So let’s do it! Winter is departing, it’s time to challenge ourselves to more reading….spring into spring with wonderful books!
1. Spring clean your bookshelves by reading a book from your TBR
Ian Tregillis – The Coldest War (The Milkweed Triptych, #2) **Winter Reading Challenge – 2014**
Someone is killing Britain’s warlocks.
Twenty-two years after the Second World War, a precarious balance of power maintains the peace between Great Britain and the USSR. For decades, the warlocks have been all that stand between the British Empire and the Soviet Union– a vast domain stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the English Channel. But now each death is another blow to Britain’s security.
Meanwhile, a brother and sister escape from a top-secret research facility deep behind the Iron Curtain. Once subjects of a twisted Nazi experiment to imbue ordinary humans with extraordinary abilities, then prisoners of war in the vast Soviet effort to reverse engineer the Nazi technology, they head for England.
Because that’s where former spy Raybould Marsh lives. And Gretel, the mad seer, has plans for him.
As Marsh is drawn back into the world of Milkweed, he discovers that Britain’s darkest acts didn’t end with the war. And as he strives to protect Queen and country, he’s forced to confront his own willingness to accept victory at any cost.
2. Spring colours are predominantly red and yellow, so choose a book with either a red or yellow cover, (posting the image as well), so everyone can see.
* Yellow *
Jon Faine & Jack Faine – From Here to There: A Father and Son Roadtrip Adventure from Melbourne to London
In April 2008, Jon Faine and his son Jack closed the door on their Melbourne home and leaving jobs, studies, family and friends, took six months and went overland to London in their trusty 4-wheel-drive. This intelligent and funny recount of the countries they visited, people they met and trouble they got into, is also the story of a tender father-son relationship.
A very interesting travelogue, I am glad that I chose the audio book where you have Jon and Jack reading their sections. Would be 5 stars but had some elements of being repetitive at times.
3. Spring brings new life – choose a book depicting new life of some description.
4. Brisbane Writers’ Festival is on 4th-8th September – choose a New Release written by an Aussie author, published within these three months of Spring.
Kerry Greenwood – Murder and Mendelssohn (Phryne Fisher #20)
To the accompaniment of heavenly choirs singing, the fearless Miss Phryne Fisher returns in her 20th adventure with musical score in hand.
An orchestral conductor has been found dead and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson needs the delightfully incisive and sophisticated Miss Fisher’s assistance to enter a world in which he is at sea. Hugh Tregennis, not much liked by anyone, has been murdered in a most flamboyant mode by a killer with a point to prove. But how many killers is Phryne really stalking?
At the same time, the dark curls, disdainful air and the lavender eyes of mathematician and code-breaker Rupert Sheffield are taking Melbourne by storm. They’ve certainly taken the heart of Phryne’s old friend from the trenches of WW1, John Wilson. Phryne recognises Sheffield as a man who attracts danger and is determined to protect John from harm.
Even with the faithful Dot, Mr and Mrs Butler, and all in her household ready to pull their weight, Phryne’s task is complex. While Mendelssohn’s Elijah, memories of the Great War, and the science of deduction ring in her head, Phryne’s past must also play its part as MI6 become involved in the tangled web of murders.
A vastly entertaining tale of murder, spies, mathematics and music.
Expected publication: October 1st 2013. Audiobook Release Date 04-Sep-2013 (should that be 04-Oct-2013?)
5. Romance is in the Spring air – Pick from romantic thrillers, love and romance, romantic suspense, historical romance, classical romance, vampire romance, paranormal romance, YA first love, poetry of love…
Diana Gabaldon – Outlander (Outlander #1)
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach–an “outlander”–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life…and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
6. The Melbourne Cup will be held on 5th November this year…your choices are many! A social event, gambling, horses, horse racing, fashion! Make sure you put WHY you’ve chosen your particular book!
7. Choose a Young Adult book for this selection, not necessarily Aussie.
Jonathan Stroud – The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1)
Hauntings are our business . . .
Ghosts crowd the streets and houses of London. Anthony Lockwood, with his slightly grumpy deputy George, and his junior field operative Lucy, make up LOCKWOOD & CO, the small, shabby yet talented ghost-hunting agency.
