Spring has certainly sprung in Canberra! Bulbs are popping up, there’s pollen in the air, and the days are whizzing by quicker than ever – the only explanation I can think of for the fact that I’m writing about my favourite reads from August when it is already the last week of September!
I have three brilliant books to share again this month – check them out below!
There has been a bit of a trend over the past little while for books with a dystopian setting that examine societies’ controlling of women and their bodies – a la Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve read a couple of these, and I think Christina Dalcher’s Vox might be my favourite! In Vox women are limited to speaking 100 words a day – from the age of 3 months all girls and women must wear a kind of bracelet that monitors their speech and administers an electric shock for going over their limit.
This book had me intrigued and terrified and furious right from the very first page. I think this one made me even more uncomfortable than other books I’ve read in this vein lately. Perhaps this was because the silencing of women is so real already that this felt really believable, and also because children (girls) were so directly affected. A bonus recommendation – if you enjoy this one, or this kind of thing is in your wheelhouse, I also loved Red Clocks by Leni Zumas.
Young Adult Fiction
This is actually a bit of a cheat since I didn’t read many YA books in August, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to talk about how fantastic this one is! Begin, End, Begin is a collection of short stories by some of Australia’s best YA authors. It was created as part of a movement to support and promote Australian YA, which can struggle to get attention in a market full of blockbuster books from overseas. The stories are from a bunch of fantastic authors writing across a range of genres, so I really think there is something for everyone in there – I don’t think there is a single contributor whose other work I haven’t picked up after reading through this one!
Our pick of the month for picture books was one that happened across just at the right time. I was out for lunch in the middle of the leadership dramas that were happening in Parliament at the start of the month when I spotted If I was Prime Minister (by Beck and Robin Feiner) on the shelves – obviously I couldn’t resist!
This is a really cute book full of ideas from kids around Australia about what they would do if they were Prime Minister. The suggestions include everything from inviting world leaders over for a cupcake and a jump on the trampoline to stopping pollution to save the environment. We have had a lot of fun reading this one together, and the illustrations are just gorgeous!
So, those were my favourite August reads! I’ll be back soon to talk about a few things we’ve been reading in September, including Kate Morton’s latest – The Clockmaker’s Daughter – which I finished last week and loved!
Until then, happy reading!