Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

Top Ten Tuesday new

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic is New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018. I read books by 40 new-to-me authors, so I have plenty to choose from. 

Here are my top ten, in a-z author order:

Belinda Bauer – I read Blacklandsher debut novel about a battle of wits between a child serial killer and a twelve year old boy. Since reading this book I’ve also read Snap and Rubbernecker.

Belinda Bauer's picture

book cover of Blacklands

Michel Bussi –  Time is a Killera psychological thriller, translated from the French; this shifts from the past to the present, set on the island of Corsica.

Michel Bussi's picture

book cover of Time Is a Killer

Robert Dinsdale: The Toymakers – a magical and wonderful book set mainly in 1917 whilst the First World War was taking its toll of humanity, leaving despair and tragedy in its wake. It’s a blend of historical fiction and magic realism.

Robert Dinsdale's picture

book cover of The Toymakers

Lisa Jewell -Her first book, Ralph’s Party, came out in 1998 and since then she has written many books. Watching You is her latest book,  crime fiction that keeps you guessing about everything right from the first page – someone was murdered, but who was it and why, and just who was the killer? 

Lisa Jewell's picture

book cover of Watching You

Alma Katsu: The Hunger, historical fiction, weaving facts with hints of the supernatural and Indian myths, about the Donner Party, pioneers as they made their way west to California in 1846.

Alma Katsu's picture

book cover of The Hunger

Joseph Knox: The Smiling Man the second Aidan Waits book. Waits is a Detective Constable who plays very close to the edge and has little regard for his own safety in this fascinating and complex murder mystery.

Joseph Knox's picture

book cover of The Smiling Man

Andrew Miller: Now We Shall Be Entirely Free historical fiction, set in 1809 during the Peninsular Wars. Captain John Lacroix has returned to England, injured and close to death. as he regains his physical health  it is clear that he is on the edge of a breakdown, mentally and emotionally.

Andrew Miller's picture

book cover of Now We Shall Be Entirely Free

Rhiannon Navin: Only Child, her debut novel. It’s one of the most powerful books I’ve read for ages. It’s emotional, moving and absolutely compelling reading.  

Rhiannon Navin's picture

Only Child

Barney Norris: Turning for Home set on the day of Robert’s 80th birthday celebration. Still grieving after his wife’s recent death, he is finding it a sad, rather than a joyful occasion as the family gather together. A moving book with emotional depth.

Barney Norris's picture

Turning for Home

Jo Spain: The Confession her fifth book this is set in Ireland. It begins as Harry McNamara, a banker, recently cleared of multiple accounts of fraud, is brutally attacked in his own home in front of his wife, Julie.

Jo Spain's picture

The Confession

Since reading The Confession I’ve also read The Darkest Place and Dirty Little Secrets.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday new

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic is Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019. Here are my top ten, some by authors whose books I’ve loved before and others by new-to-me authors. I’ve listed them in order of release date:

Released tomorrow 10 January 2019:

The Man With No Face: the latest thriller from million-selling Peter May by [May, Peter]

The Man With No Face by Peter May – one of my favourite authors. This thriller was originally released in 1981 under the title Hidden Faces and revised for this new edition.

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer – described as ‘ the most charming, heart-warming and feel-good novel you will read this year’. A new-to-me author.

Released 7 February 2019:

Dirty Little Secrets

Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain – a psychological thriller, six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead. I’ve loved her earlier books.

The Glass Woman

The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea – historical fiction set in Iceland in 1686, an isolated, windswept land haunted by witch trials and steeped in the ancient sagas. A new-to-me author.

The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths – the 11th book in the Ruth Galloway series. This is set in the same place as the first skeleton was found in Crossing Places when another stone circle is uncovered and another body revealed. A favourite author (despite the fact some of her books are written in the present tense).

Released 7 March 2019:

Unto Us a Son is Given by Donna Leon – crime fiction, the 28th novel in Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti series. Another favourite author.

Released 4 April 2019:

book cover of Cruel Acts

Cruel Acts by Jane Casey – the eighth book in the Maeve Kerrigan series. I love this series with Detectives Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwent.

Released 18 April 2019:

The Evidence Against You

The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister – I loved her earlier books and this psychological thriller looks just as gripping.

Released 2 May 2019:

The Doll Factory

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal – set in London in 1851 as the Great Exhibition is being planned this is a story of art, obsession and possession.  A new-to-me author.

Released on 4 May 2019:

Wakenhyrst

Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver – Maud’s battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old legends of her beloved fen – and the even more nightmarish demons of her father’s past. I’ve loved her earlier books.

Happy New Year 2019!

 

HNY19
Happy New Year 2019!

