Books of the month: December 2016

For the sake of completeness a quick end-of-month post amidst the year-end ramblings

Pick of the month

therulesofbackyardcricket29023_fI read 8 books and a short story during December which is right around my average monthly number for the year. There is a standout book but a couple too that in any other month might occupy the top spot. However I cannot go past Jock Serong’s THE RULES OF BACKYARD CRICKET. A novel that deserves its noir categorisation for its achingly bittersweet ending alone. I am so utterly fed up with the overuse of this word but here it is truly fitting.

The rest, in reading order 

  •  Agnes Ravatn – THE BIRD TRIBUNAL (everyone but me raves about this one)
  • Margaret Millar – A STRANGER IN MY GRAVE (my second reading of a Millar novel this year thanks to Crimes of the Century and a more satisfying experience)
  • Hannah Kent – THE GOOD PEOPLE (great writing, evocative setting, too much exposition for me)
  • Jo Bannister – LIARS ALL (never got around to reviewing it, enjoyed the final instalment of the Brodie Farrell series which I had somehow completely missed when it came out 7 years ago)
  • Vanda Symon – THE FACELESS (thoroughly excellent standalone novel about people who’ve lost everything looking out for each other)
  • Jaye Ford – DARKEST PLACE (seriously scary story where everyone is a suspect)
  • David Owen – ROMEO’S GUN (delivered as if by Santa right before Christmas this is Aussie storytelling at its best)

Other ramblings & looking ahead

The year’s goals are completed, or not as the case may be.  I’ve also jotted down some thoughts about my five years of participating in the Australian Women Writers Challenge.

Other than that I’m working on my favourites list for 2016 and also have spent way too much time preparing some additional charts. Because holidays 🙂 As far as reading goes I was the chooser for January’s Crimes of the Century so will soon be embarking on 1959’s GIN AND MURDER by Josephine Pullein-Thompson, a book I procured from the excellent Greyladies press. Two of my favourite things are right there in the title so it should be a good one :).

Thanks to all who have followed, read, lurked and commented here at the blog or gotten in touch with me via email. If I haven’t responded to you please know it’s more to do with the vagaries of technology (I cannot ever seem to get my email to sync 100% between web, laptop and mobile devices) and/or absent mindedness on my part. I love hearing from you, even when you’re writing to say I was wrong about a book recommendation. Wishing you all great reading in 2017.


This entry was posted in Agnes Ravatn, books of the month, David Owen (Aus), Hannah Kent (Aus), Jaye Ford (Aus), Jo Bannister, Jock Serong (Aus), Margaret Millar, Vanda Symon. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Books of the month: December 2016

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    All right, All right, Bernadette. I’m now convinced I must read The Rules of Backyard Cricket. I’ve not done so yet, but it’s on the TBR. I promise. I’m very glad you had a good December, book-wise. Wishing you a good 2017 – you deserve it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think we all deserve a good 2017 Margot…this year seems to have been unusually awful as far as world events go…sometimes I feel guilty for escaping into make-believe. But not guilty enough to stop ;).

      Hope you enjoy getting to learn some about cricket 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kathy d. says:

    Here’s to a good new year and one of great reading. We’re going to need it over here in the States.
    I plan on keeping my head in a book with my hands on tea and snacks for the next four years, only coming up for air to get another book or more sustenance.
    Await your “Best of 2016” book list and ever-interesting commentary.
    Thanks for this blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jose Ignacio says:

    The same to you Bernadette!


  4. kathy d. says:

    I definitely recommend Tana French’s newest, “The Trespasser,” Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy, Lisa McInerney’s “The Glorious Heresies,” which won the Bailey Women Writers’ Prize and Val McDermid’s “Out of Bounds,” a good police procedural with a woman detective.


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