Books of the Month – May 2010

That was then

I finished 15 books in May and, thankfully, had no DNFs (though I might have done had I not been too warm and lazy to get out bed and find a book other than this one). Only four of these were audio books though that was enough for me to achieve the obsessed level of the 2010 Audio Book Challenge (1 challenge down, 3 to go).

My pick of the month is Simon Lelic’s A Thousand Cuts which I read in print. It’s a very sad book but beautiful in its way and I found it extremely difficult to put down. It blurs the genre boundaries too and I’ve already recommended it to people who don’t normally read crime fiction.

Honourable mentions for the month go to

  • Shona MacLean’s debut historical mystery The Redemption of Alexander Seaton for transporting me virtually to a fascinating version of 17th Century Scotland
  • the latest installment of Reginald Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe series Midnight Fugue for being one of the most cleverly plotted books I’ve read in ages
  • Elly Griffiths’ The Crossing Places for introducing me to someone I think will become one of my very favourite characters, Ruth Galloway

I didn’t realise it until after finishing the list but the three honourable mentions are all audio books.

New Additions

It’s pretty easy to tell when my life is a bit pants because there is a correlation between the amount of books I acquire and my crankiness level. This month’s acquisition of 28 books should make most of you very glad you only know me virtually. My frenzy of buying, mooching, dowloading and saying yes to an unprecedented number of ARCs has gone part way to mitigating my bad mood. Among my new treasures are

Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s My Soul to Take which I am very much looking forward to reading, having enjoyed Last Rituals.

Imogen Robertson’s Instruments of Darkness because it seems I haven’t had my fill of historical crime fiction and am continuing to try new authors in this genre.

Affairs of State by Dominque Manotti is one of only a handful of books I’ve bought in an Australian bookstore this year as most books I buy these days make their way here from Book Depository with its cheaper prices and free shipping down under

What to read next?

I’ve still got three challenges to complete for this year but with 7 months to go I’m not panicking. Before the winner is announced on July 23 I also want to read the four remaining books that are on the shortlist for the Crime Writer’s Association International Dagger (an award for books translated into English). So in June expect to see reviews for

Rob Kitchin’s The White Gallows (its official publication date is 12 June and I want to have it read and reviewed around that date) (plus I’m itching to get to it)

Johan Theorin’s The Darkest Room (one of the six International Dagger hopefuls)

Petros Markaris’ Zone Defence (which I’m going to use for the final European leg of my global challenge)

The Uncomfortable Dead by Paco Ignacio Taibo II (a Mexican novel that I had to work hard to find so I could have a third country represented on the North American leg of my global challenge)

Hopefully there’ll be a whole lot more besides these but I don’t like to be too prescriptive about what I’m going to be reading as I never know where my mood might take me.

Chart of the month

This entry was posted in books of the month, Dominique Manotti, Elly Griffiths, Imogen Robertson, Johan Theorin, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Petros Markaris, Reginald Hill, Rob Kitchin, Shona MacLean, Simon Lelic, Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Books of the Month – May 2010

  1. Maxine says:

    My grumpiness scale would be “constantly furious and fuming” so well done for Feb (a short month, though, it has to be said 😉 ) and Mar/April. Excellent choice for book of the month, this is one that should win awards if there is any justice in the world. Of your new acquisitions, I hope you like the Manotti and the Sigurdardottir as much as I did. What to read next? What an interesting selection! The only one of these I have read is The Darkest Room which I really loved. Looking forward to reading what you decide.
    (PS know totally what you mean about acquiring books as an antidote to life’s c***!)


  2. Maxine I am quite grateful not to be like those women who need to buy Manolo Blahnik shoes at $800 a pair for retail therapy – I’d be in the poor house for sure.


  3. Jose Ignacio says:

    I like your selection of books. I have three out of seven plus a Markaris and a Paco Ignacio Taibo II in my TBR which account for almost 5 out of seven. I look forward to your reviews.


  4. Bernadette – You’ve certainly chosen some wonderful books!! I very much look forward to reading The White Gallows and My Soul to Take, too. And I can think of no better therapy for crankiness than books : ).


  5. I read The Rule Book by Rob Kitchin and loved it. Will read his next one too.

    BTW, I get recommendations of great crime fiction books from your blog. Thanks!

    Here is myMay Wrap-Up post!


  6. Dorte H says:

    Wonderful reads you have there, but for once they won´t destroy my budget. I have read Theorin, and Kitchin and Sigurdardottir are on my TBR 😀

    I also want to read Rob´s second book soon, but not in the middle of my exams. So I´ll take the chance with library books until I have time to cherish my TBR.


  7. kathy durkin says:

    Some great book recommendations here, will write them down. I’m going to try to read all of the books that were on Petrona as recommendations for the Dagger. Manotti is new to me but I’m very eager to try her newest book and Villar’s; I, too, was persuaded by Maxine’s review. I cannot wait for the Book Depository delivery of “The Janus Stone.” I loved “The Crossing Places,” the sense of place and the main character and learning something also.
    I so agree on buying books, getting them out of the library as a way to deal with bad moods–and it’s not unhealthy. The only other thing I’d add here is chocolate. Sitting with a cup of tea, chocolate and a good book is heavenly, or in the hot weather, iced tea.
    Finding a good place to read in the nice weather helps, somewhere outside in greenery which is not so available where I live, but when it’s found, it’s worth the trek.
    The only limitations are time in terms of how many books one can read; one can’t read fast enough to keep up–or I can’t.
    Have a happy summer of reading!


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