My Favourite Reads banner 2020

Welcome to another edition of My Favourite Reads, the series where I chat about the best books I read over the past month and encourage you to add to our to-be-read piles by sharing yours.

June was another quiet month, thanks to more The Grazier’s Son touring and general busyness. On a good note, I did manage to beat May’s pathetic total of two books, but only by one.

It didn’t help that I wasted quite a bit of reading time on a book that ended up a did-not-finish. That was frustrating. It wasn’t a bad book, really, just a touch dull and my to-be-read pile is so feral that I didn’t want to waste time on something average. I want wowsers!

Which is what the following books were.

 

Cover of An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret RogersonAn Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Margaret Rogerson writes the most amazing stories. I absolutely adored Sorcery of Thorns. That was a brilliant read (I talk about it here) and its sequel, Mysteries of Thorn Manner, was also a favourite (my thoughts on that here). So when I spotted the ebook of An Enchantment of Ravens on sale I snapped it up straight away.

Ah, An Enchantment of Ravens was lovely. Sweet, funny, loaded with action, and oh so romantic. Not to mention beautifully written.

Artist Isobel was a wonderful heroine—clever, brave and extremely talented. She’s been painting portraits for the devious fae creatures much of her life, cleverly negotiating payments that benefit her family without backfiring (as many exchanges are wont to do).

Then Rook, the autumn prince, arrives wanting a portrait. Except the painting Isobel creates shows Rook with a mortal edge. A weakness no fae creature wants. Determined to make Isobel stand trial for her crime, Rook whisks her to his world.

And that’s when the real drama—and fated love—starts.

Fantastic.

 

Cover of Down the Track by Stella QuinnDown the Track by Stella Quinn

Regular readers will know that I rarely read rural romance. It’s not that I don’t love the genre. Of course I do. I write it! But as silly as it sounds, I have a real fear of unintentionally using others’ ideas and so I avoid the genre.

In this case, Stella and I were doing a talk at Nerang Library on the Gold Coast and that meant reading her new release. I’m so glad I did because Down the Track was a wonderful read. Warm and funny, with terrific (and often amusing) characters and a beautifully described setting. I was also struck by Stella’s strong writing voice. It was very appealing.

Palaeontologist Jo is seriously down on her luck. She’s broke, her job contract at the Natural History Museum is unlikely to be renewed, her relationship with her son is fraught, and her love-life is in tatters. So when an invitation to return to Yindi Creek and dig for dinosaur bones arrives, she leaps at it. Only to run into old fling, Hux.

Excellent fun.

 

Cover of The Quiet People by Paul CleaveThe Quiet People by Paul Cleave

I read New Zealand crime writer Paul Cleave’s novel The Pain Tourist last year (read what I thought of that here) and enjoyed it enormously. It was fast paced and entertaining and I wanted more. Cue my purchase of The Quiet People.

When the seven-year-old son of a successful crime writing couple goes missing, they’re immediate suspects. After all, isn’t “write what you know” what writers do? Perhaps they wanted to live what they write. Or show they can commit the perfect crime.

Like The Pain Tourist, The Quiet People is a rip-roaring page turner. The chapters are short and punchy, with endings that make you want to read on, and the tension high. As for the twists… hooly-dooly! I felt physical anxiety for Cameron and Lisa as they battled to find their son and protect themselves.

A cracking read.

 

What books have you read lately that you think everyone else should read? Share away!

 

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11 Responses

  1. Yay, cause for celebration! A Cathryn Hein list of recommendations.

    I LOVED An Enchantment of Ravens. It actually reminded me a little bit of one of my all-time favourite books, Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. The same sort of cross-cultural issues that complicate a romance. Glad you picked it up. I’ve made a note of the other two you suggest although I suspect the Quiet People might be a bit too suspenseful for me!

    I’ve actually had a pretty good reading month. Best in a while!

    Standout for fiction was the first in Naomi Novik’s Scholomance trilogy, A Deadly Education. Wonderful world building and a high-stakes romance and her usual not-at-first-sympathetic heroine who ends up becoming someone you want to be your new best friend. I’ve got book 2 waiting for me this weekend. Runner-Up would be A Very Lively Murder by Katy Watson. I’m pretty sure I mentioned the Three Dahlias here a month or so ago. It’s a new series of murder mysteries based around a famous Golden Age sleuth who is featuring in a new a movie. Great fun and wonderful characters.

    Nonfiction-wise, I absolutely loved The Dictionary People by Sarah Ogilvie. I caught Sarah’s session at the recent Brisbane Writers Festival and thought the book about the people who contributed quotations to the first Oxford English Dictionary sounded right up my alley. I was right. Such an amazing array of people, many of them intriguing oddbods.

    I also loved The Game of Wolves and Birds by Simon Parkin about the Battle of the Atlantic and how playing a strategy game turned the tide of the war. A friend recommended this. It’s not my usual fare but the story was fantastic and it highlighted how previously unsung women made such a difference to the outcome of events. I also loved The Piano: A History in 100 Pieces by Susan Tomes. Great tour through musical history and the life story of my favourite instrument!

    • You have had a good reading month, Anna. What a selection of reads!
      You’ve also reminded me that I need to get back into the Scholomance series. I’ve read the first two but not the third, and NN is a favourite author of mine. Plus I really would like to know what happens to El.
      Same with the Katy Watson series. I’ve been getting her newsletter for ages (and enjoy it enormously) and keep meaning to read her but have yet to do so. I blame my tottery to-be-read pile.
      I love how you read so much non-fiction. And such varied topics too. Which is probably why you’re such a fabulous conversationalist and clever clogs!
      Thanks so much for sharing. Always interesting and fun.

  2. I just finished Wallaby Lane by Maya Linnell which on page 101 i had a cameo. Loved that book. Now I’m reading Every Last Suspect by Nicola Moriarty, I’m also enjoyinb this one.

  3. I’ve just ordered An Enchantment of Ravens! Thanks for the recommendation, Cathryn. Lately I’ve enjoyed Milly Johnson’s ‘The Happiest Ever After’ which was just so satisfying when the put upon heroine and her friends triumph agains the odds – very heartwarming. Lesley Kara’s ‘The Apartment Upstairs’ was good too. Maybe not edgy enough for you but I enjoyed it – about a woman living downstairs from where her aunt was murdered and having qualms that the case wasn’t as easily solved as it seemed. She was right.

    • Oooh, how wonderful. I hope you enjoy An Enchantment of Ravens, Annie. Anna and I are big fans so I suspect you will.
      Thanks so much for the Milly Johnson recommendation. That sounds right up my alley. I’ve added it to my wish list. I’ve also added The Apartment Upstairs because it sounds intriguing too, and the reviews are pretty good.

  4. Just downloaded The Quiet People😊
    Books I’ve read recently that I’d recommend;
    Storm Child by Michael Robotham
    The Other Side of Her by B M Carroll
    The Bluffs by Kyle Perry
    The Borrowed Life of Frederick Fife by Anna Johnston
    Whenever You’re Ready by Trish Bolton
    The Hospital by the River by Dr Catherine Hamlin

    • Ha! That’s brilliant, Sandra. I do love contributing to people’s to-be-read piles.
      That’s a great selection of reads. I was only looking at Storm Child over the weekend. I’ve never read Michael Robotham and feel it’s time I amended that. It sounds a cracking read.
      Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing these. I’m going to check them all out.

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