Pick of the month
I 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)
- DESTROYER ANGEL by Nevada Barr [USA]
- ++ LINEUP by Liad Shoham [Israel]
- FOOD OF GHOSTS by Marianne Wheelaghan [Kiribati]
- ++ LUMEN by Ben Pastor [Poland]
- RUNAWAY by Peter May (read in 2014, reviewed this year) [Scotland]
- ++ SPRING TIDE by Cilla and Rolf Börjlind [Sweden]
- ++ SWIMMING IN THE DARK by Paddy Richardson [New Zealand]
- ++ THE LYING-DOWN ROOM by Anna Jaquiery [AWW2015, France]
- ++ THE SILENT GIRLS by Eric Rickstad [USA]
- THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS by John Buchan [#1915Book, England]
- ++ WHAT CAME BEFORE by Anna George [AWW2015, Australia]
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
|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.
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?