The Best of November’s Reading

Arvon crime writers groupThis post is a little later than usual which more or less sums up my reading in November. At the beginning of the month I met some lovely fellow writers at a course organised by the Arvon Foundation. There are some interesting crime novels being written at the moment and it was fascinating to hear works in progress being read aloud.

It did mean, however, that I then spent most of the month trying to catch up with both my reading and reviewing. It took me a week to read one of the books on the list and then I read the next two novels in a single day. Does anyone else find that their reading goes in fits and starts? It wasn’t a reflection on the novels in question, just my ability to concentrate on the task in hand.

Six of the books were by new-to-me writers and one in particular, Louise Welsh, I intend to read more of in the near future. My book of the month was by another new-to-me writer: The Last Policeman by Ben H Winters. It had an interesting premise and was well written. I’m already looking forward to the next instalment.

The eight books I read for crimepieces were:

1. Babylon by Camilla Ceder

2. The Last Policeman by Ben H Winters

3. Murder at the Savoy by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

4. Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

5. Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham.

6. The Consorts of Death by Gunnar Staalesen

7. Vanished by Liza Marklund

8. The Girl on the Stairs by Louise Welsh

Kerrie from Mysteries in Paradise is hosting a monthly round-up of all the recommendations by crime fiction bloggers. Do pay the site a visit and see if you agree with the books that have been chosen.

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22 thoughts on “The Best of November’s Reading

  1. I’ve already added quite a few of these to my wishlist Sarah, am particularly keen to read the Louise Welsh book.

    And in answer to your question yes I too go in fits and starts – this year I’ve been all over the place but even this month when things were back to normal I had slow times and fast ones – I read 3 books in 3 days after taking nearly 2 weeks to read a single one. C’est la vie 🙂

  2. l find that the speed I read is often related to how much I’m enjoying the particular book I’m on at that moment. A book of 150 pages can take a week, whereas something twice as long or even greater can be done in a couple of days. Tiredness also plays a part with me.
    I read Welsh’s first couple a fair few years ago – The Cutting Room and Tamburlaine Must Die. Enjoyable – I’m sure I still have The Bullet Trick to read also.
    Your list just reinforces, how neglectful I am of Scandinavia, thanks for rubbing it in!

  3. Sarah – A fine reading list here! And I’m glad you liked The Last Policeman as much as you did. You’ve given me an effective ‘kick in the pants reminder that it’s waiting on my TBR list for me…

  4. A great list. Most I want to read someday also, especially the Scandinavian authors. Hoping to make some headway in that area in 2013. Just in the last few weeks my husband purchased The Last Policeman and is now reading it (and liking it). I will be reading it soon also.

  5. Great list, some of these have already made it onto my wishlist. My reading habits can be quite erratic too, life just gets in the way sometimes even if you are really enjoying the book in question. And sometimes I actually read a book more slowly when I’m really enjoying it in order to savour every page!

  6. Yes, my reading goes in fits and starts, too. I was reading my six books a month and even went ahead of that goal, but then for a few months I barely read any crime fiction, but was very busy — and tired. I find getting older that I can’t read quickly, certainly not as quickly as I did years ago, and that fatigue does play a part in the amount of reading I can do. Also, the type of book matters. If it’s more of a thriller, I can skim and read quickly. If it’s a thoughtful read, I have to ponder the words, which takes longer. Sometimes I can’t wait to see what happens and speed ahead; other times, it’s a mellow read.
    Will put several of these books on my TBR.
    My November book is Invisible Murder by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis, and a runner-up is Amuse Bouch, a lovely, light read by Anthony Bidulka of Saskatchewan — like having ice cream on a summer day.

  7. Thanks Kathy – I’m hearing a lot about ‘Amuse Bouche’ so I must give that a go. ‘Invisible Murder’ I don’t know but I’ll have a look at some reviews if I can find any.

  8. Invisible Murder is the second book in the Nina Borg series by Kaaberbol and Friis, Danish writers. The first book featuring Nina Borg is The Boy in the Suitcase. Both are good, different but well-done. Thrillers, character development, with some social issues in the second book, although there are elements of the first book which touch on social issues, too. However, for not wanting to be guilty of the crime readers’ crime of committing spoilers, I won’t say more. Both books are worth reading.

    • Ah yes – know I know the book you mean. I read mixed reviews of ‘The Boy in the Suitcase’ and I thought I might find the subject matter a bit distressing. but if you think it worth reading I will look out for it. Thanks!

  9. I always get intriguing ideas for the TBR from you! The Last Policeman is not my usual kind of thing, but I’m tempted, and I’d already put the Louise Welsh on my list courtesy of you…

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