Stella Project discussion

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message 1: by Ely (new)

Ely (earlgreybooks) | 47 comments Mod
Hi, I'm Ely. I'm a blogger at Of Wonderland, booktuber at Earl Grey Books and the creator of this project. I'm so glad to have people interested in joining in with this little challenge I've set myself.

I thought for a little introduction it would be fun for everyone to say what city/country you're from and if you have a favourite longlisted Stella book, or if there's one you're particularly interested in.

So, I'm from Melbourne, and my favourite book from the list is Eggshell Skull: A memoir about standing up, speaking out and fighting back, but I also really loved Burial Rites and The Strays.

Can't wait to get talk about all these incredible books with you all!


message 2: by Sue (new)

Sue (fyrewitch) | 30 comments Hi Ely! Thanks for setting up the Project and the Goodreads Group. What a great idea!

I’m Sue, I’m in Brisbane and blog at Doddyaboutbooks.

I love the Stellas and only stumbled across them a couple of years ago. I always start with the intention of making it through the long list , but I never do. (Also, for my own clarity, are we working through the 2019 long list or all of them? )

From this year I really loved Too Much Lip and Eggshell Skull. I’m excited to read The Arsonist and I also haven’t read The Erratics yet!


message 3: by Emily Kate (new)

Emily Kate (bookishemilykate) | 0 comments Hi Ely and Sue!
How are you? Hope you're having a lovely day!

I'm Emily and I'm from Melbourne. New to book tube but literature really is the love of my life!

I'm like you Sue, I have always wanted to read the Stella list books and to make my way through the list, and I have read a few of them, but I would really like to complete the list and stay up to date with the prize and all the amazing writing that is happening..
So thank you heaps Ely for starting this group.. I'm really looking forward to reading along...

at the moment Hannah Kent's 'Burial Rites' sits firmly on the top of the book stack on my kitchen chair so I must get reading.. I read The Good People and totally fell in love with that book and kept recommending it to everyone and buying it for xmas presents too.. so I am really looking forward to this read..

I have read Georgia Blain's 'Between a wolf and a dog' and absolutely adored this book, there are not enough words to express my love for this book.. I will be looking forward to re-visiting that one too..

Lovely to meet you both, looking forward to some amazing reading ahead...

Wishing you happy and fun reading adventures!!

Emily :)


message 4: by Ely (new)

Ely (earlgreybooks) | 47 comments Mod
Welcome to you both :)

Sue: Don't worry, I've never made it through a whole longlist either no matter how hard I try! We'll be reading through the backlist, so any title from 2013-2019. I picked Between a Wolf and a Dog this month because it's one that seemed easily accessible but that I hadn't heard a lot of people talk about. For the next book I'll get some votes in from everyone! More details to come soon :)

Emily: Yay for a Melbourne buddy! Do you have your own channel or are you a new watcher? Either way, welcome! Burial Rites is one of my all-time favourite books, so I'm hoping to get the chance to reread it later this year. I'm glad to hear that you loved Between a Wolf and a Dog—it should be an exciting read.

Glad to have you both on board :)


message 5: by Emily (new)

Emily (em_isreading) (em_isreading) | 112 comments Mod
Good morning! How great is this group? What an amazing project!

I’m Em, also from Melbourne. I was once a voracious reader but then life and things got in the way and I lost the ability to concentrate. I realised last year that my brain had clearly changed because I could barely get through an article let alone a whole book. I made new book friends and joined a book club and that led to my 2019 reading challenge and the Stellas. I read Eggshell Skull for said book club and loved it, but then I read Little Gods and The World Was Whole and fell in love. Am slowly working my way through the entire long list for this year but waiting for Library reserves!

Already reserved my copy of Between a Wolf and a Dog which I can pick up tonight. Am excited to get started!!


message 6: by Ely (new)

Ely (earlgreybooks) | 47 comments Mod
Welcome Em! Library reserves are both the best and worst thing, I think—I hate waiting but I also love being able to know that my book will be waiting for me!

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on our first read!


message 7: by Sue (new)

Sue (fyrewitch) | 30 comments Thanks for the clarification Ely, and it’s lovely to meet you both Emily and Em!

I read Between a Wolf and a Dog probably towards the end of 2017 and just loved it (and then read The Museum of Words just to guarantee my heart being ripped out).

I’m looking forward to this journey! :)


message 8: by Toni (new)

Toni (toniware) | 22 comments Hi, I'm Antoinette from Canberra.

I've tried to read the long list every year and never quite make it. And this year's shortlist was a bit disappointing. My pick this year was Too Much Lip - I loved its energy and vibrancy.

I don't think I have an all time favourite. I could have sworn I'd read Between a Wolf and a Dog, but it seems I haven't. Fortunately my library has an ebook due this week, so I'm good to go.

