I read a lot, about 50 books per year. Now we’re staying at home until this pandemic passes, I’ve got more time to read – WOOOOO.
I mostly talk about speculative fiction on this blog, and predominantly the fantasy genre, however I have an eclectic taste in books and read all sorts. So, this is my stay-at-home for the next few weeks reading list.
Hopefully it’ll give you some ideas as to what to read next or for books to add to your reading list. Or, it might inspire you to think about and note down the next ten books you plan to read just to pass some time.
(If you’d like some more book-related ideas to keep you occupied at home, then check out this blog).
Blurbs and pics from Goodreads.
1) The Broken Eye (Lightbringer #3) by Brent Weeks
As the old gods awaken, the Chromeria is in a race to find its lost Prism, the only man who may be able to stop catastrophe, Gavin Guile. But Gavin's enslaved on a galley, and when he finally escapes, he finds himself in less than friendly hands. Without the ability to draft which has defined him . . .
Meanwhile, the Color Prince's army continues its inexorable advance, having swallowed two of the seven satrapies, they now invade the Blood Forest. Andross Guile, thinking his son Gavin lost, tasks his two grandsons with stopping the advance. Kip and his psychopathic half-brother Zymun will compete for the ultimate prize: who will become the next Prism.
My note: I’m currently about halfway through this epic fantasy novel and will finish it soon. It’s the third book in the series and you can read my five-star review of book 1 The Black Prism and four-star review of book 2 The Blinding Knife.
I’ll be honest, I’m not enjoying this book as much as the first two. It feels a bit bloated, like a lot could’ve been cut. Although I’m hoping that by the end all will become clear and all the threads will tie up and the ending will be fabulous.
This has a wonderfully crafted world and magic system using colours. It’ll definitely appeal to those who like multiple POVs in fantasy, rather than just the one.
2) Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
Dynamic and inspirational, FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY is filled with concrete techniques to turn passivity into assertiveness. Dr. Susan Jeffers, teaches you how to stop negative thinking patterns and reeducate your mind to think more positively. You will learn: the vital 10-Step Positive Thinking Process; how to risk a little every day; how to turn every decision into a "No-Lose" situation, and much more.
My note: This personal development book is a bit of a classic, first published in 1987. I read it about ten years ago and saw it on my shelf and decided to read it again. I’m currently reading it and enjoying the lessons it teaches once again. I think my perspective has changed and am relating to this more now than ten years ago.
3) Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, a "baby farmer," who raised her with unusual tenderness, as if Sue were her own. Mrs. Sucksby’s household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves—fingersmiths—for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home.
One day, the most beloved thief of all arrives—Gentleman, an elegant con man, who carries with him an enticing proposition for Sue: If she wins a position as the maid to Maud Lilly, a naïve gentlewoman, and aids Gentleman in her seduction, then they will all share in Maud’s vast inheritance. Once the inheritance is secured, Maud will be disposed of—passed off as mad, and made to live out the rest of her days in a lunatic asylum.
With dreams of paying back the kindness of her adopted family, Sue agrees to the plan. Once in, however, Sue begins to pity her helpless mark and care for Maud Lilly in unexpected ways...But no one and nothing is as it seems in this Dickensian novel of thrills and reversals.
My note: I’m currently listening to this historical fiction on audiobook while doing my permitted one form of exercise per day (a walk or jog) and I’m LOVING it. One review I saw describes it as “lesbian Dickens”, which I just love. The ‘con’ is not all that it seems and the twists, oh my! I cannot wait to find out what happens.
4) Android Einna: Our Only Chance Issues 1, 2 and 3 by Ray Else (Goodreads Author), Sergio Drumond (Illustrator)
A DIFFERENT KIND OF FRANKENSTEIN.
Issue 1 of this graphic novel tells the origin of Android Einna, the supreme A.I., created by the genius student Manaka Yagami and Professor Akagawa. Android Einna searches for the meaning of life, while a certain Tagona of the Yakuza schemes how to mass produce her to sell to the military and for his own personal army. Based on the well-received A.I. Chronicles novel 'Our Only Chance'.
My note: I can’t wait to read all three of these graphic novels. The illustrations are stunning and they’re based on a sci-fi novel I’ve read and enjoyed Our Only Chance: An A.I. Chronicle by Ray Else.
5) Leafensong: First Telling (Leafensong, #1) by J.R. Hooge
In a post-apocalyptic world, a highly evolved tribe of banded squirrels has lived peacefully for years, without knowledge of the past. Until now.
Struck by lightning at birth and left with strange markings on their fur, orphans Kooper and his blind brother, Boggs, are seen as evil, or Ebyn. But Beka, the Healer, is on their side. With his ability to Sense the thoughts of others, Boggs is called by unknown voices to venture into the forest alone. Meanwhile, as the squirrels’ long-held enemies, the pack rats, close in on Leafensong’s borders the tribe readies for action.
