Friday Favorites: Favorite New to Me Authors in 2019

Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted by Something of the Book.

I typically resist doing any “____ of The Year” posts until the end of the year, but reading this one on the topic list got me thinking, and I ended up compiling most of the list from memory (but I’m glad I keep a log, because I’d have been mad in a day or two when I remembered the rest of these). Still, this is an incomplete list—I still have a handful of books to get through this year, and there are 3 strong contenders for this list.

There were plenty I cut from this, including authors that I cut from this for one reason or another. But at the end of the day, these are the 18 New-to-Me authors from the past year that are auto-buys/borrows for me. I should say a thing or two about all of these, but I just don’t have the time. Check the original posts I wrote about these books for a little more about the way these writers worked their way into my subconscious.

bullet James Bailey, author of The First World Problems of Jason Van Otterloo and Dispatches from a Tourist Trap
bullet C.J. Box, author of Back of Beyond, The Highway, Open Season, Savage Run, and The Badlands
bullet Gyles Brandreth, author of Have You Eaten Grandma?: Or, the Life-Saving Importance of Correct Punctuation, Grammar, and Good English
bullet Mike Chen, author of Here and Now and Then
bullet Sarah Chorn, author of Seraphina’s Lament
bullet Helen Fitzgerald, author of Worst Case Scenario
bullet Peter Grainger, author of An Accidental Death
bullet Niel Lancaster, author of Going Dark and Going Rogue
bullet Adrian McKinty, author of The Chain
bullet Luna Miller (and I should probably mention Aidan Isherwood, translator), author of Lions Tail
bullet Todd Morr , author of Instant Karma
bullet David Nolan, author of Black Moss
bullet Judith O’Reilly, author of Killing State
bullet Nick Quantrill, author of Broken Dreams
bullet Andy Redsmith, author of Breaking the Lore
bullet Ian Shane, author of Postgraduate
bullet Melissa Simonson, author of Lingering
bullet Abbi Waxman, author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Post

Saturday Miscellany—12/7/19

Here are the odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye—Lithub and BookRiot are heavily featured this week. Been awhile since I dipped into those so hard, but I really liked what I saw this week. I wish I could figure out a way to get a kickback (or sponsorship—I’m open to negotiation, folks!) from one/all of them for this… You’ve probably seen some/most/all of these, but just in case:

    A Book-ish Related Podcast Episode you might want to give a listen to:

  • Authors on a Podcast Talking Books Ep. 3 – Jonathan Wood—David Walters (FanFiAddict.com) talks to Jonathan Wood. I read Wood’s first two books forever ago, and loved them. Don’t ask me why I haven’t read on. That ends in 2020, thanks to this episode. BTW, isn’t this the best podcast title? Tells you exactly what it is.

    This Week’s New Release that I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon (I’m sure there were others that I should’ve spotted, but…):

  • Perfect Murder by Rebecca Bradley—A mystery writer tries to pull of the perfect murder—a plot that I’m sure made none of Bradley’s family/loved ones/friends nervous at all.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Freedom is the luxury I seek and APB813 for following the blog this week. Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?

WWW Wednesday, 4-December-2019

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! I got caught up in parenting and wasn’t able to finish my next post in time to get it up today, so thankfully I can use this to get a little fresh content going.

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words — and shown to me by Aurore-Anne-Chehoke at Diary-of-a-black-city-girl.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Easy enough, right?

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading Twenty-one Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks, and am listening to Skinwalker by Faith Hunter, Khristine Hvam (Narrator).

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished Lee Child’s Blue Moon, Friends: A Cultural History by Jennifer C. Dunn and Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt on audio.

What do you think you’ll read next?

My next book should be be Duncan Macmaster’s Hacked. But I’ve been saying that at least once a week for a month, so we’ll see. I think my next audiobook will be The Martian by Andy Weir, R. C. Bray (Narrator)

Hit me with your Three W’s in the comments! (no, really, do it!)

November 2019 in Retrospect: What I Read/Listened to/Wrote About

I literally finished reading the last book I’d committed to read in October on November 29—of course, I haven’t had a chance to write anything about it, much less send the author the Q’s for him to A. Still, I’m on the verge of catching up. Sort of. That aside, November saw me completing 8,087 pages over 31 books with an average rating of 3.45. That’s pretty positive—I’ve had better months rating-wise, but I’ll take a month of plenty of good books with a couple of highlights any day. I’m still behind on my writing, but not as much as I expected to be. I’m calling this a decent month all things considered.