I credit the Australian Women Writers Challenge and the Stella Prize with getting me back into reading regularly after years of not being in the habit.


message 9: by Emily Kate (new)

Emily Kate (bookishemilykate) | 0 comments Hello everyone!

How are you? Hope you're having fun!

Thanks for your message Ely. I am new to the world of watching and experiencing book tube, so just enjoying all the amazing books and reviews and learning lots about the wonderful community around books.. what an amazing journey!! :)

Can't wait to get started on this book... totally love Georgia Blain's writing.. looking forward to fun reading adventures ahead..

Emily :)


message 10: by Ely (new)

Ely (earlgreybooks) | 47 comments Mod
Sue: You're welcome :) Are you joining in for a reread? If not and you're planning to read something else from the list, let us know and you might get someone who wants to join in on a smaller buddy read.

Welcome, Antoinette! Glad to have you with us :) I was also really disappointed with this year's shortlist. I'm still kind of bitter about it, actually.

Emily: How great to be just starting with the booktube community. It is a really lovely place—I've met some of my closest friends through booktube and blogging.


message 11: by Emily Kate (new)

Emily Kate (bookishemilykate) | 0 comments Thanks Ely :) I totally agree, it really is a lovely and happy place to be! :) Cheers to reading!


message 12: by Sue (new)

Sue (fyrewitch) | 30 comments Ely, I won’t reread this one, but will follow the conversation.

I’m going to be starting on The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper this weekend for Aussie April though if anyone is interested:)


message 13: by Jade (new)

Jade (bindrosbookshelf) | 1 comments Hi everyone, I’m Jade and originally from Melbourne but now live in Brisbane.

I love a good book challenge and I’ve actually just written out the long lists each year for both the Stellas and the Women’s Fiction Award and was deciding which one I should attempt first.

Thanks to Sue, not only did I find this challenge but she has also introduced me to a few Stella longlisted books (Mullumbimby, the Englightenment of the Greengage Tree).

I love Burial Rites (also the Good Place is one of my favourite books of all time) and my most recent Stella read was Too Much Lip.

I’m doing a few reading challenges at the moment in May but I’m hoping I get to squeeze this book in as well as it’s been on my radar for a while!


message 14: by Sue (new)

Sue (fyrewitch) | 30 comments Yay, nice to see you here Jade!


message 15: by Rachael (new)

Rachael (shereadsshenoms) | 9 comments Hey all!

I'm Rachael, am Melbourne based and am @shereadsshenoms over on Bookstagram with my cat Steina. I also run monthly silent reading parties in Melbourne with STFU Reading Society (@stfureadingsociety). I am toying with the idea of Booktube channel, so we'll see where this year takes me!

I've just worked out that I've been following along with the Stella since 2016 when The Natural Way of Things won, and that book along with reading Small Acts of Disappearances by Fiona Wright cemented my need to follow along with Stellas!

So, in 2017 I read 5.5 of the 6 shortlistees [I gave up on one, eek]. In 2018 I read just 4, then in 2019 I aimed to read the whole longlist, and fell juuuust shy, have read 10.5 of the 12, but did finish the shortlist, haha!

I'm am such a Stella fan that last year when I was volunteering with a local feminist org, I organised and hosted a Feminist Trivia Night as a fundraiser for Stella and their Girls Write Up program. We raised $1700, I got to gush about my love of Australian women's writing, and the current Exec Director came and did a speech. Basically, best night ever.

I read Between a Wolf and a Dog in 2017, and loved it. I've got Mateship with Birds, the inaugural Stella Prize winner, on my immediate TBR for May, as I read Carrie Tiffany's Exploded View in April and it is my best read of the year so far! I am keen to see how her earlier work compares.

I very much look forward to chatting, and thanks for this challenge and prompt, Ely!


message 16: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 2 comments Hi all, I'm so excited to see this group as Stella books are my go-tos if I can't choose something. I just finished An Uncertain Grace and now I'm on to Burial Rites.


message 17: by Rachael (new)

Rachael (shereadsshenoms) | 9 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Hi all, I'm so excited to see this group as Stella books are my go-tos if I can't choose something. I just finished An Uncertain Grace and now I'm on to Burial Rites."

How did you find An Uncertain Grace? I was fascinated by it, and just read Kneen's latest novel, Wintering, which is set in remote Tasmania and is eerie and amazing. She's got suuuuuch an imagination!


message 18: by Ely (new)

Ely (earlgreybooks) | 47 comments Mod
Sorry to have been quiet the last few days. I had to pick up some extra shifts this week, and now I'm up in Sydney for the Writer's Festival!

But welcome Jade, Rachael and Elizabeth!

