AusReading Month Master Post 2021

AusReading Month Badge

WELCOME to AusReading Month 2021

One of the things that I did not factor into this year’s AusReading Month was a Covid-19 lockdown. Or more precisely, the end of an extended (107 day) Covid-19 lockdown.

Just three weeks ago, when NSW reached the magic number of 70% double vaxxed, restrictions were eased. Schools, restaurants, businesses and retail reopened cautiously. However, the unrestrained and joyous release we all felt after the end of the first lockdown in 2020 was missing this time around.

I guess all it takes is to watch the international news to know that vaccinations are not the be-all and end-all we would like to believe them to be. Covid-19 is still out there, we can still catch it and we can still find ourselves very unwell and in home quarantine if we test positive.

I’m not particularly dwelling on these sobering facts, but I’m not jumping for joy either. I feel like I’m muddling along somewhat aimlessly – just living day by day and looking for the small and lovely ways to be happy where I am right now. Like enjoying family dinner nights again, taking photos of the beautiful jacarandas flowering in Sydney this month, coffee with friends in an actual cafe and topping up the herb garden. I haven’t been thinking very far ahead at all.

Which means that AusReading Month has snuck up on me this year and finds me totally unprepared.

I have no scheduled posts or lists of books.

Which doesn’t mean that I’m not keen or excited about a whole month devoted to reading and writing about Australian books. I am! I’m just not as organised as I would like to be.

I have, in fact, read a LOT of Australian books over the past few weeks (fiction and non-fiction), with a lot more in the pipeline, but like all my post-lockdown reviews, they will happen eventually, when the mood strikes right.

So, there will be oodles of Australian content throughout November, however it will most likely occur more sporadically than in previous years. AusReading Month 2021 will be a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-staying-one-step-ahead-of-Covid kind of challenge. I hope you can join me!

This Master Post is your home page for AusReading Month throughout November

  • Save it in your favourites or read-later folder so you can find it whenever you want to add a new review.
  • I will turn all the reviews into a nice list for everyone to read and visit at the end.
  • If you complete the Bingo card challenge or write a Celebration, Anticipation, Promotion post pop your URL link into the comments so we can visit you.
  • Which Australian books will you be reading and reviewing this month?
  • Have you be able to combine your Australian books with any of the other reading challenges going around?
  • On socials please use #ausreadingmonth2021

Looking For Something to Read in AusReading Month?

  • If, like me, you have been caught hopping by the approach of November, check out my AUSTRALIANA tab in the menu for some great ideas on Australian Novellas and Australian Essays, as well as books and authors by state.
My local jacaranda after the rain.

Progressive AusReading Month List

Related Posts

Bill @The Australian Legend BINGO card and latest driving around WA update.

  • This post was written on the traditional land of the Wangal clan, one of the 29 clans of the Eora Nation within the Sydney basin.

95 thoughts on “AusReading Month Master Post 2021

  1. Not thinking very far ahead is my motto at the moment too… am stuck in a state (WA) I can’t leave while ALL family and friends live elsewhere (hello solo Christmas!) but books are a wonderful distraction and I have been reading more than normal. I plan on reviewing the new Michelle de Kretser this month and hope to read a few Australian novellas so I can combine novellas in November with your Australian reading month. Looking forward to it.

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    1. Glad you can join in Kim. I’ll be writing up the de Kretser soon too…and the Grenville plus a few biographies.
      I’ve started reading a couple of novellas and have a few more health books to finish. That should get me through to the end of the month!

      Does WA have a plan for reopening (ie 80% double vax)? Sorry to ask, I have enough trouble keeping up with changing regs in my own state let alone knowing what is happening in the others!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. McGowan hasn’t announced a plan but he’s hinted at 90%. The state is so far behind. Only 60% are double vaxxed. So many of my colleagues (blokes) haven’t bothered cos they reckon there’s no covid here. Well, there isn’t now but when the border opens… BUT… my company sent a shot across the bow 10 days ago and gave everyone three days to declare their vaxx status because we are public facing and the government is hinting that the vaxx will be mandated for anyone in a public facing role. Funnily enough, many of my colleagues are now booking or have had their first vax. I’ve been double vaxxed since early September.

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        1. In the end, perhaps the only good thing about our extended lockdown was its ability to spur on those feeling reluctant to get vaxxed. That and now that we have opened up, making most public facing jobs a mandatory vax situation. Anyone in hospitality, tourism, retail, or caring roles must be double vaxxed. Anyone wanting to stay in short-term rental accommodation must show vax status.
          At work we are required to check everyone’s status. Anyone not vaccinated can only access ‘click and collect’ models (except in essential services).
          At this point, these regs will only continue until Dec, but obviously travelling overseas will require some form of vax certification for the foreseeable future.

          One local primary school and child care centre have been closed and deep cleaned over the weekend already, so we are not done with Covid, but it does appear to have slowed down and it is not spreading as easily. We are very close to 90% double vaxxed (87.5% as of today).

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m reading Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay for Australian reading month and Novellas in November. It’s also my current Classics Club Spin book. I’ve not read much of it so far, but it’s looking very good!

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      1. Alas, I didn’t express myself clearly. I don’t have anything from the NT. I follow the NT Writers Centre on Twitter scrupulously and never hear about anything getting published, and I don’t know any other source to guide me.
        I’ve got 13 reviews of NT writers, the last one being Miranda Tapsell, and even she lives in Melbourne now.

