Books of the month: January 2015

Pick of the month

NorwegianByNightMillerAudioI don’t know if it’s because I read virtually nothing for the last half of 2014 and was just giddy with excitement at having my reading mojo back or jolly good luck on my part but I was blessed with a load of truly fabulous books in January. To pick a single favourite seems unfair but in the unlikely event I were pressed at gunpoint to do so I would choose Derek B. Miller’s NORWEGIAN BY NIGHT. Its imperfect but entirely wonderful 82 year old central character has won a permanent place in my heart.

The full list (titles preceded by the ++ symbol are all recommended)

Random Thought

9 of the 11 books I read in the month were by new-to-me authors which is great for my reading horizons but I worry I’m adding new favourites to my ‘must follow’ list at a much faster rate than names are falling off via natural attrition. What’s worse I wonder…to wish death or a sudden loss of writing talent upon a few authors to make my life a little easier? Any writers reading this needn’t worry…I’m not actually wishing either of those things into being, and even if I were I’ve absolutely no supernatural powers at all.

Progress Towards 2015’s Book-ish Goals

Challenge Goal Progress
Australian Women Writers Challenge Read and review 25 eligible books 2/25
Reading US Fiction Challenge Read 6 books by new to me authors set in different states of the US 1/6
Personal – Outside my comfort zone Read at least 6 books that aren’t crime/mystery/thriller novels 0/6
Personal – Read Globally Read at least 10 books set in countries that aren’t Australia, America or England 7/10
Personal – Reduce TBR Read at least 20 books I owned as at 31 December 2014 7/20
Personal – Buy Australian Buy no physical or eBooks from non-Australian stores 0/0
Personal – Read older books too Participate in at least 6 of the monthly ‘pick a year’ reading challenges hosted at Past Offences 1/6

All in all I’m chuffed with this start to my bookish year. I’m on track with most of my goals (even adding the new goal to read older books too as something to commit to this year) and feel like reading and associated bookish things have taken their rightful place back in my life after the glitch that was 2014. It’s like the return of an old friend. Very welcome.

I’m particularly pleased to be back into the swing of another Australian Women Writers Challenge, having read two excellent books by new to me authors both called Anna.

Looking ahead

I’ve just started listening to Australian author Malla Nunn’s PRESENT DARKNESS which is her fourth novel set in 1950’s South Africa. As always it’s both enjoyable and difficult to return to this series. As far as traditional books go I picked up a load of library holds this weekend so will be heading virtually to Cambodia, Norway and North Carolina in the next few weeks as well as to two different states of Australia. I’m also eagerly awaiting the arrival of an order at my local bookstore because last year’s birthday voucher has languished long enough and a new Katherine Howell novel is due.

What about you? Have you had a good start to your reading year? If you set any book-related goals are you on track or have you already given up?

This entry was posted in Anna George, Anna Jaquiery, Ben Pastor, books of the month, Cilla & Rolf Borjlind, Eric Rickstad, John Buchan, Liad Shoham, Marianne Wheelaghan, Nevada Barr, Paddy Richardson, Peter May. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Books of the month: January 2015

  1. I adored Norwegian by Night! A brilliant protagonist.


  2. Margot Kinberg says:

    So glad you had a good reading month, Bernadette! And I agree with you about Norwegian by Night. What a great and original character that is. And good to see Swimming in the Dark here too. That’s a fantastic book I think.


  3. tracybham says:

    That is an interesting list with a lot of variety. I want to read Norwegian by Night soon, and Lumen. And I need to finally get to reading Malla Nunn.


  4. Col says:

    Well done – not much commonality other than the Miller which is around somewhere. Oh and the Buchan I read a year ago. Hope February continues in the same vein.


  5. Belle Wong says:

    I’m glad you’re back into your regular reading mode. The last half of 2014 was very similar for me, and I’ve felt so much better about my reading for 2015. I’d really been missing it. I’m really looking forward to Norwegian by Night!


  6. Kathy D. says:

    Same here for much of 2014, read less than in several previous years. Too busy and too tied up with TV detective series from Europe. I’m also watching the Phryne Fisher series, which is on PBS over here, in addition to the British, Italian, and Nordic series.
    I agreed with your review of Norwegian by Night totally, wrote a comment about it under the review, and I so disliked a book by the author of Gone Girl that I refuse to read that one. I avoid throwing the book at the wall by not opening it up. Nor will I see the movie.
    And I agree on Malla Nunn’s latest book, and replied under your review. Her writing is great in plot, character development and revealing the horrors of apartheid.


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