Books, chapters, paragraphs, words…

I’ve had a wonderful year of reading to date and it’s time to share more of the titles and to recommend.

All books listed have been either e-books or print copies. I have no real preference one way or the other although I notice I’m tending to pick up the Kindle more and more.

I wonder if this is subconsciously because of its lightness, its screen brightness or because this year I’ve had eye issues (cataract removal a couple of months ago with further surgery required at the end of the month) and have been able to lift the font size to suit.

Be that as it may, it’s all beautiful wordage, great plots, settings I can sink into and characters to relate to and with whom I can engage.

Any book listed here is between 3 and 5 stars. Any book I don’t enjoy, I won’t speak about. My mother taught me if I can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all. The ones below are brill!!!

Thus, in no particular order since April 2019…

The Magician of Lhasa David Michie. Michie conveys the Buddhist code through his fiction. Clever, easy to understand. Engaging.

Praetorian: Lions of Rome Simon Turney. I’m a longtime Turney fan and have read everything he has written from Roman through to Ottoman fiction. Fast-paced, extraordinary research, realism that frightens and excites.

The Victory Garden Rhys Bowen. Wonderful WWI story about the Land Girls. Written with a poignant pen.

The Magician’s Diary CJ Archer I’m utterly hooked on the Glass and Steele series. Personally, I think CJ Archer is completely under-sung as a historical fantasy writer.

The Mystery of Julia Episcopa John Rigoli and Diane Cummings. A mix of hist.fict and contemporary. The mystery lies in an archaeological dig. Excellent story.

Chinese Mythology The Complete Guide to Gods, Goddesses and Legends Bernard Hayes. A research book that is exactly what it says on the label. Important for me.

Sweet Bitter Cane GS Johnston. Literary hist.fict on Italian migrants post WWI-WWII in Australia. Soul-stirring, disturbing and tells an honest story about our migrants that’s never been heard.

Isobel’s Promise Maggie Christensen. Christensen’s beautiful stories remind me of Alexandra Raife. People we know, people we see every day – so relatable.

The Good Sister Maggie Christensen. See Above.

The Year that Changed Everything Cathy Kelly. A supreme story teller. Able to pinpoint the contemporary human condition. And even better, set in Ireland.

Warrior of Woden Matthew Harffy I’m playing catch-up with Harffy’s Bernicia Chronicles. Never a bad word to say about Harffy. His writing not only has pace and fire, but it digs into human emotion, something that is often missing from historical fiction. On a par with Cornwell in my opinion.


Just one cheeky word here – five of the authors are indie writers and eminently equal to their mainstream counterparts.

So that’s it up to this point in time. More at the end of the year.

It’s been wonderful to read so much across genres. It’s given me a fly on the wall view of the writing scene, rather than just concentrating on the hothouse view of one genre.

Does that make a difference? As a writer, yes, I think it does. It helps one appreciate different nuances within writing, extends one’s boundaries. It also shows a huge variety of styles across literature. To me, that matters.

I do hope readers of this post will try some of the books mentioned. They’re worth it!