Sunday, January 30, 2011

BOOK: The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou

The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou, 235 pages

Canada Reads 2011

If you've ever wondered about those athletes who appear at the Olympics representing your country (especially if it's Canada), and what it took to get there, this book provides a gritty look at two athletes who are on their last chance. Digger and Sadie, the wrestler and the swimmer, are both getting a chance at their first and  last Olympics. Each at the end of their careers, they have done nothing else in their lives. They alternate chapters with their practice, as they deal with some life interruptions.

The first half of the book isn't so much of a story, as developing their characters and their challenges. At the half way point, thank goodness, the characters meet and the story feels like it begins. Abdou uses her setting of Calgary well, as I recognized places and streets. Calgary is a center of Olympic development in Canada after hosting the Winter Olympics in 1988. What will each of them do after the Olympics? Sadie and Digger have to face this question, and the single-minded determination needed to get as far as they have.

I enjoyed this book, but as far as Canada Reads go, I can't imagine it will go far. I've enjoyed the other books more. But as a credit to a great selection of books this year, The Bone Cage is still a good read.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

MEME: Crime Fiction Alphabet (review of Cocaine Blues)

Hosted by Kerri at Mysteries in Paradise
By Friday of each week you have to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week.
Your post MUST be related to either the first letter of a book's title, the first letter of an author's first name, or the first letter of the author's surname.
So you see you have lots of choice.
You could write a review, or a bio of an author, so long as it fits the rules somehow.

This week's letter is C in the Crime Fiction Alphabet Meme. I am spotlighting the first book in the Phryne Fisher Mystery series, Cocaine Blues. For more posts in this meme this week, visit here.

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood, 175 pages

 Book 1 of 18 in the series; Global Mystery Challenge

Phryne Fisher is a flapper, a dame, and broad and a lady. Set in the 1920s of Australia, she embodies the beginnings of the women's movement. She flies a plane, does what she likes, sleeps with whom she wants, and has a ton of money. She lives a life of luxury and I'm sure it was much easier for women of money to become independent. I've read a few later editions, but this is the first one, as Phyrne establishes her life in Melbourne after leaving boring England, and meets her supporting characters.

This is a fun series, which shouldn't be analysed too seriously for plot holes. Phyrne will figure everything out ahead of everyone, will know who is doing what, and step in and fight where she certainly doesn't belong and still run in the upper society circles wearing the best of clothes, which always look best on her. But it will be a fun ride even amidst serious topics. (this one includes back room abortionists, drug rings, women doctors, and communists)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

BOOK: Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

Started Early, Took My Dog, by Kate Atkinson, 349 pages

Mystery and Suspense Challenge

After Case Histories, I wanted to read some more Jackson Brodie mysteries, and Started Early, Took My Dog is the latest in the series. I like this series because the mysteries are well written, with several strands and stories to juggle for a while. Picture three or four overlapping circles, gradually getting closer and closer together until they are one big circle. (I must have a math exam on Venn diagrams to make up) Eventually,  Brodie appears in the story, generally quite a ways along in the plot, but his appearance keeps surprising me, and I greet him with a smile.

They had made an attempt to clean themselves up a bit in the garage toilets. He noticed that the woman no longer had blood on her hands. Jackson felt there might be a metaphor hiding in there somewhere. p 236

More missing girls for Jackson to brood over, both past and present. His life is falling more and more apart. Three books, three exes. He spends this book single, but there are references to Louise from the last book.  I wish I remembered more about the last book in the series, When Will There Be Good News?, because there is a lot more related to what happened to Jackson in this book.Atkinson peppers the story with cultural references - I'm sure I miss many of the British ones, and her style is very humorous. More than once I found myself rereading a line that made me smirk.

Pick up a book in this series if you like intertwining mystery stories, humorous writing, and plots that don't tie up perfectly at the end. The way this book ended, I think there will be another Jackson Brodie book in our future.

