Books of the Month – February 2012

Before I hit my reading slump in the second half of February I did read THE CALLER by Karin Foussm which I thought an outstanding novel. It is about a small community in Norway where a teenage boy starts playing horrid pranks on people (such as publishing a death notice for an elderly woman who is still alive).The impact of these pranks on the victims are profound and the book really did unsettle me in the way it explored the fragility of the lives we create for ourselves, My first 5-star read for the year.

In the end I did finish 11 books for the month including

  • AGENT 6 by Tom Rob Smith (3 stars)
  • CARTE BLANCHE by Carlo Lucarelli (3 stars)
  • SURRENDER by Donna Malane (4 stars, top notch New Zealand reading)

THE CONFESSION by Charles Todd, WHITE HEAT by M.J.McGrath, WILD HORSES by Dick Francis and NIGHT ROUNDS by Helene Tursten were all part of my reading slump (not terrible books just not great) which I finished off by re-reading Christos Tsiolkas’ thoroughly bloody awful THE SLAP, a book that paints a more depressing picture of humanity than any crime fiction I have ever read.

The Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012

I’m now up to 4 books by Australian women this year, though neither of these really falls outside my ‘comfort zone’ of genres so I’ll have to dabble some more next month

Other, non-review related posts this month

I didn’t manage a lot of other blogging in February though did manage to have a whinge about the overt politics of Sara Paretsky’s BREAKDOWN, a book I still haven’t finished.

Next month?

A wise man suggested Andrea Camilleri might get me out of my reading slump and I happened to be next in the queue for the library’s copy of his latest novel THE POTTER’S FIELD and I am already feeling kindly towards reading again. I also picked up Gail Jones’ FIVE BELLS (an Aussie women writer for me to dabble with) and Craig Johnson’s THE COLD DISH on the same trip to the library.

What about you…was February a good reading month? Did you have a favourite book? Or did you acquire anything you’re itching to read? Any issue you need to get off your chest?

If you want to see other people’s crime fiction picks of the month head over to Mysteries in Paradise for the Pick of the Month meme

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16 Responses to Books of the Month – February 2012

  1. KerrieS says:

    Thanks for taking part in the meme Bernadette. I think I’ll look for THE CALLER


  2. Norman says:

    Bernadette, if when you are in a reading slump you manage 11 books in the month what do you do in a good month. 😉
    I managed only a pathetic four and three quarter books this month, but two were superb The Boy in the Suitcase and Outrage. Why so few books- Six Nations rugby and watching too much crime fiction on TV. I do find when I am stressed I take the lazy option and sit watching crime on TV, but hopefully some of the problems causing the stress will be resolved in the next few weeks.


    • My slump was more in terms of quality than quantity Norman – I seem a little out of sorts with my reading that’s all. Perhaps it comes from too high expectations. Plus I have a few other stresses too – not least of which is the damned summer which I hate – but it is officially autumn now so I will start to feel better I am sure 🙂


  3. sue says:

    Loathed The Slap. I thought it was vicious, sordid, manipulative & peopled by such unappealing characters that I found it hard to summon much interest in them. And the sex scenes were the worst I have ever read…

    Now I feel much better.

    The best crime book I read last month was The third strike (Zoe Sharp) I was expecting a competent and likeable book and it was much more than that. A really engrossing read.


    • Thanks Sue – I like knowing I am not alone in loathing the people in The Slap – it’s what I thought when I first read it but I doubted myself due to all the people saying such wonderful things. Should have stuck to my guns and saved myself the re-read.

      I’m glad to hear the Zoe Sharp book was so good – I downloaded her first book to my iPad yesterda (it was free from Amazon). Looking forward to it.


  4. Jose Ignacio says:

    Thank you Bernadette that’s very kind from your side.


  5. Maxine says:

    Glad you liked The Caller at least, I enjoyed that one too. I hope your reading perks up in March/autumn. You already read my book of feb (The Brotherhood) – & I’ve already recommended Peter May, whom I enjoyed (The Blackhouse and The Lewis Man). Have not read anything else brilliant recently though I did like the Flatey Enigma by Viktor Ingolfsson but I suspect it’s an acquired taste – slow but pulls you in. (Icelandic, read in translation – US but not Americanised!).


  6. Amanda Mac says:

    Just love Karin Fossum’s writing, although she is largely unknown in my circle here. I find her characters often live on the fringe of society which makes it all the more interesting from a psychological point of view. Looking forward to reading this one. For February, I experienced the two extremes, of firstly reading and completing Nemesis by the wonderful Nesbø and secondly, reading the most boring book Anita Shreve has written A wedding in December…. I still don’t get the point of her whole diatribe. Am a little annoyed it wasted so much of my reading time. I stuck with it hoping it would improve, but it still only rates a 1. Nesbø picked up a 4.75 for Nemesis.


    • I really must read that Jo Nesbo book Amanda…I keep seeing it on my shelves but it is so long. However you make a good case for it. Sorry to hear the Anita Shreve book was no good – I must admit I have never had much luck with her stuff.


      • Amanda Mac says:

        You really should read Nemesis, Bernadette, it IS very long, and you have to stick it out initially, as with some of Nesboe’s other titles, but once your hooked in, you will fly through it. I liked Anita Shreve,s early titles, mind you that was so many years ago, it probably doesn’t count, and have since found many more authors writing at a far different level to enjoy. Probably better to not re-visit the past.


  7. angelasavage says:

    I’m seizing another opportunity to say what a knockout read The Mistake is by Wendy James. I also read her first novel, Out of the Silence, which won the 2006 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Book. Great stuff.

    This month I also read and enjoyed the latest Peter Corris Comeback and an early Cliff Hardy PI, The Marvellous Boy.

    And I’m currently reading The Wreckage at your suggestion Bernadette, my first Michael Robotham and I suspect not my last. Explosive stuff (pun intended).


    • I liked COMEBACK too – my first Peter Corris/Cliff Hardy novel!!! (can’t quite believe that’s true but the first one I can recall reading anyway).

      I am looking forward to THE MISTAKE very much and will try to track down a copy of her first one too.


  8. KerrieS says:

    I have asked for THE MISTAKE from the library


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  10. Leonard says:

    Agent 6 by Tom Rob Smith was reviewed by Elaine Charles on The Book Report in the beginning of March, and I have been meaning to grab it from the library ever since, I think I will make it my goal this weekend.


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