Pick of the month
Almost all of the nine books I read during July were well worth my time but I’m going to give my pick of the month to J.M. Peace’s A TIME TO RUN because I was so impressed with the things it wasn’t. I know that sounds strange but when the blurb indicated it was ‘a serial killer’ book I groaned audibly. I’ve thrown a couple of serial-killer-rampages-through-Queensland novels at the wall (literally) so had few hopes for this one. But serving policewoman J.M. Peace’s debut novel is not what you think of when you think of this well-worn theme. There are no italicised passages showing us his thoughts and he is not some evil genius able to outwit the cops (all but one of whom are, of course, preposterously stupid). Instead it is a perfectly paced novel of real suspense that has us spending time with the victim and some dedicated police instead of barking-mad killers. I read it in a single sitting and eagerly await the author’s next offering.
The rest (titles preceded by the ++ symbol are all recommended)
- ++Patricia Abbott CONCRETE ANGEL
- ++Jon Cleary DRAGONS AT THE PARTY
- Nicci French SECRET SMILE
- ++Elly Griffiths THE GHOST FIELDS
- ++Alex Hammond THE UNBROKEN LINE
- ++C.C. Humphreys PLAGUE (review pending)
- ++Ausma Zehanat Khan THE UNQUIET DEAD
- ++Felicity Young THE INSANITY OF MURDER
Progress Towards 2015’s Book-ish Goals
|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||3/6|
|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||23/10|
|Personal – Reduce TBR||Read at least 20 books I owned as at 31 December 2014||13/20|
|Personal – Buy Australian||Buy no physical or eBooks from non-Australian stores||1/0|
|Personal – Read older books too||Participate in at least 6 of the monthly ‘pick a year’ reading challenges hosted at Past Offences||5/6|
*have read 12 books but only reviewed 10 of them
I’m a bit annoyed at myself for caving in and buying a book at Amazon. It was for my monthly book club, wasn’t available at the library and the cheapest I could find it from an Australian store was $14.95. It cost me $1.01 in kindle format which is how I justified it to myself. But it’s the first time in 18 months that I’ve bought anything but an audio-book from a non-Australian book store.
Aside from the challenge I completed several months ago (to read at least 10 books set somewhere other than the US, UK or Australia) the only challenge I am definitely on track to complete this year is the last one on the list which is a bit surprising as I tend not to read older or ‘classic’ crime fiction much at all. But I have enjoyed my participation in the Past Offences monthly challenges (to read a crime novel set in the nominated year), especially when I can seek out some classic Australian crime fiction (as I did during July with the excellent DRAGONS AT THE PARTY by Jon Cleary – an author I had previously ignored!)
I will try to pick up my game on my remaining challenges. Promise.
The first order of business will be to find myself a crime novel published in 1980, preferably an Australian, for the Past Offences challenge. I’ve got my book club book to finish (Livia Day’s A TRIFLE DEAD) this week and I’ve only got one book home from the library right now (Karim Miske’s ARAB JAZZ) so I should be able to make a dent in my ‘books owned prior to the beginning of this year’ challenge. But I say that a lot and something always seems to come along to spoil my plans 🙂
What about you? Had any particularly good reads during July? Got something good lined up for August? Are you progressing well on your reading goals for the year or have you let them all slide in favour of a random approach to reading?