I love to talk books. But if you’ve ever had me try to give you a recommendation, you know how hopeless I am at remembering titles and authors. For instance, a few years ago I read a fantasy novel that involved human knights who were responsible for keeping supernatural beings in check. The main character was a knight who was secretly half something supernatural (werewolf maybe?) and the novel was about his attempts to do his job, while protecting his secret identity. Anyone ever heard of that? Can’t for the life of me remember enough to find it again.*
This new page is my effort to get those recommendations out while I still remember them. I’m hoping you will check back from time to time and put your own recommendations in the comments. Happy reading!
Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham is the first in a series about a Welsh detective named Fiona Griffiths, who has a fascination for the dead. The books are creepy, well-crafted and suspenseful, with a psychological twist. I just finished #4 This Thing of Darkness. See http://www.harrybingham.com/talking-to-the-dead/ Update: I just finished #6 The Deepest Grave. I think it might be the best yet, with the same otherworldly Fiona, but also a hunt for evidence of King Arthur.
The Illegal by Lawrence Hill is about a marathon runner who flees his fictional home country named Zantoroland to go to Freedom State. This award-winning novel has multi-dimensional characters, tension and suspense, as well as as parallels to real-life situations today.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is a delightful view into the mind of Don Tillman, a genetics professor, whose social skills make life awkward, but whose intelligence and good intentions shine through as he tries to find a woman to share his life. There is at least one sequel, The Rosie Effect.
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K.Rowling) is the first in a series about Cormoran Strike, a former military police officer turned private detective. The characters are in depth and believable, the world is detailed and exact, and the plots are full of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
The Next by Stephanie Gangi isn’t a great book, but there’s something about it. It took me fifty pages to decide if I’d keep reading. But it is unique and pure poetry in places. The relationships are deep and rich. Joanna dies of cancer and comes back to haunt the man who hurt her, while her daughters try to cope with her passing.
The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman is a funny and heartwarming story about a woman dealing with the death of her husband, being a single mom, her screwy family and the prospect of moving on with her life.
I See You by Clare Mackintosh is a tense, nail biting story told from three viewpoints. The first person view of one of the potential victims, the unnamed villian who spies on women on their daily commute, and the police officer investigating the crimes. It’s well-crafted and frightening and you will not see the ending coming.
Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen is the story of Harry Crane, a happily married forester turned bureaucrat who is dissatisfied with his career. He hopes the lottery will change his life. When his wife is killed he runs to the trees, meeting Oriana and her mother Amanda who are still reeling from their own loss. Oriana convinces Harry to help her carry out a fairy tale adventure, drawing him back to life. Cohen gives us a mysterious book, and magical librarian, and a story with enough twists and turns to match the winding roads of Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains.
Favorite fantasy series: Women of the Otherworld, starting with Bitten, by Kelley Armstrong. Books are written around individual, strong female characters, but weave together into fantasy world of werewolves, vampires, witches and more.
Favorite laugh-out-loud series: the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich, starting with One for the Money. Stephanie is an inept bounty hunter who somehow always gets her man.
Favorite proper-Southern-lady-gets-into-trouble series: Miss Julia books by Ann B. Ross. Miss Julia’s philandering husband dies. When she ends up taking in his mistress and their son, her life will never be the same, in a good way. Good G rated fun.
*Mystery solved! I found it at the library. The book is called Charming and it’s the first in a series by Elliott James. Not great literature, but fun, fast moving, supernatural entertainment.