Secrets abound and the Dark One lurks in the distance. Will Boggs leave the safety of his home and embark on an impossible journey? Can the squirrels solve the mysteries of the forest in time, or will Leafensong fall, and the tribe along with it?
My note: I also can’t wait to read this fantasy. It also includes some beautiful illustrations of the characters – including squirrels! I can’t quite tell if this is a young adult book or not… so will be sure to clarify when I come to write a review.
6) Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Pérez
Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you're a woman.
Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.
Award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the impact this has on their health and well-being. From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, Invisible Women reveals the biased data that excludes women. In making the case for change, this powerful and provocative book will make you see the world anew.
My note: I saw the author talk about this book at an event recently and it blew my mind. I'm eager to learn more from this book.
7) A Wizard's Forge (The Woern Saga #1) by A.M. Justice
Scholar. Slave. Warrior. Wizard.
Victoria was once a shy but ambitious scholar. That life ends when slavers sell her to a vicious tyrant who strips away everything she knows and loves, forging her into something darker. Deadlier. Escaping captivity, she finds refuge with the tyrant's enemies and joins their war against him. Now as Vic the Blade, she hunts for vengeance.
Prince Ashel leads a carefree life, more renowned for his musical prowess than his royal blood. A murder leads him to swap his harp for a dagger, but his path of revenge leads straight into the tyrant's trap.
Determined to rescue Ashel, Vic must first reckon with a mysterious race who holds the key to defeating her enemy. A legendary power may be her only chance to destroy him, if it doesn’t kill her first.
This dark, fast paced, and richly imagined blend of sci-fi and fantasy handles mature topics well and captures the combination of empowerment, justice, and revenge in a fresh way. It’s a must-read for fans of powerful protagonists such as Rey from Star Wars, Arya from Game of Thrones, Lisbeth Slander from Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, and Celaena Sardothien from Thone of Glass. It’s highly intelligent, ruthless, and hopeful—perfect for lovers of the classic science fiction–fantasy blends of Anne McCaffrey and Frank Herbert.
A blade sharp enough for vengeance requires a wizard's forge.
My note: This adult fantasy novel has been on my radar for quite a while. It was in the SPFBO 4 competition at the same time as my novel Melokai and featured in this reading list blog. I’m excited to finally get to it.
8) One For Sorrow (Isabel Fielding #1) by Sarah A. Denzil
What lengths would you go to if you thought a killer was innocent?
Within the walls of the high-security psychiatric facility, Crowmont Hospital, reside many violent offenders. To nurse Leah Smith, no matter what, all offenders are patients first and foremost. When Leah is appointed as nurse to Isabel Fielding, she is determined to remain professional despite the shocking crime Isabel allegedly committed in her past.
Seven years ago, six-year-old Maisie Earnshaw was found face down in a duck pond, her body mutilated. Isabel--at age fourteen, found covered in Maisie's blood--was convicted of murder.
As Leah spends time with Isabel, she comes to know her as a young woman with a sweet, gentle nature, someone she could never see as a murderer. Leah begins to suspect members of the Fielding family of framing Isabel as a young girl, and she's not the only one. True crime blogger James Gorden thinks Isabel is innocent too.
But is Leah letting her own troubled past taint her judgement as she grows closer to her patient? Or has a young woman been unjustly robbed of her childhood?
My note: I’ve got this psychological thriller as an audiobook and I’m looking forward to listening to it after I’ve finished Fingersmith (see 3).
9) The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle's message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle's clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who's ever wondered what exactly "living in the now" means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container--more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.
Tolle packs a lot of information and inspirational ideas into The Power of Now. (Topics include the source of Chi, enlightened relationships, creative use of the mind, impermanence and the cycle of life.) Thankfully, he's added markers that symbolise "break time". This is when readers should close the book and mull over what they just read. As a result, The Power of Now reads like the highly acclaimed A Course in Miracles--a spiritual guidebook that has the potential to inspire just as many study groups and change just as many lives for the better. --Gail Hudson
My note: Another book that has been on my radar for a while, I’ve got this one as audiobook and am excited to have a listen, especially in these strange times.
10) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Since its immediate success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work "her own darling child" and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, "as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print."
The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen's radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.
My note: I’m re-reading this one. I first read it when I was at uni a looooong time ago. See point 9 of my blog 20 Book-Related Things To Do At Home to learn more why I’ve decided to reread it now.
So, there you have it! Fantasy, non-fiction, personal development, classic, psychological thriller, historical fiction and sci-fi… can’t wait to read and finish all these.
Stay at home, stay safe!
>>VIOLYA, the second novel in my grimdark epic fantasy trilogy In the Heart of the Mountains, is out now. Available from Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play Books, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Read more about my books here.<<
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