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  3. Am glad restrictions have eased. I have quite the pile of NetGalley reads and a couple of picks for German Literature Month which also runs this month. But if luck is on my side, I will try and sneak in a reread of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie; this was a present from a friend and I’d never heard of the book till then. But loved it of course. [She also sent me the Seven Little Australians books]

    Love the jacaranda picture!

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      1. Oh how lovely🙂-i have many fond memories of my childhood favourites and love to go back to them as well. I loved Seven Little Australiand books as well but it’s been some time since I read them so the details are a little fuzzy.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I completely relate to your description of how you’re feeling. Restrictions have been pretty much entirely lifted here but it doesn’t feel normal at all. It’s very strange. My reading and blogging is still very slow from what it was so I’m not sure I’ll be able to join in but I’m looking forward to the posts! And I did buy an Ada Cambridge novel just the other day…

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    1. I can also throw in perimenopausal to the mix, which I’m hoping explains a lot of my often extreme tiredness and lethargy as nothing else shows us in tests!!
      I’ve only read Sisters by Ada Cambridge, but it was tremendous and I’m keen to read more…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m going to try to join in this year for the first time. It will be nice to travel again, if only by book.

    I was watching a short documentary on the Amish in the U.S. who apparently had COVID run through their community in the beginning (early 2020). They weren’t vaxxed and everyone picked it up by sharing the same cup at communion. In any case, some got sick but they recovered well and it basically disappeared and they’ve been fine in spite of most of them still being unvaccinated. It was very interesting.

    I’m very unsettled by the whole thing. Most of our deaths have been in care homes (which the government has been terrible at managing in my opinion. I look after two elderly people who are supposed to have the same nurses to limit the spread, which only happened for a short time but for most of the time they are getting new nurses rotating all over the place.) But most government facilities are mandating vaccinations and people are being terminated all over the place with no severance package and no unemployment insurance. And our government media has been caught lying twice, once when they said a 14 year old died of COVID and his family went in an uproar because he actually died of stage 4 brain cancer, and another time when they staged mannequins on a set that looked like a hospital and filmed it like all these COVID patients where on ventilators. They admitted lying both times and apologized for both incidents but with behaviour like that, I’ve very hesitant to believe what I’m being told. When you look into it, there are so many discrepancies and it’s very disturbing.

    Luckily, the Stanford study gave a good comparison of risk statistics and for my age, I have the same risk as getting into a pedestrian accident so I’m not too worried. Plus I had COVID early on and hardly even knew I was sick. However, if I’m around the elderly, I’m still very careful.

    In any case, I’m certainly looking forward to burying my head in a book!

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  6. You know, I admire your enthusiasm in promoting Australian Lit every year. You inspired me to introduce more Indonesian Lit via my blog. But I won’t do as far as you by hosting an event, just reading & posting at least one Indonesian book every year. It will start next year – I’ve compiled my list of some Indonesian classics for this. Who knows? Maybe the list would grow longer each year…
    Anyway, good luck for your AusReading Month!

    P.S.
    I realized I didn’t read enough Australian Lit so far. The only two I can remember are True History of Kelly Gang (didn’t really enjoy) and The Thorn Birds (rather annoyed). So I’ve just added Oscar & Lucinda and Picnic at Hanging Rock into my “300 Classics to Read in 20 Years” list. Don’t worry, I still have 43 blank spots in the list, so if you’d like to recommend me some books, now is the time. 🙂

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    1. I’d love to see an Indonesia lit post on your blog Fanda!

      I’ve only read two books, set in Bali, to coincide with a holiday there a few years ago – A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul by Shamini Flint (who I believe was born in Malaysia and now lives in Singapore) and Love and Death in Bali by Vicki Baum (an Austrian writer who spent some time in Bali in the 30’s), so neither by an Indonesian writer as you can see. A lot of gaps to be filled in here!

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  7. For those trying to source NT books for the Bingo card, here’s a list that came to me courtesy of the NT Writers’ Centre, with thanks to Rita:

    Karen Manton, The Curlew’s Eye (just came out this year with Allen & Unwin)
    Kylie Stevenson & Caroline Graham, Larrimah (just came out this year with Allen & Unwin)
    Mary Anne Butler, Broken (play script but won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award)
    Leni Shilton, Walking with Camels: The Story of Bertha Strehlow (beautiful verse novel)
    Leni Shilton, Malcolm: A Story in Verse
    Barry Jonsbery, My Life as an Alphabet YA novel
    Sally Bothroyd has a book coming out next year called Brunswick Street Blues with Harper Collins
    Dina Davis, A Dangerous Daughter
    Tanya Heaslip, An Alice Girl,
    Tanya Heaslip, Beyond Alice
    Tanya Heaslip, From Alice to Prague
    Dani Powell, Return to Dust

    Cheers
    Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lately I have come to think that not looking too far ahead may be a good thing! What will will be, will be! Instead like you said we need to enjoy the small joys like flowers, coffees with friends, a sunny winter afternoon, a long drive etc. I am going to of course participate in AusReading month & will start with Moral Hazard….the book hits close to home at several levels, including having “left – ish ” principles & working for a Wall Street bank because parents were sick!

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    1. So glad you found a Australian book that could help you with one of the other challenges too Karen. I haven’t always got on with Jolley, so I’m keen to see what other people see in her writing, to see what I might be missing.

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    1. I have read Cloudstreet twice. The first time I was ‘meh’, the second time I loved it. The second time also coincided with a trip to WA so I was reading it in situ, which I love to do when I can.
      It regularly tops ‘the best Australian novel of all time’ lists whenever a newspaper or journal or tv show runs a poll.

      So, yes, I recommend it & my tip is to just go with the flow.

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