That was Then
July was a month of reading highs and lows for me. Undoubtedly my favourite book for the month (and the year so far) was Adrian Hyland’s Gunshot Road. I know I have become a bit of a broken record but it really is a beautifully written ripping yarn and I encourage everyone to read it. Honourable mentions go to
- Deon Meyer’s Thirteen Hours (a brilliant thriller with heart and humour on top of great action)
- Sulari Gentill’s A Few Right Thinking Men (Australian historical fiction combining politics, social commentary and a puzzle in a most satisfactory way)
- Teresa Solana’s A Not So Perfect Crime (a deliciously funny Spanish tale of brothers, justice and disillusioned left-wingers)
I finished another 8 books besides these but there were a couple of duds and another couple I haven’t found time to review yet.
I somehow managed to acquire twice the number of books that I read for the month which just means I’ll have to learn to read faster. Among these treasures are some I’m really looking forward to reading including these:
What to read next?
I’ve been a bit disgruntled and distracted lately so at present am after lighter reading. I plucked the first title in a new cosy series from my TBR pile (Riley Adams’ Delicious and Suspicious) this morning. After that I might tackle one of the political titles I added to my TBR pile after asking for recommendations from you all on what to read while #ausvotes. I have Margaret Truman’s Murder at the Kennedy Center (thanks Margot) which looks like it might be light and political at the same time.
And then I’ll need to pay attention to my two remaining challenges for the year. I’m going to read James Thompson’s Snow Angels for the Scandinavian Reading Challenge (it’s set in Finland) and Charolotte Jay’s Beat Not The Bones (set in Papua New Guinea) for the Global Reading Challenge.
And all the while I’ll be plodding through R J Ellory’s A Simple Act of Violence in audio format. The book won the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award in July this year but at the moment I am struggling to understand why. In audio format the book is 18 hours long and feels every minute of it. I have so far (hour 7+) found it slow going and not terribly compelling. About the best I can say is that it “will do” as accompaniment to the dullest of my housework activities.
Chart of the Month
I’ve not got an actual chart this month but a couple of numbers:
Is the amount I spent on all the books I read (including DNFs) in the first 6 months of this year. I only bought 58 of the 85 books but if I average the cost out across all the books read my hobby has cost me an average of $8.68 per book or roughly $1.24 per hour of reading entertainment (I’ve used an average of 7 hours reading time per book).
This is to be compared with
which is a rough estimate of the amount I would have spent if I’d bought all 58 purchased books in Australian bookshops. It’s actually a quite conservative estimate of $33 per book because while I might have scored the odd $24 bargain I would have paid $45-50 per audio book (there are 28 of those) and would probably have incurred some hefty special order fees for some of the translated fiction I like to read (one book I ordered from Book Depository for $9.18 would have cost me $53 to ‘special order’ locally).
That’s why I don’t shop in Australian bookstores.