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Challenges > 2019 Winter Quarter Challenge - Women Authors from Nigeria, Oceania or Canada

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message 1: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Starting January 1 and ending on March 31, this challenge will focus on women authors from Nigeria, Oceania and Canada. All 3 are countries from which many talented women authors hail, and have produced a large volume of great literature as well as fine genre fiction.

The qualifications - does an author who moved to one of these countries/regions at age 30 and has resided there for the last decade plus, or who was born in one of our focus countries but left at age 14, for example, qualify - are up to each reader's judgment.

Let us know if you plan to participate and share any recommendations in this thread, along with your thoughts on the books you select.


message 2: by lethe (new)

lethe | 170 comments Since the challenge starts 1 January, I might open it with a reread of Come, Thou Tortoise by Canadian author Jessica Grant. That book has quickly become a Christmas/New Year favourite of mine and it's already been three years since I last read it! 😉 😱


message 3: by Laurie (last edited Mar 08, 2019 08:35PM) (new)

Laurie | 107 comments I'll try for one from each area. These are my initial picks but I could make changes

Nigeria - My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite 3/8/19
Oceania - The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead
Canada - How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny 1/27/19
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan 2/15/19


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
lethe wrote: "Since the challenge starts 1 January, I might open it with a reread of Come, Thou Tortoise by Canadian author Jessica Grant. That book has quickly become a Christmas/..."

Thanks for augmenting my TBR, lethe:)


message 5: by lethe (new)

lethe | 170 comments Haha! I've heard the book is quite hard to find nowadays, so maybe you won't have to read it after all ;)


message 6: by Carol (last edited Dec 28, 2018 09:47AM) (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
I’m thinking about reading 3-4 of the following:

Nigeria:
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
Efuru by Flora Nwapa
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Canada:
The Birds That Stay by Ann Lambert (Quebec— first in a new mystery series)
Mãn by Kim Thúy
The Golden Road or something else by L.M. Montgomery that isn’t in the Anne series.
No Known Grave by Maureen Jennings

Oceania
Something by Emma Viskic
A Kerry Greenwood Phryne Fisher novel I haven’t read
My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin


message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
lethe wrote: "Haha! I've heard the book is quite hard to find nowadays, so maybe you won't have to read it after all ;)"

Those new prices are nutty (USD $1099 for a new 09 paperback?), but used starts at $4.99 plus media mail, so I’ve no excuse. lol


message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "I'll try for one from each area. These are my initial picks but I could make changes
Nigeria - The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin
Oceania - [book..."


I’ve been wanting to read Baba Segi for some time. Thanks for reminding me of it, Laura.


Crazytourists_books | 16 comments I am definitely in! I just need to get my hands on a book from a Canadian author


message 10: by Liesl (last edited Apr 28, 2019 10:44AM) (new)


message 11: by Liesl (last edited Dec 29, 2018 04:11AM) (new)

Liesl | 238 comments Carol wrote: "I’m thinking about reading 3-4 of the following:

Nigeria:
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
Efuru by Flora Nwapa
[book:My ..."


I haven't read My Brilliant Career since school. I bought a copy of it for my daughter to read last time we were in Australia. I might have to dig it out and read it again.

Efuru sounds very interesting. I may have to re-evaluate my list.


Crazytourists_books | 16 comments I had no idea that Atwood is Canadian! The challenge is on then!
Nigeria: Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo
New Zealand: Where the rekohu bone sings by Tina Makereri
Canada: The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood


message 13: by lethe (new)

lethe | 170 comments @Carol, Liesl:
Ooh, My Brilliant Career! I want to reread that one as well.

And I have the first two volumes of Janet Frame's autobiography An Angel at my Table, so that's Australia/Oceania settled — for now ;)


message 14: by Carol (last edited Dec 29, 2018 04:46AM) (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Crazytourists_books wrote: "I had no idea that Atwood is Canadian! The challenge is on then!
Nigeria: Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo
New Zealand: Where the rekohu bone sings by Tina Makereri
Canada: The Penelopiad by Margare..."


