You might’ve noticed I started up a readathon, Just Read, to raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (because it irks me there are people in Australia who don’t get the chance to read). You can sign up to read or sponsor an existing reader.
You might also know I’ve pursued a few different tactics to try to choose the best book, every time: just reading Australian women; making unnecessary charts of my year’s reading; only (allegedly) reading books I already own before buying or borrowing any new books. So far, nothing has cracked the mystery of how to only read books I love.
This time I’m getting people to pay me to read things. When I say ‘me’ I mean ‘the Indigenous Literacy Foundation’. I’ve asked people to chuck $30 their way and, in return, they get to tell me one book I have to read during June and July. I’ve ended up with a pretty eclectic list:
- The Wife of Martin Guerre by Janet Lewis (chosen by Wendy Smith)
- Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon (chosen by Ryan O’Neill)
- Ash Road by Ivan Southall (chosen by Dani Valent)
- The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson (chosen by James Tierney)
- Fat, forty and fired by Nigel Marsh (chosen by Sinead Quinn Biskup)
- Doctor Wooreddy’s prescription for enduring the end of the world by Mudrooroo Nyoongah (chosen by Reema Rattan)
- My struggle #1 by KO Knausgaard (chosen by Misha Ketchell)
- Speeedboat by Renata Adler (chosen by Gillian Terzis).
The main problem with this experiment is I’m not sure how repeatable it is. What if I love all these books without reservation – how do I continue to plan my reading this way? What if someone says ‘oh you really must read the latest Elena Ferrante’? Do I say, ‘sure, if you donate some money to this charity I will’?
Anyway, if it turns out this isn’t a long enough list to get me through Just Read, I’ll be asking for suggestions/donations again a bit later on.