Because I’ve only just restarted this website I’m going to do a catch-up list of books I’ve read for the year. The list goes up to the end of March and includes the four books I’d read for #SouthernCrossCrimeMonth. After a slow start I’m quite happy with the total of fifteen books read and my reading’s continued to improve since leaving Twitter. One other thing, only two of the books were released this year so my TBR pile is now mercifully smaller.
Book 1: Ordinary Matter- Laura Elvery. Ordinary Matter,Laura Elvery’s second collection of short stories, has been glowingly praised and I think the collection deserves every plaudit it’s received. Up to this point I haven’t read enough short fiction and for the rest of the year my aim will be to read at least one collection a month.
Book 2: Sword- Bogdan Teodorescu, translated by Marina Sofia. This is the debut release for Corylus Books, a new independent publisher specialising in translated fiction, and it promises great things. Although you may think at the start that Sword is a crime novel it soon becomes a story of how politics and the pursuit of or holding on to power corrupts every level of society.
Book 3: Rachel to the Rescue- Elinor Lipman. Although I did enjoy reading this novel it suffered from the fact that when it come to Donald Trump real events are far more bizarre than anything a fiction writer could ever imagine.
Book 4: maar bidi- next generation black writing. This collection of poetry and prose from students at the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia is just stunning. Any other words that I might saw would fail the collection so I recommend reading Raelee Lancaster’s excellent review of maar bidi in The Saturday Paper instead.
Book 5: Hinge- Alycia Pirmohamed. One reason I will miss Twitter is that it’ll make it harder for me to discover poets like Alycia Pirmohamed. The first time I read one of her poems was after she was awarded the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award in 2020 and I was immediately captivated. Hinge is the first full collection of Alycia Pirmohamed’s that I’ve read and it won’t be the last.
Book 6: Almost A Mirror- Kirsten Krauth. I grew up in Regional Victoria and alternative music gave me an outlet, a sense of individuality. Almost A Mirror not only takes me back to that time, it also references music which is still important to me today.
Book 7: Laidlaw- William McIlvanney. It is said that all Tartan Noir comes from Laidlaw and now, having finally read it, I can understand why. I’m also going to say that I’m glad that I hadn’t read it before. There’s something about Laidlaw’s lived experiences and his doubts which I don’t think I could’ve appreciated when I was younger.
Book 8: The Weave- Thurston Moore & John Kinsella. Another work which takes me back to my music which I love, in this case Sonic Youth. Weave is part of an ongoing poetry collaboration between Thurston Moore and John Kinsella and I look forward to more works in the future.
Book 9: Mordew- Alex Pheby. Loved this. I rarely read fantasy and yet despite this, Mordew is quite easily the best book I’ve read this year. The characters, dialogue and the world of Mordew itself are all excellent and it will a joy to visit them again when the second book in the trilogy lands in my hands.
Book 10: The Inconsolable Clock- Andrea Demetrious. Although I liked the poems I struggled with their content
Book 11: Captives- Angela Meyer. A Superior Spectre, Angela Meyer’s debut novel, was one of my favourite books in 2018. Captives, a collection of short fiction, was released four years previously and I was happy to find links to A Superior Spectre in it. Those links were geographical with some of the stories set in the Grampian region in Scotland. On top of that I just love Angela’s writing.
Book 12: Overkill- Vanda Symon.
Book 13: The Schoolgirl Strangler- Katherine Kovacic.
Book 14: The Second Son- Loraine Peck.
Book 15: El Dorado- Dorothy Porter.
My thoughts on the last four can be found here.
That’s the list. Looking at it I can see some gaps and I’m hoping to fill those in during the year. Thanks for reading, Gordon.