Stay With Me was one of my 2018 favorites. Where the Rekohu Bone Sings is new to me and looks really interesting...


message 15: by Martha (last edited Feb 20, 2019 02:11PM) (new)

Martha (marthais) | 14 comments Going to have a bash at this, though I'm not always great at quarterly challenges! Will aim for at least three books. Here are the options from my shelf, let me know if there are any you particularly recommend:

Nigeria
Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ - 19th Feb 19
Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

Canada
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
Delusions of Gender: The Real Science behind Sex Differences by Cordelia Fine
Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds by Cordelia Fine
Sophia's Secret by Susanna Kearsley
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Oceania
Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty - 11th Feb 19
Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris


message 16: by Carol (last edited Jan 02, 2019 07:02AM) (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Martha wrote: "Going to have a bash at this, though I'm not always great at quarterly challenges! Will aim for at least three books. Here are the options from my shelf, let me know if there are any you particular..."

Martha, your list is stellar and includes a few unfamiliar to me. My TBR thanks you! Of these, I’ve read Anne of Green Gables and Stay With Me - one of the best novels I read in 2018. Highly recommended. Sophia’s Secret is set in Scotland, but Kearsley resides in Toronto, so if you want to use this challenge to explore outside of these countries through the eyes of resident authors, it might be a fine choice.

I am not objective about Anne. I adore the entire series and consider it must-read for all. I think of book one similarly to the first Harry Potter novel, in that reading it is essential to appreciating Anne, being introduced to all of the main characters, the setting, and framing what comes later, but it isn’t the best book in the series— only the first, if that makes sense.


message 17: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Either for Australia or for our nonfiction challenge later this year, I want to read this: 'Me Write Myself’: The Free Aboriginal Inhabitants of Van Diemen’s Land at Wybalenna, 1832–47 by Leonie Stevens.

Here’s a link to the review that sold me:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

As an aside: I know little of Australian history, less about the history of its indigenous peoples, and we’ve commented from time to time on the dearth of science/history nonfiction written by women authors. In 2019, I’m challenging myself to put my dollars and time where my politics are when it comes to women authors in this space. (No guilt or shade on anyone else’s choices is intended.)


message 18: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthais) | 14 comments Thanks Carol! A lot of bookworms I follow on social media LOVE Anne of Green Gables so I’m getting increasingly afraid to read it in case it doesn’t love up!


message 19: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Martha wrote: "Thanks Carol! A lot of bookworms I follow on social media LOVE Anne of Green Gables so I’m getting increasingly afraid to read it in case it doesn’t love up!"

Maybe read it when you have time to read at least some if not all of the second book? Lol. Just an idea. I found it to be a fast read, btw.


message 20: by Carol (last edited Jan 19, 2019 06:57PM) (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Lark started a thread in the Newest Literary Fiction Group yesterday of everyone’s favorite “other” groups. Lo and behold, there is a CanadianContent Group if anyone is interested.

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

I’m thinking that being a member will not only remind me to read Canadian authors but will inspire me with new-to-me novels.


message 21: by Liesl (last edited Jan 22, 2019 04:59AM) (new)

Liesl | 238 comments Carol, how would you like us to start discussions on the books we are reading for this? Do we just add our comments in the general discussion? Or do we need to start sub-threads within the challenge? (and if we do have to start a thread, how do we do that?)

I have started reading The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin.


message 22: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Liesl wrote: "Carol, how would you like us to start discussions on the books we are reading for this? Do we just add our comments in the general discussion? Or do we need to start sub-threads within the challeng..."

Liesl, if you would like to post (or envision) multiple updates about a book, I recommend that you start a new thread under this “Challenges” folder. If you don’t know or want only to post final thoughts and link to a review, that probably can just stay in this thread. Feel free to make the call that feels right to you in either event.

I am REALLY looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Baba Segi :). It seems to produce lovers and haters and no reader straddling the opinion fence.


message 23: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 107 comments I've read my book from Canada with a mystery author I enjoy very much. It was the 9th book in a series, How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny. It wasn't the best in the series so far, but it settled two issues hanging over from previous books, so I was happy about that. And it kept me reading feverishly to see what would happen, so that's always a good sign.


message 24: by Liesl (new)

Liesl | 238 comments I really enjoyed The Secret Lives of the Four Wives by Lola Shoneyin. I hadn't read any of the reviews so I had no idea what I was in for. It is illuminating, funny and heart-wrenching all in one. There were moments that I felt like this was a work that brought together many of the themes we have covered over the past year in other works, both fiction and non-fiction. It was interesting to take a peak inside a polygamist household and glimpse the sacrifices that allow it to function and the rivalries that make it unbearable.


message 25: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 107 comments Liesl wrote: "I really enjoyed The Secret Lives of the Four Wives by Lola Shoneyin. I hadn't read any of the reviews so I had no idea what I was in for. It is illuminating, funny ..."

