Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Annual Reading Challenge

Moderator: Frank

Frank
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 2756
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:17 am
Location: Leamington Spa. U.K

Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:57 pm

Books 10 to 14.

Due to having some work done on our flooring I have been unable to get to my stash of new books and having to move another book case I just could not resist the array of literary goodies in front of me, the whole series so far of the greatest series of books in the history of the universe, or probably longer.

The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher.

I am on my fifth so far, which have been:

Storm Front, Fool Moon,Grave Peril. Summer Knight, and now Death Masks.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/40346- ... sden-files

They tell the story of Harry Dresden, Chicago`s only practising wizard, or at least the only one in the phone book. He is on probation from the WhiteCouncil, the magic ruling authority for the self defence killing of his mentor. He helps the local PD`s Special Investigations department with anything weird or unusual.

These are great books about a wisecracking smart alec supernatural P I, dealing with vampires, fairies, though not the nice kind :shock: ,werewolves. In this one he is investigating the theft of the Turin Shroud while dealing with a challenge to the death from a vampire count while finding out about a new foe, demons linked to the 30 pieces of silver that Judas received for betraying Christ. These books get better and better, new layers are added on to existing ones to create an incredibly detailed setting, I have the first 15 so far of a projected 20 and while I wait for each one to be released I cant help wanting the series to not finish.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

Frank
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 2756
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:17 am
Location: Leamington Spa. U.K

Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:11 pm

Book 15. Dead Beat, by Jim Butcher.

Book 16 Blood Rites, by Jim Butcher.

Book 17. Proven Guilty, by Jim Butcher.

Book 18. White Night, by Jim Butcher.

Its been a while since I had time to post up my progress and, while I feel as if I am cheating slightly by re reading old favourites once I had started, then I just could not stop :roll:

These are fantastic books, a classic first person narrative P I noir style with a wisecracking hero who is trying to save the world as we know it because only he can.

The tone of the books is getting darker though there are some highly comic scenes as Harry continues to employ some quite unorthodox tools and methods.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

Frank
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 2756
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:17 am
Location: Leamington Spa. U.K

Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:26 pm

Book 19. Small Favour.

Book 20. Turn Coat.

The next couple in this great series. Things are now getting even darker and more layers of complexity are being added. Harry finds himself being drawn further into the plots of the Winter Queen, and, in Turn Coat has to confront his feelings about Morgan, a warden who believes that he should have been executed for breaking the laws of magic, when he turns up on Harry`s doorstep asking for help as the other wardens are after him for murder. We also start to get hints about the next arc of the story.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

Frank
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 2756
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:17 am
Location: Leamington Spa. U.K

Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:44 pm

I really have a hard choice now as I have just found six new books in our local supermarket discounted to half price. Average price £8 discounted to £4 or two for £7. The latest Stephen King, Mark Billingham (Tom Thorne books), Chris Mooney (Darby MCCormick books), Simon Scarrow (Macro/Cato books), Val McDermid (Tony Hill/Wire in the Blood books) and Anthony Riches (Swords of Empire books). Any of these would reasonably go to :roll: the the head of the to read pile but all coming at once :? :?

But the next Dresden book is Changes, and that is the one where Harry`s old girlfriend comes back with news that a loved one is going to be killed in a Red Court vampire ritual and how can I not read that. then after that it is Ghost Story and then Cold Days and then Skin Game, and I have not read that one yet :roll:
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

Frank
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 2756
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:17 am
Location: Leamington Spa. U.K

Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Sun May 08, 2016 1:15 pm

Aaww, was there ever really any doubt? :roll:

Book 21. Changes.

Book 22. Ghost Story.

Book 23. Cold Days.

Book 24. Skin Game.

With most long running series (Skin Game is the 15th) there are some books that are just not as good as the rest, with the Dresdens this just does not happen. The first book set the scene, introduced 2 central characters and was good enough that I wanted to read more. The next books got better, adding new characters and levels of complexity and the has not been a single book that I did not think was better than the one before it.. For a series this size that is , I think, unique. Skin Game has it all, drama, pathos and some really funny moments to lighten the tone before the tension gets ratcheted up another notch.

