Books of the month: March 2015

Pick of the month

AutumnAllTheCatsReturnGeorgetBoth the quality and quantity of my reading slipped a bit during March, primarily for workload reasons. That pesky day job really does get in the way of a good hobby. Still difficult to pick a favourite though. Intellectually I suspect I should go with the Eva Dolan book which appears in the list below but my heart belongs to AUTUMN ALL THE CATS RETURN by Philippe Georget. There is something intangibly wonderful about it that sets it apart for me. I know it’s counter intuitive for a die-hard crime reader like myself to say so, but I think what I like is that it doesn’t read much like any of the generally accepted sub-genres but is still recognisably a crime novel.

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

I read another two books that failed to generate enough interest for me to write a review. The fourth book in Jussi-Adler Olsen’s Department Q series, GUILT, is a meandering affair in which the bones of a decent story got lost amidst the clutter. Rachel Amphlett’s LOOK CLOSER is a thriller in the ordinary-man-caught-in-a-nightmare tradition. I didn’t hate it but I stared at a blank screen for about an hour before abandoning the attempt to produce a review. Meh would sum up both of these for me.

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 13/10
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 3/6

I need to pick up the pace on my Reading US Fiction challenge. I’ve got a few possibles on hold at the library so hopefully they’ll start trickling in. My reading of non-crime books is not progressing all that well either. Must try harder. There have been several temptations to purchase books from non-Australian stores but so far I have resisted. If the book selling industry in Australia does collapse they won’t be able to blame me 🙂

 Looking ahead

I’ve got a non fiction book to read over the next couple of weeks. A SHORT HISTORY OF STUPID by two Australian news columnists. I read their columns often and regularly disagree with both of them but was so surprised to see them as joint authors of a book that I brought it home from the library for a look see. On the crime front I’m about to embark on a 50 year old Australian novel that was never published until this year. And then I’m hoping to get stuck into the shortlist for this year’s Petrona Award.

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

This entry was posted in Anne Buist (Aus), books of the month, Dick Francis, Eva Dolan, Harry Bingham, Katherine Howell (Aus), Philippe Georget, Robert Gott (Aus), Ruth Rendell. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Books of the month: March 2015

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Sometimes, Bernadette, I think we’d benefit if a book reviewer used just that one word – meh – for the review. It says so much. I’m glad you did find some books to love, and I admire the progress you’re making towards your reading goals. As for the ‘day job’ thing, I agree: wouldn’t it be nice to be paid for staying home and reading?


  2. wildbilbo says:

    Always interesting to see what other people are reading:)

    I’ve got my own little reading festival going – it’s #AusReadingApril – so I’ve got 5 or 6 Australian fiction (sci-fi/fantasy) to get through. I’m pretty excited about it – most of these have great reviews.
    Godless by Ben Peek
    Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson
    And stuff by Alan Baxter, Sean Williams & Amanda Bridgeman.



    • What a great idea for a reading festival…I don’t read much sci-fi these days but I do have a Sean Williams book somewhere on the TBR…should dig that out for my own ‘read outside my comfort zone challenge’

      Liked by 1 person

  3. FictionFan says:

    Oddly, I’m kinda glad to hear what you say about the Jussi Adler-Olsen book. I decided against it after being a bit underwhelmed by the last one, but I’d wondered if I was making a mistake and this one would be better. Sounds like it’s not…


  4. tracybham says:

    I have had a great reading month, but way behind on reviewing. I was glad to hear that you liked AUTUMN ALL THE CATS RETURN. I bought that one by mistake, thinking it was the first one and now I need to get SUMMERTIME ALL THE CATS ARE BORED.


  5. kathy d. says:

    Well, you read some good books in March. Alas, I was busy doing other things, so only read a novel written by a friend and The Rosie Effect, which I enjoyed. I needed a humorous book.
    I’m reading the Bingham now, and would like to read the Dolan, Goff and Howell. Howell’s books do not get over here.
    I ordered Dolan’s from (dreaded) Amazon, but I had to do it as I’d heard so much about this
    book including here.
    I see that Elly Griffiths has a new Ruth Galloway book out which will be in the States in May,
    Ghost Field. It got a great write-up at Clothes in Books. I can’t wait. i’m waiting for the new Camilleri and just got the new Helen Tursten.
    I have to speed up the reading here, but am watching too many dvd’s, especially global
    mysteries amid others, and reading my New York Times and watching too much TV.


    • I go through phases like that Kathy…where I read less and watch more. I hadn’t realised there’s a new Camilleri or Tursten…more trips to the library for me 🙂


  6. tracybham says:

    I don’t know how I missed your review of the Robert Gott book. I did read The Holiday Murders and I am very interested in continuing the story. Very glad you liked it.


  7. Belle Wong says:

    I’m behind in the Department Q series, but won’t worry about it too much now. I’ve heard that the third one (I’ve read 1 and 2, liked 1 better than 2) wasn’t quite as good, either.


  8. Patti Abbott says:

    Hi-I wonder if you would like to participate in the blog feature I have going on what’s on your shelf Easier to look at my blog and see the questions. I would like to have more women and more non-Americans. And you are such a good reader. Thanks. (please include a bio and pic if you can participate.


  9. Deborah says:

    Hi there. Just found your blog via the AWW site! Lovely to virtually meet you!



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