Books of the month – April 2014

ThroughTheCracksBrownHo22131_fApril was a month of mixed reading fortunes with a couple of excellent reads juxtaposed by several absolute duds (including two tomes which will remain forever unfinished) and rounded out by the usual middle of the pack selection. My pick of the month is going to new-to-me author Honey Brown’s THROUGH THE CRACKS which managed to surprise me despite the publisher’s efforts to suck the suspense from it by including a major plot spoiler in the first line of the back cover blurb. It is the tale of a teenage boy’s escape from abuse and although a grim subject manages not to be a depressing book.

The Rest (in reading order, minus the DNFs)

While I read a fair amount during the month I was not a diligent reviewer, neglecting several books for no reason other than laziness

  • Sue Grafton’s W IS FOR WASTED was not the best of this long-running series for me – it needed some editing
  • Karin Fossum’s CALLING OUT FOR YOU (also known as THE INDIAN BRIDE which is a much better title) was a book I really enjoyed but never got around to reviewing. Its tale of late-blooming love brought to an abrupt end is compelling and hearbreaking.
  • William Brodrick’s THE DISCOURTESY OF DEATH is up for discussion at my book club this month and was a confronting read that could generate some discussion with its exploration of the notion of killing for the greater good.
  • Ilsa Evans’ NEFARIOUS DOINGS is the first title in an Australian cosy mystery series that shows lots of promise with its humour and well-drawn cast of characters.
  • Sarah Hilary’s debut police procedural SOMEONE ELSE’S SECRET made for compelling listening though I have to admit there was perhaps one too many plot thread.
  • The sheer weight of Leif G.W. Persson’s LINDA, AS IN THE LINDA MURDER got to me before the end but there are elements of the book that are quite brilliant
  • Belinda Bauer’s latest psychological thriller THE FACTS OF LIFE AND DEATH gripped me completely (this was nearly my pick of the month)
  • Kelly Braffet’s SAVE YOURSELF was a grim but captivating tale of three young people in small-town USA weighed down by their families and choices.
  • Dick Francis’ FOR KICKS is comfort listening
  • Ken Bruen’s THE GUARDS introduces Jack Taylor (and will soon be the subject of a book vs adaptation post)

Progress towards book-ish goals

As far as official challenges go I read 2 more books for the Australian Women Writers challenge, bringing my total to 8 read, 7 reviewed and read another great book for the Reading USA Fiction challenge. On a down note for the second month in a row I failed to make any mark at all on my pre-2014 TBR pile.

I’ve also continued to actively support my resolve to only buy books within Australia (audio books excluded) but didn’t manage to read any crime fiction by Irish women this month.

Next month?

Here in Australia it’s the middle of Autumn and I turned the household heating on for the first time just last night. This time of year has always said “serious reading can now commence” so I’ll hopefully knock off a good chunk of the rather alarming number of books that arrived for the judging panel that I’m on this year in the coming weeks. And maybe a ring-in or two just to keep things interesting.

What about you? Did you read anything memorable during April?

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9 Responses to Books of the month – April 2014

  1. Bernadette – I’ve heard so many good things about Honey Brown’s writing; I really must read some of her work. And it’s good to hear that you enjoyed Calling Out For You. It’s a very well-done novel I think, and Fossum neatly captures that small-town atmosphere and uses it effectively. I’m looking forward to your discussion of The Guards, too.

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  2. TracyK says:

    Looking forward to the book to film adaptation post about The Guards. If I knew it was made into a film, I had forgotten. I liked that book a lot but haven’t gotten further in the series. You have mentioned lots of interesting books; I wish I could read three times faster.

    I just finished A Few Right Thinking Men by Gentill … while on my trip to Alabama… and haven’t reviewed it yet. Looking forward to more of those. Thanks for introducing me to that author.

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  3. Keishon says:

    I am looking forward to that book review/ adaptation of the Guards as well.

    Last couple of captivating reads were by Fred Vargas which I know you don’t really care for in her Adamsberg series. I didn’t think Vargas was for me either but her writing or translator has been terrific in those last two books of hers.

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  4. I’ve had one of those months where I can’t seem to get into any book I pick up. I’ve been a bit reading tired. But I’m now reading Elly Griffiths, The Janus Stone and am happily back on that horse!

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  5. Kathy D. says:

    I had a good beginning of the year in reading, but it stalled in April when I barely read anything. I had a lot to do, and I’m trying to fix up and take care of problems in my apartment (sigh). Everything is a project, as everyone knows, and everything takes much longer than I planned.
    So, reading suffered.
    But I’m now into Paddy Richardson’s Swimming with Sharks. Who can put down her books? Not I. And I have a bunch of library books, which should keep me going.
    Glad you found several good books, but sorry you had some duds last month.

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  6. Col says:

    Looks like a decent month Bernadette. I read the Persson last year, he doesn’t tend to do short!

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  7. Sarah says:

    Wow! What a reading month you’ve had. I wish that mine had been more fruitful but I am doing a teaching diploma too which is seriously slowing down my reading at the moment. I loved Persson but I appreciate he’s not to everyone’s taste!

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  8. I loved Belinda Bauer’s previous books so The Facts of Life and Death is on my TBR. I’m off to check out your winner now. My favourite read for April was Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daley.

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  9. I have Sue Grafton’s V and W mysteries in my TBR. I can’t get into them. Yet I must, for I named my child Kinsey. (Not for Millhone, but still.) 😀

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