2016 was my first full year as editor of History, Memoir, Biography and I’m delighted to say that we are now reading significantly more HMB books.
In 2015 we attracted 103 HMB reviews. In 2016 we attracted a whopping 133 number of reviews!
We’re also becoming more diverse with our reading as we read 100 separate books (instead of just 82 from the previous year). You can find the complete number of reviews in this category here.
Our most popular HMB read during the year was Helen Garner’s Everywhere I Look with 10 reviews, followed by both Fiona Wright with Small Acts of Disappearance and Magda Szubanski and her award winning Reckoning (links take you to our AWW page for each book/author).
Once again, Jennifer (via her Goodreads page) has romped in as our top reviewer with an impressive 17 titles. Janine @Resident Judge reviewed 14 HMB books, Anna also @Goodreads reviewed 9 while our own Sue @ Whispering Gums and Yvonne @Stumbling Through the Past both reviewed 7 books each.
Our brilliant reviewers have covered everything from award winning books, academic texts, self-published titles, gender issues, diversity, Indigenous history, travel, art, politics, food, health, religion, death, war, criminals and convicts.
An impressive year with lots of great books to inspire you and expand your TBR wishlists.
2017 promises to be just as exciting. Georgia Blain has a new book coming out in July detailing her experience of having a brain tumour called The Museum of Words. Gai Waterhouse, Caroline Baum, Nicki Gemmell and Inga Simpson are also publishing memoirs/autobiographies in 2017.
Bernadette Brennan is publishing a book about Helen Garner, Kerrie Davis has written a book about Bertha & Henry Lawson, Marilla North is writing about Dymphna Cusack while Janelle McCulloch presents a book about Joan Lindsay.
We can expect three books featuring the letters of three fascinating Australian women – Christina Stead, Quentin Bryce and Nettie & Vance Palmer. Alexis Wright also has a new book due in October about Indigenous activist Tracker Tilmouth.
If politics is more your thing, then you can look forward to memoirs from Jacqui Lambie and Christine Milne and Please Explain: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Pauline Hanson from Anna Broinowski.
Happy New Year and Happy Reading!
About Bronwyn: I have been a book blogger at Brona’s Books since 2009 and a bookseller (specialising in children’s literature) in Sydney since 2008. Prior to this I was as an Early Childhood teacher for 18 years in rural NSW.
I taught myself to read when I was four by memorising my Dr Seuss books. I haven’t stopped reading since.
You can find me on Twitter @bronasbooks and Litsy @Brona.
Loved the wrap-up and I am looking forward to #AWW non-fiction in 2017.
Thanks for the wrap-up, Bronwyn. Great to see there have been more nonfiction titles reviewed this past year. I’m glad you included the books to look out for during 2017, too. When we have the specific details, we should add them to our new “new releases” page.
Great write up and thanks for the mention Brona. I’m particularly looking forward to the bios of Helen Garner and Dymphna Cusack this year, though what I say in looking forward to and what I get to read are two different things!
Good news that more history, memoir and biographies were reviewed than the previous year. That’s more Australian women authors who have a review online that people can read. And that is critical for attracting more readers.
Thank you for highlighting books due to be published in 2017 to entice us. My reading pile has morphed into numerous piles around the house so I cannot squeeze in those titles you mentioned, but I am looking forward to reading the AWW reviews of them.