Pick of the month
My reading dropped off the pace somewhat after January due to a bout of illness and a mix of work and social activities. Although there are a couple of contenders I’m choosing THIS HOUSE OF GRIEF as my favourite read of the month. It’s a book about the tragic real life death of three children at the hands of their father so not my normal fare. But Helen Garner is an astute observer and has an open mind. The book’s ending is too ambiguous for some and its politics not strident enough for others but I liked both those elements. Or if not liked then respect. I am a weary of opinions – everyone seems to have them about everything – even things they can’t possibly know much about. I like that Garner went to the effort of finding out as many facts as she could before forming a view and didn’t attempt to draw any long bows from a single story.
The rest, in reading order
- *A CUT-LIKE WOUND by Anita Nair
- *DARK AS MY HEART by Antti Tuomainen
- *MURDER MUST ADVERTISE by Dorothy L. Sayers
- *DEADLY DIPLOMACY by Jean Harrod
anything with an asterisk is worth a read
Progress Towards 2016’s Bookish Goals
|Australian Women Writers Challenge||Read 25 eligible books, review at least 20 of them||Read and reviewed 3 books|
|Reading US Fiction Challenge||Read 6 books by new to me authors set in different states of the US||1/6 achieved|
|Personal – Reduce TBR||Have a TBR of 100 or less by the end of 2016 (starting point 145)||TBR = 143 at end of month|
|Personal – Buy Australian||Buy no physical or eBooks from non-Australian stores||So far so good|
|Personal – Read older books too||Participate in at least 6 of the monthly Crimes of the Century challenges hosted at Past Offences||2/6 achieved|
I’m still on track for most challenges though I need to up my game on Australian Women Writers and the TBR reduction is not going according to plan at all. Still there’s 8 months of the year left.
My reading of classic crime is throwing up some interesting insights about my likes and dislikes. I don’t know that it has always been this way but I realised during February that the kind of thing people often associate with classic crime – puzzle books – don’t really float my boat. I enjoyed last month’s classic even though it had a puzzle at the centre but it also had a black humour that suited my taste and some really astute observations of human behaviour. This month’s book on the other hand was all about the puzzle (and some pretty dogmatic lecturing from the author).
I’ve chosen my 1947 book for Crimes of the Century: Mickey Spillane’s I, THE JURY. To be brutally honest I have low expectations – it’s American, hard-boiled – my least favourite thing (if there’s a mobster in there I really will throw it at the wall). But will balance that out with some more promising (for me) reads including two I just picked up from the library: Julia Keller’s LAST RAGGED BREATH and Hans Olav Lahlum’s SATELLITE PEOPLE. I’ll pick up the pace on my Aussie women writes with Cath Ferla’s GHOST GIRLS and might even get around to Favel Parrett’s second novel which I’ve had on the shelves for ages.
What about you? Did you have a great read during February? Anything good coming up for March?