Books of the month: October 2017

Pick of the month

October delivered more real-life shenanigans (this time on the health front), making 2017 an interesting year if nothing else. But here I prefer to focus on books rather than shenanigans, especially when I’ve read a book like ON THE JAVA RIDGE by Australian author Jock Serong. My shortest possible review would read: bloody hell! A story of asylum seekers, innocent tourists and a soul-less government it is gorgeously written, highly topical, bone-achingly tense and as anger inducing as art gets.

The rest, in reading order 

  • Shankari Chandran’s THE BARRIER is an unsettling dystopian novel set in the near future in which our future selves fail to deal humanely with the challenges of global disease outbreaks and other unpleasantness
  • Jane Harper’s FORCE OF NATURE follows on strongly from her much awarded debut novel THE DRY and reminds as all why nature is frightening
  • Qiu Xiaolong’s A CASE OF TWO CITIES takes readers to modern China and the US in a politically charged investigation
  • Maddie Day’s FLIPPED FOR MURDER provided the Indiana stop on my virtual tour of America and is an enjoyable read for those who like their cosy mysteries without overt gimmicks
  • Val McDermid’s INSIDIOUS INTENT is the 10th book in the Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series provides a superbly constructed story but includes far too much casual law breaking on the part of people who should know better for my tastes.

I did read two additional books but haven’t posted reviews yet: Alice Feeney’s SOMETIMES I LIE and Sarah Ward’s THE PATIENT FURY.

Progress on bookish goals

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

14 down (not counting two DNFs), 11 to go. Probably not going to make it this time

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

4 down, 4 to go. Was looking good for this one but the host of this meme is taking a break and I haven’t been motivated to read the classics on my own.

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

Sigh. I have only read 22 books that I owned before January 1. I’ve gotten rid of a few more via culling or deciding not to finish but my total TBR stands at 128.

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).

Have read 4 eligible books for the whole of 2017. Unlikely to read 6 more during the next two months

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

What about you? How is your reading going for the year? Anything from October that you want to shout about? 

This entry was posted in books of the month, Jane Harper (Aus), Jock Serong (Aus), Maddie Day, Qiu Xiaolong, Shankari Chandran (Aus), Val McDermid. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Books of the month: October 2017

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    I always know when you have that reaction to a book, Bernadette, it’s worth putting on my list. Now. I’m so glad you enjoyed On Java Ridge that much. And it looks as though the rest of your reads were good, too. I’m impressed that you’re making progress on your goals, even with shenanigans.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tracybham says:

    Looks like you had some intense reading this month, Bernadette. My reading this month was mostly much lighter (in emotional terms) than yours. I am glad you reviewed Jane Harper’s 2nd book; that encourages me to read her 1st book.

    I haven’t done well on my challenges this year, even the Australian Women Writers Challenge, and I committed to a much lower number than you. I will never get my TBR piles under control, but I do plan to make reading more from the TBR a challenge in 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathy D. says:

    Glad you’re blogging. Was concerned when no post for awhile. But I gather you were dealing with health problems, while also reading.
    OK: On the Java Ridge and Force Nature are going on the list, and so are some of the others.
    Dangerous to read this blog; I always add to those groaning lists.
    Hope your health issues are under control.
    A good friend grabbed the Emma Viskic book so I’m awaiting its return. She likes it.
    Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

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