@Rachael: It's funny you mention Carrie Tiffany because I almost bought Exploded Views today because I could remember seeing you gush about it. I've told Jaclyn before I could make a list out of the books she's convinced me to read, and I think you're probably on the way to that too!


message 19: by Rachael (new)

Rachael (shereadsshenoms) | 9 comments Haha @Ely! Jaclyn has the same influence on me, I just started A Woman Is No Man, and you should see the rest of my library loans stack at the moment!

As soon as I returned Exploded View I went out and bought a copy! It's that good.


message 20: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 2 comments Rachael wrote: "Elizabeth wrote: "Hi all, I'm so excited to see this group as Stella books are my go-tos if I can't choose something. I just finished An Uncertain Grace and now I'm on to Buri..."</i>

I found [book:An Uncertain Grace
brilliant. I talk about it a bit here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXHN1.... I was reluctant to start it and it sat on my shelf for ages as I was worried it would be icky with the sexual abuse and pedophilia stuff. In the end I didn't find it icky, but it could be triggering for others. The book was so well crafted. I really enjoy reading novels with interesting structure and don't just follow the script of character, development, problem, climax, resolution etc. The ideas were genuinely original and very well crafted. I haven't read Wintering - do you recommend it?



message 21: by Rachael (new)

Rachael (shereadsshenoms) | 9 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Rachael wrote: "Elizabeth wrote: "Hi all, I'm so excited to see this group as Stella books are my go-tos if I can't choose something. I just finished An Uncertain Grace and now I'm ..."

Kneen writes with such nuance, so I still think about An Uncertain Grace often! The only thing that I could even remotely compare it to is aspects of a short story or two in Ellen Van Neervan's Heat & Light, and then I read that they're freinds because of course they are!

Yep, absolutely recommend Wintering. It's eerie and spooky and Kneen's description and setting of wild Southern Tasmania made me feel cold in my bones reading it. It's being adapted for film too!


message 22: by Ely (last edited May 18, 2019 04:46AM) (new)

Ely (earlgreybooks) | 47 comments Mod
Hey everyone!

We've got a bit of a showdown between The Natural Way of Things and Laurinda for the June read. Would you all be happy to have both as options for the month, meaning you could pick to read either or both (or neither!)?


message 23: by Toni (new)

Toni (toniware) | 22 comments Both works for me. Having read Natural Way of Things I’d be grateful to keep the momentum going with the other book (which I picked up at the op shop last week)


message 24: by Emily (new)

Emily (em_isreading) (em_isreading) | 112 comments Mod
I am happy to do both or also happy for Ely to make the choice. Gonna end up reading them all anyway 😂


message 25: by Sue (new)

Sue (fyrewitch) | 30 comments Both is good!


message 26: by Tanya (new)

Tanya | 17 comments Hi Ely. Thank you for starting this group. Many of the Stella books are on my TBR. I have been wanting to read Between a wolf and a dog for some time. It will be great to have discussions with you and others here. How will you decide the books each month?


message 27: by Ely (new)

Ely (earlgreybooks) | 47 comments Mod
Okay, so let's do both! I know Natural Way of Things is quite popular, so if you've already read it (like me), I hope you'll join in with Laurinda!

And welcome to the group, Tanya! I'm using the polls on this group to decide each book. I'll be starting one for July in a few days. I'm just picking three random books from the list, and anyone can add their suggestions for others to vote for. I've been sending out a group message to let everyone know it's up. I'm ending the polls around the 15th of each month because I know books can take time to be found/arrive!


message 28: by Emily (new)

Emily (em_isreading) (em_isreading) | 112 comments Mod
Got both from the library today! On my June TBR stack ☺️


message 29: by Tanya (new)

Tanya | 17 comments I also borrowed both novels from the library. Ready to go!


message 30: by Sue (new)

Sue (fyrewitch) | 30 comments I am also ready to roll!


message 31: by Emily Kate (new)

Emily Kate (bookishemilykate) | 0 comments me tooo... couldn't find my home copy of Laurinda but the library was a great help... found the Charlotte Wood perched away on the hallway shelf.. can't wait for these reads :)... 4 pages into Laurinda and I'm already immersed in such beautiful writing... :) has anyone started Laurinda yet? :)


message 32: by Cat (new)

Cat (catgetslit) | 5 comments Hi all! Em told me about this group and the Stella Project after I shared a review of Between A Wolf And A Dog on Instagram recently. I'm super keen to join!

My name is Cat, I occasionally review things at catgetslit on Insta, and I'm based in Adelaide.

