Tag Archives: recommendations

The Dark Fey Have Arrived

The Dark Fey Have Arrived

Number Two in Richard’s Book Purchases

As some of you may remember, I wrote a post about a month ago concerning the poetry of Candice Daquin. Her first poetry book was to be my first paperback purchase from writers I know. I had, and still have, been squirrelling away my pennies so that I could treat myself to some much wanted books from friends. Today I received my second: Dark Fey — Book 2 / Standing in Shadows by Cynthia Morgan.

I already owned book one on kindle but was determined to buy an actual copy. To say I have been waiting for it with baited breath is an understatement. However, it has arrived at last.

You all know how much I hate my picture been taken, so can appreciate just how pleased I must be to allow this photo. Here I am defending The Adam Fey from my Yucca.


For anybody that likes Fantasy, I would highly recommend The Dark Fey series. Book one was exceptional and like anyone else that’s read it, I couldn’t wait to get the second. Apparently, book three is well on the way — or so my connections in the business tell me, nudge-nudge, wink-wink.

I think in these days of mass production, fads and recommended rubbish it is refreshing that places such as WordPress allow us the reader to have not only great books recommended to us but great books by people we know. I hope you enjoy it as much as I know I will.

Richard

Please find out more about Morgan, my fellow Creativia author, at this link:

Cynthia Morgan

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Ghosts: The Book List

“It’s behind you!”

There’s something about a good ghost story that really gets the old heart beating. I think the fact we secretly want ghosts to exist has a great deal to do with this. Whether or not you concur, one thing we can all agree on is that there is, has, and I’m sure will continue to be some great ghost stories out there.

As usual with my lists these are all books that I own, so I apologise if some of your favourites aren’t included. My choices encompass everything from the classics to the more modern interpretation of the theme. I hope you enjoy.

Richard

The Woman In White

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If you’re going to do a job, you might as well do it right. This story is synonymous with the genre, the age of the tale doing nothing to diminish its fear factor. (Enhancing it if anything.)

The Hungry Ghosts

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Both brutal and haunting, this book will leave a lasting impression.

The Small Hand

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I love Susan Hill’s books. She is one of only a few authors renowned for different genres. If you read this short story, you will soon see why.

The Lovely Bones

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If a chilling death can be written up in a beautiful fashion, then this does.

Ghosts By Gaslight

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I almost put this in yesterday’s list as it is a Steampunk compilation. However, the essence of the stories are ghosts, and they are good stories at that.

The Canterville Ghost

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Another classic that interweaves a ghost story with romance. Wilde is always superb and this is no less than any of his other works.

Strangers

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I loved this book as it’s a true chiller. One of those you just suddenly get and think, ‘Geez!’ Plus, I like Japanese stuff.

The Woman In Black

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One of few the books I’ve read that inspired me to immediately start writing something because of it. One day, I’ll finish the many thousands of pages I have already written of ‘A Shadow Over Darkmoor’ and I shall thank Susan Hill when I do. (My favourite on this list.)

The Turn Of The Screw

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If there’s a ghost list, then this has to be on it. Another story that only grows creepier as it ages. I reckon this story is so scary that although there are several movie versions, they will never capture the chilling essence of it. And it’s short, too. No excuses not to read it.

Ligeia

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Poe, the master of the macabre, puts his own flourish on the ghost genre with this tale of a  dead wife. This story used to be very well read but seems to be less so these days. Don’t be put off by the old style narrative, it’s very good.


I hope you all enjoyed this dissection of the spooky side of life, or is it death? If you even read one of these and enjoy it, then my compilation has been well worth my time.

Thanks for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers, author of The Eternals Trilogy

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Steampunk Book List

Steampunk often baffles me, not because I don’t like it, I love it, but because people pooh-pooh it without even trying it. I know folks that say they hate it, yet in the next breath extoll the virtues of Dr. Who or The Time Machine or The League of Extraordinary Gentleman or Jules Verne all of which comprise Steampunk at some point or another. The head and the tail of it is this, if you like Victorian, dark literature and I would include the likes of Sherlock Holmes in this, and you also enjoy Fantasy, then Steampunk is a very definite blend of the two. As the years have gone on this has been expanded to include the Dracula type books and other Victorian horror genres. If anything, this has made Steampunk one of the most cult genres in all of literature.

So, in a different way to normal, I am merely going to show the titles and covers of said recommendations and hope they spark your interest, get the old cogs turning, (see what I did there? Cogs, clockwork, steam…oh well!)

As always, I own all these books and would recommend them without hesitation.

Richard

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen / Alan Moore

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Morlock Night / K. W. Jeter

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Anna Dracula / Kim Newman

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The Osiris Ritual / George Mann

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Phoenix Rising / Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

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The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack / Mark Hodder

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The Japanese Devil Fish Girl / Robert Rankin

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The Feaster From The Stars / Alan. K. Baker

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The Kingdom Beyond The Waves / Stephen Hunt 

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Clockwork Angel / Cassandra Clare

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I hope you enjoyed this look at Steampunk. Please try one or more and see what you think.

