Best of lists of favourite reads, activities, events, and experiences are very popular during December. But they do require space for reflection and, for me, December is never the month for that. It’s invariably busy and during the last couple of years I had book edits landing on my desk beside the huge stack of work that is the norm for me at that time of year.
So now, I’m leaving the looking back for times when I can actually enjoy revisiting the books I’ve bought and read and the new authors I’ve found. And nowhere is it written that I can make lists of my favourite reads only once a year.
I’ve been reading and re-reading a lot of series recently and – now that my back has recovered from whatever idiocy I put it through – I’m determined to fit in more exercise, too. I’ve started adding to my audiobook collection again, so I have another good reason to go for a walk every day.
So, what has caught my interest recently?
Joanna Chambers’ Enlightenment Series
I read David and Murdo’s story a couple of years ago, while on holiday. I recall having a morning when I didn’t want to go out exploring because I didn’t want to leave off reading. The mix of stubborn and vulnerable was right up my street. Now the books have been reissued – with absolutely stunning covers, too! – and I’ve actually gone and bought the audiobooks, which add a dimension I’d not anticipated. The narrator is epic and if you like audio, I’d suggest you check these out. There’s even a freebie read.
Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows Mysteries
Sometimes, I wonder if my mind is playing tricks on me, purposefully closing my eyes and ears to things until I’m ready to properly enjoy them. It’s the only way I can explain why I’ve only begun reading these books late last year. Jonty and Orlando are an absolute delight, but don’t discount what’s happening behind the scenes because of that. Lessons in Power is probably my favourite, though Orlando definitely broke my heart in All Lessons Learned.
Melissa Scott’s Novels of Astreiant
My newest discovery is another series where I can’t understand why I’ve not found it sooner. Everything I love in good fantasy and then some: two interesting, loveable characters, plots that are just out there, and such detailed world building, you can read them over and over and find something new every time. The audio – only for the first three books so far, unfortunately – is exceptionally good, too. I’m on my third listen / read and I’m still far from bored. In fact, I’ve been putting those on while I had mindless numbercrunching to do and it makes my work fly off my desk.
Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner Series
Reading Melissa Scott’s Astreiant novels has made me hanker for a re-read of another old favourite: Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner Series. If you’ve not met Alec and Seregil, you’ve missed out on something wonderful. The worldbuilding is just as detailed as Melissa Scott’s and the characters will not let you go when you’ve closed the last book. There’s audio, and this series has one of my favourite opening lines ever! 😉
My most recent favourite series reads all in one place. Enjoy!