Matilda Saga #8)– Reviewed
  46. The Silver Well by Kate Forsyth and Kim Wilkins– Reviewed
  47. Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher #6)– Reviewed
  48. Deltora Quest: The Maze of the Beast by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  49. Deltora Quest: The Valley of the Lost by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  50. Deltora Quest: Return to Del by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  51. Deltora Quest #1 by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  52. Somewhere Around the Corner by Jackie French – Reviewed
  53. Alexander Altmann A10567 by Suzy Zail– Reviewed
  54. Where the Dead Go by Sarah Bailey– Reviewed
  55. Firewatcher #1: Brimstone by Kelly Gardiner – Reviewed
  56. The Burnt Country by Joy Rhoades– Reviewed
  57. The Book Ninja by Ali Berg and Michelle Klaus– Reviewed
  58. Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  59. Mermaid Holidays #3: The Bake Off by Delphine Davis – Reviewed
  60. While You Were Reading by Ali Berg and Michelle Klaus – Reviewed
  61. The Unforgiving City by Maggie Joel – Reviewed
  62. Matters of the Heart by Fiona Palmer – Reviewed
  63. Mary Poppins She Wrote: The extraordinary life of Australian writer P.L. Travers by Valerie Wilson– Reviewed
  64. Kensy and Max: Out of Sight by Jacqueline Harvey – Reviewed
  65. The Lily and the Rose by Jackie French – Reviewed
  66. The Impossible Quest #1: Escape from Wolfhaven Castle by Kate Forsyth– Reviewed
  67. A Lighthouse in Time by Sandra Bennett – Reviewed
  68. 488 Rules for Life by Kitty Flanagan– Reviewed
  69. There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett– Reviewed
  70. Rebel Women who Changed Australia by Susanna de Vries – Reviewed
  71. Whisper by Lynette Noni– Reviewed
  72. The Glimme by Emily Rodda-Reviewed
  73. The Orange Grove by Kate Murdoch – Reviewed
  74. Weapon by Lynette Noni – Reviewed
  75. Total Quack Up Again by Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck – Reviewed
  76. The Starthorn Tree by Kate Forsyth – Reviewed
  77. With Love from Miss Lily by Jackie French (short story) – Reviewed
  78. The Lily in the Snow by Jackie French – Reviewed
  79. Christmas Lilies by Jackie French – Reviewed
  80. The Wildkin’s Curse by Kate Forsyth – Reviewed
  81. The Starkin Crown by Kate Forsyth– Reviewed
  82. Clancy of the Overflow by Jackie French – Reviewed
  83. Wolves of the Witchwood (Impossible Quest #2) by Kate Forsyth– Reviewed
  84. The Beast of Blackmoor Bog (Impossible Quest #3) by Kate Forsyth – Reviewed
  85. The Drowned Kingdom (Impossible Quest #4) by Kate Forsyth– Reviewed
  86. Cavern of The Fear (Deltora Shadowlands #1) by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  87. Battle of the Heroes (Impossible Quest #5) by Kate Forsyth – Reviewed
  88. Ella and Olivia: Reef Explorers by Yvette Poshoglian – Work book, not reviewed
  89. Pippa’s Island: The Beach Shack Café by Belinda Murrell– Reviewed
  90. Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill – Reviewed
  91. Gom’s Gold by S.L. Mills– Reviewed
  92. Pippa’s Island: Cub Reporters by Belinda Murrell– Reviewed
  93. Pippa’s Island: Kira Dreaming by Belinda Murrell– Reviewed
  94. Mermaid Holidays #4: The Reef Rescue by Delphine Davis and Adele K Thomas – Reviewed
  95. Ask Hercules Quick by Ursula Dubosarsky – quiz book, not reviewed
  96. Isle of Illusion (Deltora Quest: Shadowlands #2) by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  97. The Shadowlands (Deltora Quest Shadowlands #3) by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  98. Deltora Quest Shadowlands Omnibus by Emily Rodda – Reviewed
  99. Pippa’s Island: Camp Castaway by Belinda Murrell – Reviewed

Next year, I am aiming to read twenty-five – and will post my official sign up post soon.