Ten of the Best Books I Read In 2018

I’m starting my 2019 posts with Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

I was very generous last year in the star ratings I gave to the books I read, so these are just 10 of my 5* books. These are not in any particular order – I loved them all.

Victoria: A Life

Victoria: A Life by A N Wilson – a masterful biography of Queen Victoria. Wilson had access to the Royal Archives and permission from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to quote from materials in royal copyright. He portrays Victoria both as a woman, a wife and mother as well as a queen set against the backdrop of the political scene in Britain and Europe.

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin. It’s one of the most powerful books I’ve read for ages. It’s about a shooting at a school and its effect on six year old Zach and his family. It’s emotional, moving and absolutely compelling, sad but ultimately uplifting.

The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox. Aidan Waits is a Detective Constable working night shifts with Detective Inspector Peter Sutcliffe, known as Sutty. They don’t like each other – at all. The only thing they have in common is that they each try to make things as difficult as possible for the other. But strangely their partnership gets results as they search for the identity of the ‘smiling man’ and his killer.


The HungerThe Hunger
by Alma Katsu, historical fiction based on the true story of the Donner Party, pioneers who were looking for a better life in the American West. They formed a wagon train under the leadership of George Donner and James Reed making their way west to California in 1846. It interweaves facts and fiction and with hints of the supernatural and Indian myths it becomes a thrilling, spine tingling horrific tale.

Watching You by Lisa Jewell, crime fiction that keeps you guessing about everything right from the first page – someone was murdered, but who was it and why, and just who was the killer? It’s full of suspense and drama. It is only right at the end of the book that all becomes clear.

I was hooked right from the start of No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister. It plunges straight into a trial as Martha sits in the courtroom listening to expert witnesses being questioned  and cross-examined about the death of her baby, Layla, just eight weeks old. Her sister Becky is accused of murdering her. This is a tense, tightly plotted book, narrated from several viewpoints, but mainly alternating between Martha and Becky.

Absent in the SpringSomething completely different from Agatha Christie – Absent in the Spring which she wrote under the name of Mary Westmacott.  Set in Mesopotamia (corresponding to today’s Iraq, mostly, but also parts of modern-day Iran, Syria and Turkey) in a railway rest-house at Tel Abu Hamid on the Turkish border, it’s the story of Joan Scudamore who was stranded in the desert, after visiting her daughter in Baghdad – an in-depth character study, with a growing sense of tension.

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale, an extraordinary, magical and wonderful book that captivated me, a book set mainly in 1917 whilst the First World War was taking its toll of humanity, leaving despair and tragedy in its wake. It’s a blend of historical fiction and magic realism. Papa Jack’s Emporium in London is a toyshop extraordinaire. It opens with the first frost of winter each year and closes when the first snowdrop blooms. And the toys it sells aren’t ordinary toys – they seem alive!

Tombland (Matthew Shardlake, #7)

Tombland by C J Sansom, historical fiction set in 1549, mainly in Norwich. Edward VI is king, a minor and England is ruled by the Duke of Somerset as Lord Protector. Rebellion is spreading in protest against the landowners’ enclosures of the common land. Lawyer Matthew Shardlake is asked to investigate the murder of Edith, the wife of John Boleyn – a distant Norfolk relation of Anne Boleyn. However, he gets caught up in Kett’s Rebellion as thousands of peasants establish a vast camp overlooking the city.

And last but not least, The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor, set in 1666 in London. It was just six years after the Stuart Monarchy had been restored – Charles II was reinstated as King – and people are struggling with the aftermath of the Great Fire that had reduced a large part of London to ashes and rubble. It’s a complex story interweaving a murder mystery, the hunt for the regicides responsible for the execution of Charles I and details of the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire.

Top Ten Tuesday: My Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday new

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic is Winter 2018 TBR. I have plenty to choose from and for now (because I could change my mind!) here is my Top Ten List (in no particular order):

The first five are a mix of books on my TBR shelves and library books:

  1. Greenmantle by John Buchan – my Classics Club spin choice
  2. Bitter Lemons of Cyprus by Lawrence Durrell – my book group choice
  3. The Accordionist by Fred Vargas – a library book
  4. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – a library book
  5. Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves – from my TBR shelves

GreenmantleBitter Lemons of CyprusThe Accordionist (Three Evangelists 3)The Old Man and the SeaWild Fire (Shetland Island, #8)

The second five are a mix of NetGalley books and books from my TBR shelves:

  1. The Lost Man by Jane Harper – to be published in February
  2. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield – to be published in January
  3. The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea – to be published in January
  4. Mythos: the Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry – from my TBR shelves
  5. The Brontës by Juliet Barker – from my TBR shelves

The Lost ManOnce Upon a RiverThe Glass WomanMythos: The Greek Myths RetoldThe Brontës