Books of the month: April 2015

Pick of the month

TheHuntingDogsHorstThe good thing about having completed only a paltry 4 books for the month is that it made picking a favourite pretty easy, though I think Jørn Lier Horst’s THE HUNTING DOGS would have made the grade even if it encountered more competition. The Norwegian police procedural offers the twist of putting an ethical policeman on the suspect’s side of the ledger for much of the novel and Horst uses this angle to explore the nature of policing in a thoughtful and intelligent way.

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

Progress Towards 2015’s Book-ish Goals

Challenge Goal Progress
Australian Women Writers Challenge Read and review 25 eligible books 10/25
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 2/6
Personal – Read Globally Read at least 10 books set in countries that aren’t Australia, America or England 16/10
Personal – Reduce TBR Read at least 20 books I owned as at 31 December 2014 10/20
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 4/6

I didn’t really make a lot of progress during April. Aside from participating in the Past Offences reading challenge and not buying any books from overseas it was more of a status quo kind of month. I blame a visit by overseas relatives, binge-watching season three of House of Cards and general busy-ness for attending so poorly to my reading in general and my goals in particular. My May mantra will be “must try harder”.

 Looking ahead

A final reason for April’s scant list of books completed was that I spent the last half of the month on one book which I still haven’t finished. I’m about three quarters of the way through Leif G. W. Persson’s FREE FALLING, AS IF IN A DREAM – all 600 pages of it. But I am determined to finish it and the remaining shortlist for this year’s Petrona Award before the winner is announced mid-month. Even if it kills me (seriously, that’s a possibility…the Persson book in the hardback my library loaned me is heavy enough to be a dangerous bloody weapon and I’ve twice fallen asleep and bashed myself in the head with it).

I’m planning to participate in the Past Offences classics challenge to read a 1949 book with Dame Agatha Christie’s CROOKED HOUSE. I don’t recall ever reading it and as lots of people count it among her best I’m looking forward to it.

What about you? Had any particularly good reads during April? How are your reading goals progressing? Got something good lined up for May?

This entry was posted in Arthur Upfield, books of the month, Jorn Lier Horst, Nadia Dalbuono, Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Books of the month: April 2015

  1. Col says:

    I think I’m done with Persson myself. I’ve read three in total and he does have a tendency to ramble. Hope you eventually finish and enjoy the rest of May! Get yourself a hard hat!

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    • I don’t blame you Col – I don’t think I’d be bothering if it weren’t for my desire to read the whole shortlist for the Petrona Award – he’s definitely not what I’d call accessible and I am pondering whether or not it’s a case of the Emperor’s new clothes with everyone to afraid to say what needs to be said.

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  2. Jose Ignacio says:

    Good choice Bernadette. Am also reading Persson’s Falling Freely, As If in a Dream but I do have the advantage of reading it om my Kindle, besides I do enjoy Persson much more than you, and Col, do. Anyway was also tempted to read Crooked House for the same reasons but finally I’ll pick The Asphalt Jungle by W. R. Burnett, more likely. I wish you have an excellent reading month, Bernadette.

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    • I should have chosen to read Persson electronically Jose Ignacio – a much better idea than lugging this hardback around. Oh well. Look forward to hearing what you make of it, and of The Asphalt Jungle too

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  3. Not surprised at your choice, Bernadette – Horst is a very talented writer, and I do like series a lot. As to the Persson….that’s one thing I must say I like about having an e-reader. You can drift off to sleep reading without a heavy book breaking your nose as it falls on you. On the other hand, such heavy books are good ways to get some exercise and then feel very proud of yourself for it… 😉

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  4. FictionFan says:

    Falling Freely is the only Persson I’ve read – and I suspect it will remain the only one. I wasn’t overly impressed by it. Crooked House on the other hand is definitely one of my favourite Christies – enjoy!

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  5. kathy d. says:

    Well, at least you read four books and recommend The Hunting Dogs, which is on my TBR list, which just grows bigger.
    I only read Salvo Montalbano’s latest case in Game of Mirrors and Harry Bingham’s Talking to the Dead, about an unusual protagonist breaking up a common, but horrific, human trafficking racket.
    I won’t make the Petrona nominees’ list, but I will read some of the books, including the one you recommend.
    I need a rejuvenated reading mojo and new glasses.

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    • I can empathise with low mojo Kathy, happened to me all last year – hope you get yours back – I hadn’t realised there’s a new Montalbano, must put my name down for that one at the library

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  6. kathy d. says:

    There is a new Montalbano, Game of Mirrors. Also, a new Elly Griffiths, supposed to be excellent, The Ghost Fields. Also, for me a Guido Brunetti fan, a new Donna Leon book, Falling in Love.
    Am reading Helene Tursten’s new Irene Huss book, The Beige Man, but it’s taking awhile, not a quick read for me.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Bernadette: How do you hold your books for reading? I had not thought of book reading as a dangerous event. You are worrying me. Do we need to call Occupational Health?

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    • I’m sure I’d fail a safey audit…they way I read in bed does allow for such injuries as sort of lie down and have the book on a pillow next to me but if I doze off the heavy hardback can do some damage when I let go 🙂

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  8. Rebecca says:

    Once the snow melted here, I’ve had a hard time reading too: must be some way to put the awfully cold winter behind me since reading reminds me of it or something. As for Persson, I’ve only read Falling Freely/Freely Falling, and I prefer my police procedurals with a little less procedure. And, finally, I’m looking forward to reading my first Horst. Good luck finishing the shortlist, Bernadette.

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