My recent reads list is a pretty varied one. When I’m writing, I do try not to read books similar to the one I’m working on. I don’t want what I am reading to influence what I am writing. So I have travelled far and wide these recent weeks.
And the best book award goes to…
Heart Shaped Box – Joe Hill.
The scare-myself-silly book this time was another by Joe Hill. While I originally started reading Joe Hill because he’s the son of the great Stephen King – I now read him for the same reason I read King. He’s a fantastic storyteller. But I can’t read more than one book every couple of months, because he really does scare me.
This book starts with a haunted suit – and it gets ever scarier after that. It was brilliant – but not for the faint-hearted.
Legend of the Gypsy Hawk – Sally Malcolm
As a huge fan of old movies, particularly old swashbuckling moves (and let’s not forget Pirates of the Caribbean and Captain jack Sparrow) – I was predisposed to like this book by fellow ChocLit author Sally Malcom.
I did more than like it. I loved it. It was fun, but with some darker undertones. It was was a ripping read. I had trouble putting it down.
I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
Dreamsongs – George R R Martin.
I am a big fan of Martin’s work, and have been for a long time. This is a collection of short stories published over a long period and covers his sci fi and fantasy – including a few ideas that were eventually incorporated into A Song Of Ice and Fire. This was a return for me, having read most of these stories on one form or another before.
Like so many of his books, this one is the size of a house brick, so I bought it again as an e-book to make it easier to have with me at all time. This is one of the reasons I love short stories – great escapes when I have only a little bit of time.
Fetch Nurse Connie – Jean Fullerton
This book by my good friend jean Fullerton is the latest in her post-war east end nursing series. I love the authenticity of Jean’s books. She knows the stuff of which she writes. I can see the images in my head of the homes and the treatment rooms, and I confess to the occasional shudder at the ‘modern medicine’ treatments of the time.
Jean is a dab hand with a character too – and I’m really looking forward to reading the second instalment of Connie’s story.
Blue Skies – Robyn Carr
This is a bit of a break-out from the Virgin River and Thunder Point series that I like so much.
It’s a stand-alone novel about the airline industry. Robyn Carr’s husband is a pilot, and her in-depth knowledge of the industry is apparent in the book. As always, it’s a story about strong women making their way in the world. I confess, a few times I found the detail about the airline a bit overwhelming, but the strong storyline pulled me through those bits.
I’ve never read a Robyn Carr book that I didn’t enjoy, and this is no exception.
The Boleyn King – Laura Anderson
I was given this book at a writer’s conference, so it is a definite diversion for me from my usual reading.
It’s an alternate history, in which Anne Boleyn gave Henry Tudor a son. This book follows the young king and his companions in their lives loves and wars.
I found it entertaining and interesting. It’s well written too. It’s part of a series, but I wasn’t enthusiastic enough to commit to reading the whole series, mostly because it’s not my genre. But if you do like a Tudor book – give it a go.
Sycamore Row – John Grisham
This is the much vaunted sequel to A Time To Kill – the book that made Grisham a best seller.
It’s set three years later and has the same lead character – Jake Brigance.
This is also a novel about racism, but for me it lacked the all-powerful passion of the first book. The first book was centred around the treatment of a little girl – and a father’s love and anger. This book is centred around money and inheritance, at least in the beginning.
No spoilers here, of course, but even when the truth is revealed in the end, for me it lacked the impact of the first book.
But then, the first book was so very very good, that’s not really a major complaint. I liked this best of his recent books.