It’s time for another Reading Challenges Check-In! While I was pretty steady in my reading over the last few months I wasn’t overly focused on ticking off my challenges when choosing books. So, it will be interesting to see how I am going across all the categories! Without further ado, here’s some of the books I have read since my last reading challenge check-in!
The Tall Man: The Death of Doomadgee
It’s safe to say this isn’t a light read, but it’s absolutely an important one. I’m a little young to properly remember the events covered in this book playing out at the time, so much of the specifics were new to me. Unfortunately, the topic of Aboriginal deaths in custody is still very much a current issue. Chloe Hooper’s in depth following of this case provides not only incredible insights into the specifics of what played out, but explores the history that got us to this point. Absolutely worth a read.
Raised By Wolves
I’m slightly biased on this one as Jess and I went to high school together, but I still learned so much about their life – as well as the world of hospitality, race, gender and family here in Melbourne. It’s a memoir that is dark, funny, sharp and incredibly insightful and an absolute page turner. This ticked off a few reading challenges as well – a memoir, debut and released in 2022!
Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone
I picked up this book based pretty much on the title alone (so I think that means it meet the picked by the cover category in my reading challenges!) and I’m so glad I did. It was a really interesting structure – moving back and forth in time and breaking down the fourth wall in describing crime writing. The mystery at the centre was captivating, the writing was captivating and it had plenty of humour throughout as well. A really good option for when you’re after a page turner with a bit of intrigue in the mix!
The Paper House
Despite having followed Anna Spargo-Ryan on twitter for a long time, and loved the articles of hers I had read, I hadn’t actually read any of her books. So I decided to resolve that by picking up her debut book and it definitely lived up to expectations. Her prose is beautiful, the story was heartbreaking and bittersweet, and the discussion of mental health was very different to how it often is covered. The book was maybe a tad slow for me, but I still really enjoyed it.
Tell Me Why: The Story of My Life and My Music
After the incredibly sad loss of Archie Roach I knew it was time to read his autobiography, so borrowed a copy from a friend immediately. There was much of his story that I didn’t know and whilst much of it was a challenging read I’m so glad I now understand his story even more. An incredibly powerful memoir of an important Australian – I highly recommend reading this if you haven’t already.
Crying in H Mart
Another memoir that also ticks off my reading challenge of being set somewhere I haven’t been before (it’s predominantly set in Oregon). This was an incredible read – albeit a difficult one given it is focused around exploring her life while losing her mum. It’s a really personal story, raw and heartbreaking at times, but engaging throughout. It covers a broad range of topics – grief, food, family, culture, you name it. It definitely left me wanting to try more Korean food! Definitely recommend picking this one up.
Sorrow and Bliss
This was another read that tackles mental illness in a really interesting and important way. Beautifully written and really engaging even if the main character isn’t the easiest to like. It didn’t take me long to get through this book which is always a good sign that I’m keen to keep reading!
Her Last Words
Last but not least for this reading challenge check-in is another Australian female author. This was a really great read – not too challenging, but definitely interesting and engaging. Less of a mystery novel than it may seem from the get-go, and more a really well told story of friendship, grief, mental health and love. The characters are all really well rounded and it doesn’t hurt that I could picture most of the settings in Sydney too! I flew through this one as well, there may have been some accidental late nights while I was reading this!