Anyway, here’s what happened here in November.

 God, You & Sex The Night Fire Dragon Bones
3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
Hands Up Inkheart Undeath and Taxes
4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain  You Can Date Boys When You're Forty Fallen
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Redemptive Reversals Dragon Blood Spell or High Water
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Going Rogue Thieves Storm Cursed
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
Rivers of London: Action At A Distance Entering God's Rest Hurricane Vacation
3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
An Accidental Death The Lights Go Out in Lychford Angel Eyes
4 Stars 4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Best State Ever Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 5:Ecclesiology, the Means of Grace, Eschatology Badlands
3 Stars 5 Stars 3 Stars
Dawn of Dreams Live Right and Find Happiness The ABCs of Metallica
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Artemis Not-So-Common-People The Hero
4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Wishful Drinking            
3.5 Stars            

Friends A Cultural History Thereby Hangs a Tail      

5 Stars 1 2 1/2 Stars 1
4 1/2 Stars 2 2 Stars 0
4 Stars 6 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 6 1 Star 0
3 Stars 16
Average = 3.45


Physical Books: 7 Added, 8 Read, 36 Remaining (one of those was purchased specifically to be read in 2020, so I actually made progress by 2. Sort of)
E-Books: 4 Added, 2 Read, 26 Remaining
Audiobooks: 3 Added, 3 Read, 1 Remaining

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. Dragon Bones (Audiobook) by Patricia Briggs, Joe Manganiello (link forthcoming)
  2. Inkheart (Audiobook) by Cornelia Funke, Lynn Redgrave (link forthcoming)
  3. Undeath & Taxes (Audiobook) by Drew Hayes, Kirby Heyborne (link forthcoming)
  4. Please Don’t Tell my Parents I’m a Supervillain (Audiobook) by Richard Roberts, Emily Woo Zeller (link forthcoming)
  5. You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About (Audiobook) by Dave Barry (link forthcoming)
  6. Dragon Blood (Audiobook) by Patricia Briggs, Joe Manganiello (link forthcoming)
  7. Storm Cursed (Audiobook) by Patricia Briggs, Lorelei King
  8. Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland (Audiobook) by Dave Barry, Dick Hill (link forthcoming)
  9. The Badlands (Audiobook) by C.J. Box, January LaVoy (link forthcoming)
  10. Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry (Audiobook) by Dave Barry (link forthcoming)
  11. Artemis (Audiobook) by Andy Weir, Rosario Dawson
  12. Wishful Drinking (Audiobook) by Carrie Fisher

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

✔ A book recommended by someone you trust: An Accidental Death (Audiobook) by Peter Grainger, Gildart Jackson

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

  1. Going Rogue by Neil Lancaster
  2. Hands Up by Stephen Clark
  3. Thieves by Steven Max Russo
  4. Hurricane Vacation by Heather L. Beal, Jasmine Mills
  5. An Accidental Death (Audiobook) by Peter Grainger, Gildart Jackson
  6. Dawn of Dreams by Bronwyn Leroux
  7. Not So Common People by T Gamache (link forthcoming
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. Going Rogue by Neil Lancaster
  2. Hands Up by Stephen Clark
  3. Thieves by Steven Max Russo
  4. An Accidental Death (Audiobook) by Peter Grainger, Gildart Jackson
  5. The Badlands (Audiobook) by C.J. Box, January LaVoy (link forthcoming)
  6. The Night Fire by Michael Connelly
  7. Angel Eyes by Ace Atkins
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

  1. Wishful Drinking (Audiobook) by Carrie Fisher
  2. You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About (Audiobook) by Dave Barry (link forthcoming)
  3. Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland (Audiobook) by Dave Barry, Dick Hill (link forthcoming)
  4. Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry (Audiobook) by Dave Barry (link forthcoming)
  5. Spell or High Water (Audiobook) by Scott Meyer, Luke Daniels
2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

  1. Reformed Dogmatics: Volume 5: Ecclesiology, the Means of Grace, Eschatology by Geerhardus Vos, Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Translator) (link forthcoming)

How was your month?

Saturday Miscellany—11/30/19

Wow. Everyone really took advantage of the holiday week. I found practically nothing for this post. Oh, well—it gives me a chance to focus on other bloggers, not the pros. Thanks to The Write Reads where I got most of the odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

    A Book-ish Related Podcast you might want to give a listen to:

  • I don’t have a particular episode to point to, but I listened to a few episodes of this new-ish podcast this week: Under a Pile of Books—It focuses on SF and Fantasy. Sometimes it’s just the host, sometimes he chats with a blogger or author. It’s pretty good and I can see it falling into my regular rotation, check it out.

