August started out strongly as far as reading went but during the last part of the month I was spending a lot of time in crowded, noisy waiting rooms and was unable to concentrate on the written (or even spoken) word for large chunks of time. So while I read 9 books for the month, only two of those were after the 15th.
My standout read for the month was Australian author Angela Savage’s third novel featuring ex-pat Aussie Jayne Keeney who now lives in Thailand where she works as a private investigator. In THE DYING BEACH Jayne and her boyfriend and business partner Rajiv are on holiday in the resort town of Krabi and they learn that Miss Pla, the tour guide who they’d enjoyed so much a couple of days earlier, has been found dead. Although considered an accidental drowning Jayne can’t imagine the woman she met, an accomplished swimmer and diver, dying in that way and so looks into the case which puts Jayne and Rajiv on a collision course with some very unsavoury characters.The book has it all: an exotic, evocative setting; terrifically drawn characters including good guys you can’t help but like and a story that manages to be thought-provoking and an edge-of-your-seat ride at the same time. I love this series.
The rest of my reading was pretty good too
- Wendy James’ THE STEELE DIARIES (a novel telling the stories of three generations of women in the one family, focusing on the way their aspirations for their own lives were at odds with the expectations others had for them and how this played out for them all)
- Leighton Gage’s DYING GASP (a gut-wrenchingly awful story about sex slavery and corruption in Brazil)
- Ellery Adams A DEADLY CLICHE (a cosy tale with a hurricane, a potential blackmailer and some very nasty burglers)
- Poppy Gee’s BAY OF FIRES (murder comes to a beautiful but remote Tasmanian holiday town)
- Hannah Kent’s BURIAL RITES (my SECOND non-crime title for the month – a ‘speculative biography’ of the last person to be executed in Iceland)
- Jo Bannister’s DEADLY VIRTUES (an author I had lost track of reappeared on my radar with this delightful tale about a man who knew he was going to die and the unlikely witness who ensured a semblance of justice would result)
- Jussi Adler-Olsen’s REDEMPTION (Copenhagen’s Department Q is turning a little bit too Hollywood for my liking)
- Arni Thorarinsson’s SEASON OF THE WITCH (review to come)
I answered the Book Q & A which was good fun and had a great discussion about my lack of reading of male American crime writers. I’ve got a good list of recommendations out of this – now I just need some quality reading time.
Progress towards my book-ish goals
- I read four books by Australian authors during the month though this time all of them were by women. This brings my total for the Australian Women Writers Challenge to 16 which is not quite half of the 34 books by Australian writers that I’ve read so far this year.
- After discussing the somewhat hollow victory of achieving my goal to only buy books in Australia rather than from those alluringly cheap overseas outfits (it being hollow because while I didn’t buy from those I didn’t really buy locally either) I went on a bit of a spending spree in August. I bought 8 books (more than I’d bought for the whole rest of the year) though they were all from the local indie book store or an Australian-based online store (where I stocked up on ‘cosy’ mysteries because I had none left on my TBR shelves – sometimes a cosy is just what the doctor orders)
Hope your August reading was enjoyable for you. Did you have a favourite book? Do you notice themes or “odd” things about your reading sometimes (such as me realising I don’t read many American male writers)? Do you try to correct or not bother as long as you’re enjoying your reading?