My Favourite Reads banner 2020

Welcome again to the booky delight that is My Favourite Reads.

I had an excellent reading month in May, making it difficult to choose a favourite, so I’m not going to. It’s not fair on the books.

Many were part of a series, too. Funny how my reading has been leaning that way lately. Mostly I tend to stand-alones because I find it hard to keep up with series, and it annoys me when I’ve forgotten what happened in the previous book. But buying in boxed sets and batches has helped there. Helped my reading that is, not my credit card!

Here they are…


Best of Luck by Kate ClaybornBest of Luck by Kate Clayborn

Best of Luck is book three in Clayborn’s wonderful Chance of a Lifetime trilogy and what a brilliant finish to the series it was. I can’t tell you how good these books are. Clayborn knows how to grab your heart and completely mess with it. She also has no fear of giving her heroes and heroines serious issues to deal with. Poor Greer! Poor Alex!

I’m not sure – all three books were amazing – but Best of Luck might be my favourite.

Really looking forward to Clayborn’s next release.


Wedding Date in Malaysia by Michelle DouglasWedding Date in Malaysia by Michelle Douglas

What a gorgeous, funny, and warm read Wedding Date in Malaysia proved to be. Definitively one of Michelle Douglas’s best, with a sexy, smart hero and a quirky, clever heroine you can’t help fall in love with, plus secondary characters offering comic relief, and a terrific premise that deals with moving on from loss and finding new directions. And love of course – romantic love and the love of family and friends.

A completely sigh-worthy, magic, moving romance set in a spectacular location, I can’t recommend Wedding Date in Malaysia enough. Do your heart a favour and grab a copy today.


A Deadly Education by Naomi NovikA Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Book one of a trilogy, A Deadly Education sees heroine El enter the Scholomance, a school of magic that’s a world away from happy Hogwarts. From the moment students enter, they’re pretty much at war – against rival students and against the deadly monsters that sneak inside. Survival odds are poor.

This was a ride, let me tell you. Lots of mystery, loads of (sometimes icky) action, creepy, nasty creatures, and gutsy characters you can’t help but cheer on. Or hate. There were a few of those.

Els is amazing. Loved her. Loved the whole book, and very much looking forward to The Last Graduate.


Dead Horse Gap by Lee ChristineDead Horse Gap by Lee Christine

Dead Horse Gap was fantastic. I devoured it in a couple of days and then wished I hadn’t because it was over too soon. The paradox of a good book, eh?

Dead Horse Gap opens with a light plane crash that is quickly determined to be deliberately caused. Yet who would want to harm the pilot, a former local who’s been avoiding the place for years? Expect plenty of twists as the team investigate, anxiety as favourite characters are put in danger and the brilliant snow setting that Lee has become known for.

I’m very tempted to say this was my favourite of the three books so far, but I’m not sure that’s fair – Charlotte Pass (my thoughts on that here) and Crackenback (my thoughts here) were great reads and I highly recommended both. I think maybe it was the romance that got me. I like a bit of that!


Still Life by Sarah WinmanStill Life by Sarah Winman

I seriously didn’t know what to think of Still Life when I started. It seemed… weird? Certainly it was quirky enough to cause my eyebrows to raise on more than one occasion, and there were several times when I questioned if Still Life was going to be my jam. But how could it not be when it’s touted as a big-hearted, sweeping, and joyful story that moves from the hills of Tuscany to Florence and London, and is packed with art history, friendship, and love? It had to be in my zone, surely?

It was. Smack in there. It might have taken me a while to get into, but Still Life proved charming, delightful and as generous as promised.


Moriarty Meets His Match by Anna CastleMoriarty Meets His Match by Anna Castle

I’m a sucker for anything in the Sherlock Holmes world. When an ad for a boxed set deal on the first three books in the well-rated Professor & Mrs. Moriarty Mystery Series popped into my inbox I snapped it up.

So far, so good with the first book. Moriarty Meets His Match provided lovely entertainment. Quite a different Moriarty from the evil mastermind Sherlock would have us believe. This Moriarty is a morally upright yet socially awkward fellow who works in the Patent Office. Then he meets Angelina.

Book two, Moriarty Takes His Medicine, here I come.


For the writerly…


The Mental Game of Writing by James Scott BellThe Mental Game of Writing by James Scott Bell

A short but terrific help book from James Scott Bell. I’ve collected quite a few of Scott Bell’s writing craft books and have enjoyed them all. The Mental Game of Writing was particularly timely because I’ve been struggling so much lately. Has it helped? It did while I was reading it. Quite motivating, in fact.

Whether that gets translated into action remains to be seen. I bloody hope so.

An easy to read, practical guide to keeping your creativity and writing love alive.


What recent reads have floated your boat?


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9 Responses

  1. Hi Cathryn, I’ve been travelling and haven’t been reading much but I have just finished AM Stuart’s ‘Evil in Emerald’ the third in her Harriet Gordon and Robert Curran series in colonial era Singapore. Loved it. She brings the place alive so vividly that I just lust myself in the story. Like you I had such fun with Michelle Douglas’s ‘Wedding Date in Malaysia’ – such a feel-good story! And yes, Lee’s ‘Dead Horse Gap’ is a real treat.

    • Lucky you on the travelling, Annie. Besides being fun it’s a fabulous way to fill the creative well. Very jealous! I really must catch up on my AM Stuart reading. The first in that series, Singapore Sapphire, was excellent.
      Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Yay, Cathryn! So glad you loved Wedding Date in Malaysia. It was a tricky book to write, but clearly all of the hard work paid off. Your review has put the biggest smile on my face. 😀

    So glad you love A Deadly Education too. I am ACHING for the third book in the series. Can. Not. wait.

    I’ve had a glorious reading month too. After your Fave April reads, I dug out a Mary Jo Putney that I knew I had on my Kindle–Silk and Shadows. It was extraordinary. So good. I also read Annie West’s One Night With Her Forgotten Husband, which was wonderfully emotional. And I just finished Trisha Ashley’s Wedding Tiers. I love all her books and just sink into her world with a happy sigh. This one won’t go down as one of my favourites, but I adored it all the same.

    • Hello, Michelle! Lovely to see you here. Yup, your hard work definitely paid off with Wedding Date in Malaysia. It was a fantastic read. Looking forward to the next!
      Ta for the Mary Jo Putney rec. I’d like to read more of her and yes, definitely hankering for more Naomi Novak!

  3. Ooh, looks like I’m late to the party. Thank you for all the recommendations – I’m with Annie. I really liked Evil in Emerald. It’s especially great fun if you like Gilbert and Sullivan – my dad was a fan!

    It’s always a standout month for me when Mick Herron releases a new Slow Horses book. Or at least when I get my hands on one. Loved, loved, loved Bad Actors, the latest one. What fun! Otherwise while I seem to have read quite a lot, most of the books filled a space rather than made me sit up and pay attention, if you know what I mean. I’m about to start the latest Ben Aaronson, Amongst Our Weapons. Hopefully that might get me out of my reading slump!

    • Ooh, lucky you on the Ben Aaronovitch, Anna. I’m waaaay behind on those now (I think I’m up to #6) but they’re always good fun and should get you out of your slump.
      I REALLY must get on to those Mick Herrons!!

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