The Reading List, September 18, 2015

reading_listI know. It has been a while. Between the record company stuff (working on a Bandcamp store and helping with the prep for a new album), going through a massive decluttering binge and all my usual stuff, I have been busy.

I am going to get better about blogging more frequently, I promise. I have been busy reading though… In fact, I have read so many that this issue of The Reading list is actually going to be a two-parter.

Last time I told you about a an ARC of a spy thriller trilogy I REALLY enjoyed. The book, Shadow Agenda,   is now out in one volume and it is a fantastic read! Tight writing, a compelling story and non-stop action make this thriller a real winner.  The author is a talented writer and veteran journalist writing under the pen name of Sam Powers.

I finished all of Suzan Harden’s Bloodlines series and I am currently pining away because she hasn’t released the new one yet. If you like magic, romance and an little heat with a lot of humor, you will enjoy this series.

The second book in John Monk’s Jenkins Cycle series, Fool’s Ride, was a great sequel! If you enjoyed the first one, I think you will definitely like this one. And, the third in the series, Hopper House (The Jenkins Cycle Book 3), was just released! This is such a fun series; I am very happy that he is continuing it. Each book stands alone, but you will really get a lot more out of them by reading in order.

Liana Brooks’ The Day Before  was a really, really fun read that you will want to do in one sitting!. CLONES!!! Explosions! Quantum physics! Need I say more? I am doing to do an audio review on this one soon, so stay tuned for that. The series has a new title, A Time & Shadows Mystery. The next book, titled  Convergence Point,  will be out November 24, 2015 and is available for pre-order now.

Since April, I have been working my way through Val McDermid’s Tony Jill and Carol Jordan profiler series.  I started with the first book in the series The Mermaids Singing (Tony Hill / Carol Jordan Book 1) and have worked my way through The Retribution (Tony Hill / Carol Jordan Book 7). The books are compelling procedurals but very dark. I still have Cross and Burn (Tony Hill / Carol Jordan Book 8)  yet to go, but I am saving that for a little later.  Book 9 in the series, Splinter the Silence,   is due out in December. These books are a joy to read, meticulously plotted, and first-rate examples of what crime novels should be. Because they are a bit lighter in tone, I have also added the first books in her Lindsay Gordon  and Kate Brannigan   mysteries to my TBR list.

I have started reading Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series. I really enjoyed the PBS series with Derek Jacobi. This series is slow going–I have only read the first book so far. I do a lot of my reading right before bed and Peters is a tough read if you are tired and sleepy.. Her prose is lovely, but she writes very long sentences. (One I counted had 69 words!)

I read the first book in Melissa F. Olson’s new Boundary Magic series, Boundary Crossed. This series is set in the same universe as her wonderful  Dead Spots series, but with a different cast of characters. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as as the previous books but I liked it enough that I am still going to give book 2, Boundary Lines, a try. Book 2 will be released on October 13, 2015.

T. Frohock has released a lovely new urban fantasy novella, In Midnight’s Silence: Los Nefilim: Part One. The series is FANTASTIC! Okay, I was one of her beta readers, but it really is very good! Go read the feedback on Amazon and Goodreads and see for yourself. It has angels and daimons and all sorts of nasty things hiding in subways. I think you will like it. The second book in the series, Without Light or Guide: Los Nefilim: Part Two,will be out November 3, 2015.

Well, that takes me up to about July on the reading list, LOL! Part two to come shortly.

In other news, I am working on putting together some audio book reviews. Think of it as a mini-podcast with book reviews. More news on that next time….

The Reading List: March 19, 2015

reading_listYeah, it has been a while since I posted. I am finally recovering (somewhat) from a nasty case of the Shingles. FYI: Shingles is PAINFUL! PSA: GET THE VACCINE!  I couldn’t have it because of my autoimmune disease. Like all vaccines, it doesn’t work for everyone, but if you can minimize your chances of getting this, do it. Trust me on this one, okay?

The good news is that I actually have managed to get a little reading done. I finished a few of the books that were on my list from last time and discovered some really good new ones.

