Here it is, another cold, snowy day, and I’m bundled up inside, wondering how much snow I’m going to have to shovel later. In the meantime, I’m spending day one of a three-day weekend catching up on some reading. I’ve got a gargantuan stack of to-be-read books on my nightstand, and a couple hundred or so ebooks in my queue on-line. If you know me at all, I love reading almost as much as I love writing, and part of what I love, is sharing and discussing awesome books I’ve read, or am reading.
So today, I’m going to show you a few of my recently read books that I would definitely recommend. If you’re looking for something to read after the last thing you’ve finished, or you’re interested in trying something new, these are my suggestions for today.
1.) Shades of Magic series, by V. E. Schwab
The first book in the series (pictured) is A Darker Shade of Magic. A good friend recommended this author to me, and I picked up the book, not sure what to expect. What I got was a refreshingly original fantasy story, with enigmatic characters and an exciting, danger-filled plot. There’s magic, alternate worlds, evil, good, love, and so much more. I devoured this first and second books immediately, and had to wait in agony for months for the third book. Loved them all. If you’re looking for something new in fantasy, give this one a try.
2.) The Invisible Library, book and series, by Genevieve Cogman
The premise is that there is an immense, inter-dimensional library out there, filled with scholarly librarians who make it their life’s work to travel to all the worlds, bringing back unique copies of books from every place. Not just a different year’s print of say, Jane Eyre, but lost novels of Charles Dickens, steampunk versions of Jane Austen, and so many more. The main character, Irene, a librarian with a particular fondness for the Sherlock Holmes books, is given an apprentice with his own secrets, and they’re thrust into a dangerous and politically charged search for yet another rare book. I’ve loved every book in the series (so far there are four) and who doesn’t love the idea of a library so huge that it takes literal days to get from one end to the other?
3.) The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker
Bought this one and didn’t know quite what to expect, then burned through it so fast, I was sad when it ended. It is about a golem and a jinni, otherwordly creatures brought to life in the real world with such ease and care that I can almost believe one would walk past me on the street. The book takes place in 1899 New York and the historical details are well-written without being too wordy, the characters are believable and full of life. This book isn’t quite fantasy, isn’t quite history, and definitely not quite romantic, but it can make you believe in things you never would have thought possible.
4.) A Study in Scarlet Women, book 1 of The Lady Sherlock series, by Sherry Thomas
The writer has changed Sherlock Holmes into Charlotte Holmes, and the idiosyncrasies that you may have loved about the original detective are here, but because she’s a woman, her situation is quite different. And still, she solves murders by pretending to work for her brother, Sherlock, a fabrication that allows her to do what she loves. There are familiar characters and if you’re looking for a fun, new twist on the old classics, I’d recommend this one.
5.) Historical Mysteries, various:
I don’t know why but I’ve been hooked on historical mysteries lately. There are a few series I’ve been reading, and several others I could go on and on about, but if you’re interested in anything of the sort, here are some I’d recommend (on top of the Lady Sherlock series I’ve already mentioned.)
Death at Bishop’s Keep, the Kathryn Ardleigh series, by Robin Paige, a husband and wife writing duo using a pen name. Kathryn Ardleigh is an American woman visiting her eccentric, elderly aunts in late-Victorian England only to be embroiled in a double-murder investigation. There are 12 books in the series and they were published starting back in the nineties, but I’ve enjoyed every one of them.
The Anatomist’s Wife, the Lady Darby mysteries, by Anna Lee Huber, about a widow who drew pictures and diagrams for her late husband, an anatomist, which, in the time period of the series, was not a respectable career. Because of her strange knowledge, she’s asked to assist in a murder investigation and helps, in spite of wanting to have nothing to do with it. I’ve enjoyed the five books in the series so far, and look forward to the next.
A Curious Beginning, the Veronica Speedwell mysteries, by Deanna Raybourn. I’ve read other historical mysteries by Ms. Raybourn but this is her most recent, and the main characters are unique, to say the least. Loved the fresh twists and characters as much as the mysteries themselves.
And Only to Deceive, the Lady Emily Murder Mysteries, by Tasha Alexander. This series is about a widow who begins in the first book by solving her own late husband’s murder. I’ve been reading this series since the start and have enjoyed each book very much. The author spends a decent amount of time researching the time period and places that the characters visit, from Greece, to Venice, to St. Petersburg.
So there you have it, today’s book recommendations. If you’ve read any of these, I’d love to hear your opinions. If you haven’t, go out and give one or more a try. On a miserable snowy day like today, I know I’m going to enjoy my next new book.
As always, take care and happy reading.