Books of the Month – May 2011

Book of the month

May was an odd month for me, starting strong and containing several outstanding reads but by the end of the month I’d hit a slump and have barely read a word for more than a week which for me is a long, long time without reading. I’ve been through this before though and I’m sure my disinterest in books is only temporary (or at least I hope so).

My book of the month (by the smallest of margins) is Box 21, a dark Swedish tale of human trafficking and its impact on its victims. I still think it’s utterly brilliant even though I’m struggling a lot with another book by the same authors at present.

Books read this month

Just Because (i.e. not for a challenge)

Aussie Authors Challenge (7 read, 5 to go)

Historical Fiction Challenge (4 read, 1 to go)

  • Geraldine Brooks – Caleb’s Crossing (pub 2011, 4.5 stars) This one would have qualified for the Aussie Authors challenge too but I’m trying to only count a book once for challenges.

Ireland Reading Challenge (2 read, 4 to go)

  • Ken Bruen – Priest (4.5 stars)

Nordic Challenge (7 read, 4 to go)

  • Camilla Läckberg – The Preacher (pub 2003, 3.5 stars)
  • Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom – Box 21 (pub 2008, 5 stars)

Toppling that TBR

Hmmmm. I ended last month with 180 books on my TBR and I now have 183 on that same pile. Clearly I’m crap at this particular challenge and it’s unlikely I’ll manage to read 103 books from this pile by the end of the year to reach my goal. Certainly not at my current rate.

Books acquired this month

This month I mainly acquired books for the various awards categories that have sparked my interest, though there were a couple of long-forgotten pre-orders on the doorstep too.

What’s up for June?

At this point anything would be good though it is my intention to keep reading books eligible for the Davitt Awards (which I am eligible to vote for), the Ned Kelly Awards or the CWA International Dagger Award

Chart of the Month

I couldn’t think of anything special to chart this month so thought I would show how my reading has fluctuated over the year. Hopefully for my TBR the graph will go up again in June


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8 Responses to Books of the Month – May 2011

  1. Maxine says:

    Well done for at least trying with the TBR pile 😉
    I’ve only read two of your May books (The Preacher and Box 21); I certainly agree with you about the power and resonance of Box 21.
    I hope you enjoy Mercy as much as I did!


  2. Margot Kinberg says:

    Bernadette – My TBR list is in no better shape than yours if that’s any comfort… I’m glad you found some things to really like in May, even if you’re taking a break for the moment. I look forward to your June reviews. Oh, and great chart as ever!


  3. JoV says:

    I still think you are doing great despite the slump. Adding more books to a TBR pile is a common problem for all of us, which add in more joy in anticipation of reading a new book rather than have nothing to read but John Grisham.

    Hope you recover from the slump soon. Take it easy!


  4. Kathy D. says:

    I like John Grisham — mostly.
    You’ll pick up your reading. There must be some exciting books in that TBR pile, especially since there are more choices. Look at it this way: You have more options and it means you’ll never run out of good books, and you can pick a book according to your mood.
    I went through a slump recently, but pushed through it and read 4 books quickly, and now am on a Nero Wolfe binge, thanks to a terrific blogger’s recommendations. Now when I need humor, I know where to go, in addition to Hiassen, as you point out.
    My TBR pile is decreasing, but now I want to buy a batch of books, so maybe it’s our summer coming here. The thought of having lots of books to read over the summer is too enticing.


  5. Norman says:

    Bernadette I agree with Maxine, Mercy is superb, with more interesting characters than in Three Seconds. I have The Vault [Box 21] on my TBR shelf and now will push up that for reading soon on your recommendation.


  6. Kathy D. says:

    Why was Mercy not on the Dagger shortlist? Was it submitted too late? Or published too late? I keep reading rave reviews. And it sounds better than some of the nominees.


  7. I bet that percent wise, my TBR grew much more than yours in May. That CrimeFest was dangerous! Giving away so many books is not fair.


  8. Belle Wong says:

    I was in a reading slump in May, too (it was just generally a slump-y month overall!). Mine was a lot worse than yours, though. But things started picking up near the end of the month, and I just finished the Erin Hart novel I’m pretty sure I found through one of your marvelous round-up posts. Now I’m off to take a look at Box 21 and Mercy!


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