20 Books of Summer 2018

With one thing and another, I’ve found my blogging a bit challenging of late, and although I will be bringing my crime reviews up to date, I feel…well…a bit crime’d out. My reading soul is crying out for some fictional fodder so aside from the reading commitments I have over the next couple of months, I’m going to tackle the 20 Books of Summer Challenge again, the brainchild of the brilliant Cathy at 746 Books.

You’re entirely free to choose 5, 10, 15, 20 books- the choice is yours, to be read between 1st June and 3rd September. I’ll be tweeting my reviews via my blog using the #20BOOKSOFSUMMER, and via @cathy746books  but check out the link above for other social media info, and to look at the other participants’ choices too! I’ve seen some cracking lists, containing many books that have piqued my interest over the years too.  

 I think I managed 10 last time, but dodgy eye aside, I am proper going for it this time, and have raided my bookshelves for 20 ‘I will read this someday’ books, which have tarried long enough in the to-be-read mountain…

So in no particular order, here they are…

  • Richard Wight- Native Son
  • Olaf Olafsson- Absolution
  • Michael Ignatieff- Charlie Johnson In Flames
  • Paul Lynch- Red Sky Morning
  • Walker Percy- Lancelot
  • Michael Pitre- Fives and Twenty-Fives
  • Linda Olsson- Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs
  • Zoe Duncan- The Shifting Pools
  • Christopher Hibbert- Angels of Detroit
  • Matt Gallagher- Youngblood
  • Paula Coccoza- How To Be Human
  • Kyo Maclear- Birds Art Life Death
  • Theodore Brun- A Mighty Dawn
  • Denis Theriault- The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman
  • Sarah Hall- The Carhullan Army
  • Nadim Safdar- Akram’s War
  • Connor O’Callaghan- Nothing On Earth
  • Jonas Hassen Khemiri- Everything I Don’t Remember
  • Laura Lindstedt- Oneiron
  • Eowyn Ivey- To The Bright Edge of the World

Happy days!

February 2016 Round-Up and Raven’s Book of the Month

_DSC0185 (Common Raven)Okay- so where the heck did February go? Seems I have only just posted January’s round-up, and am feeling the effects of a busy month indeed. A month of mixed fortunes as far as reading goes, with 5 non-starters (3 of which did not even get a sniff of the magical 40 page rule) and the endless battle to juggle my crime and fiction reading commitments. I feel like I’m in real confessional mode now! Anyhow….moving on to business…

Books reviewed this month…

Helen Fitzgerald- Viral

Manchette’s Fatale- Adapted by Max Cabanes and Doug Headline

Oscar de Muriel- A Fever of the Blood

Chris Ould- The Blood Strand 

Joe Flanagan- Lesser Evils

Travis Mulhauser- Sweetgirl

Augusto de Angelis- The Murdered Banker

41QNtHNg+sL__SX327_BO1,204,203,200_So, in addition to the 7 reviews I did manage to post, I also read Valerio Varesi’s A Woman Much Missed. I’m rather partial to this series set in Parma, and featuring the world weary detective Commisario Soneri, a man who seems to have a deep rooted dislike of everybody and everything. He has a problem with delegation, is a melancholic flaneur with commitment issues, but in his favour has no qualms about donning a duffel coat. I do like a man in a duffel coat. What I particularly liked about this one, was the way that it re-traced the early days of his relationship with his late wife, and the secrets this threw up in its wake. There is always a languorous and meditative feel to Varesi’s writing that puts me in mind of Simenon, but counterbalanced by moments of immorality and violence that appear all the more shocking as they punch through the slowly unfolding plot. If you haven’t tried Varesi before, he really is worth a look…

I’ve also been indulging my penchant for war fiction by picking up Matt Gallagher’s Iraq based novel Young Blood which seems to be pushing the same emotional buttons as last month’s Anatomy of a Soldier by Harry Parker. Also currently reading Tightrope by Simon Mawer– a superb tale of spies, lies and espionage; a curious and unsettling American tale called Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh , and a whisker away from finishing Danish crime novel Retribution by the brilliant Steffen Jacobsen– to be reviewed soon. Still a teetering to read pile,  and two blog tours on the horizon this month too. Deep breaths and focus…

Raven’s Book of the Month

JOEDespite the paucity of reviews this month this was a good eclectic mix and each book had something to recommend it. However, this month my heart belonged to debut author Joe Flanagan for Lesser Evils- a brilliantly constructed and compelling crime novel set in 1950’s Cape Cod, that tackled some weighty issues as well as providing a multi-layered and emotive plot that I was utterly caught up in from start to finish. Marvellous. I just want to read it again….