Tag: book recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday – Reads to Pick Up This Halloween!

Hello everybody, and welcome to my Top Ten Tuesday post, with recommendations for books to pick up this Halloween! If you’re not sure what you want to read this spooky season, I have ten recommendations for books that I have read and I think would make excellent reading. There is quite a variety of books in this selection, so there should be something here that meets your needs.

Where I have a live review of each book on my blog, I’ve provided a link to that if you want more information.

So, let’s jump into my recommendations!

 

The Stand

I’m starting off with some of Stephen King’s most iconic books. Aside from The Green Mile, The Stand was one of the first books I read of Stephen King’s. I actually listened to this epic on audiobook due to its size.

If you are uncomfortable with the idea of a premise that is a more extreme version of the pandemic we have just lived through, then maybe this one isn’t for you. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this post-apocalyptic narrative.

Full review here

 

IT

Another Stephen King novel I read and really enjoyed is IT. I read this one physically, and I have no doubt that I’ll be going back to my copy on my bookshelf at some point! I really enjoyed the dual-timeline narrative, and at just under 1400 pages, this is the longest book I have ever read. Despite that, I managed to read IT in a couple of weeks.

Full review here

 

Pet Sematary

If you want to try a Stephen King novel that won’t (quite) knock somebody out if you throw it at them, Pet Sematary is shorter than the previous books listed, yet is still brilliant.

I had no idea this book was going to end the way it did. However, it encapsulates the horror genre brilliantly.

Full review here

 

Imaginary Friend

Moving away from Stephen King, I have a number of books on this recommendation list from other authors.

I read Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chboksy in October 2019. This is also quite a sizable horror, but well worth the investment! Even though I read a good portion of this book on holiday, the narrative was chilling and unnerving enough to give all the autumnal, spooky vibes!

Full review here

 

The Dark Chorus

If you want to pick up a fairly short read this Halloween, then The Dark Chorus may just be the book for you. The narrative focuses on a young boy who can see lost souls. The narrative has a spiritual emphasis and involves this young boy committing terrible, ritualistic murders, towards his end goal.

It was a very creepy read, but one I rated very highly!

Full review here

 

Empire of the Vampire

If you like to read more towards the fantasy genre, Empire of the Vampire is a strong recommendation for you. I read this book by Jay Kristoff on holiday this year. As the name would suggest, this book is about vampires, but also about our main character, who is a vampire slayer.

Empire of the Vampire is a very Gothic style fantasy, with elements such as religion and the undead being at war with each other. I personally cannot wait to pick up the sequel to this book, whenever it is published. In the meantime, I can only recommend Empire of the Vampire to you!

 

The Chalk Man

Coming in at 280 pages, The Chalk Man is a very approachable reader for anybody. With a dual-timeline split between Eddie’s childhood, and his return to his hometown as an adult, a very dark story unfolds.

The benign language a group of friends used to communicate with each other leads to the discovery of a body, and nothing is ever the same again.

Full review here

 

The Taking of Annie Thorne

The Taking of Annie Thorne is another fairly short, but very sinister read. This was the second book. I read by CJ Tudor, and she is an author I will go back to for this kind of read in the future. It is brilliantly paced, the characters are engaging, and the storyline is something else.

This was a five-star read, and now I’m recommending it to you in the hopes that it will be for you too.

Full review here

 

Bell, Book and Candle (To Snare a Witch)

If you are a bit pressed for time this Halloween, maybe a series of short stories would be better suited to you?

I read these short stories back in October 2019 and they are a great way of delving into the dark and sinister without too much investment. They are also very easy to read, and you can read as many or a few of them as you like. The good thing about short stories is that they are very approachable!

Full review here

 

Mort

Lastly, if you’re not much into the Halloween genre and want to read something more satirical, I can recommend Mort by Terry Pratchett. It has a loose tie to the genre in that one of the main characters of this book is Death. In this first instalment of the Discworld series, Death decides to take an apprentice – Mort.

 

So, those are my Top Ten Tuesday recommendations for books to pick up this Halloween! Have you read any of the books listed today? Would you recommend any of them to others?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books for a little escapism

Welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! I really like writing these posts and decided it was time for another. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

I quite often go it alone with topics rather than following the set topics for the week. Sometimes the prescribed topics just don’t fit my blog at all! Instead, I have been having a think about an alternative topic for this week. I don’t know about you, but I read for a bit of escapism. I like to break away from the mundane routine. Well, normally. Fact is, the normal mundane routine has been ripped up and tossed out the window. It’s not a very nice situation we are in right now and more than ever I am looking for escapism. I’m sure others are too… and that’s what gave me the idea for this post.

I thought I might struggle to put this list together, but I had the opposite problem! I’ve had to cut it down quite a lot. I’ve excluded a lot of larger names that I would love to feature here because they’re well-known enough to recommend themselves. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings are great books – but you probably know about them already. In today’s post, I wanted to talk about books and authors that aren’t as well-known – although they deserve to be!

