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What kind of books do I recommend and keep on my bookshelf? This will not be an exhaustive list of everything I own, but rather the books that stand out in my memory or that I tend to reread.
I’m a huge fan of urban fantasy, cozy mysteries, and pretty much any detective stories out of the UK (I’m also a huge Anglophile), so Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series was clearly made for readers like me. It’s like a mashup of the Dresden Files and Inspector Lynley, where river goddesses and horrors out of folklore are real and interact with “the real world.”
One of the things I love most about this series is that Aaronovitch introduces you to creatures and monsters that you haven’t already seen a million times over in TV, books, and movies. He’s also expanded from books into graphic novels, which I’ve known about but only just ordered the first 3, to give you a visual along with the amazing descriptions in the books.
This is a great series if you’re looking for something new but doesn’t take you too far from what you already enjoy reading.
Added: August 6, 2020
One of the biggest changes to my reading habits came when I started listening to audio books. I found that I really enjoyed listening to memoirs, especially when they were narrated by the author. Becoming Superman isn’t narrated by J. Michael Straczynski, but having it read by Londo Molari (Peter Jurasik) is the next best thing.
You expect memoirs to contain fascinating and unbelievable events from that person’s life, otherwise why have a memoir, but I have to say Straczynski has, by far, the craziest. He talks about family secrets, his dysfunctional family and home life, and how comic books and books allowed him to escape and eventually shape his life.
Added: July 7, 2020
I first read Ellen Raskin’s middle grade mystery The Westing Game when I was in fourth grade. My family had moved to West Fargo, ND for my dad’s job, and though the weather was awful (I do not recommend winter in ND) and the way things in the region worked was odd (EVERYTHING was closed on Sundays; thank goodness Moorhead was just across the river), I remember school being pretty pleasant. As I think on it now, this book may be when I first realized I liked PI/spy/mystery stories.
The Westing Game brings together what appears to be a random group people to live in a new building built by a wealthy businessman, and a Will that leaves his fortune to one of them.
Added: June 14, 2020
Barbara Nickless is a Colorado author who I met about four years ago while she was promoting her first book, Blood on the Tracks. I’m a fan of what could be called “police procedural thrillers” and includes books like Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series’.
The protagonist in Barbara’s series is railroad police agent Sydney Parnell. She and her K9 partner, Clyde, work to solve deaths that occur around the railways and railyards of Denver and Colorado. As someone who lives in a Denver suburb, it’s always fun to recognize locations and landmarks in the books I read.
Book 4, Gone to Darkness, was released just this week and is near the top of my TBR list.
Added: June 5, 2020
I have been a fan of Neil Gaiman for years. My first exposure to him was The Sandman and I’ve been an avid reader since. This is my fourth read of American Gods, as well as watching the TV series on Starz.
I am a serious information junkie, so one of the things I’m always up for is learning where a writer gets their ideas, how they apply them in their stories, and how they may have changed them to fit into their stories, or how their stories had to change to fit the idea into it.
I already knew much of the information provided in to annotations, but, as always, I was able to learn some new things as well.
Added: May 27, 2020