Having passed the fifty book mark before the end of June, it seemed appropriate to recap a top five for the record. They’re across the board, some by newbies and some by the experts.
Half a King. This is just the beginning of a George R. R. Martin-like saga.
Hands Free Mama. Still the book that has me thinking most this year.
The Emperor’s Blades. Maybe even more compelling than Half a King, this one finds two brothers drawn together from opposite callings to figure out how their kingdom can be saved after a plot kills their father.
The Lincoln Myth. Steve Berry is still one of the best, and his historical thriller/conspiracy is stellar as he tackles the Mormons and Abraham Lincoln.
Adam Hamilton’s Making Sense of the Bible. The pastor of the Church of the Redeemer has some insightful ways to make us consider how we interpret the Bible. You might not agree with everything he deduces, but it’s always smart to consider what you inherit/expect to be true.
And right now, I’m reading…
Christopher J. Yates’ Black Chalk. What happens when are games become too serious? When our egos and macho behavior can’t get out of the way of our common sense? I haven’t finished this one yet, but it sure is intriguing stuff from a new author.
Jennifer Hillier’s The Butcher. Her fans are effusive in their praise, but… I’m not getting it. We’re shown who the bad guy is (and how he relates to the other key characters in the story) before we’ve made it very far. The people we’re supposed to like (because they’re not The Butcher) don’t prove terribly deep or likable, and the overall vibe seems to be banging home the point that our nature is predetermined and unstoppable. I just didn’t dig it.
Jonathan Moore’s Close Reach. Wow, a creepy game of cat-and-mouse on the high seas. A couple looking to redeem their marriage find themselves stalked by pirates who are looking for more than ships, they want to take the people hostage, too! It’s terrifying, and certainly worthy of a cinematic treatment. For those who like their thrillers gritty, or even a little horrifying, this one is for you.
Charles Cumming’s A Colder War. I’ve always been a Robert Ludlum thriller kind of guy, and this, this is more John Le Carre thriller, slow and steady. It’s got contemporary problems and bigger world issues than one guy’s revenge antics (thinking Bourne here) but pace wise, you’ll need to be very patient.
Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Assassin: Book One of Fitz and the Fool Trilogy. I was sucked into reading the book because it looked like my kind of fantasy knights and mages type of thing. But I got lost in the sometime-narrative, sometime-letter/journal style pretty quickly, and the fact that it seemed to expect me to know who all of the characters were and why they mattered from Hobb’s previous novels. I’m not saying it’s bad; I’m just saying that you better have a background on the Farseer novels.