After a series of calamitous investigations into the supernatural go awry, the team are desperate to prove themselves. Their opportunity comes in the form of a terrifying ghost, the Red Duke. But little do they know what perils lie in store for them at the haunted Bliss Hall …
8. Choose a book from your favourite GENRE here – make sure you state what that is!
I am currently enjoying gritty Fantasy, and this certainly fits the genre. **Spring Reading Challenge – 2014**
Scott Lynch – Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2)
In his highly acclaimed debut, The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch took us on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with a band of daring thieves led by con artist extraordinaire Locke Lamora. Now Lynch brings back his outrageous hero for a caper so death-defying, nothing short of a miracle will pull it off.
After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can’t rest for long—and are soon back to what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.
This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele—and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behavior… and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire.
Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way up the nine floors… straight to Requin’s teeming vault. Under the cloak of false identities, they meticulously make their climb—until they are closer to the spoils than ever.
But someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough…
9. How about a book with the first letter of the title beginning with the first letter of your name.
A Book beginning with “V” 😉
Arthur Conan Doyle – Valley of Fear, The (Sherlock Holmes #7)
A coded warning sends Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to a country retreat, where they follow a perplexing trail of clues to unmask a murderer — and to break the stranglehold of a terrorist cult. In this, the fourth and final Sherlock Holmes novel, Doyle is at his storytelling best.
10. Read a fantasy/paranormal/sci-fi book by an Aussie author for this one:)
Trudi Canavan – The Magicians’ Guild (The Black Magician Trilogy, #1) ** May 2015 Challenge – Science Fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal **
“We should expect this young woman to be more powerful than our average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician.”
This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders… and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.
What the Magicians’ Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.
For those who have enjoyed pushing yourselves, we’ll have this again:
11. For September read from your TBR
John Green – The Fault in Our Stars
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Audie Award Nominee, Best Teens Category, 2013
12. For October read from your TBR
Michael Pryor – The Extinction Gambit (The Extraordinaires #1)
All Kingsley wants is to begin his career as an escapologist and conjurer . . . but it seems that it’s not only his fiendishly difficult-to-control wolfishness that could put a spanner in the works.
There’s also the Immortals, a triumvirate of thousand-year-old magicians who want to rule the world through mind control – and destroying Kingsley is integral to their plans. And if they don’t kill him, then there are the last surviving Neanderthals, who want to exterminate all homo sapiens.
Luckily Kingsley can enlist the help of Evadne, a beautiful albino heroine with an agenda of her own, and the famous author Rudyard Kipling – who is both fascinated and terrified that Kingsley could be the real life inspiration for the wolf child Mowgli, the hero of The Jungle Book.
Surviving to tell this tale will require braving the challenges of the Demimonde – the dangerous and exhilarating underground world of magic, conspiracies and the most outlandish of those on the fringes of our society.
(Media: dead tree edition)
❝ That’s better,’ Evadne said. ‘Meet adversity with a quip. It mightn’t help, but it will give your obituary readers a smile. ❞ (p.72)
13. For November read from your TBR
From the September Challenge;
Tim Cope – On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads
The relationship between man and horse on the Eurasian steppe gave rise to a succession of rich nomadic cultures. Among them were the Mongols of the thirteenth century – a small tribe, which, under the charismatic leadership of Genghis Khan, created the largest contiguous land empire in history. Inspired by the extraordinary life nomads lead, Tim Cope embarked on a journey that hadn’t been successfully completed since those times: to travel on horseback across the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine to the Danube River in Hungary.
From horse-riding novice to spending months in the saddle, he learnt to fend off wolves and would-be horse-thieves, and grapple with the haunting extremes of the steppe as he crossed sub-zero plateaux, the scorching deserts of Kazakhstan and the high-mountain passes of the Carpathians. As he travelled he formed a close bond with his horses and especially his dog Tigon, and encountered essential hospitality – the linchpin of human survival on the steppe – from those he met along the way.
Cope bears witness to how the traditional ways hang in the balance in the post-Soviet world – an era that has brought new-found freedom, but also the perils of corruption and alcoholism, and left a world bereft of both the Communist system upon which it once relied, and the traditional knowledge of the nomadic forefathers.
A journey of adventure, endurance and eventual triumph, On the Trail of Genghis Khan is at once a celebration of and an elegy for an ancient way of life.