It turns out that today is national book lover’s day so, I thought I’d share ten of the books that I have fallen in love with over the years. #BookLoversDay
1. Temeraire by Naomi Novik
Also called ‘His Majesty’s Dragon’ I have this book on kindle and in paperback. I love this book and although I was interested from the moment I read the blurb I didn’t expect to tumble head over heels for Naomi Novik’s alternative history. It was a lovely surprise.
As the main character Laurence tries to accept that his life has completely changed I had no problem following him and Temeraire because the writing was so smooth and even though there are a couple of moments which make me sad I’ve read Temeraire at least five times since the first time which, according to my Goodreads profile, was two years ago from yesterday.
Captain Will Laurence has been at sea since he was just twelve years old; finding a warmer berth in Nelson’s navy than any he enjoyed as the youngest, least important son of Lord Allendale. Rising on merit to captain his own vessel, Laurence has earned himself a beautiful fiancée, society’s esteem and a golden future. But the war is not going well. It seems Britain can only wait as Napoleon plans to overrun her shores.
After a skirmish with a French ship, Laurence finds himself in charge of a rare cargo: a dragon egg bound for the Emperor himself. Dragons are much prized: properly trained, they can mount a fearsome attack from the skies. One of Laurence’s men must take the beast in hand and join the aviators’ cause, thus relinquishing all hope of a normal life.
But when the newly-hatched dragon ignores the young midshipman Laurence chose as its keeper and decides to imprint itself on the horrified captain instead, Laurence’s world falls apart. Gone is his golden future: gone his social standing, and soon his beautiful fiancée, as he is consigned to be the constant companion and trainer of the fighting dragon Temeraire…
2. Oracle’s Moon by Thea Harrison
As the fourth book in Thea Harrison’s ‘Elder Races’ series it’s my favourite mostly because I admire the character Grace so much. Plus, Khalil is wonderful because he wants new experiences even if he risks being unsure or fumbling while he learns. The story itself is fascinating to me but it really is the characters who keep drawing me back.
In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, an untested young woman must claim her place as the Oracle – and contend with a powerful Djinn who has decided to become a part of her life . . .
As a second daughter, Grace Andreas never had to worry about the intrigues of the Elder Races. But when her sister, Petra, and her husband are both killed, Grace inherits the Power and responsibilities of the Oracle of Louisville, as well as her sister’s two young children – neither of which she is prepared for.
Yet, she is not alone. Khalil, Demonkind and Djinn Prince of House Marid – driven by his genuine caring for the children – has decided to make himself a part of the household, both as their guardian and as an exasperating counterpoint to Grace’s impudence towards the Elder Races. But when an attempt is made on Grace’s life, she realises that Khalil is the only one can protect her – and offer her more than any mortal man . . .
3. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
I read this book for the first time earlier this year. Despite my love for fantasy books and my admiration for them as accomplished writers it was actually the first book I’d read by Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman. It definitely wasn’t the last I’m working my way through as many books by those two authors as possible and I’ve got a lot to look forward too.
In Good Omens there were a lot of characters to follow as the end of the world loomed on the horizon but I liked the way that you had to see the individuals before you could see the bigger picture. I think that it is an excellent book.
According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.
So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon — both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle — are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.
And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .
4. Heist Society by Ally Carter
I am delighted by everything in this book from the character Kat and her friends to the rules and secrets of their trade that are weaved throughout the story. Ally Carter is a master at worldbuilding in all of her series but this book in particular had me falling head over heels.
Kat’s got a deadline – two weeks to pull off the biggest heist in history…
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Lourve… to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her uncle travelled to Austria… to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she conned her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. But now her dad’s life is on the line, and Kat must go back to the world she tried so hard to escape.
5. LAMB, The Gospel According To Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
LAMB is wonderfully characteristic of Christopher Moore’s writing. It’s witty, doesn’t take itself too seriously yet, I always finish one of his books feeling like I’ve learned something. Even if I’m not quite sure what that something is.
This book in particular was a birthday gift that I was quite happy to receive a few years ago. It is a very funny book that doesn’t shy away from anything.
The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years – except Biff, the Messiah’s best bud, who has been resurrected to fill us in on what really happened.
Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons and hot babes. But even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Saviour’s pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. Of course, there’s no one who loves Josh more – except maybe ‘Maggie’, Mary of Magdala – and Biff isn’t about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.