    This Week’s New Releases I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:

  • One Man: A City of Fallen Gods Novel by Harry Connolly—A Fantasy Thriller, is the best way I can encapsulate it. Connolly describes it as: “big, odd, ambitious book about crime and magic and a screwed-up guy who has one last chance to do something decent in this world.” It’s his first novel in four years, and it’s driving me crazy that I can’t get to it for at least a week and a half. If there was one Fantasy/UF author that I could convince the world to notice, it’d be Connolly, and this looks like his most ambitious novel to date.
  • Evil Valley by Simon Hall—After One Man, I’m diving into this one. I was lamenting recently that FP had seemed to stop with these TV Detective books, I’m so glad I was wrong!
  • The ABCs of Metallica by Metallica, Howie Abrams, Michael Kaves—An Alphabet Picture book that pays tribute to the Metal Band. I talked about it some yesterday.
  • The Hero by Lee Child—Child explores the concept of hero and narrative from pre-history to his own work. I gobbled it up on Thanksgiving to talk about it.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to overtherainbowbookblog and simplyclaudianicole for following the blog this week. Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?

New Bookstore! Rediscovered Bookshop in Caldwell

I’ve mentioned Rediscovered Bookshop in Boise a time or three (or more)—it’s my go-to Independent Bookstore and has been for a long time. Well, last week they opened a new location—in my county, about 11 miles closer to me (but it seems closer than that). Which is good, I’ve been trying (and not really succeeding) to do a better job of shopping indie and doing less online, but it’s just too inconvenient to get into Downtown Boise as often as I want to. I expect (hope?) that this new location will make it easier for me to stick to my resolution.

I managed to stop by tonight for the first time, and walked away with a nice little haul (sorry for my poor photo quality):

I saw The White Man’s Guide to White Male Writers of the Western Canon out of the corner of my eye—kudos to whoever shelved it. This looks like a lot of fun. And what’s a trip to a bookstore without a good impulse buy?

And a 1975 hardcover edition of Rex Stout’s A Family Affair—it’s a book club edition, not the original printing, but it’s close enough. Best of all, I got it for a song. I’d have paid 5x what they asked for without blinking (Mrs. Irresponsible Reader probably would’ve blinked, though).

Lastly—and this is the personal touch that makes local indie stores invaluable—I was trying to special order a copy of Tom Jones, but one of the clerks insisted they had a copy. Their inventory didn’t show one, but he went off and looked through books that hadn’t been entered yet and came back with this spiffy hardcover in a slipcase. No online store is going to do that.

The location is fantastic—there’s a coffee shop right across the street, and right now there’s an ice skating rink, too. The space is great—and you can’t ask for friendlier, more helpful staff. It’s got it all.

Saturday Miscellany—11/23/19

Phew. It’s been another week where I’m surprised that I’ve surfed around enough to have any fodder for this post. Clearly I need to work on self-awareness. There’s some good stuff here, chums.

Here are the odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

    This Week’s New Releases I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon — a couple of these helped me have a great reading week:

  • Robert B. Parker’s Angel Eyes by Ace Atkins—Spenser returns to L.A. and gets to work with Sixkill again. And, yeah, everything you remember from Spenser and the City of Angels is discussed and old friends/allies are visited. I’ve read it and will be saying some very positive things about it soon.
  • The Lights Go Out in Lychford by Paul Cornell—The fourth Lychford novella is a high-point of the series, as I talked about this week
  • Going Rogue by Neil Lancaster—the follow up to Going Dark is a fast-paced mix of procedural and action-hero thriller. I said a little more about it here.
  • The Dead Don’t Sleep by Steven Max Russo—Another great thrill-ride. I talked about this last month. By the way, I have a Q&A coming early next week with Russo that you should definitely check out.
  • Twenty-one Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks—It’s been a few years since I’ve read a Dicks novel (nothing against him, I just haven’t gotten to them), this looks good enough that I’m going to dip back in.
  • Firefly: The Sting by Delilah S. Dawson and a pack of artists—Yo-Saf-Bridge teams up with River, Zoë, Kaylee and Inara? Say no more.
  • Sabbath by Nick Mamatas—An 11th Century warrior in modern Manhattan to save the world? What could go wrong?

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to tracy cole, lidija.biskup, Notes Kecil, Beth Tabler, and R. for following the blog this week. Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?