 

The Mistborn Series – Brandon Sanderson

It would be pretty sacrilegious not to include my current read on this list. I’ve devoured the last three books of this series with fervour over the past few months. The books published to date are split into two timelines. I loved the first trilogy years ago but recently, the later books set in the fictional city of Elendel have reiterated why I love Brandon Sanderson’s writing. The depth of history of the magic, the characters… it’s all fantastic.

I get lost in these books! They’re the kind you promise yourself ‘just one more chapter’ before bed and before you know it, it’s WAY past your bedtime. I don’t regret it either.

 

Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch

This is also a recent discovery. I think the fact that I listened to all of Rivers of London and a third of Moon over Soho in the past couple of weeks alone says it all! If it doesn’t, I don’t know what will!

I’ve been listening to these as audiobooks whilst crocheting. It’s nice to break up the format of ‘reading’ – but I have to praise the narrator Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. He manages to take the author’s already interesting and diverse characters and breathe life into them. The book also balances action, character development and sensory descriptions really well. If you like magical and supernatural mysteries or think you might, I would definitely recommend these books as a starting point! I suspect I’ll continue to binge-listen to these!

 

The Last Kingdom – Bernard Cornwell

Something for historical fiction fans here! I’m not even halfway through this series yet but I love it so much! It was recommended to me by a work colleague and friend. She is Danish, and it prompted some interesting conversation about the historical period. For those that don’t know, it’s set at the time the Vikings invaded Britain. The main character Uhtred is an Englishman, but living in the North, his village was raided when he was a boy and he was subsequently raised by Danes. His personal conflict between both sides runs throughout the books I have read so far and it makes for a really interesting perspective on the period!

 

Simon Says – Jo Wesley

If standalone books are more your thing, then Simon Says might be of interest to you. I’m going to be upfront and say that the storyline is based on the sensitive topic of rape, and the consequences of it. That might put some people off, and that’s fine! This book isn’t for you in that case. Considering the nature of it, I think that it is handled really well. I was really impressed with this book – so much so it made it on my top reads of 2019 list!

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone – Laini Taylor

This book (and series) also qualified for the top reads of 2019 list! I love Laini Taylor’s style of writing and I’ve really enjoyed her Strange the Dreamer duology previously. The Angels vs Demons (monsters) baseline is plot is great because she breaks down the stereotypes of good and evil and tosses them out of the window.

 

Blackwing – Ed McDonald

Blackwing

If, like me, you love fantasy series with epic fantasy worlds with plenty of lore in a post-apocalyptic setting, then the Raven’s Mark series could be for you! Magic ravaged the world in a cataclysmic event and razed the landscape now known as the Misery. If that’s not interesting enough for you, then how does a plotline indicating that a similar event with even more catastrophic consequences sound?

It was a winner for me and I really, REALLY recommend this one to any and all fantasy fans!

 

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

Nevernight

The Nevernight Chronicles is another great fantasy series for those that love fantasy novels with lots of history to them. Throw in a young girl who has had her family ripped apart since childhood, rare magic power and a terrible grudge… and you get an amazing, murderous and vengeful trilogy. Determined to bring down the institution that tried to have her murdered as a child, Mia Corvere is a force to be reckoned with. I also quite enjoy Jay Kristoff’s parallels between himself and Mercurio – that’ll make sense if you read the books.

 

The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss

It has been a long time since I read these books, but they have definitely made a lasting impression! The first thing I love is the narration style. The tale is told from an older (and hopefully wiser) Kvothe, our main character. He is very candid over the past mistakes of his youth, which we learn about as he retells the tale.

Again, this is a series with a lot of development into the world and characters, so those of you that love that and all the action of the narrative should get on with this very well.

 

The Chalk Man – C.J. Tudor

Here is another standalone for those of you that don’t have the commitment for a series. The Chalk Man is a mystery thriller novel with a chilling premise and plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes! In their youth, Eddie and the gang drew chalk men as a means of communicating with each other secretly around town. However, twenty years on they reunite, and the chalk men have made a mysterious reappearance…

 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

The last book on my list is another standalone mystery. The premise of the novel is like a traditional murder mystery, only its groundhog day. The protagonist has seven days to relive the day in the bodies of each guest and then name the murderer.

I really liked this one – I thought it was really unique. It’s also very cleverly-written too!

Hopefully, you have found some inspiration from this Top Ten Tuesday list, if that’s what you’re looking for! If not, well I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you agree with any of my recommendations?

 

 

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Halloween Horrors – Book Recommendations

Are you looking for inspiration on what to read this Halloween? If so, you have come to the right place! In today’s post, I am going to be recommending some of the spooktacular books/authors I have read.

 

Stephen King

Before I started my blog, I hadn’t read a single book by Stephen King. Stupid, foolish me. Since dipping my toe in the water with The Green Mile, I have gone on to read Pet Sematary, IT, the first two books of The Dark Tower series and listen to The Stand. I still have plenty of books of his to read, including some of the more classic horror novels, such as The Shining.

If you want to check out any of my reviews, I have linked them above.

 

Jay Raven

If you are in the mood for short stories or a novella, then either Game of Crones or To Snare a Witch may be if interest to you. I have read both of these books this year; I am reviewing To Snare a Witch in the coming days.