And that’s the gospel truth.
6. The Shadowmagic Trilogy by John Lenahan
This is another one of those rare times when I bought a book on kindle and then I bought it in paperback. Owning the trilogy in one big, beautiful paperback copy was too much for me to resist. I was hooked on this book from, the very first line. The writing is brilliantly easy to follow and from the the main character, Conor’s perspective. Going with him as he is confronted by an utterly brand new world is a journey I’ve happily taken more than once. Mythology fascinates me and this book was excellent for blending legend with a modern outlook on life.
A Lord Of The Rings for the 21st century. Only a lot shorter and funnier and completely different.
Hi, my name is Conor. Other than my father being an eccentric lunatic, my life was pretty normal until I got attacked in my living room by two warriors on horseback and whisked away to Tir na Nog, the mystical land of the ancient Celts, where it turns out Dad is the usurped heir to the throne and everybody wants me dead because of some prophecy. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?
7. Pegasus In Flight by Anne McCaffrey
The second book in the ‘Pegasus’ series, I’ve blogged about this particular book before. I admit that it is not always an easy read and some of the situations the characters, particularly the younger characters Peter and Tirla, find themselves in are harsh but I find it very honest and at times wonderful, hopeful things happen as well.
Earth was at bursting point – desperately overcrowded in spites of the birth restrictions of only one child to each couple. Extra children existed in a sub-cultured world as they were rounded up into slavery.
The only hope was the space platform – the jumping-off point for the colonization of other worlds. And to build the space platform more ‘Talents’ were needed – the gifted special ones whose mental powers could perform prodigious tasks across space and time.
Rhyssa Owen, Director for Parapsychic Talents, was the one responsible for finding Talents and training them. And when she felt the first tentative, sad encroachment of a mind reaching out to her, she knew it was exceptional – a fourteen year old boy, his body crushed beyond repair, with the most powerful kinetic ability she had ever encountered. And, at the same time, in the seamy underworld of forgotten, unwanted, near criminal children, was another brilliant mind. Young, streetwise, but so talented she was in danger from a ruthless gang of child kidnappers.
Rhyssa knew she had to find the two children – find them and train them, for the survival of earth.
8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is the the sort of book which accepts eccentricity. It is very fun to read as Douglas Adams knows how to tell a story which is so detailed and exciting that you’re not particularly bothered if it doesn’t really make sense in the end.
One Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way, for a hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this seems already to be more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun, and galaxy is a very strange and startling place.
9. The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy
When I was at college we were assigned some poems to study by Carol Ann Duffy. They all came from her book The World’s Wife and it really opened my eyes as to what poetry can be. It can be cheeky, brutally honest, short, long, meaningful, frivolous, etc. The World’s Wife is packed with excellent poetry.
Who? Him. The Husband. Hero. Hunk.
The Boy Next Door. The Paramour. The Je t’adore.
Behind every famous man is a great woman – and from the quick-tongued Mrs Darwin to the non-envying Frau Freud, from the adoring Queen Kong to the traumatized wife of the Devil himself, each one steps from her counterpart’s shadow to tell her side of the story in this irresistible collection.
Original, subversive, full of imagination and quicksilver wit, The World’s Wife is Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at her beguiling best.
10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
When I first decided to read this book I’m not entirely sure what I was looking or hoping for. By the last page I knew that I had read a book that would stay with me. There were the small details such as Jo’s passion for writing that caught my attention, but overall I was left feeling comforted after all of the twists and turns that had emerged in the story.
This American classic is as fresh and meaningful today as it was when it was first written in the 19th century. Largely based on the author’s own childhood, Little Women is a timeless tale of the four young March sisters–Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy–who grow to maturity in their mother’s tender but strong care. As different in their personalities as they are alike in their devotion to each other, the girls vow to support their beloved mother, Marmee, by behaving their best while Father is away, serving as an army chaplain in the Civil War.
Literary-minded tomboy Jo develops a fast friendship with the boy next door, and pretty Meg, the eldest, finds romance; frail and affectionate Beth fills the house with music, and little Amy, the youngest, seeks beauty with all the longing of an artist’s soul. Although poor in material wealth, the family possesses an abundance of love, friendship, and imaginative gifts that captivate readers time and again.
Often, it’s the feeling I’m left with at the end of a story that stays in my mind and invites me back to read again.