2017 Blog Round Up


I’d planned to do a few ‘top 5′ lists  at years’ end to bring together reviews, writing posts and other writerly stuff, but instead of spam you all with a bunch of posts, i’ll just compile them all here. So this is three ‘top 5’ posts in one. Lucky you!

My blog and writing journey has undergone a big overhaul in the past twelve months. Not only did i rename my generic blog (australianbookshelf) to my own name, but it also transformed from predominantly a book review blog to one about my writing process, the challenges i’ve faced and above all my goal to seek publication for my manuscripts. I still post reviews here and there, but now i focus on the books i really love, rather than the ones i felt obliged to read and review.

In 2017 I read approximately 28 books. My Goodreads goal was 30 and i’ll probably achieve that by Dec 31st. It’s quite a drop considering I read 54 books in 2014 and 199 in 2012! I suppose it shows how much my life has changed. My book reviewing hobby consumed much of my life and in the past two and a half years everything shifted. I had a baby (which consumed much of my mind in the first twelve months) and then i took up writing more seriously than i ever had before.


The past few years i have participated in the Australian Women Writers Challenge and this year i managed to read 22 books (out of 28, not bad!) by Australian women and posted 8 reviews on my website.

Top 5 crime reads of 2017

28452843My favourite 5 books this year all happen to be crime fiction and thriller novels (in the name of research!). In no particular order they are:

1. The Dry by Jane Harper

2. Hades by Candace Fox

3. Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

4. An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire (I interviewed Emily here)

5. The Bat (Harry Hole # 1)  by Jo Nesbo


Top 5 Writing posts 2017

An open writers notebook with flowers on a white desktop background

I shared plenty of writing posts this year and here are the five with the highest numbers of views:

  1. 5 blog posts for mums who write
  2. 5 Hilarious, inspiring, informative and seriously addictive podcasts
  3. How to be SMART about goal setting in 2017 (and of course a timely post for 2018!)
  4. How to read mindfully
  5. How to use a genogram to create character backstory

And a few more that were also popular:

The Psychology of Journaling

Vulnerability, Trust and Self-Doubt– the parallels between writing and therapy

The Power of Silence and how it can enhance creativity

The anchor that is writing



Top 5 Writing Blogs to Follow


I’ve connected with some amazing writers and authors this year through blogs and social media. Here are my some of the ones i’d recommend:

  1. Louise J. Allan– This is one incredibly generous writer who is a great supporter of aspiring writers. Her blog series ‘writers in the attic’ is a must read with a years’ worth of writing essays by writers to devour.
  2. Jodi Gibson- A writer who shares an honest account of her publication journey; the ups and the downs.
  3. Allison Tait- One half of the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast duo, her website is loaded with writer resources.
  4. Natasha Lester– Honest, meticulous and not averse to sharing the intricate details of a writer’s life.
  5. PsychWriter- Psychologist and author Tamar Sloan shows you how using psychology to get to know your characters can give your novel the edge it needs.


Did you know i have a monthly newsletter? Well, i do and it’s the place where i share the more personal aspects of my writing experience and my pursuit for publication. And if that doesn’t tempt you, i have some awesome writer-themed giveaways for subscribers. Come and join me on this journey, sign up here.

I hope you all have a lovely holiday season and i look forward to connecting with wonderful readers and writers in 2018.


happy holidays2017







    • You’re very welcome Louise! I hope you too have a lovely Christmas. I know your New Year will be amazing, because your book will be released! Best of luck with the launch xx

  • Great round-up of your blog, Lauren. My favourite crime book was An Isolated Incident, with The Dry a close second (it’s our next bookclub read, so I’ve already done my homework 😊)
    I have you to thank for the hilarious My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast…
    And I’ve also learnt new things – the Genogram concept was really interesting.
    I love Louise Allan’s blog (and the others you mentioned – all of which I follow), and I’m just about to check out the Psych Writer one you mentioned.
    All the best for 2018! It’s been great getting to know you over the past year 😊

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