This is also my pick for Nigeria, so I am glad to see you liked it. I hope to read it next month.


message 26: by Anita (last edited Apr 05, 2019 07:37AM) (new)

Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 368 comments Mod
I will try, also, to read at least one book from each!
So far, I've chosen
Canada: Margaret Atwood - Good Bones and Simple Murders
New Zealand (Oceania): Keri Hulme - The Bone People
Nigeria: Oyinkan Braithwaite - My Sister, the Serial Killer

*I finished all three books.


message 27: by Liesl (new)

Liesl | 238 comments I just finished Efuru by Flora Nwapa. To me it was much more traditional than The Secret Lives of the Four Wives. It is set in the compounds of the village people and covers the interactions of the women and men of those compounds in their daily lives. A lot of superstition and traditions of these people are covered in the story. It is always fascinating to see the lives of a different culture but where Lola Shoneyin had used humour to make the polygamist storyline tolerable, I found this story more difficult to relate to.


message 28: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 107 comments I read a second book by a Canadian author, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. It is about an 11 year old slave in Barbados and I loved it. I definitely want to read more from this author.


message 29: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "I read a second book by a Canadian author, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. It is about an 11 year old slave in Barbados and I loved it. I definitely want to read mo..."

I’ve been on the fence about this one and am glad to hear you liked it. Adding WB to my best-term TBR.


message 30: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 107 comments Carol wrote: "Laurie wrote: "I read a second book by a Canadian author, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. It is about an 11 year old slave in Barbados and I loved it. I definitely ..."

I did enjoy it but there were some rather amazing events that required a suspension of disbelief. I was ready for something fast paced which was undemanding of me as a reader. This fit the bill nicely.


message 31: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthais) | 14 comments I finished Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ yesterday - ohhh myyy goodness it was excellent! I had a proper book hangover today, I couldn't read anything new!


message 32: by Carol (last edited Feb 20, 2019 05:29PM) (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Martha wrote: "I finished Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ yesterday - ohhh myyy goodness it was excellent! I had a proper book hangover today, I couldn't read anything new!"


I adored Stay With Me. I still think about it and I probably read it last April or so. It packs quite a punch, eh?


message 33: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 107 comments Martha, I thought Stay with Me was great too. It was quite memorable.


message 34: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
For those interested in Canadian literature, the Newest Literary Fiction group set up a thread for February (where the theme is, "Canada") that introduced me to several novels I'd not heard of elsewhere and that I thought might be of interest to our members. To clarify, these aren't current or newly published reads, and aren't limited to women authors.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Messages 2, 3, and 29, in particular, are great resources.

How is everyone doing with this challenge? If either want to vet a read beforehand, or want recommendations, post let us know here and no doubt other members will weigh in with helpfulness.


message 35: by Liesl (new)

Liesl | 238 comments I'm still plodding along. I'm currently reading Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman. This has been on my To Read list for quite a while and I was really excited about finally reading it.

I tried clicking on the link to the "Canada" thread for book suggestions but you have to be a member to see it.


message 36: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Liesl wrote: "I'm still plodding along. I'm currently reading Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman. This has been on my To Read list for quite a while and I was really excited abo..."

Understood and thanks for the heads-up. I guess I'm unusually comfortable and accustomed to joining groups and either leaving them after I"ve accessed what I wanted, or staying in and never visiting again, but everyone's level of comfort is different/personal. I might try to duplicate some of the links here over next weekend, so they're available.

I am somehow reading books from every country in the world but these 3 notwithstanding my interest, and am hoping to leave obligation behind and have more control over my March, in which case, I'm likely to start with The Birds That Stay by Ann Lambert, A Deadly Divide by Ausma Zehanat Khan or Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels. Coin toss the likely decider.


message 37: by Liesl (new)

Liesl | 238 comments I finished Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman yesterday. As I mentioned above, I had been wanting to read this for a while. Over the past 20 odd years there have been some very nuanced works on colonisation by White Australian authors so I was really looking forward to reading an Aboriginal perspective on the topic. There were moments in the novel, particularly when writing from the perspective of what are designated "Native" characters, that were incredibly written and very enlightening. Unfortunately, I felt that the motivations of the colonising characters were very one-dimensional which leaves the story very unbalanced. If my labelling sounds a little weird, it is because there is a twist in the novel that makes it difficult to classify the characters very clearly without spoiling the twist.

