King of Ithaca - Glyn Iliffe
I Have always loved Homer (the Greek epic poet, not the one from Springfield). And I suppose that I need to apologize to Alexander Pope and all the other great literary geniuses who have translated Homer over the centuries, but in my opinion Homer was meant to be entertaining to the masses. People would sit around the fire late at night entranced by the tale sung by the bard. Glyn Iliffe captures that spirit, there is no mental battle to decipher how the translator changed the Greek poetry into English poetry. It is not a translation but a retelling that captures the audience. This story left me wanting more, I followed it up with The Gates of Troy and The Armour of Achilles. I recently downloaded The Oracles of Troy onto my Kindle, if it is anything like the previous three it should be on my list for 2014.
Blood and Tequila - Colin Webster
Are you in the mood for some cowboy-vampire action? (sorry ladies, that kind of "action" is on "Her" side). This is gun totin', whisky swillin', wild west fun, complete with vampires and a sassy Mexican heroine who will slit your throat after a long deep kiss. I was so into the protagonist that I found myself readin' with a western drawl. Y'all will find the sequel Blood on the Mississippi in my TBR (to be read) list.
Hater - David Moody
Great zombie-like story told from the other point of view. I read the entire trilogy, Hater, Dog Blood and Them or Us. I enjoyed the new approach that David Moody took with this series, the best authors bring something new to the genre. In Hater there was a realness to the whole situation. If there was some kind of apocalypse, it could have happened like this, with complete oblivion to start and culminating with complete total despair. What a feel good story.
Fantastic completion to one of the best series I have ever read. In 2012 I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire. Lisbeth Salander has to be the best least likely heroine ever created. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest really gets into the psyche of this fabulous character that Stieg Larsson only touched upon in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. If you liked the movie, you have to read The Girl Who Played with Fire and complete the series with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.
The Keeper of Lost Causes - Jussi Adler-Olsen
Best crime book I read this year! I could not put this book down. It had the perfect combination of drama, action and comedy. I loved the very European aspect of the cop compared with the Americanized version. Carl doesn't always take his gun with him, but through his wits and his bumbling, and incredibly competent sidekick he is able to prevail. It was a combination of X-Files meets Barney Miller meets the Green Hornet.
The Last Roman - Edward Crichton
As someone who studied ancient history, I love anything to do with ancient Rome and Greece (please see my Greco-Roman Category). This was one of the first books that I downloaded and read on my Kindle, and I could not have been more pleased. It starts off in the future with an odd grouping of soldiers from around the world who get whisked back to Ancient Rome. Edward Crichton has paid a great deal of attention to the details of what life would have been like, and by including a Classical Studies Major / Navy Seal and a Roman Catholic priest he has covered the language problem that many authors would have simply ignored. After reading The Last Roman, I immediately purchased the second in the series, To Crown a Caesar. I do not know a better compliment for a book than to purchase the next in the series.
The Leopard Sword - Anthony Riches
By far the best series that I discovered this year. I started my adventure with Marcus Valerius Aquila (aka Marcus Tribulus Corvus) and his cohort of friends with Wounds of Honour. I quickly followed this up with Arrows of Fury and Fortress of Spears. Anthony Riches made me feel like I was part of this Roman auxiliary legion. He captured what life was probably like for these soldiers, who risked their lives on a daily basis for an Empire that didn't give a damn about them. In the Leopard Sword he raises the bar, developing his characters even further. I can't wait to see where Marcus goes next and the enemies of Rome we will fight together.
Well that was my top 13 for 2013. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did putting it together. If you have anything to add or something I missed please feel free to Contact Us I am always looking for my next great read.
2 Book Lovers Reviews
The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
What can I say? A pro being a pro doing what he does best. And yes I know it's from 2009, but I just got around to it this year. I really enjoy following Robert Langdon around the world. Together we have gone to Paris (The Da Vinci Code), Rome (Angels and Demons) and now Washington D.C. Dan Brown's attention to detail is amazing and the work done to tie everything together is awe inspiring. As a man ,I will admit that my sense of direction is second to none, but I have yet to convince Shelley that I could easily navigate us through D.C. based solely on this book. Excellent, action, adventure, a little bit of history. Everything a guy could want in a book.
Lion of Babylon - Davis Bunn
This was one of the first books I "one clicked" for my new Kindle. I fact I bought it even before my Kindle arrived...but then it sat for a bit. I really should have gotten to it sooner, what a great story. This has to be the most noble hero I have seen all year, if not ever. He lost his job to care for his dying wife, he goes into a war zone to find a missing friend and he comes across as the most normal, real, everyday man. But he is not, he is former special forces or CIA or something like that. Marc Royce is not your typical kill em' all then ask questions type of hero, his inner strength and fortitude are more dangerous than his physical training. Marc Royce is the new action hero.
Lover Revealed - J. R. Ward
Shelley got me into this series with Dark Lover which she raved about for weeks. We both followed it up with Lover Eternal and Lover Awakened. Lover Revealed is the fourth in the series and from my point of view the best so far. This is not your typical vampire series, it isn't your mother's Dracula and you can let your daughter keep her Edward. These boys are dark, mean and nasty. For me Lover Revealed was filled with so many more surpises than the previous three and Butch was someone that I could identify with, (although Shelley will tell you that I am nothing like Butch). This was a 5 star going that little bit beyond where the previous books went.
Feed (Book 1 Newsflesh Series) - Mira Grant
In Mira Grant's Newsflesh Series we are taken 26 years after the zombie apocalypse, both people and zombies are cohabitating (not coexisting all that well). People have survived and adapted, this is the story of two adopted children who are living amongst the dead. Mira Grant has taken a fresh new look at this genre, with people living normal lives (almost) and has shown us that no one is sacred. I purchased the entire series when I found it on a good deal for the three book set and I immediately went from one to the other. It was an excellent series, with book 1 being the best and setting the foundation for the others.
Since the debut of Game of Thrones on HBO I have been a huge fan of this series. In 2012, I read A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows. Almost 4,000 pages of reading heaven. I waited and waited for A Dance with Dragons to come out in paperback and then I bought it for my Kindle. I was not disappointed. There are few authors like Martin, who can write for 1,000 pages or more, resolve...nothing and leave you wanting for more. I would highly recommend the entire series to anyone serious about reading. Shelley will watch the series with me as long as I rub her shoulders or back the entire time. Well worth the price to see one of my favorite series put into action.
I think that we can safely assume that Richard Johnson is not going to win a Pulitzer for Dead Drunk, but it is one of the best book that I read in 2013. The zombie apocalypse genre is overflowing with new releases (and re-releases) everyday, but Dead Drunk goes where no one has gone before, on a drinking binge (i.e. drunken stupor). I started this just after reading some more serious books and it was exactly what I needed. Dead Drunk is a great story that keeps you involved and I only hope that Richard Johnson had as much fun writing it as I did reading it.
February 16, 2014
My Top 13 of 2013
The following is a list of my favorite books that I read in 2013. They are not necessarily in order, but more of an overall look back at the past year. Having gotten back into reading this past year means that many of these books were not released in 2013, but for my reference point, I read them in 2013 and for me that makes them among my favorites for 2013. If you have not read any, I hope that they can be one of your favorites for 2014.