Friday, January 21, 2011

BOOK: In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut

In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut, 180 pages

Booker Challenge: shortlist 2010

If I was reading like Jackie at Farm Lane Books this year, I never would have finished this book. It was just okay, and after the great reads I've had this year so far, it's meh-ness was stark in comparison. (The House at Riverton, Dash and Lily, Case Histories, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies) However, it was only 170 pages, and parts were better than the whole.

First, I have to mention the unorthodox stylings. It's told in the first person, but the first person tells in mostly in the third person, sometimes switching within a single sentence. Most of this information reaches him through Anna's girlfriend, with whom I have long tearful conversations almost every day. p 173
See? It wasn't as confusing as you'd expect, except for the chapter where 'he' was travelling with another man, so the he's got a tad confusing. I was not able to determine why this shift happened. Also, no quotation marks, or question marks. Playing with punctuation seems to make the writing more literary. Ironically, I blasted my high school students today for not using upper case letters to start their sentences or periods to end sentences. (Maybe they are all hidden literary authors?) Their response: it's not English class, you can't penalize us in physics. In the words of Pierre Elliot Trudeau: Watch me.

I guess it's a travel book, a meditative musing for by folks who find ways to spend their days travelling, not working or making a living. A literary version of Eat, Pray, Love, mayhaps? This is Follower, Lover, Guardian as the narrator takes on different roles in his different travels for each chapter. And while parts of each chapter were interesting, there was no overall plot or theme or reason for any of the three chapter that I was able to discern. It's almost three short stories or novellas, but nothing happens in any of them so they couldn't really stand alone, except some people meet, and travel, and have events happen to them. Not enough happens to call these adventures.

Then he sits in the sun, listening to the water, reading. In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied for sleep, you are not. And when you are filled with sleep, you never were.The words come to him from a long way off.p 46

This is one of those books that gets nominated for awards (shortlisted for the Man Booker last year) that makes you go, huh? I was concerned initially when I read the blurb on the cover - "A major writer worthy to be referred to as a kindred spirit of the great Coetzee" by the Irish Times. I'll never actually read all the Booker winners because I'm not reading anther book by, you guessed it, Coetzee. Can't do it. Galgut doesn't fall on my Never Read Anything Again list like Coetzee; Galgut has an easy style and I did like pieces of the story - the Guardian chapter was the most readable. And I found a lot of reviews of the book by readers who quite enjoyed the book.

also reviewed: gwen at literary license, lizzy at lizzy's literary life, carrie at nomadreader, jackie at farmlanebooks,

Monday, January 17, 2011

BOOK: The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, 470 pages

 Aussie Author Challenge; Gothic Reading Challenge

I've been submersed in Edwardian England, beginning in 1912 and moving forward, this past week. Between watching Downton Abbey on PBS and reading The House at Riverton, my head is full of World War I, castles needing heirs, servants, and the lower class and women beginning to rebel against their position in society. The parallels between the awesome TV show and this wonderful book are too numberous to mention.

The book: Known as The Shifting Fog in Australia where Morton is from, The House at Riverton title gives it a more Gothic feel in my opinion. Gothic in this book includes romance, castles, secrets, supernatural; maybe this is Gothic-light as the element of horror is not here, but there is still romance, secrets and tragedy. Grace narrates, and Morton uses some interesting techniques to tell the tale of old from different perspectives. Grace was a housemaid, then lady's maid at Riverton estate since she was fourteen and put into service. She was present for the events, largely foreshadowed, that culminate one night in 1924. The secrets that Grace takes a while to figure out are pretty obvious to the reader, but waiting for her to figure them out is the suspense.