I've already read The Natural Way of Things, so I'll be getting into Laurinda - my library hold just came in!


message 33: by Ely (new)

Ely (earlgreybooks) | 47 comments Mod
Looks like we're reading Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport and The Hate Race in July!


message 34: by Cat (new)

Cat (catgetslit) | 5 comments Excellent choices!


message 35: by Emily (new)

Emily (em_isreading) (em_isreading) | 112 comments Mod
Wiew! I picked up The Hate Race yesterday, and requested Night Games at the library. Bring on July!


message 36: by Rachael (new)

Rachael (shereadsshenoms) | 9 comments Emily wrote: "Wiew! I picked up The Hate Race yesterday, and requested Night Games at the library. Bring on July!"

Em, Night Games will fit for The Reading Rush for title over 5 words if you count the full title ;)


message 37: by Emily (new)

Emily (em_isreading) (em_isreading) | 112 comments Mod
Em, Night Games will fit for The Reading Rush for title over 5 words if you count..."

Yes ma'am it will! July is gonna be hectic...


message 38: by Sue (new)

Sue (fyrewitch) | 30 comments Excellent!


message 39: by Natasha (new)

Natasha (jouljet) (jouljet) | 23 comments Ohhh, thanks for the add, Emily!

I am Tash (or Natasha on some SM platforms, and at work!), currently living in Sydney but a Melbourne gal all the way.

I first stumbled upon the Stella List, and have read handfuls of backtitles since, in the year I set myself the challenge of only reading female voices. That year opened me up to the Stella premise around the lack of exposure and promotion of female writers...and has actually changed my reading patterns a lot. It was also the year Emma Watson started her Our Shared Shelf, so lots of feminist and female voices has been a reading focus for me. For the good!

This month I picked up Pink Mountain On Locust Island, which I probably wouldn't have, but for Bri Lee's new B List Book Club here in Sydney.

Excited for many prompts, such as this group, to lead me to more of the longlists!


message 40: by Ely (new)

Ely (earlgreybooks) | 47 comments Mod
Welcome Tash! So glad to have you on board. You'll have to let us know how Bri Lee's book club goes. I'm such a huge fan of hers!

Just a quick reminder that there's only a few days left to vote in our August poll! We've got a winner at the moment, but everyone seems to be enjoying having two books to choose from.


message 41: by Emily (new)

Emily (em_isreading) (em_isreading) | 112 comments Mod
One is fine Ely! Last month was a push to read both. Charlotte Wood still sitting on my shelf unread 😭


message 42: by Ely (new)

Ely (earlgreybooks) | 47 comments Mod
Emily has spoken! We'll read just the one book in August, and we'll decide on having either one or two books from now on depending on how the poll goes.

So by a landslide, Hope Farm is the winner! Honestly, I don't know much about this one at all. Anyone have any insight?


message 43: by Toni (new)

Toni (toniware) | 22 comments Oh good, I haven’t read that one so looking forward to it


message 44: by Tanya (new)

Tanya | 17 comments I’ve borrowed the print and audio versions of Hope Farm from the library. Today I listened to just a tiny bit to see if I liked the narration, which I do. The blurb on the novel says it is set in 1985. It’s about a mother and daughter who move to a commune to start over. While it is finally a home for the daughter Silver, it is also an adult world with ‘deadly consequences’.


message 45: by Emily (new)

Emily (em_isreading) (em_isreading) | 112 comments Mod
Yay! I had a feeling so I requested last week at my library. It’s sitting on the reserve shelf waiting pick up already!!


message 46: by Emily (new)

Emily (em_isreading) (em_isreading) | 112 comments Mod
Picked up Hope Farm on my way home last night - Melbourne Library Service is truly the best. Can’t wait to get started, but giving myself a wee break after the hectic weekend that was 24in48!


message 47: by Ely (new)

Ely (earlgreybooks) | 47 comments Mod
You were an absolute champ getting 24in48 last weekend!

And for everyone else, the lovely Em is joining me as a mod from now on. I just want to put it out there that if you're ever interested in running a discussion, or have any requests or suggestions please send them my way!

I'm unfortunately quite the sick little bean this past year especially (any other chronically ill friends in here?) so I haven't been able to put to work some of the ideas I had when I started this book club. Hopefully we'll have some exciting stuff coming up soon.


message 48: by Toni (new)

Toni (toniware) | 22 comments I’m sorry you are unwell, Ely - another one with chronic illnesses here. They can be quite limiting, damn them


message 49: by Emily (new)

Emily (em_isreading) (em_isreading) | 112 comments Mod
I’m supposed to be doing Reading Rush this week, and I haven’t touched a physical book since Sunday. That was a hectic weekend. I am super excited and happy to help out here, bring on Hope Farm next month!

Incidentally, thanks to Tash for starting a Booker Prize thread. Head over and chat female authors and literary prizes ☺️👏🏼


message 50: by Sue (new)

Sue (fyrewitch) | 30 comments I’m sorry you’ve been so unwell Ely. I’m also a chronic illness buddy.

Looking forward to Hope Farm for August!


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