AusReading Month 2022 is coming soon…

AusReading Month Badge

It’s that time of year again!

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

Now in it’s 10th year, AusReading Month is a chance to celebrate all the things we love about Australian literature. Back in 2013, I was looking for an opportunity to celebrate and promote Australian literature. I chose the month of November to coincide with Triple J’s annual AusMusic Month.

This year I plan to keep things pretty simple.

  • On the 1st November I will publish an opening post that will be our Masterpost for the entire month.
  • You are welcome to read and review as many Australian books as you like throughout the month.
  • This year I plan to focus on only one book – a buddy read of Patrick White’s Voss.

Earlier in the year Bill @The Australian Legend and Karen @Booker Talk expressed some interest in reading Voss for AusReading Month. Ever since, it has been playing in the back of my mind. Will I, or won’t I?

I first attempted Voss when I was nineteen, but failed to finish it. In fact, I barely got through the first chapter. My second year of uni was a little more about dancing and late nights than reading literary classics. It was also the year I fell in love with Mr Books. Patrick White didn’t stand a chance!

2022 has been a year of chunksters already, so I wasn’t sure I wanted to take on another book that had over 450 pages. Yet, my copy of Voss has been lingering on my TBR shelves for way too many years, and participating in a buddy read or readalong, is always such a lovely way to tackle a book that may be challenging.

So, here we go!

  • Voss (1957) is Patrick White’s fifth novel.
  • It’s based upon the life of the 19th-century Prussian explorer and naturalist Ludwig Leichhardt (23 October 1813 – c. 1848) who disappeared while on an expedition into the Australian outback.
  • The group was last seen on 3 April 1848 at a squatter’s property on the Darling Downs.
  • He most likely died in the the Great Sandy Desert, although the where, why and how of this remains a mystery to this day.
  • My Vintage Classics edition of Voss contains 454 pages with 16 chapters.
  • That’s 4 chapters a week throughout the month of November.
  • Each week I will put up a progress report.
  • If anyone would like to write a guest post (author bio, history of Leichhardt etc) for one of these weeks please let me know in the comments below.

The novel that put Australian literature on the map is now in a Vintage Classic edition.

Set in nineteenth-century Australia, Voss is the story of the secret passion between an explorer and a naïve young woman. Although they have met only a few times, Voss and Laura are joined by overwhelming, obsessive feelings for each other. Voss sets out to cross the continent. As hardships, mutiny and betrayal whittle away his power to endure and to lead, his attachment to Laura gradually increases. Laura, waiting in Sydney, moves through the months of separation as if they were a dream and Voss the only reality.

From the careful delineation of Victorian society to the sensitive rendering of hidden love to the stark narrative of adventure in the Australian desert, Patrick White’s novel is a work of extraordinary power and virtuosity.

Patrick White was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973 “for an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature”. Voss is also one of the 1001 Books You Should Read Before You Die.

Australian Novellas & Non-Fiction

I hope you will be joining us for AusReading Month in November. And perhaps for a buddy read of Voss. Only 32 more days to go!

Share your #AusReadingMonth2022 love on Twitter or Instagram.

  • 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. This Reading Life acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are this land’s first storytellers.

24 thoughts on “AusReading Month 2022 is coming soon…

  1. I’d love to re-read Voss with you during November but I fear I won’t. I still have the copy I read when I was 18 and fell in love with. (It was last year high school – before the bigger temptations of university!!) I have never forgotten it because it made me love White.

    I’ll read at least one Aussie book in November because my reading group book is an Aussie one. I also have a little pile of novellas put aside which include Aussies, so I may read at least two Aussie books!

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    1. Those final two years of school threw up some wonderful reading experiences. Like you, they made me love certain authors and poets. Sadly, I don’t remember reading very much at all during my uni days…except for children’s books. My degree made me realise the number of children’s classics I had missed out on as a child. I set out to rectify this. Mr Books also introduced me to Stephen King and Tolkien, so fantasy/horror was my thing for a while.

      My book club is also reading an Australian book for November and thankfully I’ve read quite a few novellas already this year, so I should have something to say about that in Nov is as well. Please DO NOT feel any pressure to join in with Voss. Bill & Karen should not feel any pressure either. I know all too well how reading plans can change as a year rolls on. I have simply decided that now is the time for me to read it.

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      1. I do remember uni reading as well … but not quite as strongly as high school, though some have blended in my mind a bit! I didn’t do Aus Lit (stupidly) at university, so that one hasn’t blended, nor have the Shakespeares, but some of the poets in particular have.

        I never got into fantasy or thrillers, though many tried!

        I won’t feel pressure – thanks Brona!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in, of course.
    Re Voss: I can’t offer a guest post, but if I may blow my own horn, I recommend that you have a look at what Sue (WG) called my ‘treatise’ on Voss because it’s the best writing about Patrick White that I’ve ever done. I knew nothing about modernism when I started so I did a lot of research and unpacked modernist aspects of it using what I’d taught myself. I know it’s useful because so many schools and universities access it.
    I don’t know what I’ll read for the month, but I’ll tie it in with novellas and NF.

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    1. I’m in the process of checking your posts out Lisa…perhaps I could reblog them throughout the month so others can read them too?
      I can feel a crash course in modernism coming my way too!

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  3. Tempting! I’ll have to see if I can get a copy. I read Riders in the Chariot some years ago & liked it, and have been meaning to try another White.

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  4. I’ll be participating, of course, cos I tend to read at least two or three Australian books every month all year round! 😊 Good luck with Voss. There’s a review of it on my blog. Not my favourite White… I think that goes to The Vivisector… but all of White’s novels are richly rewarding reads.

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  5. My copy of Voss is ready and waiting! If I understand the plan, we will be reading four chapters each week? Are yiu going to send us any prompts or do we just read and exchange thoughts?

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    1. That’s a very good question Karen!

      I’m hoping to give Voss some thinking time today. I haven’t read it before so will need to read up about what kind of ‘prompts’ might be useful for it. I’ll keep you posted.

      Like

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