I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I need a new reading project that will help shape my reading year.
For the past six years, I’ve used the Australian Women Writers Challenge to help do this, but the challenge, as we know it, has now ceased. It’s going off in a new direction, celebrating older, less well-known women writers in an attempt to rescue them from history’s big black hole, a noble idea and one that I will be following closely. But sadly, the participatory element — of adding your reviews to an online database — has gone.
I figured that I might just spend all of 2022 reading on a whim. I participated in so many reading challenges and reading weeks hosted on other blogs during the course of last year that following my own agenda this year seemed quite tempting. But my reading in January was a bit directionless and I realised I don’t want to continue along those lines.
I want a new project, one that I can spread out over the course of a year, that will challenge me to read outside of my comfort zone, introduce me to new voices and perspectives, as well as provide some entertainment and escapism as well as education and enlightenment. (I don’t want much, do I? 😂)
The recent ABC TV series Books That Made Us highlighted how indigenous Australian writers are going through a boom right now. And while I was chuffed to discover that I had read most of the novels name-checked, the show also introduced me to some new names and book titles I was keen to explore. Given I have several books by Aboriginal Australians in my TBR already, it seemed logical to create a project that would encourage me to tackle them.
And so, I give you my Reading First Nations Writers project.
Between now and the end of December, I’d like to read and review at least 12 books by First Nations writers. I’m going to rely heavily on my local library, which has a dedicated indigenous section, but I’m also keen to read books I already have on my shelves, including Benevolence by Julie Janson, Carpentaria and The Swan Book, both by Alexis Wright, Billa Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss and The Old Lie by Claire G. Coleman.
I’d be delighted if you wanted to join along. You don’t have to read books by indigenous Australians — First Nations is a broad term to include indigenous peoples from around the world (although it mainly applies to Australia and Canada as per this Wkipedia entry). Feel free to use my logo above and link back here or send a trackback so I know you’ve participated.
I will build a page, similar to my #FocusOnWesternAustralianWriters, so I can track my progress because even though I will be #ReadingFirstNationsWriters in 2022, I expect this will be a long-term project stretching into the years ahead. I’m really looking forward to it.
UPDATE (13 FEB): You will now find a dedicated page under ‘projects’ on the main menu bar of this blog. Or simply click here.