Tuesday, 1 April 2014


March provided a decent month of reading, without me finding that book that was truly stand out and memorable. I had a slow start to the month with the Hunsicker book, which has made me decide, as much as possible to avoid long books at the start of the working week as I just get bogged down. Better to save them for a holiday or a weekend start when I can eat a big chunk up and make some progress. My enjoyment of The Contractors probably suffered as a result, though a mark of 3 appears generous.

Book of the month!
9 books were read in the month, which is 1 shy of my goal of 10 to achieve 120 for the year. I have yet to hit that magical figure in any month in 2014 - hopefully I will catch up later in the year.

All 9 books were authors new to me, (18 from 26 so far in 2014 - I've decided to count Agatha Christie as a new author last month),

4 of the books were debut novels and I would happily read more from all debut authors - Kirschman, Veste, Harvkey and McCrary.

2 were by females (making 5 from 26 for the year - 19% go me! Double last year's % but could still do better)

5 were Net Galley books (God, I really went overboard on there didn't I?), 2 were received from the author, 1 from the publisher and 1 book was actually bought, though it subsequently transpired it wasn't even a whole book, just a portion of it.

7 were US authors - no surprise there, 1 from Australia, 1 from the UK.

In the course of the month my reading took me to Sydney, Liverpool, Cincinatti, Texas, New York, Missouri and Indiana, with some flying visits to Arizona and Mexico as well as a couple of unknown locations!

Progress on my challenges - no Vintage Reads, no Scottish reads, no Espionage reads, no TBR Mountain reads, 1 for my Down Under challenge and a few states filled on my USA challenge (6 from 51, so I'm making some progress there).

Most of my reads were very good, just a bit short of great. Tough to pick a book of the month, but as I read it cover to cover in about 3 hours flat it has to be Ellen Kirschman's Burying Ben. The good news is, she's writing a second Dot Meyerhoff book!

A close second would be Les Edgerton and The Bitch.

The full list of March reads is as follows:

Harry Hunsicker - The Contractors (3)

Les Edgerton - The Bitch (4)

Mike Resnick - Dog in the Manger (4)

Ellen Kirschman - Burying Ben (4)

Mike McCrary - Getting Ugly (4)

B. Selkie (aka Peter Robb) - Final Cut (aka No Sweat) (aka 1/3rd of Pig's Blood and Other Fluids) (3)

Mike Harvkey - In the Course of Human Events (4)

Luca Veste - Dead Gone (4)

Dorothy Uhnak - Codes of Betrayal (4)


April aims - hit 10 for the month, keep up the female count, chip away at some of my challenges, clear the Net Galley burden from my shoulders - free is not always a good thing!


  1. Well I have the Kirschman book now, so looking forward to reading that. I'm impressed and encouraged that you read it so quickly and made it book of the month.

    1. Moira - hope it works as well for you as it did for me - fingers crossed!

  2. Col - You'v got some really interesting reads there! And I do want to read the Kirschman. You've also got me interested in the Uhnak. Glad you had a good reading month.

    1. Margot - I hope you do read Burying Ben. It would be nice to get some affirmation that its a great read. Ditto Uhnak - but I'm well aware time (and money!) is limited.

  3. I just tried to comment on your Uhnak post twice and lost both of them. I will come back later for that. (If I can remember.)

    I am interested in Kirschman but not going to buy anything right now. Part of my attempted comments on Uhnak is that I have got to cut back on buying books. But she (Kirschman) is definitely an author I am interested in.

    Glen did purchase Dog in the Manger. Don't know if we told you that. So that is on my to read someday list.

    1. Spooky re Uhnak commenting. I know Blogger causes me grief when trying to play around with the lay-out and the widgets etc. I'm not techno-savvy - and its not user-friendly which isn't a good combination!

      Hopefully you can allow yourself a bit of a splurge later in the year. Kirschman's book should still be around and Uhnak never really went away. I know exactly what you mean about cutting back - but it's so difficult.

      Glen mentioned he might go for the Resnick because of the Pronzini rec. and the location. Glad to hear he bought, fingers crossed you both like it. I want to try and read the 2nd one this month, but I'm sure to get side-tracked!

  4. Nice wrap up, Col. I know what you mean about the netgalley! It's funny you are reading mostly US authors and I, in the US, am reading mostly UK authors! Its most frustrating when they aren't published here and I can't get them at the library!

    1. Peggy Ann thanks. I share the same frustrations on occasions over availability. Hoping to break the back of Net Galley and get my reading under some type of control!

  5. Col, my goal is about five books a month and four times that number of short stories. So far I have failed on both counts. But I'm happy for you...I really am!

    1. Cheers mate - I'm a bit annoyed that I haven't hit the magical 10 in a month yet. Last year I only had 1 month less than a 10. 9 is reasonable though.

      You are probably more of a social animal than me. I kind of feel if I'm not reading I'm wasting my time. Than can include time spent eating and sleeping!