I actually felt that the work needed a good editor. The story is very disjointed as it bounces between different sub-plots. At times there were repetitions of phrasing within the same paragraph.

On to the next one.


message 38: by Laurie (last edited Mar 08, 2019 08:46PM) (new)

Laurie | 107 comments I changed my pick for Nigeria to My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite which I finished tonight. Such a title and a story of two sisters, one who kills her boyfriends and the other who helps her cover it up, does not lead the reader to think it will be a light read. But quick and light is exactly what it is. There are certainly serious issues involved even beyond the killings: physical abuse, addiction to social media, marriages of convenience, etc. But still there is humor and tongue in cheek playfulness about the killer sister's obsession.


message 39: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "I changed my pick for Nigeria to My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite which I finished tonight. Such a title and a story of two sisters, one who kil..."

I picked up my hold of it this afternoon! I’m so glad to read about your happiness with it.


message 40: by Anita (new)

Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 368 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "I changed my pick for Nigeria to My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite which I finished tonight. Such a title and a story of two sisters, one who kil..."

That is my last book for this challenge and I'm excited to get to it this month. The Bone People was a rough read in terms of topic and delivery. It's one of those that I'm glad I read and also glad I'm done


message 42: by Carol (last edited Mar 09, 2019 03:57PM) (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
And for fans of New Zealand LitFic, the 2019 Ockhams announced their short list, and it includes these finalists from women authors:

The New Ships by Kate Duignan
The New Ships by Kate Duignan

This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman
This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman


message 43: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Anita wrote: "Laurie wrote: "I changed my pick for Nigeria to My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite which I finished tonight. Such a title and a story of two siste..."

I had wanted to read Bone People but in honesty its heftiness dissuaded me. Knowing that its content also is challenging, it may drift down my TBR.


message 44: by Laurie (last edited Mar 09, 2019 08:00PM) (new)

Laurie | 107 comments Carol wrote: "Anita wrote: "Laurie wrote: "I changed my pick for Nigeria to My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite which I finished tonight. Such a title and a stor..."


You need to be ready for a heavy topic when you tackle The Bone People, but I think it is well worth it.

Anita wrote: "Laurie wrote: "I changed my pick for Nigeria to My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite which I finished tonight. Such a title and a story of two siste..."

I read The Bone People a few years ago, and it was rather devastating and difficult. But I still think about it periodically. I think I gave it 3 stars but I have considered upgrading to four. It was so well written and there are many things about it I still remember and that kind of detail sticking with me is very unusual.


message 45: by Anita (new)

Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 368 comments Mod
I agree completely Laurie, with all of your comments about The Bone People. I do think it's worth it Carol, personally it took a bit of time to get through though.


message 46: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Understood and thanks to you both for sharing your thoughts on it.


message 47: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
I started my first book from Canada (for 2019), and my first Maureen Jennings novel. It’s the second book in her Detective Murdoch series, Under the Dragon's Tail. Toronto, late 1800s, a dead body. What’s not to love?


message 48: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "I started my first book from Canada (for 2019), and my first Maureen Jennings novel. It’s the second book in her Detective Murdoch series, Under the Dragon's Tail. T..."

Finished. It was fine. I may read another in the series in the future, but it lacked something. It was comparable to a better Anne Perry novel.


message 49: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 769 comments Mod
We have almost two weeks left in this quarter for the timely completists among us. I'm hopeful of adding another Canadian read to my '"read" list, whether or not I ultimately finish in April.

This thread will remain open, of course, and I'm hoping members will continue to share, post March, recommendations and finds pertinent to these 2 countries and a region.

Has anyone read anything great for this challenge that you haven't already commented upon here? If, yes, what was it?


message 50: by Liesl (new)

Liesl | 238 comments Carol wrote: " Has anyone read anything great for this challenge that you haven't already commented upon here? If, yes, what was it?"

I'm reading Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood and so far it is everything you expect from Atwood. I was hooked from the moment I started reading it.

As for completing my challenge, I've had a few distractions over the past month so I am disappointed that I won't make it by the end of March. I will keep updating this thread as I finish the books though.


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