Wonderful historical fiction, with the story building and building to its inevitable conclusion. The ride is fun and fast. Thanks to my reading of Maisie Dobbs, I knew the significance of the footman receiving the white feather on the street. I like when information comes from different sources and overlaps. And just as in Downton Abbey where the housemaid is learning shorthand and typing, hoping to have a different life, that plot point shows up in The House at Riverton. My only complaint of the book was that it wrapped up very quickly, but the events were pretty much known by that point, with the heavy foreshadowing throughout.  If you like British historical fiction, set around WWI, with Gothic elements, The House at Riverton is for you.  Now, off to find more of Kate Morton historical fiction. (The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden)

also reviewed at: jenny of jenny's books, Wendy at Caribousmom, Tiny Little Reading Room, Eva at A Striped Armchair, jill at The Magic Lasso,  Michelle at 1MoreChapter, Joy at Thoughts of Joy, Rhinoa at Rhinoa’s Ramblings

Sunday, January 16, 2011

CHALLENGE: Man Booker Challenge

Laura posted today about the Complete Booker Challenge which reminded me I was planning to make a post about this. Odds are I won't complete this challenge, but I like reading some books from the lists, and I have a few I hope to read. I will be trying for the lowest level possible: the Pick-a-Mix of Six.

The Levels:
I failed miserably at this challenge last year, but if it had been set up this way, I would have completed, so obviously, I'll try again. Lots more information at The Complete Booker Blog.
  1. Pick-a-Mix of Six: read 6 winners or nominees from the short- or long-lists
  2. A Booker's Dozen: read 12 winners or nominees from the short- or long-lists
  3. Booker Devotee: read the 2011 shortlist (6 books)
  4. Booker Fanatic: read the 2011 longlist (13 books)
Last year, I read
One Winner:
Vernon God Little, DBC Pierre 2003 02/25

Four Short Listed:
The Bookshop, Penelope Fitzgerald 1978
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont - Elizabeth Taylor 1971 
Room - Emma Donaghue short list 2010
Unless - Carol Shields 2002

Three Longlisted: 
What Was Lost, Catherine O'Flynn 2007 
February, Lisa Moore 2010 
Trespass, Rose Tremain 2010

The Pool of Books I'd like to read:
The English Patient by Michael Onjadtee 1992
In a Strange Room by Damon Galmut SL 2010
The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey 2001
The Inheritance of Lost by Kiran Desai 2006
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst 2004
Carry Me Down by MJ Hyland SL 2006
When We Were Orphans by Kazou Ishiguro SL 2000
St Urbain's Horsemen by Mordecai Richler SL 1971
something from 2011 lists

Bookers Read in 2011
1. In a Strange Room by Damon Galmut SL 2010
2. The Sense of an Ending winner 2011

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    LIST: Books and Authors I Can't Tell Apart

    More books and authors I have trouble telling apart, or even recognizing that they are two separate entities.

    The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau by E Lockhart

    The Murder of Bindy MacKenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty

    Both are YA, with the titles so similar. I am a Jaclyn Moriarty fan, so I mostly know the difference, but still, that's pretty similar.

    Mistress of the Art of Death by Arianna Franklin
    The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger

    Both of these have been recommended to me, but without knowing either author, those mistresses are mixing me up! (Art of Death is olden times, Nothing is Victorian, I believe)

    The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
    The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston

    I have both on my wishlist at the library; one is Orange nominated (Groff); one is set in Italy (Florence); both look really good.

    What books/authors are mixing you up these days? Do these ones? Have I added to your confusion?

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    MEME: Crime Fiction Alphabet (review of In the Company of Cheerful Ladies)

    Hosted by Kerri at Mysteries in Paradise
    By Friday of each week you have to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week.
    Your post MUST be related to either the first letter of a book's title, the first letter of an author's first name, or the first letter of the author's surname.
    So you see you have lots of choice.
    You could write a review, or a bio of an author, so long as it fits the rules somehow.

    I am going to try to spotlight some mystery books or writers that I am reading, or want to read this year, as Kerri is hosting the Crime Fiction Alphabet again this year.Today, the letter A is brought to you by the prolific mystery writer, Alexander McCall Smith.

    Alexander McCall Smith  - In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, 233 pages
    book 6 of 12 in the series

    Pull up a chair, or find a tree to stand under. Pour the bush tea, and settle your traditionally built body down for a visit. Mma Precious Ramotswe is becoming one of my favorite characters in books. Her thought process, her respect for tradition and elders, her love of Botswana, and her philosophy and manner of dealing with people is so kind, and smart, and practical.