I enjoyed these reads for the theme of witches and their reverence/treatment by society. They are also great to pick up for a quick read, or a break from another genre.

 

H. P. Lovecraft

I bought my copy of the Necronomicon last year and whilst I am nowhere near having read the entire collection of stories, I have read a few. H P Lovecraft is an iconic writer of the horror genre and I can see why. His stories are pretty damn creepy, or outright weird…

 

My current read… Stephen Chbosky

This Halloween, or Hop Tu Naa locally, I will be continuing to read Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. I love the story centring on 7 and a half-year-old Christopher. Children are really imaginative and suggestible, so you don’t know what is true and what isn’t! It makes happenings so much more sinister! I’m currently about a quarter of the way through this read, but I’ll be making more progress with it as I can in the coming days up to October 31st.

 

Have you got any other reading suggestions or recommendations I haven’t mentioned? What are you reading this Halloween?

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Book Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The thing I enjoy the most about blogging and reading blogs is book recommendations. Whether giving them myself or getting them by reading reviews online, it’s fun. I’m always looking to increase my reading repertoire. I hadn’t ventured into reading horror books until I started my blog and up until that point, I have missed out on enjoying a wide range of authors!

Today I am taking the opportunity to give YOU some book recommendations, but if you have any for me based on my list, then I would love to hear some of your recommendations in the comments!

I’m going to keep this list short and snappy so you can scan through if you want. Where I have reviewed a book on the list, I’ll provide a link to my review in the title. That way you can choose whether you wish to read it or not. I mean OBVIOUSLY, you do… but hey, I want all the views I can get haha!

 

My Top Ten Book Recommendations

 

A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin

I would only recommend this for fans of fantasy who aren’t intimidated by larger books and complex plot lines. Isn’t that a given? I think the largest books I read are typically part of the fantasy genre. There are a couple of notable exceptions though. It’s worth the time though – this is by far my favourite series of all time and I will recommend this book again and again until I am blue in the face.

 

Pet Sematary – Stephen King

This was the first horror I read of Stephen King’s. It wasn’t the first of his books I read – that accolade goes to The Green Mile. This was the first in the horror genre though. Since then I have gone on to read IT and listen to The Stand and add many other books to the list.

 

The Discworld Series – Terry Pratchett

What is great about the Discworld series is that it doesn’t matter how many of these you read. You could read them all if you want to, (a feat I am slowly creeping towards), or you could just pick up one to enjoy. The stories are all largely independent of each other and so you’re not committed to a mass reading expedition trying these. They have characters, places and comical themes in common, but they stand alone too. I have read too many of these books to link here, and some before my blogging days. Please search on my blog if you’re interested.

 

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) – Brandon Sanderson

As with A Game of Thrones, this is another epic read worth the investment. I have only read the first book so far, but the fact that I am willing to recommend the series based on that should say it all…

 

The Green Mile – Stephen King

If this book doesn’t make you ball your eyes out … ahem, upset, then you are not human. I was introduced to the film many years ago but due to the nature of the topics concerned, I hadn’t really watched it in full. The book is even more profound than the film and it is one I will re-visit again and again.

 

The Last Kingdom (series) – Bernard Cornwell

This is a recommendation for anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction. Again, it’s tricky to link the reviews. I love the characters and the narrative is so well written… these books are easy to get lost in. I have read the first three books of the series so far in addition to having watched the first two seasons of the TV adaptation. Muppet here has only JUST realised that Season 3 was released in November last year, but only on Netflix. I’ll have to buy the DVD for it. Next month…

 

Raven’s Mark series – Ed McDonald

Another fantasy series I know, but wow! I love Ryhalt and his sassiness; I relate to his sarcastic outlook, I really do. Ryhalt is almost a bit of an anti-hero – the kind of guy that does what he does to save his own skin MOST of the time. There is a glimmer of humanity in there somewhere though. We need to see more of these characters in books. Let’s face it, not many people are as altruistic as book heroes are!

 

An Almond for a Parrot – Wray Delaney

This book makes it to the list for the comedy factor. It has a blend of fantasy in there too, but my favourite part by far is how it handled the, erm… saucy bits. As a general rule, I don’t like books that go into that much detail in THAT regard. I find it cringe-worthy. So was this one in its own way, but that somehow made it funnier? I couldn’t have “read” this in the traditional way. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did a fabulous job. It made the story.

 

Strange the Dreamer (series) – Laini Taylor

I recommend this duology for anyone who enjoys magic, YA style. I’m not a huge reader of YA on the whole, but I really enjoyed these. Sometimes I can find the characters immature, but the storyline behind them “finding themselves” after their world is turned upside down both makes sense and drives the plot nicely. There’s a little bit of a romance which is kind of cute. Again, I’m not really a HUGE fan generally but it isn’t overplayed.

 

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

I want to recommend this historical fiction book to anyone who loves this genre because I did NOT see the plot twist in this one coming. Not only is the character engaging, but we are able to sympathise with her predicament. The level of detail is fantastic and I was blown away by the ending!

 

I’ve tried to vary up my recommendations based on different genres, although Fantasy does prevail a little here! Have you read any of these books?

Do you have any recommendations for me?