Books of the month: May 2017

Non-Pick of the month

I finished only two books during May. Two paltry books! And both of those were audio books. It’s been several years since my reading count for a month was so low. I blame my crazy working hours and the migraine inducing lighting in my temporary office accommodation. I’ve been coming home from work and lying in a dark room for a whole month.

Of the two books I finished the one I liked was Gunnar Staalesen’s WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE which went on to win this year’s Petrona Award for best Scandinavian crime novel of the year. That’s a judges’ decision I can get behind, though I might have nudged Kati Hiekkapelto’s THE EXILED ahead in my personal scoring. I really enjoyed the Staalesen novel though and agree with the judges that it lives up to its ambitious premise.

The other book I finished was Megan Abbott’s YOU WILL KNOW ME which wasn’t my cup of tea. Given that it’s received so many accolades I was surprised to discover last weekend that most of my fellow book clubbers didn’t enjoy it much either. The general consensus was that the plot went nowhere and that we wouldn’t have read to the end if it hadn’t been a book club read. We also wondered if perhaps the book’s setting was a bit alien to our Australian experience (there are cultural differences between us). I was glad not to be a lone voice in the wilderness (again) but felt extra guilty for having selected the book for my club to read. On the bright side it did generate a good discussion – something that doesn’t tend to happen if we all like a book.

I did slog through half of another book but gave up when it was due back to the library. But I think the fact I could only read a few pages at a time due to eye strain was a bigger problem than the book itself.

Progress on bookish goals

aww2017-badgeAustralian Women Writers Challenge: Read & Review 25 books 

No progress during the month so I’m still at 6 down, 19 to go. I’ll have to put in a real spurt to achieve this one.

image borrowed and edited from 8 times in Crimes of the Century

With the challenge host on hiatus I’m also having a holiday from reading “classic” crime.

mount-tbr-2017Read 36 books owned prior to the start of the year and/or reduce the TBR to less than 100 (from 131)

Neither of the two books I finished were ones I owned before the start of this year so the tally on reading pre-owned books remains stalled at last month’s 15 and my TBR is now at exactly what it was at the start of the year: 131. Sigh.

Image sourced from

Buy no physical or eBooks from stores outside Australia (Audio books are my exception)

So far so good.

USAFictionChallengeButtonRead at least 10 books eligible for my virtual tour of the US via its fiction (each one set in a different state and by a new-to-me author).

Did not add to my tally this month, my yearly total read is a paltry 2

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What about you? How did your reading go in May? Any books you need to recommend? 

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2 Responses to Books of the month: May 2017

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve had such a difficult month, Bernadette. Nothing like awful lighting to make a migraine situation all that much worse. And it doesn’t help that you keep crazy hours. Hopefully June will be better. Glad you enjoyed the Staalesen, too. I think the panel made a good choice.


  2. kathy d. says:

    Hi Bernadette,
    Sorry to hear about these office-induced migraines. Can you wear tinted glasses to take away the glare?
    I agree on Staalesen’s book, although I didn’t read the other in contention for the Petrona Award. I have The Exiled, but the print was too small for my aging eyes. I loaned it to a friend and am awaiting the hard cover version from the library as the print is larger.
    I hope you can get over those headaches so you can read as you enjoy it so much.


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