Bookings are now open for my three 2020 residential writing retreats, co-tutored with RNA Chair Alison May. Details can be found here.
More reading suggestions
I thought it was time to post another of my semi irregular lists of books I’ve been reading. I’ve been sticking with comfort reads a bit of late.. so there are some old favourites here…
The Gilded Fan – Christina Courtenay (paperback)
I am a big fan of Christina Courtenay’s Japanese historical books. They are romances but set against a clash of cultures and a fascinating time and place in history. This gives the book the added depth that I like so much.
This book follows the Scarlet Kimono – another really good read – but can be read as a standalone title. It tells the story of a young woman of mixed race who is forced to leave Japan and return to England, at a time when that country is embroiled in civil war.
I read this with utter confidence in the historical and cultural facts – it’s clear the author knows of what she writes. And her passion for both the history and the culture shows through.
I was pleased to discover there is another book in this series – The Jade Lioness. I’ll be reading that soon.
What We Find – Robyn Carr (e-book)
I went back my Kindle and to a favourite author here. I was on a very long flight and needed something I knew would transport me from that horrid economy class seat to somewhere better. In this case, I was transported to the Ricky mountains – not a bad option.
As a big fan or Robyn Carr’s Virgin River and Thunder Point books, but this is something different. It may well be the first book in a new series – and I won’t mind in the slightest if it is. There’s a whole new set of wonderful characters here, and I’d be happy to come back.
Reading Robyn Carr inspired me to want to write my own small town series – the series that became Coorah Creek. If you haven’t tried her, you should. It’s Intelligent and interesting and heartwarming women’s fiction.
House of Shadows – Nicola Cornick (e-book)
I know Nicola Cornick as a writer of historical – mostly regency romances. This is different. It’s a time slip. It’s also a book about three strong women – a queen, a courtesan and an artist. It’s a love story too. Ticks all my boxes really.
I really enjoyed this. In fact, I read it in just a couple of sittings. No – it’s not a short book, I just had to read just one more chapter. And then another. You know how it goes.
I hope this sidestep into timeslip continues. If it does, I’ll definitely be back for more.
The Smoke Jumper – Nicholas Evans (Paperback)
This is not an easy read – but it is a very powerful one.
Nicholas Evans is of course best known for writing The Horse Whisperer which was a massive best seller and a major film. I’ve read that book too – and would say the same thing about that.
Evans doesn’t pull his punches. Part of this novel is set in Africa during periods of war and genocide. He deals with the issue of the kidnapped child soldiers. The characters have to literally walk through the fire to get to their resolution. It’s definitely not an easy read.
But it is very very good. I found it compelling. It’s not for those who are looking for light entertainment, but if you want something meatier and thought provoking, you can’t go wrong with this one.
The Book Of Tomorrow – Cecilia Ahern (e-book and an author I haven’t read for quite a while)
Prior to this, I’d only read one of Cecilia Ahern’s books. It was a long time ago and while I don’t remember the details of the story, I do remember there was an element of magical – and I liked it.
I will try not to leave it so long until my next visit – because I really like this too.
The heroine is a troubled teen – her life is not what it seems to be. There is mystery and magic. I took a few guesses at how it would all work out – and I was wrong. That’s good. I hate it when I guess the ending of a book.
My pick of the month (or months) has to be …..
Revival – Stephen King (e-book)
What more can be said about Stephen King? I mean, seriously. He has gone from terrifyingly good – but none the less pulp horror fiction to being, in my humble opinion, one of our greatest living writers. He has this ability to see through into the darkest places of our souls and put our deepest fears on his pages.
This is a novel about addiction – something King is very familiar with – and rock and roll. And religion and death. And families. And love. What he has to say about these thigs is not always gentle, but it is always powerful.
I loved this… it was a disturbing read. Thought provoking too. But utterly engrossing. Not one of those of a delicate nature, but read this is you like to be taken out of your comfort zone.
Share this page...
Follow Janet here...