Books of the Month – July 2011

Books of the month

I was lucky enough to read several excellent books this month but my favourite crime novel was the third of Johan Theorin’s quartet set on the Swedish island of Öland. Theorin is a master at creating atmosphere, at making you feel as if you are in the locations he is depicting and The Quarry is yet another superb example of his craft. This one intertwines the story of the island’s spring awakening with several threads involving the lives and crimes of its inhabitants and visitors.

I haven’t read much non-fiction lately but did feel compelled to read Adrian Hyland’s account of the bushfires that devastated the area he lives in called Kinglake-350. I figured that if anyone could deal with a tragedy like that with sensitivity and intelligence it would be Hyland but I was still wary about reading it. I needn’t have worried though, Hyland has done a superb job of painting a very human picture of the awful events and even provides some lessons if we’re smart enough to learn them.

Books read this month

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

Global Challenge (11 read, 3 to go)

Nordic Challenge (9 read, at least 2 to go)

What’s in a Name (3 read, 3 to go)

  • P.D. Martin – Kiss of Death (read for the book with a life stage in the title category) (it’s hardly surprising mine was gonna be a death title is it?) (3 stars) Aussie Author

Toppling that TBR

I still have 179 books to read. I suck at this.

Well I have actually stopped increasing the pile for several months and am basically reading at the same rate as I acquire books now. But I still have all those leftover books from my giant TBR.

What’s up for August?

I’ve let my challenges lapse a little so plan to get a move on in August. I’m reading Burned which is the first book by Norwegian author Thomas Enger and am listening to The Stonecutter which is the third book in Camilla Lackberg’s Swedish series. So that’s good progress on the Nordic challenge at least.

I’ve got 3 books left to read to reach the medium level of the global challenge. I’ve had Stan Jones’ White Sky, Black Ice on my TBR all year for the American leg of the challenge. It’s set in Alaska and I’m really looking forward to it. Although I read plenty of books for the Canadian book challenge I didn’t double-count any of them so need to read another one for this challenge. Then I’ve got several Asian books to choose from on my shelves to finish off the challenge.

For my book club I’ll be reading the first book in Nicci French’s new series. I haven’t anything by this writing duo for some years and am curious to see how they tackle new characters and setting. I only have one book from the library at the moment, Unity Dow’s The Screaming of the Innocent which is set in Africa.

What about you? Read anything remarkable during July? Got any recommendations to make? I’ve been hankering for some non crime-related reading of late…read any good history books? or historical fiction? or something else that might tempt me away from the crime shelves?

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9 Responses to Books of the Month – July 2011

  1. Bernadette – If it’s any comfort, I’m not too good at toppling Mt. TBR either. In part thanks to you ;-). Seriously, though, it is hard, especially when good ‘uns keep coming out just when you think you may catch up.
     
    It’s good to see that you’ve had mostly good reads this month. I always get annoyed when I invest the time and effort into a book only to find out it wasn’t worth my investment.

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  2. Amy says:

    The Quarry looks really good….I’m going to add it to my wishlist.
    July had me laughing over The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine. I also read one of the Reykjavik series, Voices, which was okay but not great.

    I’m actually reading The Vintage and the Gleaning by a new Aussie author, just started it last night…it’s from Maclehose/Quercus in the UK…cant’ remember the author’s name. I’ll let you know how it goes

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    • Bernadette says:

      Oh I will look forward to hearing what you think Amy, have seen that one around a bit…the blurb sounded a bit depressing (alcoholic looks back on life with regret) but I’m definitely curious

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  3. Kathy D. says:

    I haven’t read anything in your categories above, except the first Adelia Aguilar book, which I loved, and got me to thinking about historical fiction. I know you’ve liked this series.
    I’ve been on a Wolf-O-Thon of late, reading Rex Stout’s books, even though I am trying to take global, virtual vacations, but am stuck in my own hot, humid city a few blocks from my house LOL in the middle of the night. And, on a Montalbano binge also. Sisters was OK, not great.
    I did find Indridason’s Outrage at Alibris books, and, unfortunately, for my budget, found several books I had been looking for there, so I have to hide my credit card or give it to a neighbor to hide. It’s far too easy to buy books online, even without a Kindle.

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  4. Jose Ignacio says:

    From my side I can highlight “A Game of Lies” by Rebecca Cantrell, “The Terracotta Dog” by Andrea Camilleri and “Devil’s Peak” by Deon Meyer. From your list I’m very much interested in “The Quarry”, thanks very much for your review, Bernadette.

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  5. When it comes to reading goals this summer, my one and only achievement is that I have eaten off my physical TBR for two months. So even if I have only reviewed five nooks or so in July, my shelves look relatively uncluttered 😉

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  6. Amanda Mac says:

    Well I am actually starting to make a dent in my TBR. Just finished the Redbreast, hard to get into but a great read once there. Especially for historical crime fiction readers. The Johan Theorin book sounds interesting and is a new name for me. Thank you, I will investigate and report back. 🙂

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  7. Amanda Mac says:

    and I am a fan of Indridason!

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  8. Maxine says:

    I trust you will be feeling strong when you read the Unity Dow. It must be the saddest book I have ever read, talk about harrowing (while never being explicit). It sort of puts us all to shame, in a way.

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