    This is book six, so if you've read these books, you know the drill. Quiet, not much of a mystery to solve, but several 'events' that need dealing with. Charlie, the apprentice at Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's garage has run off with an older women; Mma Makutsi is taking dance lessons; Precious' first husband, Note, is back in town;  and who left the pumpkin on the back porch? There is a lot going on, but not much at the same time. It is Mma Ramotswe's view of life and musings that we read these books for, and I hope to take a dip into the Number One Ladies Detective Agency a few more times this year. It's like sitting with an old friend for a cuppa, being in the company of cheerful ladies.

    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    BOOK: 26a by Diana Evans

    26a by Diana Evans

    Orange January (New Author Prize 2005); What's in a Name 4: number in title

    26A is the number outside the attic room in a London suburb where Bessie and Georgia, twins, share a room. They retire there to make decisions (should their parents divorce? how will they make their flap-jack empire? ) and share their twinness. Other interesting characters in this well-written book include younger sister Kemy, obsessed with Michael Jackson, older sister Bel who inherited her mother's Nigerian understanding of the mystical, their English father who battles Mr Hyde with his drinking, and Ida, their Nigerian mother who ran away from her village and ended up in England but still talks to her mother everyday, spirit wise.

    They say the youngest child is the strongest child, because she had to make you love her, when you were tired, when you had loved the other first. p 200

    This book begins with the marriage of Charles and Diana and ends soon after Diana's death. I thought this was a very good way of anchoring the time, and the feelings in England as the story takes place. Evans also does a very good job of immersing the reader in the world of the twins, who start off as young girls, and end up as young women. Their twinness, along with the Nigerian folklore, introduces a mystical, magical element that gradually becomes the norm in the book. I'm not usually a fan of non-realistic events, but Evans brought me gradually into the girls world, and by the last third, I loved it. The tone of the story changed by that point, but I thought it was really well done as we see the world through Georgia's eyes, and she is going through a very bad time.

    Evans won the New Authors Prize in 2005 from the Orange Prize, and she takes risks with her writing, dealing with depression and delving into the mystical, but I think she pulled it off. It's a book I might not like some days, but this day I did. Evans' ability to put the reader in her characters' minds, very different characters and cover an expanse of time was well done.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    CHALLENGE: Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2011

    Hosted again by Book Chick City, the sign up is at this site. I'm hoping to read lots of mysteries this year anyway, so to make this more of a challenge, I'm going to pick a few series that I will try to read my 12 books from. I'm going to keep track of all the mysteries I read here.

    • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
    • Rules: To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)
    • Post reviews of books each month, starting in January here. There is a winner of a book each month chosen from the linked reviews. 

    Series I Want to Read From:
    The Number One Ladies Detective Agency: In the Company of Cheerful Ladies; Blue Shoes and Happiness; The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, The Miracle at Speedy Motors; Tea Time for the Traditionally Built; The Double Comfort Safari Club; The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party

    Inspector Montalbano: Track of Sand, The Potter's Field

    Inspector Gaumauche: The Brutal Telling; Bury Your Dead
    Dexter: Dearly Devoted Dexter; Dexter in the Dark
    Maisie Dobbs: Pardonable Lies; Messenger of Truth; An Inconvenient Revenge; Among the Mad; The Mapping of Love and Death (readalong at book club girl)
    Martin Beck: Roseanna; The Man Who Went Up in Smoke
    Tattoo Mysteries: Pretty in Ink; Driven to Ink
    Phryne Fisher: Cocaine Blues, Murder on the Ballarat Train, Death at Victoria Dock; Blood and Circuses; Ruddy Gore;
    Inspector Espinosa: Southwesterly Wind; A Window on Copacabana; Pursuit; Blackout
    17/12 in series

