I am joining the Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading and Reviewing Challenge, in this, the National Year of Reading (in Australia, that is).
Even though I've been an avid reader all my life, and have a masters degree in literature, for heaven's sake, I actually don't really read books anymore. Or at least, at the moment. Practically. But I am going to make the supreme sacrifice and read some for this challenge.
I'm only aiming for the casual "Miles" level (casual levels include Stella, Miles, & Franklin-Fantastic :) ), which means I need to read at least 6 books by contemporary Australian women, and review at least 3. That shouldn't be too hard. I will probably review them at my book blog, but I'll link to them from here, or keep a list in the sidebar or something, for accountability.
My first book will be One Magic Square, for the simple reason that I am already reading it.* After that I will find some fiction to read. I am going for the 'Dabbler' title of mixed genres. But I will probably review that at Sustainable Suburbia, rather than my book blog. So many sites to keep track of...
The stated goal of the challenge is to "help counteract the gender bias in reviewing and social media newsfeeds that has continued throughout 2011". Further discussions on this issue here, and more on the rationale for the challenge here. They also mention that the National Year of Reading's, Love2Read "Our Story" campaign consists of 48 books, of which only 18 are written by women. That's a pretty significant discrepancy!
*I am reading three books at the moment, even though I know I said I don't read, but these don't really count - for starters, one of them is on my phone (Kindle for iPhone - I know Amazon is probably evil (eventually all the book links on this blog will go to either Fishpond of Booktopia or someone else), but I didn't actually buy a kindle so I'm not locked in (I have three other iPhone book reading apps), but I do love reading on my phone, when I'm nursing Elli in the middle of the night); also none of them is fiction, which is what I really mean by books.
The other two are The Must Read book of The Year (unless you read it last year) - The Great Disruption, by Paul Gilding, and another wonderful book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver.
The Kingsolver book is the one I'm reading on my iPhone, and the sad truth is that I bought it in hard copy while I was in the States, and then realised I never have time to read any more - though I am *making* time for the Gilding book (and One Magic Square is sort of dip into book, but I will read it all in order to review it for this challenge now), so I bought it again, in the kindle edition.