Firstly let me wish everyone a Happy Christmas, sufficient to eat and co-operative family and children. I wanted to put holly leaves around the edges and stuff like that, but you know by now how non-techie I am.
To go and find the buying links for the books I’ve chosen I’ve had to log on to the Big A, and I’m feeling quite sad that some of my choices, books that blew me away, are really low in rankings and have very few reviews. I don’t know most of these authors so I don’t connect with them on social media, but I suspect they are not actively marketing and tweeting and screaming ‘buy my book.’ This has reconfirmed my suspicion that not all good books get to the top and not all top books are good whether indie or traditionally published.
Now I admit to not having read The Girl on the Train, but I did go and see the movie which I was told was very close to the book. It’s quite a good storyline, but dragged out way too long, and most of the men in the audience were furious with their wives at having to sit through it. Call it an OK story, I’ve read much better from author friends and strangers. It all boils down to visibility as I suspected – getting the word out there, which is hard work for little indies like me.
On to the last 5 countdown (Wow isn’t this more exciting than ‘Who’s got Talent or whatever?’ No? Well you can’t say I don’t try!)
THE HOMEWORK CLUB (The Journal of Bobby Woods) by Paul Humphries
From poignancy to hilarity, this book made me laugh from the first page to the last. Well that’s not quite true, the end was amazing, but I’m not adding any spoilers here. Rather too many naughty words perhaps, but the people and their lifestyle demanded it. It reminded me of the Adrian Mole series, but a little more grown up. The ridiculous situations the characters got themselves into were quite brilliant, but then the tone changes and I ended up in tears. This was another book that was not going to leave my hands until I got to the last page.
PHENOMENA by Susan Tarr
I suspect this was also a review for Readers’ Favorite as I can’t see a review from me on the ‘you know where.’ I had to include a book that made me cry over the sad story of a young boy abandoned in a mental hospital in New Zealand. His story was heartbreaking and the author took you into his world and for a short while I was Malcolm and I was in that asylum and I felt his desperation and his pain. It’s a book I won’t ever forget.
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB by David Lagercrantz
Like millions of other readers, I was entranced by the first three books in the series and was a bit hesitant about reading this book as of course it’s been taken over by a new writer. I needn’t have worried. All the same characters are featured and if anything, I enjoyed this book even more than the others as it was a little less complex, though sufficiently intriguing to keep me feverishly turning the pages. I’m thrilled there will be even more books in the future.
SHELL GAME by K H Bixby
This intrigued me from the first page as Sami’s older brother whirls the walnut shells asking the punters to guess which one conceals the bean. A political thriller which takes the hero from a fictitious middle-eastern country to New York and later involves those controlling, shadowy people behind the large corporates. It’s so real you wonder if it could be true. It’s fast paced and page turning, but I loved the way the ending tied in so neatly with the beginning. Well worth the read if you like this genre, certainly a very clever and entertaining book.
THE SURROGATE by Louise Jensen
I admit I bought this book by mistake as I was searching for another book by the same name I’d seen on Twitter and, as Amazon so often do, they popped this one up first. It’s not often I read a book, live it, feel bereft when it’s over and then immediately search for anything else by the same author. I now have two more on my kindle to read. Great story, high octane suspense, it keeps moving and kept me guessing. And yes, I was caught out by the actions in the last few pages. I wasn’t expecting that. Highly recommended.
Choosing my top 15 was a very difficult choice to make overall, though about the middle of the year I had only highlighted 4 amazing books and was beginning to worry. Then I found some excellent ones. I had originally intended to choose 12 but there were some I just couldn’t leave out and others I wanted to include, but I had to stop at 15. Do remember, these are my own personal choices in genres I like.
Till next week when I’ll be back to the normal format have a great New Year and happy reading writing
and arithmetic and take care.