Pick of the month
With my reading get back to something like normal during September the choice for book of the month was very difficult. Half of the 10 books I finished this month are worthy of the title but I’m opting for Shamini Flint’s A DEADLY CAMBODIAN CRIME SPREE because it encompasses so much of what I look for in crime fiction yet didn’t leave me feeling suicidal. As I said in my review “I don’t know what else you could possibly want from a novel than an evocative setting, a genuinely thought provoking narrative and characters who worm their way into your heart. Even those who haven’t read earlier instalments of this series need not worry: this is a novel that stands entirely on its own.”
The rest, in reading order
- Tania Chandler DEAD IN THE WATER (an Australian novel with review to come closer to the publishing date)
- Dorothy L. Sayers STRONG POISON (I enjoyed my second Sayers more than my first for a 1930 book but can’t imagine the insufferable Lord Peter Wimsey ever being a firm favourite)
- Val McDermid OUT OF BOUNDS (McDermid is in top form with both her writing and social commentary in this cold case novel)
- Meg and Tom Keneally THE SOLDIER’S CURSE (I thoroughly enjoyed the first instalment of historical fiction set in a colonia penal settlement from this father/daughter writing team)
- Todd Borg TAHOE DEATH FALL (Was glad to find a non-Vegas story for the Nevada leg of my Reading USA Fiction challenge and really enjoyed the secret-laden mystery and meeting Spot, a Great Dane with heart)
- Belinda Bauer’s THE SHUT EYE (One of the few authors who could get me to read a novel dripping with ‘woo woo’ elements, this novel is all heart)
- Georges Simenon PIETR THE LATVIAN (I decided to visit 1930 a second time and found lots to enjoy in the characters and setting, even though the story itself did not grab me entirely)
- Zygmunt Miloszweski RAGE (this Polish novel that views domestic violence from multiple angles and features a fabulously well-rounded lead character in prosecutor Teodor Szacki is a brilliant read)
- Sue Williams DEAD MEN DON’T ORDER FLAKE (a light, fun-filled romp through a small Victorian town in which everyone knows everyone else’s business and murderers hide in plain sight)
The only book I didn’t think much of this month was one I didn’t bother to finish so I can happily recommend all of the above titles.
Progress Towards 2016’s Bookish Goals
|Australian Women Writers Challenge||Read 25 eligible books, review at least 20 of them||Read 13.5 and reviewed 12.5 books (the 0.5 is due to a male/female writing team)|
|Reading US Fiction Challenge||Read 6 books by new to me authors set in different states of the US||5/6 achieved|
|Reduce TBR||Have a TBR of 100 or less by the end of 2016 (starting point 145)||TBR = 147 at end of month|
|Buy Australian||Buy no physical or eBooks from non-Australian stores||0 this month, 3 in total this year|
|Read older books too||Participate in at least 6 of the monthly Crimes of the Century challenges hosted at Past Offences||9/6 achieved|
|No Girl books||Read no books with the word Girl in the title. Because meh.||0/0 achieved|
It still looks like I’ll only achieve 2 or 3 of my bookish goals for the year but I’m not too disappointed. I know, for example, that I’d have bought a lot more cheap books from Amazon and elsewhere if I didn’t have my ‘buy Australian’ goal in mind all the time. Each of the three times I’ve bought from non-Australian stores I’ve had sound (to me) reasons and overall I still feel pretty good about supporting local booksellers as much as possible.
Speaking of which I went on a bit of a book-buying spree during September, something I haven’t done for ages and really enjoyed. Here’s what my new haul, all from local bookshops, looks like in my cataloguing app (I use Collectorz).
What about you? Did you have a great read during September? Anything good coming up for October?