Books of the months – May and June 2014

I’ve read over 40 books during the past couple of months, mostly the titles nominated for an award that I’m one of the judges for. It’s a great privilege to be part of this process but I must admit the sheer quantity was a bid daunting this year and I’m relieved the hard work is now over. So far I’ve only reviewed a handful of the books as I felt duty bound to spend my time reading rather than reviewing but I have jottings and post-it notes all over the place from which I hope to cobble together some more reviews in the next few weeks.

InTheMorningIllBeGoneMcKintyAlthough I’ve read a swag of great books my pick for this period is Adrian McKinty’s IN THE MORNING I’LL BE GONE. It’s got everything I look for in my reading: lovably imperfect characters, an enveloping sense of its time and place, emotional highs and lows and some of the best laughs you’ll find between two covers. And a locked-room mystery too. A real treat.

Other notable titles

  • Greg Barron SAVAGE TIDE – a political thriller with bite
  • Agatha Christie’s THE CLOCKS was my choice for the Past Offences 1963 challenge
  • Kathryn Fox’s FATAL IMPACT is a seriously good forensic procedural that is truly topical
  • Kerry Greenwood’s MURDER AND MENDELSSOHN is not my favourite instalment of the Phryne Fisher series but good fun all the same
  • Jan Costin Wagner LIGHT IN A DARK HOUSE – barely a crime novel but truly memorable nonetheless
  • Margaret Wild’s THE VANISHING MOMENT – is targeted at a young adult audience but I enjoyed it too, especially the writing and the depiction of the two central characters who both experience and deal with a trauma in their lives
  • Steve Worland COMBUSTION – an action thriller

Progress towards book-ish goals

I’m doing well on my goals relating to reading books by Australian authors but haven’t really progressed much towards any of my other goals. But I’ve a full half year to finish what I’ve started.

Next month?

I’m looking forward to reading purely for choice again though I must admit I haven’t actually been able to pick up a book at all in the couple of days since finishing my duties. The teetering TBR will call me soon though I’m sure.

What about you? Do you have a favourite book you read during June (or May)? I’ve hardly visited any blogs or review sites for the past two months and I’m sure I’ve missed some great titles so feel free to leave me your lists/links to the books you’ve loved. Got anything special you’re looking forward to for July?

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19 Responses to Books of the months – May and June 2014

  1. I’m glad you’ve had some good reads this month, Bernadette. I’m impressed with the variety of books you’ve read too. Oh, and I’m looking forward to the long and later the short lists.

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  2. Keishon says:

    Great list of books, Bernadette. I am behind in the McKinty series but plan to catch up. I finally read and enjoyed Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg (tr. Tiina Nunnelly). It was actually pretty good but it moves really, really slow but I loved reading the story and enjoyed Smilla. She’s a kickass character. For the last two weeks in June I’ve been enjoying The Sherlock Holmes series and I am reading now, The Hound of the Baskervilles. I guess what strikes me about this series so far is how atmospheric it is and it’s also well written and suspenseful. I am entrenched in reading classic crime fiction at the moment and am enjoying myself.

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    • You are getting some great classic reading done Keishon – I remember loving Smilla but it was a long time ago that I read it – great movie adaptation too (called Smilla’s Sense of Snow) but I might be biased as I have a bit of a thing for Gabriel Byrne

      Sherlock Holmes has always been one of my favourites and I’ve ended up as the custodian of our family’s “Collected Stories” volume – It’s huge and looks a bit raggedy ‘cos it’s been re-read so many times and there are pages falling out too so I tend to leave it on the shelves in case it falls apart more. I need to buy myself some modern versions for reading so I can leave the big volume for the next generation

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      • Keishon says:

        Oh nice! After reading A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, I jumped to The Hound of the Baskervilles which is book five according to LT. I’m at a loss on what books 3 and 4 are supposed to be.

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        • Keishon says:

          I found my answer.

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          • It’s funny I have never thought of the Sherlock Holmes stories as a series – I guess I first read them (from that big old family book) before I really knew the concept of a series so I would happily read them out of order – plus there are long and short stories all mixed up and that adds to my feeling that it’s not a series in the way we think of them today.

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            • Keishon says:

              You’re right but I’m glad I started with A Study in Scarlet that introduces Holmes as a student and his first meeting with Watson. Those earlier stories are a good starting place but they can be read out of order.

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  3. A locked room mystery you say? Sounds fantastic. I’ve never read any of his work but it sounds great.

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  4. TracyK says:

    Bernadette, I have The Cold, Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty but have not read it. Your review increases my desire to get to that one. I have only read Agatha Christie in your other list but I want to try Kathryn Fox and Kerry Greenwood for sure.

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  5. Kathy D. says:

    Good list, will add some to my TBR list or else asterisk some already listed.
    Alas, I did not read much in June, too much to do. And too many dvd’s watched, not my
    usual leisure activity.
    Will look forward to reading your reviews, which are always enjoyable.

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  6. Rebecca says:

    Looks like a great batch of books for the last couple months, Bernadette. Hope you find some great non-obligatory books this month as well! I’m also in the behind-in-reviews camp, and I’m not sure I’ll catch up completely. I’m not sure what Margot’s secret is for keeping up with daily posts 🙂

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    • Oh let me tell you Rebecca…Margot is an alien from a faraway planet where they have evolved to do without sleep and also have extra arms and a second brain cleverly hidden so they can really multi-task 🙂

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  7. Col says:

    Bernadette – well done for conscientiously carrying out your duties! I will get caught up on McKinty in the next month or two (hopefully) – the first rocked, so I’m glad the quality is sustained.
    Galveston by Piccolatto is great. I just thought I mention it again, in case you’d forgotten how the song goes!

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  8. Kathy D. says:

    I’ll give McKinty’s book a try; your review is so positive.
    I’m watching too much TV and too many dvd’s, causing my books to get dusty and library books to be renewed or returned unread. I feel my parents’ presence telling me to stop with the TV and movies and read books!
    And, Margot — I think she has a clone who reads a lot. Also, she seems to be in several cities at once, so it must be cloning.
    Her web site adds so many books to my TBR list constantly that I stagger even thinking of my impending avalanche of books and lists. But it’s all good.

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  9. Good list. I’ll chose some of them and put them in my list for July 🙂

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  10. Sarah says:

    40 books? I’m impressed. I must get around to reading the McKinty.

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