What’s On My Bookshelf? The August Edition

It’s been one of those months where even though it was quite a varied month – genre-wise – everything I picked up turned to reading gold. Everything. To the extent that it was tough to choose a stand-out for the month. On any other month any of these could have taken the title.

So, without further palaver, here’s what I’ve been reading…

The Woman In The Library, by Sulari Gentill

My first book of the month and the first one this month that I declared to be my read of the month. But that was before the waters were muddied by what came next. It is, however, the cleverest book I’ve read all year.

What kind of authorial mind can write about a mystery writer in the middle of a mystery writing a mystery about a mystery writer in the middle of a mystery writing about a mystery? Sulari Gentill, that’s who. I’ve long been a fan of Sulari’s work – in particular her Rowland Sinclair series (of which she has written 10). Her previous mystery within a mystery – Crossing The Lines (published in the US as After She Wrote Him and was a complete mind f$%^) won her the Ned Kelly award for crime writing. Despite all of this, she’s really “arrived” with this one.

Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone, by Benjamin Stevenson

Another book which I’m sure will rank among my favourite books of the year, this one definitely wins the prize for my favourite title.

It’s cleverly told, and I loved the way the narrator tells us upfront much of what we can expect (and must have driven the copy editor mad with page references) yet the mystery is still very much up in the air. To be really picky, the whodunnit part was a bit of a reach…but that’s me being really picky.

The Story of Us, by Dani Atkins

This one really tugged at the heartstrings – as does everything by Dani Atkins – but she does it so well. I was awake way too late finishing this.

The Kitchen Front, by Jennifer Ryan

Historical fiction about a cooking contest (okay, not just about a cooking contest) with recipes – in what world wouldn’t I pick this one up?

I adored The Chilbury Ladies Choir, but think I enjoyed this more.

If pressed – and I mean really pressed – this one is my read of the month, but by the slimmest of margins.

The People on Platform 5, by Clare Pooley

I enjoyed Pooley’s The Authenticity Project, but this was next level – to the extent that halfway through I wanted to stop and message Pooley on Instagram…but that would have been a tad over the top. I couldn’t stop reading and found myself invested totally in the lives of these commuters brought together by nothing more than being in the same train carriage.

A fabulous read.

An A-List For Death, by Pamela Hart

I do love cosy crime, and this one by Aussie author Pamela Hart is a perfect example of the genre.

Set in Sydney I could see the jacarandas in Sydney Uni, the characters were all believable and added texture to our amateur sleuth, children’s television researcher/producer Poppy McGovern.

I’ve never read anything by Pamela Hart before – she’s more known for her historical romances – but I’m looking forward to Poppy’s next outing…just as soon as I catch up on book 1 in this series.

Stop the presses… there’s one more…

I had this post finished and then began reading this book…and kept reading – until I finished it last night. Of all the fabulous reads this month, this is the most fabulous – First Impressions, by Charlie Lovett.

The blurb is:

Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice—and ultimately threaten Sophie’s life.

Anyways, I don’t have time to tell you much more than that, other than this one was my newly crowned read of the month. Thanks, Sue for the recommendation… you were right – I loved it!

Your turn…

Deb, Donna, Sue and I would love you to share what you’ve been reading. The linky is below – and it’s open until Monday evening (AEST).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

37 thoughts

  1. Hi, Jo – These all sound fabulous! I can understanding why you had a dificult choosing this month’s favourite. I haven’t yet read any of these books…but First Impressions seriously has my attention!!

    1. You’d really love First Impressions – especially with the references to the writing process of the other books and her path to publication.

  2. The first two are really popular. I’m very excited about the new Horowitz being out – it’s next in line as soon as I finish Snow (Banville, which I’m enjoying). Your first book sounds a bit like the Hawthorne series (Horowitz)

    1. It’s very similar to the Horowitz – which, incidentally, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on – but at the same time different. I adore how Horowitz really sends himself up in teh Hawthorne series…. but then I’d read anything he wrote.

    1. Such a good question. Some – like Sulari Gentill & Clare Pooley – are authors I’ve enjoyed before, others are recommendations from people I know have similar tastes to mine, others are random finds at the library…it all depends.

    1. I meant to say I’ve borrowed Honey & Co from teh library before (after having listened to the podcast) but never actually got around to making anything. Will be interested to hear what you try first.

    1. I’ve been trying to comment on your post – which was a great discussion point – and keep getting errors…

    1. I love getting recommendations from these posts – I usually find at least one book to download and read.

  3. I hadn’t heard of any of these, and they all sound fascinating. That’s the best part of the WOYB challenge—learning about books I might otherwise never know existed. Thanks!

    1. I was like that with Crossing The Lines – I can’t say I enjoyed it (it did my head in too much) but I couldn’t stop reading it & it stayed with me.

    1. I was worried about The Woman In The Library cos while I love Sulari Gentill as a writer, Crossing the Lines really did my head in. It was one of those books that I didn’t enjoy reading, but that I couldn’t not read & stayed with me for ages. This wasn’t as much of a mind f$%^ so I enjoyed it a lot more.

    2. There’s a few here I’ll be adding to my list. I can’t remember who recommended The Lady’s Guide To Fortune Hunting which i read and loved.

  4. I love your phrase, Jo, “reading gold.” I agree on the intriguing title “…killed someone.” You remind me the importance of titles. I like how you keep your reviews succinct, yet informative and enticing. A great post!

  5. These sound like a great selection of books – I saw Woman in the Library at Big W the other day and nearly picked it up – I might go back to get it now I’ve seen your review. Thanks for sharing

  6. Hi Jo – definitely an eclectic collection for the month – with a strong lean towards murder and mayhem though. I like your little brief overviews – kind of tempting little morsels really.

    1. There was a leaning in that direction, wasn’t there? I’m certainly not the world’s greatest reviewer lol.

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