Welcome to the Autumn Challenge, with a beautiful picture from Bright in Victoria to get us into the mood!
1. International Women’s Day (03-Mar-2013) – Read a book about a strong female character either fiction or non-fiction.
Gail Carriger – Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1)
It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.
Sophronia Temminnick at 14 is a great trial more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners — and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Her poor mother, desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady, enrolls the lively tomboy in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage — in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.
“What’s that?” she asked the girl, wrinkling her nose.
“Oh, that? That’s just Pillover.”
“And what’s a pillover, when it’s at home?”
“My little brother.”
“Ah, I commiserate. I have several of my own. Dashed inconvenient, brothers.”
― Gail Carriger,
Etiquette & Espionage
2. Clean Up Australia Day: REDUCE – Read a book from your TBR shelf
David Mitchell – Cloud Atlas is a Sword & Laser read for October 2012
A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation—the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.
In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity’s dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.
3. Clean Up Australia Day: RECYCLE – Read any book from the library
4. The Ides of March (15-Mar-2013)- In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by Brutus and 60 other co-conspirators. This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned to “beware the Ides of March” – Read a book with a murder or assassination in the plot.
Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris – Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1)
These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences—the Crown’s clandestine organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling—will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D. Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest . . . and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books, along with her into the perilous fray.
For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun—he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices—must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot . . . or see England fall to the Phoenix!
5. St. Patrick’s Day (17-Mar-2013) – Celebrate with the Irish – Read a book written by an Irish author, set in Ireland or has an Irish character.
Eoin Colfer – The Wish List
Meg Finn is in trouble-unearthly trouble. Cast out of her home by her stepfather after her mother’s death, Meg is a wanderer, a troublemaker. But after her latest stunt, finding a place to sleep is the least of her worries. Belch, her partner in crime, has gotten her involved in the attempted robbery of an elderly man, Lowrie McCall. And things go horribly wrong. After an accidental explosion, Meg’s spirit is flung into limbo, and a race begins between the demonic and the divine to win her soul. Irreverent, hilarious, and touchingly hopeful, The Wish List takes readers on a journey of second chances, where joy is found in the most unexpected places.
6. Australian Labour Day used to be called Eight Hours Day – Choose a book whose main characters are working class people, e.g. construction, office or health workers, policemen or teachers. (Make sure you mention their occupation in the discussion thread)
7. Colours of Autumn – Choose a book which has red, gold, brown, orange or yellow in the title or whose cover is primarily an Autumn colour. (Post the cover in the discussion thread)
8. Easter (29-Mar-2013 – 01-Apr-2013) – Read a book that YOU would associate with Easter…explain your connection when posting your book choice:)
Robert Rankin – The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse (Eddie Bear #1)
Toy Town—older, bigger, and certainly not wiser. The Old Rich, who have made their millions from the royalties on their world-famous nursery rhymes, are being murdered one by one. A psychopath is on the loose, and he must be stopped at any cost. It’s a job for Toy Town’s only detective—but he’s missing, leaving only Eddie Bear, and his bestest friend Jack, to track down the mad killer.
Pulp detective style fantasy with adult themes, stirred up with Monty Python – what’s not to like?
“As real as,’ said Eddie.
‘As real as what?’ said Jack.
‘Wish I knew,’ said Eddie. ‘But I can’t do corroborative nouns. None of us are perfect, are we? I can get started. As big as, as obscene as, as foul as. But I can’t get any further. But that’s life for you again. As unfair as…”
― Robert Rankin,
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
9. Anzac Day (25-Apr-2013) – Read a book depicting the ANZACs or anything connected to war where our Australian and/or New Zealand troops took part.
Peter FitzSimons – Kokoda
For Australians, Kokoda is the iconic battle of World War II, yet few people know the names of the men who fought on the track, or even the details of what happened. More Australians died in the months of fighting in Papua, than in any other campaign of World War II.
Now bestselling author Peter FitzSimons tells the Kokoda story in a gripping, and moving, style for all Australians. Kokoda was a defining battle for Australia, where a small force of young, ill-equipped Australians engaged a highly experienced and hitherto unstoppable Japanese force on a narrow, precarious jungle track. Again and again, the outnumbered Australians risked everything to stop the Japanese from advancing along the track towards mainland Australia.
Conditions on the track were hellish – rain was constant, the terrain close to inhospitable, food and ammunition supplies were practically non-existent and the men constantly battled malaria and dysentery, as well as the Japanese. The Australian troops were wounded and exhausted beyond belief, but always found that extra bit of spirit to fight on, with the help of the local people.
Kokoda is a superb blend of authority and gripping storytelling-history at its best.
(Media: Hardback, Audiobook)
Having already read the hardback when it was first released I am going to listen to the audio book on the lead up to walking the 1000 Steps Kokoda Walk in Ferntree Gully with the Venturer unit on ANZAC Day.
10. Mothers Day (12-May-2013) – Read a book depicting mothers/grandmothers and family; with a special connection to Mothers/Grandmothers:)
And finally, for those of you who read quickly and want more……
11. & 12. Finish the challenge with at least two books from your TBR list – Just because you can!!