Covid-19, Traditions and of course books…..

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I’ve had for as far back as I can remember, a reading related habit. Every time I was in an airport, I had to buy a book. In my early years it was whenever I went with my Mum to say goodbye to my Uncle, who lives in Canada, and had been over for a visit. When I began travelling myself I kept up the tradition. Every time I went on holiday I would buy a book. When I went to Florida I bought a Jack Higgins novel which my Dad said he we like to borrow once I had finished reading it. I passed it over to him at the end of the flight. Another time I bought the latest Lee Child, and again ended up leaving it behind at the hotel for someone else to read, as I had finished it. The time that sticks in my mind the most though, resonates more than ever at the moment.

I was going on holiday with my family, and true to form I bought myself a book to read on the plane and while I was away. The book I bought was Airframe by Michael Crichton, an author I had long enjoyed, and was about a mid air incident on a flight. My Mom, couldn’t understand why I would want to buy such a book when I was hours away from getting on a plane. I never thought about it at the time, it was just a book I fancied reading by an author that I liked.

I’ve recently revisited this line of thought however, with my current choice of reading. The first book, was Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama, a story around a massive plane crash and the impact it had on those who had to regularly climb a mountain to the crash site, and of those who had the report the news every day. It was a book I picked at random because again I like the author.

Then, I decided I needed to re-read Day Four by Sarah Lotz. On Day four of a luxury cruise, the ship becomes stranded in the middle of nowhere, with everything on board from the lights to the toilets systematically shutting down. After all the stories of stranded cruise ships due to Covid-19 it felt, well…

That was when I remembered how much I love the dark writing of Sarah Lotz, so next up was her book The White Road, where an adrenaline junkie has a close call whilst caving, and when his video of the tragedy goes viral, ends up trying to beat the ratings by climbing Mt Everest, where, well let’s face it, it all goes a bit pear shaped. It’s quite the unnerving tale, and as fascinating it is to read it has also peaked my interest in the real life adventures and mysteries that surround the mountain and those risking it all to get to the top, which has given me something else to investigate during the lockdown.

Finally, staying with the mountain climbing theme, I re-read Michelle Paver’s Thin Air. Another ghostly tale of how things can go badly wrong when climbing. This one I have on audio book rather than physical, and I can only say one thing. Don’t listen to it on your own, late at night. You will not be able to sleep afterward.

Now I’m off to read Sarah Lotz The Three, about four simultaneous plane crashes and their four survivors, because, you know, I’m sensing a bit of a theme here…

Top Books from 2015

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The last year for me has been a strange mix, with book related activities on the increase and yet with reading taking a back seat to life, and reviews sitting further behind.  My motivation for keeping here updated as been at an all time low, and as such I have a list of reviews that I should get posted which is much longer than I would like.

That said I’ve managed to put together just some of the books that I have enjoyed over the last year. There’s no ranking to this, it’s just a list of those books that I’m still talking about and regularly recommending.

wpid-screenshot_2015-01-20-04-13-34-1.pngThe Liars Chair – Rebecca Whitney

A fabulously dark psychological thriller with a story you’ll love and a protagonist you won’t.

wpid-screenshot_2015-02-21-07-32-30-1.pngThe Ties That Bind – Erin Kelly

Gangster gone good meets Journalist determined to prove his murderous past. Tight and twisty plotting it’s Erin Kelly’s best yet.

IMG_2095Day Four – Sarah Lotz

Re-defining the phrase “Holiday from hell”, no one does fear and hysteria like Sarah Lotz.

IMG_2167Sophie Hannah – A Game For All The Family

Sophie Hannah at her dark and twisted best.  A thriller with a riddle, just who is telling the truth?

imageDoug Johnston – The Jump

I’ve honestly struggled to sum this one up since I first read it a few months ago and I’m not sure why.  It’s a compelling read full of the emotional aftermath of tragedy, the struggle to find understanding and to discover a meaning for existence in the wake of devastating loss.  Suffice is to say however, months later I am still fascinated by it, and think of it often.

imageDavid Mark – Taking Pity

DS Aector McAvoy is fast becoming one of my favourite damaged detectives. In Taking Pity the fourth installment of the series he’s down but not out, and you’ll be cheering his corner with every turn of the page.

imageSteve Cavanagh – The Defence

Love Mickey Haller, The Lincoln Lawyer?  Then this one’s for you, Michael Connelly’s got some competition here, and I can’t wait to read more about Eddie Flynn.

imageMichel Bussi – After The Crash

Well I wasn’t expecting that….

I dare anyone to figure this one out . A truly surprising ending to an addictive and melancholic tale.

screenshot_2015-11-25-14-57-20-1.pngAngela Marsons – Lost Girls

Angela Marsons has been one of this years big winners, with over 1,000,000 e-books shifted since the release of her first book in February.  Lost Girls is the third and best installment in her DI Kim Stone series.

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Christopher Fowler – Bryant & May London’s Glory

The perfect filler.  While we all eagerly anticipate the next full length installment in Bryant & May’s adventures, revel in a collection of short stories filling in gaps, and explaining occasionally mentioned exploits.  Pick it up, put it down, enjoy and repeat.

imageAlex Marwood – The Darkest Secret

Out in e-book now and paperback next week, The Darkest Secret is full of characters you will love to hate, I see this appearing in a lot of top recommendations over the next few months. You won’t put it down.