    The Mysteries I Read:
    1. Case Histories - Kate Atkinson
    2. Started Early, Took My Dog - Kate Atkinson
    3. Death in la Fenice - Donna Leon
    4. The Coffin Trail - Martin Edwards
    5. Buried Strangers - Leighton Gage
    6. The Case of the Missing Servant - Tarquin Hall
    7. In the Woods - Tana French
    8. The Redbreast - Jo Nesbo
    9. Murder in Mesopotamia - Agatha Christie
    10. Tigerlily's Orchids - Ruth Rendell
    11. The Devil's Whisper - Miyuke Miyabe
    12. Outrage - Arnaldur Indridason
    13. The Curse of the Spellmans - Lisa Lutz
    14. Children of the Street - Kwei Quartey
    15. The Likeness - Tana French
    16. Heads You Lose - Lisa Lutz
    17. Trackers - Deon Meyer
    18. And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
    19. The Broken Shore - Peter Temple
    20. Twelve Drummers Drumming - CC Benison

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    BOOK: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

    Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, 260 pages

    What's in a Name 4? travel or movement category

    Aw, such a sweet book. Lily and Dash don't know each other, but both are teens in New York City, leading relatively parental free lives over Christmas. They play a game of adventures passing a red moleskin notebook back and forth. Many adventures follow as they get to know each other through their writing.

    Cohn and Levithan have perfected their his-and-her story telling with Dash and Lily. Previous books: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List. I liked this one the best, maybe because Dash and Lily seem most unworldly of all the couples they've written about. Both characters are wonderfully written, with strong family and friends around them. The back and forth worked perfectly, and it's the kind of book that's really hard to put down (thanks Christmas holidays!) since you don't know any more than the characters where they are headed. There were some very funny scenes, like the Crimson Alert after a bad snowball fight, and I also enjoyed the tours of New York City. The Strand is a real book store, right? I would love to go there. And I don't know if I would have appreciated the whole O.E.D episode without having read this book.

    Excellent book to be starting the new year with. If you are looking for a great realistic young adult book, this is the one.

    BOOK: Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

    Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, 407 pages

    Orange January (longlist 2005)

    Actually the first of the Jackson Brodie mysteries (One Good Turn, When Will There Be Good News?) but the third I've read. All have been easy to read, great mysteries, lots of characters who don't appear related, but Atkinson ties them up nicely in the end. Case Histories provides the background to Jackson Brodie that I was missing from the other books, but I don't remember feeling confused without this information - Brodie is just more layered.

    Three old mysteries are first explained, (like a Cold Case episode; I loved that show) and then they are introduced as clients of Jackson Brodie. Brodie does some investigating and gets more caught up in his clients' lives than he would want. Except he does, because he's a very caring guy. Just a really well done mystery with good characters, good plots, and easy reading style.

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    BOOK: The Man on the Balcony by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo

    The Man on the Balcony by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, 180 pages

    book 3 of 10 from the Martin Beck Mysteries (read in December)

    A mystery set in June 1967 (written in 1967) in a sweltering Stockholm, Sweden. Fans of the old 87th precinct books by Ed McBain will love this series as well. A police procedural told from the detectives point of view, for the most part. It shows the dogged work, the chance effect of some good luck, and the beginnings of profiling, as the police try to find the killer of several young girls before more are killed. Beck is called back from a vacation, and while his name is in the series title, he didn't play a huge role, other police officers seem just as important. However, I liked the back story for all the cops, and look forward to following how they develop.

    The writing is sparse and efficient, as you'd expect from the police point of view. There were references made to a previous case of Martin Beck's that I hope to discover in the earlier books. This series appears to have been re-released, and my library has ordered them all, so expect to see more reviews of this series. The authors are a married couple, and this renown Swedish series is called The Story of a Crime.

    CHALLENGE: Aussie Author Challenge 2011

    Hosted at Booklover Book Reviews again this year, I'll join this one again after reading 4 books last year.

