The TBR pile!! BOOKS!!!

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So Christmas is a distant memory and is being sold off cheap in the shops to make way for the Easter eggs. (Yes, I bet you if you look hard enough, they are already out!!) But  maybe we should take a moment to reflect on one of the most important aspects of my Christmas… of course spending time with loved ones and taking a rest to chill out and think about things is very important but the thing that I wish to talk about is this: BOOKS!!!!! (Can’t help doing an impression of Cookie Monster whenever I see a pile of books, BOOKIES!!!) Specifically, the fact that I always get some great ones at Christmas and theoretically I should have more time to read them. Alas, my WIP and intense board game playing has hampered that this year but I wish to givee you a snapshot of my ‘To Be Read pile’ and some of the books I am looking forward to reading over the next 12 months.

All of the George Mann books ever!!!! I’ll narrow it down a bit. My favourite of his series is the Ghost series about a vigilante in a steampunk alternate 50s America. I have read the first three and cannot wait to break open Ghosts of Empire. I love the steampunk genre but George Mann has done something very different with this series and I love it. Think Batman meets Lovecraft crossed with a bit of Dick Tracy.

Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw sits beckoning me with that lovely blue spine standing out on the shelf. I picked up Strange Practice in a charity shop after seeing it pop up on ‘you’ll love these’ list many, many times. And I did. I devoured it so fast and then promptly told my best friend about it and convinced her to buy a copy. My only problem now, is that she read book 2 before me!! Enter Dr Greta Helsing, a physician for the supernatural community. I think that sums it up, a completely novel idea and the characters are so perfectly written that I love them all!

How can I have not mentioned Ben Aaronovitch yet!? The Rivers of London series (including the graphic novels) have blown me away from book one! There are not many books that I will buy in hardback, I generally prefer paperbacks (more space for more books on the shelf) but I was out in the first weekend of sale to get myself a copy of Lies Sleeping from Waterstones so I could have the extra exclusive short story and Ben’s signature! I was lucky enough to see him when he toured with The Hanging Tree and it was the best talk I have ever heard!! Everything he said about writing sounded perfect to me. Also, he doesn’t hang about getting the next book out like some authors we know!!! (Cough Harry Dresden.) Peter Grant is a new police constable in book one who accidentally comes into contact with Nightingale and so begins the new partnership at the Folly where our young constable learns the ropes of juggling wizardry and how to upload info onto the HOLMES system. That is what I love about these books so much. He has done his research. You rarely get this level of actual police detail in books. Peter explains so much about what he has to do and the ‘actions’ he receives from superiors. When I heard this lingo on an episode of Broadchurch, I got a little over-excited and had to explain to the other viewers about the books. Also, Aaronovitch has put together a science behind his magic which I feel has in some way inspired the science laws I want to put behind time travel in Tempus Rock. They are quite simply some of the best books I’ve ever read. My mum has also read them. Then we told my brother and he went oiut and bought his own set. He also loves them. To get all three of us is quite a feat. So go on then, go get Rivers of London and catch up!!

Who else is in the pile… For those of you wanting the next Dresden File book (yes, there are a lot of us, nudge nudge) why not give Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus series a go. He even mentions Harry Dresden in book one and Jim Butcher himself endorses them! There are similarities between the Dresden and Verus books (wizards, apprentices, dodgy father figure in the background) but the characters, I feel, are quite different when you break down their personalities. There’s also the fact Dresden is in Chicago and Verus is in London. The setting makes a big difference to the story and the feel. The long game is being set up very well in the Verus series, although, I confess to being only on book 4 in the set. (Yay, means there are still loads to get!! Who am I kidding, I’ve already bought them. They look really nice all lined up.)

By now you’re probably sensing a pattern in my reading habits. That’s how The Strange Tales of Brennan and Riz fits in. If you follow author Peter James Martin on twitter you will instantly get snippets of stories and read tweets from Brennan and Riz themselves and realise that you need them in your life. One thing you probably need to know: Riz is a rat, that talks. He’s also hilarious. Together Brennan, a paranormal detective, and Riz take on a range of cases that touch on real folklore and magic and danger. The book is a collection of short stories of the characters cases and I can’t wait to get stuck in. The dynamic between the characters is just right and the characterisation itself is perfect.

Bloodlines by Peter Hartog is also on the TBR pile. Detective Tom ‘Doc’ Holliday is moved to the Special Crimes division to hunt killers. What’s the twist I hear you ask? Throw in a little magic, bio-engineered vampires and a detective that has a talent for clairvoyance and you’ve got yourself a winner in my books (pardon the pun). I think this has the hallmarks of a great opening gambit for a series of books and I can’t wait to get started.

So as you can see, there is a slight skew to my range here. If it’s magical or steampunk but the world is recognisable, then I’m in! Don’t get me wrong, I love other stuff too: Andy McDermott’s Wilde and Chase series, David Wolstencroft’s two spy books are AMAZING, Christopher Fowler’s Bryant and May books and The Axeman’s Jazz are all in my collection but if you think you’ve seen a glaring omission I might not know about and definitely should, please comment and tell me! No-one can have too many books 🙂

3 thoughts on “The TBR pile!! BOOKS!!!

  1. That is a ton of good reading! Except for that last book, Bloodlines. I know the author personally, and I have to tell you he’s a boring sort with no sense of humor at all.

    Seriously, though, thank you for the mention, and I only hope Bloodlines can live up to some of the greats you had mentioned. May you and your family have a happy and healthy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Peter, I hope you have a fabulous 2019 too. And on another note, I am also familiar with the writer and I’ve found him to be very humorous!
      Bloodlines definitely deserved its place among those books and I hope many readers get to realise this next year too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are too kind. 🙂 I look forward to hearing your take on Bloodlines. And I continue to look forward to reading your own blog. Have a great New Year!

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