366 Books February Update

Two months into the National Year of Reading, means two months down in my attempt to read 366 books this year. That means it must also be time for an update.

Two months into the National Year of Reading, means two months down in my attempt to read 366 books this year. That means it must also be time for an update.

So 31 days in January, 29 days in February means, by now, I should have read 60 books. And guess what – that’s exactly where I’m at! On target to get to 366 books. These are the books I read in February:

34 Come Down, Cat Sonya Hartnett Penguin Picture Book
35 The Outcasts John Flanagan Random House Young Adult
36 Quinn’s Riddles Aleesah Darlison Walker Children’s
37 Willow’s Challenge Aleesah Darlison Walker Children’s
38 Krystal’s Choice Aleesah Darlison Walker Children’s
39 Ellabeth’s Test Aleesah Darlison Walker Children’s
40 The Secret Signal Simon Haynes Bowman Children’s
41 Poetry Matters Ralph Fletcher Harper Trophy Non Fiction – Writing
42 HipsterMattic Matt Granfield Allen & Unwin Non Fiction
43 Darius Bell & the Crystal Bees Odo Hirsch Allen & Unwin Children’s
44 The Coming of the Whirlpool Andrew McGahan Allen & Unwin Young Adult
45 Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck Michelle Gillespie Fremantle Press Picture Book
46 The Bicyle Colin Thompson ABC Books Picture Book
47 Tin Toys Bruce Whatley Random House Picture Book
48 The Jewel Fish of Karnak Graeme Base Penguin Picture Book
49 A Bus Called Heaven Bob Graham Walker Picture Book
50 Vampyre Margaret Wild Walker Picture Book
51 Desert Boys Peter Rees Allen & Unwin Non Fiction
52 The Flying Emu Sally Morgan Walker Children’s
53 Foal’s Bread Gillian Mears Allen & Unwin Adult
54 The Carousel Ursula Dubosarsky Viking Picture Book
55 Assault Brian Falkner Walker Young Adult
56 The Red House Mystery AA Milne Adult
57 Matilda is Missing Caroline Overington Bantam Adult
58 Bom! Went the Bear Nicki Greenberg Allen & Unwin Picture Book
59 Rudie Nudie Emma Quay ABC Books Picture Book
60 Equinox Lara Morgan Walker Young Adult

If you are quick to count you might notice that although I’m up to 60, I actually started the month ahead, and so didn’t quite read a book a day during February. There are a couple of reasons for this, to do with school going back, writing commitments and speaking engagements. But there are also some books which need more than one day to read.  For example, Peter Rees’ Desert Boys took almost a week to get through – which was well worth the effort, although it took me close to not meeting my quota for the month

As with January, I’ve linked the titles above to the reviews of the books, where I’ve reviewed them. If there is no link it means I haven’t reviewed the book – most probably because it isn’t Australian (in January there were some Australian books which I didn’t review because I was sending them to Claire to review instead).

A new month started today – that’s another 31 books to get read! I look forward to keeping you updated with my progress.

I hope you’re  still celebrating the National Year of Reading.


366 Books January Update

It’s a new month, which means one month of my National Year of Reading challenge has passed. If you haven’t been reading my posts, or following my updates on Twitter or Facebook, I’ll explain.

This year is the National year of Reading here in Australia. Hooray! A whole year of focus on one of life’s great treasures. All around the country there are events,promotions and challenges designed to get people of all ages, from all walks of life reading more – and loving it! You can see details of the goings on at the official website.

So, I woke up on the first of January and thought to myself – wow, it’s the Year of Reading. I wonder if I can really make it a year of reading, and read a book for every day of the year. And before I could stop and think about it, I’d told the world that that was what I was trying to do. And people have encouraged me,  so I’ve run with it.  You can see my original post which explains the parameters I’ve set for myself, here.

Anyway, it’s been a month, so I thought the end of the month (or, in fact, the first day of the new one) was a good time to check in and see how I’m doing – and, so far, I;m doing fine. 31 days of the year down, and I;ve read 33 books. Here’s the list so far, with links to the ones I’ve reviewed on Aussiereviews.