    The Rules: 

    The Challenge runs all year 2011

    You can either be:
    TOURIST - Read and review 3 books by 3 different Aussie Authors
    TRUE BLUE - Read and review 12 books by Australian authors (at least 9 different authors)

    Same as last year - I'll aim for True Blue, but expect I'll be a Tourist.
    The host site, has a place for linking reviewed books, and a chat box. That sounds interesting!

    Pool of Books: most of these were also on my list from last year, sigh
    Kate Morton - The House at Riverton; The Forgotten Garden; The Distant Hours
    Geraldine Brooks - Year of Wonders
    Peter Carey - The True History of the Kelly Gang
    Peter Temple - Broken Shore
    Markus Zusak - Bridge of Clay
    Jaclyn Moriarty - The Murder of Bindy MacKenzie
    Kate Grenville - The Secret River, The Idea of Perfection (New Author)
    Kerry Greenwood - Cocaine Blues, Murder on the Ballarat Train, Death at Victoria Dock, Blood and Circuses, Ruddy Gore,

    The Books I Actually Read: 
    1. The House at Riverton - Kate Morton
    2. Cocaine Blues - Kerry Greenwood
    3. Murder on the Ballarat Train - Kerry Greenwood
    4. Death at Victoria Dock - Kerry Greenwood
    5. Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks
    6. The Distant Hours - Kate Morton
    7. The Broken Shore - Peter Temple

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    LIST: Books Read in 2010

    A Few Stats, and the List of the Year
    total books read:  123
    NF: 12             fiction: 112
    library: 64

    male: 53          female: 68
    male & female team: 2

    Countries of Authors:
    Canada 31
    United States 40
    United Kingdom 28

    Australia 4
    Sweden, Italy 3
    Brazil, Iceland, France, Pakistan, South Africa, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Japan, Nigeria, Finland: 1 or 2