Teresa Frohock’s The Broken Road was delightful. A very interesting world in this one where singing and magic combine.Teresa somehow manages to use lovely, almost lyrical prose and still write creepy, scary stories. Best of all, she has hinted that there will be probably be more books to come in this series! 🙂

Who is Dell Zero? by Carol Ervin was absolutely AMAZING! I love dystopian literature and this one did not disappoint. If you like Bradbury, Orwell and Huxley, I think you will find this book very satisfying. The style is somewhat understated which adds to the ambiance of the story. The book is written with an incredibly unique voice. The voice in this one has stayed with me and I am hoping to see more books from her in this vein. Please?

I gobbled down Linda Welch’s wonderful new urban fantasy series:  Downside Rain and the sequel, Baelfleur.  I’ve written before about Linda Welch’s books here and here. I love her Whisperings paranormal mystery series and am ready for a re-read of that series, too, especially as she is currently working on a new installment. YAY!

I enjoyed the first two books in the Gideon and Sirius procedural mystery series by Alan Russel, Burning Man and Guardians of the Night.  Part of the attraction is definitely the police dog, Sirius. I have to warn you, though, this leans to grim and dark–it is not a fluffy dog story. Book three is supposed to be in the works.

I did  keep to my goal of re-reading the first two books in the Senyaza series by Chrysoula Tzavelas: Matchbox Girls and Infinity Key. I also read the latest, Wolf Interval, which turned out to be my absolute favorite in the series.  There is amazing world building here – this is definitely a thinking person’s urban fantasy!  Chrysoula currently has a kickstarter going for a new, feminist fantasy series called Citadel in the Sky. The tagline: Kicking butt in nice dresses: a new epic tradition. Don’t you love it?

I have mostly been clearing books from my TBR list off the Kindle, but have somehow also gotten myself addicted to Suzan Harden’s Bloodlines series. Nothing like paranormal romance with humor (and witches, vampires, werewolves and zombies). Honestly, my doctors are totally getting used to hearing me laugh out loud in the waiting room. :-)April will soon be here with more books! I have already pre-ordered the first book in Liana Brooks new SF Jane Doe series, The Day Before,  due out April 28th. The second book, Convergence Point, is due out on November 24, 2015.

And finally, I received an ARC for a new spy thriller trilogy coming out in April that is just fantastic! More on that one next time….

 

The Reading List November 23, 2014

reading_listI finally finished my marathon read of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. My reading binge was inspired by a snarky comment in The New Yorker piece,  The Percy Jackson Problem. I can definitively say that these books do not “repel” adults. 🙂

Last night I finally got to start reading Teresa Frohock’s new novella, The Broken Road. I have been looking forward to this as she is one of my favorite authors. Her Miserere never leaves my Kindle, I re-read it so often.

I have been trying really hard not to buy any new books — at least, not until I have cleared off some of the finished books off of my Paperwhite. Notice that I said trying. A few came my way that I just couldn’t resist buying and adding to the TBR pile.

Yes, that is me not buying books…. You should see me on a spree, LOL!

I am still trying to find the time to re-read the Senyaza series by Chrysoula Tzavelas. I just got her latest, Wolf Interval,   from her recent Kickstarter. Since it has been a while since I read the earlier books, I want to start with Matchbox Girls and re-read them all the way through.

 

Top 100 Books Meme

This is a meme that is making the rounds on LiveJournal:

According to The Big Read, the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on their list.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own blog

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

My list is somewhat skewed because I am not a fan of Russian literature. Nor am I a huge fan of Dickens, Thomas Hardy or Jane Austen. That knocks off a fair part of the list right there! There are classics like the Three Musketeers, Moby Dick and others that I have read portions of, but hadn’t finished the complete works. I didn’t want to change the meme to reflect those.

There are some books on the list that I question. Why is Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Aliceon the list but not his classic, On the Beach?  Some of the books are fairly recent “classics” like The Lovely Bones. And a  book like A Fine Balance is probably buoyed by being an Oprah Book Club selection.

Many of my favorites like Pat Frank’s Alas, Babylon, simply aren’t on the list. A lot of them are also not available in Kindle editions.

What about you? How many of your favorites are on the list?

Three Days to Dead

Just read the first chapter of Kelly Meding’s’ new book, Three Doors to Dead.  This is a new urban fantasy series by a new author who I think is going places. The first chapter is definitely intriguing.

Argh! And I have to wait til November to read the rest? Noooooo!!!!

You can read the chapter here.

No word on a Kindle edition yet, but the paperback is available for pre-order at Amazon.  It comes out November 24, 2009.