Sunday 1 January 2023

Post on New Year’s Day…

It’s a bit overcast this morning, but I think it’s supposed to clear up and will end up being a good day for a long walk, which will be a nice change from the rain yesterday.  I’ve got a steaming cup of coffee to keep me company this morning as I write this post.

I read a Swedish thriller that I must have found in a little free library somewhere, The Man Who Wasn’t There by Michael Hjorth and Hans Rosenfeldt.  This is the third in the “Sebastian Bergman” series, and while it gave away the ending of the book that came before, it was fairly easy to read as a standalone.  The skeletal remains of six people are discovered on the side of a mountain by some hikers and a team of special police investigators are called in to help local police investigate this mass grave.  It seems that this was the work of professionals who didn’t want the victims identified, requiring this team, including psychologist Sebastian Bergman, to work extra hard to uncover their identities, being creative, using all resources at hand and calling in favours when necessary to solve this decade-old crime.  Along with the complex mystery are the equally complex relationships between and among the team members, including Torkel and Ursula, Vanja and Sebastian, Jennifer and Billy and Ursula and Sebastian.  This was a complex Swedish psychological thriller of the very best kind, which reminded me very much of the Camilla Lackberg book I recently read, The Drowning, although I think I enjoyed this one more, or at least enough to find and buy the book that came before this one from a used book store yesterday.   If you’re looking for a dark, complex Swedish mystery series, I would definitely recommend this one.

And now I have my Year in Books wrap-up.  I’ve read 67 books and listened to 21 audiobooks this year, and judging by the lists below, it looks like it was a good reading/listening year.

Best Adult Books (20)

No one is talking about this Patricia Lockwood
**Autonomy Victoria Heatherington
The Wanderers Meg Howrey
**The Gown Jennifer Robson
The Mother-in-law Sally Hepworth
The Other Black Girl Zakiya Dalila Harris
**Mindful of Murder Susan Juby
**Greenwood Michael Christie
**Speak, Silence Kim Echlin
Companion Piece Ali Smith
Sorrow and Bliss Meg Mason
**Please Join Us Catherine McKenzie
Escaping Dreamland Charlie Lovett
**The Lola Quartet Emily St John Mandel
Planetfall Emma Newman
Our Wives Under the Sea Julia Armfield
**Indian Horse Richard Wagamese
Ghost Forest Pik-Shuen Fung
**An Unthinkable Thing Nicole Lundrigan
The Man Who Wasn’t There Michael Hjorth and Hans Rosenfeldt

Best Children’s/YA Books (10)

**The Fabulous Zed Watson Basil Sylvester
**Forever Birchwood Danielle Daniel
**Me, Three Susan Juby
**The Fort Gordon Korman
**The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly Mei Christina Matula
**Butt Sandwich and Tree Wesley King
**How the be a Goldfish Jane Baird Warren
Family of Liars E Lockhart
Door of No Return Kwame Alexander
Undone Cat Clarke

Best Audiobooks (8)

The Imperfects Amy Meyerson
Our Woman in Moscow Beatriz Williams
The Mother’s Promise Sally Hepworth
The Family Next Door Sally Hepworth
Everybody’s Son Thrity Umrigar
This Beautiful Life Helen Schulman
The Arrangement Sarah Dunn
The Younger Wife Sally Hepworth

So many books by Canadian authors (**) on these lists...!

That’s all for today.  Happy New Year!!  I hope 2023 is filled with all of your favourite things, including delicious hot beverages and plenty of great books!

Bye for now... Julie

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