    My favorites are highlighted:
    • 123. Unless - Carol Shields
    • 122. The Man on the Balcony - Maj Sjowall, Per Wahloo
    • 121. Earth, the book - Jon Stewart
    • 120. We Need to Talk About Kelvin - Marcus Chown
    • 119. King Leary - Paul Quarrington
    • 118. A Tiny Bit Marvellous - Dawn French
    • 117. Hardboiled & Hard Luck - Banana Yoshimoto
    • 116. Bound - Antonya Nelson
    • 115. Essex County (vol 1 &2) - Jeff Lemire
    • 114. What Child is This? - Caroline B Cooney
    • 113. Minding Frankie - Maeve Binchy
    • 112. Alone in the Crowd - Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza
    • 111. What is Stephen Harper Reading? - Yann Martel
    • 110. Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell
    • 109. The Mind's Eye - Oliver Sacks
    • 108. Shiver - Maggie Stiefvager
    • 107. Thirteen Hours - Deon Meyer
    • 106. Gretzky's Tears - Stephen Brunt
    • 105. The Murder Stone - Louise Penny
    • 104. Code Orange - Caroline B Cooney
    • 103. Fear the Worst - Linwood Barclay
    • 102. The Darkest Room - Johan Theorin
    • 101. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day - Winifred Watson
    • 100. You Comma Idiot - Doug Harris
    • 99. Room - Emma Donoghue
    • 98. The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood
    • 97. The Blue Castle - LM Montgomery
    • 96. Mini Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella
    • 95. Barney's Version - Mordecai Richler
    • 94. Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Jeff Lindsay
    • 93. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
    • 92. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams - Wayne Johnston
    • 91. The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin
    • 90. When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead
    • 89. Feeling Sorry for Celia - Jaclyn Moriarty
    • 88. Blockade Billy - Stephen King
    • 87. Trespass - Rose Tremain
    • 86. Spies of the Balkans - Alan Furst
    • 85. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
    • 84. The Wings of the Sphinx - Andrea Camilleri
    • 83. The Silence of the Rain - Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza
    • 82. Driving Over Lemons - Chris Stewart
    • 81. One Day - David Nicholls
    • 80. February - Lisa Moore
    • 79. Heart of the Matter - Emily Giffin
    • 78. The Professor and the Madman - Simon Winchester
    • 77. What Was Lost - Catherine O'Flynn
    • 76. Five Quarters of the Orange - Joanne Harris
    • 75. The News Where You Are - Catherine O'Flynn
    • 74. Suite Francaise - Irene Nemirovsky
    • 73. The Full Cupboard of Life - Alexander McCall Smith
    • 72. Burnt Shadows - Kamila Shamsie
    • 71. August Heat - Andrea Camilleri
    • 70. Death in the Truffle Wood - Pierre Magnan
    • 69. Birds of a Feather - Jacqueline Winspear
    • 68. The Nobodies Album - Carolyn Parkhurst
    • 67. The Girls - Lori Lansens
    • 66. A Tangled Web - LM Montgomery
    • 65. Invincible Louisa - Cornelia Meggs
    • 64. Thimble Summer - Elizabeth Enright
    • 63. Caddie Woodlawn - Carol Ryrie Brink
    • 62. Tainted Blood (Jar City) - Arnaldur Indridason
    • 61. The Brontes Went to Woolworths - Rachel Ferguson
    • 60. A Little Yellow Dog - Walter Mosley
    • 59. The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness
    • 58. The Cruellest Month - Louise Penny
    • 57. Truth - Peter Temple
    • 56. Motorcycles & Sweetgrass - Drew Hayden Taylor
    • 55. The Age of Persuasion - Terry O'Reilly & Mike Tennant
    • 54. Out Backward - Ross Raisin
    • 53. Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
    • 52. The Tale of Hill Top Farm - Susan Wittig Albert
    • 51. Vintage Murder - Ngaio Marsh
    • 50. Generation A - Douglas Coupland
    • 49. The Rehearsal - Eleanor Catton
    • 48. Bethlehem Road - Anne Perry
    • 47. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont - Elizabeth Taylor
    • 46. A Kid for Two Farthings - Wolf Mankowitz
    • 45. Every Last One - Anna Quindlan
    • 44. Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear
    • 43. Shades of Grey - Jasper Fforde
    • 42. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese
    • 41. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
    • 40. Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List - Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
    • 39. The Missing Ink - Karen E. Olson
    • 38. The Swimming Pool - Holly LeCraw
    • 37. Q's Legacy - Helene Hanff
    • 36. Zero - Diane Tullson
    • 35. Paper Towns - John Green
    • 34. We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
    • 33. The Paper Moon - Andrea Camilleri
    • 32. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
    • 31. The Green Mill Murder - Kerry Greenwood
    • 30. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
    • 29. The Unnamed - Joshua Ferris
    • 28. Through Black Spruce - Joseph Boyden
    • 27. La's Orchestra Saves the World - Alexander McCall Smith
    • 26. The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill
    • 25. Blankets - Craig Thompson
    • 24. Broken For You - Stephanie Kallos
    • 23. Red Mandarin Dress - Qiu Xiaolong
    • 22. Foreign Affairs - Alison Lurie
    • 21. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - Helen Simonson
    • 20. Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre
    • 19. The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
    • 18. Nikolski - Nicolas Dickner
    • 17. Deloume Road - Matthew Hooton
    • 16. The Tenth Gift - Jane Johnson
    • 15. She Got Up Off the Couch - Haven Kimmel
    • 14. Nellie McClung - Charlotte Gray
    • 13. Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri
    • 12. Dead Cold - Louise Penny
    • 11. Why Shoot a Butler? - Georgette Heyer
    • 10. The Bookshop - Penelope Fitzgerald
    • 9. The Spellman Files - Lisa Lutz
    • 8. I am Morgan le Fay - Nancy Springer
    • 7. The Incident Report - Martha Baillie
    • 6. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley
    • Tales from Shakespeare - Marcia Williams
    • 5. Snow Angels - James Thompson
    • 4. Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • 3. Crossfire - Miyuki Miyabe
    • 2. Poppy Shakespeare - Clare Allan
    • 1. The Jade Peony - Wayson Choy