1 Straight Line to My Heart Bill Condon Allen & Unwin Young Adult
2 Only Ever Always Penni Russon Allen & Unwin Young Adult
3 Harry’s War John Heffernan Omnibus Children’s
4 Just Like That Janet Poole Mountain View Self Help
5 Shadrach Meindert Dejong Harper Trophy Chidlren’s
6 Nanberry Jackie French Angus&RObertson Young Adult
7 Extinction 2 Lizzie Wilcock Scholastic Young Adult
8 The Filth Licker Cristy Burne Frances Lincoln Children’s
9 Crow Country Kate Constable Allen & Unwin Young Adult
10 Note on the Door Lorraine Marwood Walker Children’s/Poetry
11 The Golden Door Emily Rodda Scholastic Children’s
12 Lily Gets Her Wings Elizabeth Pulford Scholastic Children’s
13 Animal People Charlotte Wood Allen & Unwin Contemporary Adult
14 Lily Has a Secret Elizabeth Pulford Scholastic Children’s
15 Button Boy Rebecca Young & Sue deGennaro Scholastic Picture Book
16 I Heart You, You Haunt Me Lisa Schroeder Simon Pulse YA Verse Novel
17 Froi of the Exiles Melina Marchetta Penguin Young Adult
18 The Red Bridge Kylie Dunstan Windy Hollow Picture Book
19 Nog and the Land of Noses Bruce Whatley Scholastic Picture Book
20 How Now Brown Frau Merridy Eastman Allen & Unwin NonFiction – Memoir
21 Revenge Gabrielle Lord Scholastic Children’s
22 Selected Poems TS Eliot Faber and Faber Poetry
23 Lola’s Secret Monica McInerney Penguin Contemporary Adult
24 The Little Refugee Ahn Do Allen & Unwin Picture Book
25 Cooking the Books Kerry  Greenwood Allen & Unwin Adult
26 Flood Jackie French Scholastic Picture Book
27 City of Lies Lian Tanner Allen & Unwin Children’s
28 Bilby Secrets Edel Wignell Walker Picture Book
29 The Biggest Estate on Earth Bill Gammage Allen & Unwin NonFiction – Memoir
30 Selby Sprung Duncan Ball Angus&Robertson Children’s
31 For All Creatures Glenda Millard Walker Picture Book
32 Autumn Laing Alex Miller Allen & Unwin Adult – Literary Fiction
33 The Attractor Factor Joe Vitale Wiley Self Help


You can see I’ve read a real range of books – across age groups, formats and subject matter. So far 7 picture books (yes, I know these are short and help my total, which is why I’m only counting them if it’s the first time I;ve read them AND I review them), 10 children’s books, 7 young adult, 4 adult fiction, 4 adult nonfiction.  Lengthwise they’ve ranged from the picture books to  one of over 600 pages. Some have taken more than one day to read, and one of the challenges I’ve had is to not worry about the tally so much but to really enjoy each book. It’s not a race – it’s an adventure.

I must say that the big revelation for me has been that setting myself this challenge has helped me rediscover some of the fun of reading. Yes, I;ve always loved reading, but as a reviewer with an always-large review pile, sometimes it feels like a chore – especially when I feel guilt about the size of that pile. Suddenly, in January, my pile is going down and I’ve also allowed myself time to read things not in that pile.

Onto February. I’m halfway through two different books at the moment – because I’ve decided to read a chapter of a writing book every day. And, looking at my pile, I have some great reads ahead of me in the next 29 days. I’ll update you again soon.

In the meantime, I would love to hear about any challenges you are participating in this year.




366 Books in 366 Days

Happy New Year to you! I had a pretty awesome 2011 but am really excited about the promise of a brand new year and loving that 2012 is the National Year of Reading. Also really excited about my role as local ambassador for Bunbury, WA.

I had toyed with the idea of a reading meme for the National Year of Reading, but there are so many other really good ones already that I hesitated to add another which might duplicate what was already being done.

But then I woke up this morning and had this great idea for a reading challenge for myself. It’s the YEAR of reading, isn’t it? So what if I could truly make it a year of reading by reading a book for every day of the year? That would be 366 books in 366 days (the leap year gives me the chance to squeeze in an extra book).

No sooner had I formed the idea than I was tweeting and facebooking it, so suddenly I’d made this partly formed idea into something I’d announced to the world. But hey, making it public might motivate to actually do it – or to give it a darn good shot.

So, yes, I am going to try to read 366 books in 2012. These will come from across genres and age groups, so they will range from picture books through to very serious works of literature, and nonfiction too. I’m already an eclectic reader, so don’t plan to change that too much.

However, to avoid the urge to just sit down with my picture book collection and read my way through the first 366 of those, I’m making a rule for myself that I’ll only count picture books that I read for the first time, and also review – because the time it takes me to read and review a picture book is equal to reading a much longer book.

Where possible I will review the books I read on Aussiereviews, if they fit within Aussiereviews parameters – ie I only review Aussie author or published books here, and don’t review a book if I can’t review it mostly positively. But I have also decided independently of this challenge that I need to spend a bit more time in 2012 reading stuff that I don’t plan to review – because there are so many wonderful books from overseas, and classic books, and childhood favourites and so on that I never get around to reading because of my focus on Aussiereviews.

So here’s my plan:

  1. Read at least 366 books in 2012.
  2. Keep a list of these, and chronicle my progress on my Nameless blog and on Aussiereviews, as well as through social media (twitter and facebook)
  3. Review those which can be reviewed on Aussiereviews
  4. Include as many as possible that I read because I want to (whether or not I’ll be reviewing them)
  5. Only include picture books in the 366 if I also review them
  6. Lastly, and importantly, I’m only going to stick to this challenge if I enjoy it. If I find myself beating myself up over getting behind, or not blogging about it often enough or whatever, I’ll stop. Reading should be fun!

I’ll keep you informed with my progress as much as possible. Would love to know if anyone else decided to give this idea a shot.

Now I’m off to do some reading. Happy National Year of Reading!