I thought it was about time for another Reading Challenge Check-In post! I have been reading pretty consistently over the last few months, and have also been pretty diverse with my choices. That was part of the point of challenging myself I guess! I’ve also read more books already this year than last year (which was again more than I had in a while!) and whilst quantity isn’t a key metric for me, it does show how much I’m enjoying it. So, here’s some of the best books I have read recently!
One Hundred Days
This was a really interesting, if at times slightly dark, look at family, control and the complicated relationships that can exist within that. The book is written as if its letters to the daughter of the main character, which makes for a really interesting style. The protagonist is a young Filipino girl so it ticked the box of diverse narrators too! Absolutely worth picking up a copy.
I was so keen for this book that I pre-ordered it and its safe to say it lived up to expectations. As a very passionate Sydney Swans fan I was aware of Brandon Jack’s time with the club, and had read lots of his writing since leaving football. Even so, I found this book eye-opening, raw, honest and incredibly interesting. So rarely do we hear about the lives of athletes that don’t make it to superstar status, so it’s such a different perspective to read about. I don’t think you have to be a football fan to enjoy it either.
This is another book I had heard excellent things about before reading, but it also lived up to the hype. I absolutely loved this story of 1850s Australia, told from the perspective of a young Indigenous girl. The book was heartfelt, powerful and very hard to put down, and I particularly loved that it weaves the indigenous words throughout the narrative as well. A book I recommend everyone read, especially if like me you are trying to read more books by Indigenous authors.
After reading and loving two of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s other books I was very excited to give this a crack. I read the entire thing in one day (which I don’t think I had done in a very long time!) so it’s safe to say I found it interesting and very enjoyable. Not the most difficult of reads, and probably didn’t pip either of her other books for me, but still an excellent read. Especially good in between some heavier reads!
This was a bit of a harder read given the subject matter is sexual assault and the legal system. However, it’s also a powerful, raw and very well written memoir that is also full of light and empathy along the way. It was incredibly informative without ever being dry, and was most importantly full of strength and heart. Much like Louise Milligan’s Witness, it’s the sort of book I think is important for everyone to read.
The Boys Club
Whilst I am a big fan of the AFL it’s safe to say I have lots of concerns and issues with how the game is run at times. This book really lays out exactly why I am right to have those concerns, and steps through some of the darker times in the sports history and the key players behind it all. It was an infuriating read at times, that’s for sure, but still incredibly interesting. Definitely worth a read if you’re keen to learn more about the behind the scenes world of the AFL.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
I knew I couldn’t do another reading challenge check-in without getting around to reading at least one classic, so I finally sorted myself out and ordered this one. Turns out, it’s a classic for a reason – who would have guessed! I thoroughly enjoyed this, it’s such an incredible exploration of character and I loved Wilde’s writing style. It might finally be time for me to explore more of his books!
In Cold Blood
This is another one that ticks off my ‘read-more-classics’ requirement, and it was another winner. I really enjoyed the structure of this, jumping between characters and locations but somehow remaining really cohesive and easy to follow. My only gripe is that it only has a handful of chapters, which makes finding a spot to put it down for the night tricky! That’s made extra hard by how much I enjoyed it so I didn’t want to put it down at all! It’s safe to say I’ll be picking up more classics after these two!