Thank you for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers, author of The Eternals Trilogy

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

All images courtesy Goodreads.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Modern Fiction Book List

The Fiction shelves of a bookshop can carry the widest variety of work from the ancient to the new and everything in between. The benefit of this can be books that are unexpectedly superb because you aren’t entirely sure what to expect. The following are ten books all of which I own that have done just this – surprised due to their exceptional quality. I recommend them all. Enjoy.

Richard.

Memoirs of a Geisha / Arthur Golden

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If you enjoyed the movie you’ll love the book and vice-versa.

Sister / Rosamund Lupton

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Rosamund Lupton is an author who has fast built up a following. There’s no surprise why after reading this.

The Night Circus / Erin Morgenstern

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The cover says it all, enchanting. One of my personal favourite books.

Dark Matter / Michelle Paver

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This could have gone in a ghost or horror category, but it’s so well based in reality that I felt it best here. You’ll never see sunlight slipping away the same again.

Across The Nightingale Floor / Lian Hearn

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The Orient, assassins, tradition, what more could you want? Most of all, a beautifully crafted tale.

The Virgin Suicides / Jeffrey Eugenides

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This book put a spell on me just as had the Sofia Coppola movie. Not to everyone’s taste, but well worth the read.

I’m Not Scared / Niccolo Ammaniti

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I felt this. ‘Nuff said. Distinctly Mediterranean and a great read.

The Vengeance of Rome / Michael Moorcock

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This is the fourth book in the Pyatt Quartet. The only series of books that I’ve ever read, reached the last page, and thought ‘Jesus!’ he had me all the way.

The Dream Life of Sukhanov / Olga Grushin

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‘Dream Life’ explains this better in two words than I could in a page. Very Russian. Very surreal. Always superb.

Milan Kundera / Unbearable Lightness of Being

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Of love and lovers. A fantastic book and a great way to finish off this list.


I hope you enjoyed the choices and get chance to read at least one of these fine works of literature.

All images courtesy Goodreads.com

Thank you for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers, author of The Eternals Trilogy

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Inspiration (Book List)

This is a very personal book list. The problem is that as soon as you say classic everybody will have their own thoughts. There are many things that contribute to such a classification like age, impact and so on. I have tried to keep a degree of elapsed time to my choices, but they are predominantly here because I love them all.

I hope you like my picks and the reasons why.

Richard

Paradise Lost / John Milton

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It seemed right to start a classics list with this. Milton’s retelling of the Devil’s casting from heaven and his infiltration of Adam and Eve is astonishing. Poetry, writing and content combine in a way almost no other book does. It also double-dared me to use ‘thus spake’ in my own prose although I don’t think I’ll ever get away with it.

H. G. Wells / The Time Machine

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How could Wells see so much, so long ago? Most people admire this book for the time travel element, but for me, it was the original ending that got me, which has not been used in films. An ocean at the end of time with strange creatures that might once have been us. Wow!

Dandelion Wine / Ray Bradbury

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I loved this book. If ever a story can be described as ‘gentle’ it is this. Childhood at its best.

The Hound of the Baskervilles / Arthur Conan Doyle

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I almost included The Lost World, which I also love, but chose this. The thing I love about this story more than most of its era and Doyle’s other work is its dark edge. This book will never date and will always hold its appeal.

Rebecca / Daphne Du Maurier

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This book taught me as a writer that place can be just as important as person. Manderley will be forever etched on the reader’s subconscious after reading this, and I will always aspire to do the same with work of my own.

The Great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Who is he? The question we as the reader will ask. Brilliant.

Breakfast At Tiffany’s / Truman Capote

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Capote is another of those writers who can take any subject and mesmerise his readers. I almost listed In Cold Blood which couldn’t be more different, but felt this story holds a more universal appeal. I have a leather-bound copy of this and treasure it. PS It’s only short, so there’s no excuse to not read it.

And Then There Were None / Agatha Christie

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The preeminent whodunnit. If you say you knew, you either fibbed or should be a judge. To say Christie used only her imagination with her crime books, (no training at all) only goes to make this even more remarkable.

Alice In Wonderland / Lewis Carroll

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A book that brought fantasy to the masses. I don’t think there are many more books of its ilk that have influenced future works more than it has. Another superb read for any age.

A Christmas Carol / Charles Dickens

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Timeless. It doesn’t matter who you are, what age, race, gender, this book will resonate. So simple an idea as to be perfect. I just had to include it. (Sorry Great Expectations, you got usurped).


I hope you have enjoyed the very wide selection here. As I said at the start, the definition of classic is a personal one. I think these all are and they are all very dear to me. Always will be, too.

Thanks for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers, author of The Eternals trilogy.

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Crime and Detection Book List

As I’ve said before, I go through periods where I can’t get enough of one genre or another. For a time, crime and detection stories were my genres of choice. My passage through theses genres went something like this: Fantasy-Steampunk-Victorian Literature-Victorian Detection-Detection-Murder-Scandinavian Crime. I know that’s a funny old way of doing things but that’s how my mind works.

