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What’s going on? March 2024 update.

Look, I know it’s such a cliche, but the first few months of 2024 have really flown past. I haven’t shared a chatty post for a while, so I thought I’d take the chance to share a bit of what’s been happening here while I spend my Sunday evening in front of some truly terrible reality tv.

One of the things that has been keeping me busy at the start of the year, not just this year but over the past few, is my role as a judge for the Aurealis Awards. I think this was my fourth year being part of the judging team, and I absolutely love it. I’ve judged a different category each year so far but one thing they have in common is that they keep me super busy with reading between the close of entries in December and the deadline for shortlists and finalists in March. I genuinely find it so rewarding to be involved – if you think it;s something you might be interested in too I’d recommend keeping an eye on the Aurealis Awards website towards the middle of the year.

While I was super busy with award reading over the past few months, I did also manage to read a whole bunch of fantastic books that I just haven’t quite gotten around to reviewing here yet. I’m hoping to catch up over the next little while, but you know how sometimes the best intentions aren’t enough to quite get things done. My stack of books I’m keen to share reviews for is right here in the living room with me, and there are about 10 titles in there. I’m thinking I might do a ‘speed-dating’ approach and share mini reviews about some in a post all together and then go into more detail if I get to it.

Something else I had been keen to share earlier in the year was about reading challenges. Are you doing any? I haven’t set a big number of books I want to read as a goal or anything like that, because I do feel like that might put me off big books and I have so many of those on my tbr! I’m keen to be even more intentional than ever when requesting or accepting review copies from publishers or authors so that I don’t have as much pressure around prioritising backlist books from my tbr as well. The challenges I am keen to try and keep up with are Simon Savidge’s Savidge Prompts, which has sort of a theme for each month, and also the Read Christie 2024 Challenge to read more Agatha Christie books this year.

Our next big adventure for the year is that we are planning a month-long holiday to Denmark and the UK starting in mid-April (which is suddenly not very far away!). I genuinely could not be more excited – it seems like so long ago that we travelled overseas, and an entire lifetime since we were in Europe/UK (it was Nov/Dec 2012!). It almost seems a bit surreal, and I feel very out of practice at holiday planning, which obviously is not the worst problem to have. We’ll be visiting a few places that we’ve already been and love – London, York, Denmark – but also a few new to us all places like Scotland. I’m hoping over the next little while to be able to prioritise some books by Scottish authors, and also have a little stack of Tudor fiction I’m keen to dive into. Last time I was in England I read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and I’m wondering whether some nice juicy historical fiction might be right for this trip too. I’ve got a couple of Alison Weir books in the stack, including some of her Six Tudor Wives series which I loved seeing Lauren from Lauren and the Books read last year, so they’ll be on the shortlist. I’d love any recommendations for Scottish authors or favourite UK set historical fiction if you have them!

I think that’s it for my little brain dump today. I’m kind of keen to start doing this more regularly to get back into the flow of feeling like this is a conversation space. I have published a few quiet posts over the past week – you can find out about an upcoming rural romance novel that I’m looking forward to from a favourite Aussie author here, and my review of a thriller by one of Canberra’s favourite authors here. I’ve added a ‘follow’ button on the side if you’d like to add BookishBron to your wordpress reader so you don’t miss any posts and I am always so happy to hear from fellow readers in the comments if you’d like to chat.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

xo Bron

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