Summary of Reading April 2016

housesmyrna 1974 maylis allthingscease





Over the next few days, I’ll be busy with the Salon du Livre Book Fair in Geneva, rehearsals for my older son and organising a sleepover for my younger one, so I don’t think there will be any time left over for reading. So here is my monthly wrap-up, a bit earlier than usual.

  1. Matt Johnson: Wicked Game
  2. Cathy Ace: The Corpse with the Garnet Face
  3. David Peace: 1974
  4. Paul Kalanithi: When Breath Becomes Air
  5. Tatiana Salem Levy: The House in Smyrna
  6. Lisa Owens: Not Working
  7. Sarah Hilary: Tastes Like Fear
  8. Tammy Cohen: When She Was Bad
  9. CL Taylor: The Missing
  10. Paolo Sorrentino: Youth
  11. Jean-Michel Guenassia: Le Club des incorrigibles optimistes
  12. Elizabeth Brundage: All Things Cease to Appear
  13. Marina Sonkina: Expulsion and Other Stories
  14. Samantha Hayes: In Too Deep – review to appear on CFL
  15. Maylis de Kerangal: Reparer les vivants
  16. Jax Miller: Freedom’s Child
  17. Alain Farah: Ravenscrag
  18. Elena Ferrante: The Story of a New Name
  19. Linda Wagner-Martin: Sylvia Plath: A Biography
  20. David Mitchell: Back Story

A few figures:
For review on CFL: 4
Crime fiction: 10
Women or BAME writers: 15
Translated or foreign language: 6

Cheating a little bit – the first four were read just before April started but after I’d written my March post, so I had to move them to this month. And just for my own accounting, I wanted to see the source of each book this time: 5 review copies from publishers, 6 requested on Netgalley, 6 bought, 3 library loans.

Books donated this month: 17. Books bought (aside from the slip-up at Quais du Polar): 11. At this rate, the book shipment back to the UK is going to be quite massive…

tasteslikefearCrime fiction pick of the month: Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary, with Jax Miller’s book as an Honourable Mention  (I need to review it, but suffice it to say it’s got a memorable voice).

Overall Pick of the Month: I won’t even attempt to select between the stand-out reads of this month. Here are the ones which impressed me most (in addition to the crime fiction picks above): David Peace, Tatiana Salem Levy, Elizabeth Brundage and Maylis de Kerangal. I still owe you reviews of the latter two.



14 thoughts on “Summary of Reading April 2016”

    1. Some of my favourite bloggers didn’t like it -they thought it was too detailed in its descriptions. But I was caught up in that detail: felt it added to the emotional impact and yet also helped to detach from it, avoid sentimentality.

      1. I thought it was a fantastic book. The details in the various points of view is what made it so realistic and so impactful, I agree with you.

    1. I was sent it for review on Crime Fiction Lover and was a bit sceptical myself, as it’s pretty slow-moving for a crime novel. But it certainly works as a description of time, place, family dynamics…

  1. You’ve had a productive month, Marina Sofia! I’m glad you liked the Hilary as well as you did. I really need to put her work in the spotlight at some point. I hope the book fair/rehearsals/sleepover go well!

  2. Glad you liked All Things Cease to Appear. I read her other novels too. There was only 1 I didn’t care for much. She’s quite different and hard to slot into any one genre.

  3. I’ve been thinking about David Peace’s writing in the wake of the Hillsborough Inquest verdict. I haven’t read him for ages but as I remember it he writes incredibly well about institutional corruption.

  4. I like the fact you’ve documented the books entering and leaving your house – that is quite some reading for the month. Tastes Like Fear was an excellent read but for me the crime fiction book of the month has to be David Jackson’s A Tapping at my Door.

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