Anyhow, the result of said ramblings through murder were not just to make me the world’s greatest detective, but to have a much more varied outlook on the books I read. The most pertinent example would be the Scandinavian authors and my absolute love of the barren way they often write. Again, so different to anyone else and utterly enthralling. So, that’s where I’ll start. As always, I own every one of these books and my opinions are my own.

Unseen/ Mari Jungstedt

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I loved the way Mari created an unmistakably Scandinavian ambience to this series, you could feel the chill, the cold sea, everything. Brilliant.

Italian Shoes / Henning Mankell

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I took a bit of a liberty placing this book in this category but not too much. It’s a hard one to describe, but my lasting memory was of the anthill that slowly grew in the protagonist’s shack. You don’t see that every day.

The Death of a Red Heroine

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In the same way the above authors evoked Scandinavia, Qui Xiaolong does the same with modern day China. This book oozes The Orient from the food upwards. A great read.

Blood On The Mink / Robert Silverberg

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Allegedly, Silverberg couldn’t even remember writing this. I was greatly cheered to read that salient detail as I’m always doing the same.

Die A Little / Megan Abbott

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If ever a book could be described as Film Noir, then this it. I enjoyed Die A Little an awful lot and read several more of Abbott’s stories because of it.

The Bone Garden / Tess Gerritsen

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This is a time hopping story that was constructed in a very easy to read manner. I enjoyed this a lot. The other good thing about Tess’s books was that when I resigned from work to write full time, you could always buy them on three for one. (Every penny counts.)

A Death in Tuscany / Michele Giuttari

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It was set in Tuscany. I love Tuscany. ‘Nuff said.

Sexton Blake, Detective / Various

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Born of the Penny Dreadfuls, Sexton Blake was a varied read that I felt encapsulated the period perfectly. A nice alternative to Sherlock Holmes and Denis Nayland Smith, (as you know, I hate reading the same as everyone else).

The Affair of the Mutilated Mink / James Anderson

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If you like your British murders to be old school with a touch of whimsy in their detection, read these.

The Eiger Sanction / Trevanian

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Not only has this book got Switzerland as its main setting, the Eiger (my favourite mountain) and a movie version of it starring Clint Eastwood, but it’s a great read, too. What more could you want to round off a list.


I hope you enjoyed the choices. If you want another list doing just shout out in the comments.

Thank you for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers, author of The Eternals trilogy.

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Urban Fantasy Book List

I was asked by the lovely Gigi if I would put together a list of recommended Urban Fantasy, so I have. I must confess, I found this list harder than most because the boundaries between Urban Fantasy and its offshoots are often tenuous. Therefore, I may have stretched this in places to accommodate a couple of class acts, but in essence it stays true to Fantasy set in or based from a real world environment.

The collection of stories seen here contain everything from vampires to goddesses to superheroes. I have given a little spiel of my own to each. I own every book here, and my opinions are my own.

I hope you enjoy my choices.

Richard

The Graveyard Book / Neil Gaiman

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You can never go far wrong with Neil Gaiman. I love this book because it is the classic children’s story that appeals even more to adults. A boy brought up by ghosts, so simple as to be brilliant.

King Rat / China Miéville

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When our hero is taught to eat trash (like a rat would) I bet you can’t help but cringe.

Watchmen

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This is actually a graphic novel and also now a movie. This is a story concerning superheroes and their impact on the world rather than a superhero story per se. The difference is subtle and superb, and one I learned to use myself in The Eternals a story concerning vampires but not about them.

Wicked Lovely / Melissa Marr

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Aimed at the teen market, I bought this because I’d got the follow up for ten pence in a book sale (LOL, cheapskate). For younger readers looking at this list, particularly girls, I think they would enjoy these stories of visible-to-some faeries very much.

There Are Doors / Gene Wolfe

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I took a bit of a liberty including this one, but it’s my list, so there, (blows raspberry). A man pursues a goddess through different realities. This is mind-bending, poetic and always fabulous.

Guilty Pleasures / Laurel K. Hamilton

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This book launched the kick-ass heroine Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. Original enough to be different, I can recommend this in written or graphic novel form.

Kafka on the Shore / Haruki Murakami

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As always, Murakami’s books are hard to fit into genres. I have included this here because of the very definite fantasy elements the further the story develops. Never try to understand him too much, just enjoy Murakami’s surreal narratives.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children / Ransom Riggs

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This book is soon to be released as a movie by Tim Burton, starring Eva Green. I think that says more about its style than I ever could as it’s a marriage made in heaven. The addition of old photographs in this book makes it really rather unique.

Side Jobs / Jim Butcher

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A collection of narratives concerning a detective who hunts down supernatural naughty folk.

The Book Of Lost Things / John Connolly

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Again,  I stretched the genre a bit to accommodate this wonderful story. I won’t say too much, but anyone who’s a child at heart will love it.


I hope you enjoy the choices and find something new to wet your appetite. There’s a good selection here, so no excuses. Feel free to ask for any other kind of list and if I can do it, I will.

As always, thank you for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers, author of The Eternals trilogy.

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)