A thing that I really like about Butchers books is that his 2 main series both seem to have come about by accident. He was in a writing class trying to write fantasy books and his tutor kept telling him to try something in the style of one of his classmates who was just becoming popular, Laurell K Hamilton, the Anita Blake books, and he kept saying that would be a disaster but eventually wrote one to prove just how bad it would be. That, with a bit of polishing went on to be Storm Front and he has never looked back.

His other main series, the Codex Alera/Furies of Calderon, books came about after a discussion with a group of authers, one of whom was saying that you can`t write a good book from a bad idea, Butcher said he could from 2 bad ideas and asked for suggestions getting Pokemon and the Lost Legion ( a Roman legion that went north of Hadrians wall and disappeared and its fate is unknown to this day). This gives us a 6 book series about a group of displaced people who have created a civilisation in a new world with help from Furies, a kind of personal spirit with powers of varying style and magnitude.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/45545-codex-alera
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

Frank
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 2756
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:17 am
Location: Leamington Spa. U.K

Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Sun May 08, 2016 1:33 pm

Book 25.

Warriors of the Storm, by Bernard Cornwell.

The ninth book in this great series sees our hero getting a lot more trouble from the Christians he is protecting than his enemies the Danes as usual. A new Dane lord is invading and internal politics is preventing Uhtred from doing what needs to be done, or at least he needs to be sneaky doing it. 2 old enemies resurface and he finds his family in danger, he has to completely disobey orders to try to save them and at the same time keep the kingdom safe.

There are signs that Cornwell is bringing threads together ready to finish the story which is both a shame as I am really enjoying them but at the same time this series is really good and and I don`t want it to start going downhill like the later Sharpe books did.

https://goodreads.com/series/43581-the-saxon-stories
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

Frank
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 2756
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:17 am
Location: Leamington Spa. U.K

Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Sun May 22, 2016 2:10 pm

Book 26.

Every Three Hours, by Chris Mooney.

Darby McCormac is a freelance CSI who has come back to Boston for the first time in years after a very acrimonious split with BostonPD over a web of corruption she uncovered. She gets involved with a hostage situation that strikes very close to her own personal experiences and threaten to destabilise a lot of the Boston hierarchy.

This is the 6th book in this series and to be honest they are getting a bit repetative, it was still a good book and an enjoyable couple of hours but I was glad I had found it at half price.

Mooney has written some other stand alone books that I have also enjoyed.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4 ... ris_mooney
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

User avatar
Whiterook
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 7148
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:22 pm
Location: Massachusetts, USA

Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Whiterook » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:53 pm

Book 26? Holy crap.....you are a reading demon!

I think you and are are closely matched on subjects that intrigue one.
If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning

Frank
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 2756
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:17 am
Location: Leamington Spa. U.K

Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:35 pm

Book 27.

Brittania, by Simon Scarrow.

The 14th book in this series sees our heros back to Brittania where the death of the Roman governor gives his deputy a chance for glory by destroying the Druids.

Macro and Cato think they have got out from under the influence of the freedman who holds power in Rome loses his influence but they have a nasty surprise as the new power behind the throne decides to make use of them.

I am not sure if this series is going off the boil a bit, it is still a good read and I will be keeping an eye out for the next one but it was not as good as some of the previous books.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/41356-eagle
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

Frank
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 2756
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:17 am
Location: Leamington Spa. U.K

Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:21 pm

Book 28.

Foxglove Summer, by Ben Aaronovitch.

Rivers of London series book 5

A great series from the growing urban fantasy genre, this has been described as "the English X Files", which I think is complete rubbish.

Peter Grant is a young probationary constable in London who, in book 1, is near a murder and finds he has inadvertently interveiwed a ghost. His latent talent brings him to the attention of a special unit led by DCI Nightingale. HE learns that there is a lot that he did not suspect about his home town.

In this 5th book in the series he finds himself going into the countyside to investigate some child disappearences. Accompanied by Beverly Brook, a river spirit from the Tyburn family, who, apart from a growing relationship with Peter has reasons of her own for looking into things.

This is a great series by a guy who has also done a lot of writing for the Dr Who series, there is a stereotypical English gent senior officer, Peter, an African/English mix with huge cultural differences to his mentor, a strange and very disturbing creature for their housekeeper and all the rivers of London having their own spirit.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/51937- ... -of-london

There are 5 mini novels set between books 4 and 5 ,the Body Work books, which I have not read, and the Night Witch comic series
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey


Return to “Reading Challenge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests