I like books that cross genre lines in subtle ways. Do you?
My father was a fan of Agatha Christie. Lying around my childhood home were almost every one of her mystery novels.
I devoured those books. In turn, those books set my expectations to a rather high standard, so much that for years I could barely read a page or two into any other mystery.
Now, a personal renaissance has led me back to the genre. Here are a few favorites:
- Grounded by Neta Jackson: a Christian novel quite a cut above the usual, and not the ubiquitous romance.
- The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: a literary read of contemporary life with a main thread of fantasy woven in expertly. The end wasn’t as satisfying as I wanted.
- Spin State, Chris Moriarty: I tried, I really tried to get into this recent sf work, but I couldn’t.
A few older and newer authors whose writing I enjoy:
- Louis L’Amour and Craig Johnson for westerns
- Thomas Davis Bunn for adventure and historical fiction with a Christian tone
- Steven Gould for science fiction adventure without spaceships and lasers
- Dominic Green for science fiction laughs — the books may be aimed for younger readers, but I find them funny in a dry sort of way
- Lois McMaster Bujold — character-driven, space adventure at its finest, with a solid foundation of morality and honor
Leaving Blythe River by Catherine Ryan Hyde also proved to be a surprisingly good read. Although a coming-of-age story, the novel doesn’t read like a young adult book.
I had the pleasure to live in Colorado for several years, and I still miss the wilderness. The novel seems to accurately portray the realities of a similar wilderness — both the beautiful and the harsh. The characters were also realistic and engaging, from the protagonist to the motley team helping him to his father.
What is the latest book I’ve read that was sheer enjoyment?
After a long drought filled with disappointing books from Hoopla, Overdrive, Amazon Prime loans, and even my local library, I checked out from my local library the following:
- The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
The first book in a new fantasy series was a surprisingly good read. Surprising in that I’ve avoided his other works due to strong dislike of the supernatural mash and scent of the occult. This new world has no faeries, no zombies, no incubi, and — even better — has elements of steampunk in it. The print version was available at my local library.
Welcome to the reader’s corner!
This month: Craig Johnson, Peter Lovesey, Brandon Sanderson, and Bethany Turner.
I read across a wide variety of genres, but in certain genres I stick with one or two authors for the most part, finding other offerings in the genre less than captivating.
Here’s hoping you find something new or at least an old favorite in this list: