Books of the month: November 2016

Pick of the month

givethedevilhisdueaudioI felt pretty wretched after watching the US election unfold at the beginning of the month, both because of what it might mean for the world and for the delayed grief over my mother’s death it sparked. But, as has often been the case over the last 49 or so years, it was a book that got me out of my funk. Sulari Gentill’s GIVE THE DEVIL HIS DUE, which I read in print the moment it was published last year, was recently released in audio format and I am in heaven. English actor Rupert Degas, currently living in Australia, gives wonderful voice to all my favourite characters. As well as being a ripping historical mystery full of great characters the book is particularly relevant to the present day. For one thing its cast of characters cross political and social circles but still manage to get on one with one another for the most part. It’s nice to imagine that kind of thing being possible. But the book also explores the rise of fascism in the 30’s and how those who could see the dangers ahead struggled to get their fears heard. There are some worrying parallels. But even so I am buoyed by reacquainting myself with Rowly Sinclair and his stalwart chums and was delighted to learn via a tweet from Sulari that Rupert Degas will be narrating all the books in the series over the coming months. Squee as my inner teenager might say.

The rest, in reading order 

  •  Margot Kinberg’s PAST TENSE (a terrific, classic-style whodunit featuring a cold case on a university campus)
  • Sulari Gentill’s THE PRODIGAL SON (because there is not a full novel in the Rowland Sinclair series being released this year Sulari and Pantera Press released a free novella which is a prequel to the first book in the series and depicts how Rowly and his best mates all met)
  • Felicity Young’s A DONATION OF MURDER (the fifth fabulous book in the historical series set in pre WWI London contains dastardly organised crime, a dead body that wakes up, police corruption and a marriage proposal)
  • Pat Flower’s VANISHING POINT (my Crimes of the Century read for November was published in 1975 and takes place inside the head of a very disturbed woman)
  • Robert Harris’ CONCLAVE (listened to this one narrated superbly by Roy McMillan and enjoyed aspects of this tale of a papal election though as a conflicted, lapsed Catholic with what Kath & Kim might call isssssues there were parts I wasn’t so fond of. Overall an enjoyable read though).

Progress Towards 2016’s Bookish Goals

Challenge Goal Progress
Australian Women Writers Challenge Read 25 eligible books, review at least 20 of them Read 19.5 and reviewed 19.5 books (the 0.5 is due to a male/female writing team)
Reading US Fiction Challenge Read 6 books by new to me authors set in different states of the US  7/6 [Successfully Completed]
Reduce TBR Have a TBR of 100 or less by the end of 2016 (starting point 145) TBR = 134 at end of month
Buy Australian Buy no physical or eBooks from non-Australian stores 1 this month, 4 in total this year [Failed]
Read older books too Participate in at least 6 of the monthly Crimes of the Century challenges hosted at Past Offences  11/6 [Successfully Completed]
No Girl books Read no books with the word Girl in the title. Because meh.  0/0 achieved

So it looks like I’ll end the year with 3 successfully completed goals, 2 near misses and a pretty sad fail. Not so bad really but I’ll do a final wrap up later this month.

What about you? Did you have a great read during November? Anything good coming up for December?  Do you read seasonal books in December? Got a favourite Christmas or Hanukkah mystery to recommend?

This entry was posted in books of the month, Felicity Young (Aus), Margot Kinberg, Pat Flower (Aus), Robert Harris, Sulari Gentill (Aus). Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Books of the month: November 2016

  1. No doubt about it, Bernadette: Sulari Gentill’s work is a cure for what ails you. I like her series very much (and I have you to think for introducing me to it). You made some progress on your bookish goals, too (I especially like the one about not reading books with Girl in the title). I hope December is a good month for you. And thanks very much for the kind mention.

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  2. kathy d. says:

    Sulari Gentill’s book sounds like a good one. I read and loved Tana French’s newest book, “The Trespasser.”
    And I am buying Margot Kinberg’s Past Tense for myself as a Chanukkah/Christmas/Winter Solstice present and when I hole up over the holidays and read, “Past Tense” will be the first book on my list.
    Read Michael Connelly’s latest Harry Bosch book to get out of the post-good-book slump after reading French’s book and it worked.
    Hope you have good books this month.

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