What I Like to Read

I’ve been asking you all about your reading preferences so I thought I’d better tell you about mine.

When I was young (about a million years ago) I only really read things that were written in the 19th Century. I loved Jane Austin, Mrs Gaskell, Harriet Martineau, Thackeray.  Then quite by chance I picked up a Michael Connelly book, The Poet which got me started on crime fiction. Then I discovered Sara Paretsky and that whole feisty women thing which led me to Val McDermid among others.  I spent a lot of time reading mostly crime fiction and I still do, though I’ve moved away somewhat from the more gritty stuff, preferring more character driven books.

My current favourite crime authors are Elly Griffiths, Stuart MacBride, Andrew Taylor, Jacqueline Winspear.  That pretty much covers everything I love about crime fiction. Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway series are definitely character driven. Stuart MacBride’s Logan McRae series is set in Aberdeen (my home town) and the books are dark and gritty and grimly funny.  Andrew Taylor writes the most amazing historical detail with great characters. (I just realised I missed out C J Sansom who I love for pretty much the same reasons).  Jacqueline Winspear writes clever mysteries with the wonderful Maisie Dobbs as her detective.  Laurie R King does much the same with her Mary Russell books – about Sherlock Holmes’ wife. I  love James Lee Burke for his wonderful prose. I am not a fan of violent books, especially those with gratuitous violence against women, don’t like missing children, can’t read anything where a dog dies!

But I also read SF and Fantasy.  Again I prefer the character-led stuff so I love Becky Chambers.  I’m working my way very slowly though James A Corey’s The Expanse series (currently stuck somewhere in the middle of Book 3).  Fantasy-wise I  really like Robin Hobb. Her characters just leap off the page and her worlds are very believable. I wouldn’t read anything with elves or dragons for a long time due to overexposure to Tolkienesque drivel in my teenage years (not Tolkien himself, I love LOTR. All that other stuff that’s trying desperately to be Tolkien and failing!). And George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is one that I really love. So many layers and so much detail. I love how he twists his plots round each other. I wish he’d hurry up and finish The Winds of Winter.  More recently I have fallen in love with Urban Fantasy. I’ve had Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London in my TBR pile for many years and finally picked it up and read it in April 2019. I love when I find an author and they have a great long series that I can just dive into.  I read all the Rivers of London books one after another  through 2019 until I got all caught up. And then I went back to the beginning and read them all again. Can’t wait for the new novella, coming later this week!

I don’t read much literary fiction. When I worked for the bookshop-that-must-not-be-named I would try and read all the Booker shortlist and I hated most of them. I loved Wolf Hall though and its sequels. I love Kate Atkinson and think Life after Life is just an amazing book. So clever.  Though I’m not a fan of her Jackson Brodie books.

I will try and read anything really, though I don’t like translated fiction.  Somehow it feels diluted by the translation. I feel that it’s being filtered through the mind of the translator and losing something in the process. And as I don’t speak any other languages well enough to read books in their original languages, I guess I’ll miss out on some great books.

There you go, that’s a quick round up of what I read.  But like I said I’ll try anything. I’ve very easily seduced by a pretty cover. Or a bargain in a charity shop!

What I will say though is that I prefer a physical book.  I do have a kindle and I do use it (it’s great for holidays and trips), but it’s not the same. The e-books are somehow more disposable, more forgettable.   Give me the book any day.




    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop