Out of the comfort zone…


Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  The topic this week is:

‘Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre/Type of Book’

I tend to read more fantasy books than anything else.  The following are books that are slightly different than those I would normally read.  All really good books that I’m glad I didn’t miss:

  1. the ice twinsThe Ice Twins by S K Tremayne.‘A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives. But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.  As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?
  2. CanaryCanary by Duane Swierczynski.  Honors student Sarie Holland is busted by the local police while doing a favor for her boyfriend. Unwilling to betray him but desperate to avoid destroying her future, Sarie has no choice but to become a “CI”–a confidential informant.  Philly narcotics cop Ben Wildey is hungry for a career-making bust. The detective thinks he’s found the key in Sarie: her boyfriend scores from a mid-level dealer with alleged ties to the major drug gangs.  Sarie turns out to be the perfect CI: a quick study with a shockingly keen understanding of the criminal mind. But Wildey, desperate for results, pushes too hard and inadvertently sends the 19-year-old into a death trap, leaving Sarie hunted by crooked cops and killers alike with nothing to save her–except what she’s learned during her harrowing weeks as an informant.  Which is bad news for the police and the underworld. Because when it comes to payback, CI #1373 turns out to be a very quick study…
  3. true grit.jpgTrue Grit by Charles Portis tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shoots her father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robs him of his life, his horse, and $150 in cash money. Mattie leaves home to avenge her father’s blood. With the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, by her side, Mattie pursues the homicide into Indian Territory.  True Grit is eccentric, cool, straight, and unflinching, like Mattie herself. From a writer of true cult status, this is an American classic through and through.
  4. the mechanical.jpgThe Mechanical by Ian Tregillis. My name is Jax.
    That is the name granted to be by my human masters.
    I am a clakker: a mechanical man, powered by alchemy. Armies of my kind have conquered the world – and made the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower.
    I am a faithful servant. I am the ultimate fighting machine. I am endowed with great strength and boundless stamina.
    But I am beholden to the wishes of my human masters.
    I am a slave. But I shall be free.
  5. The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari.  The terrifying new Byrne and Balzano case from the author of The Killing Room and The Stolen Ones.
    the doll maker.jpgMr Marseille is polite, elegant, and erudite. He would do anything for his genteel true love Anabelle. And he is a psychopath.
    A quiet Philadelphia suburb. A woman cycles past a train depot with her young daughter. And there she finds a murdered girl posed on a newly painted bench. Strangled. Beside her is a formal invite to a tea dance in a week’s time.
    Seven days later, two more young victims are discovered in a disused house, posed on painted swings. At the scene is an identical invite. This time, though, there is something extra waiting for Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano.
    A delicate porcelain doll. It’s a message. And a threat.
    With Marseille and Anabelle stalking the city, Detectives Byrne and Balzano have just seven days to find the link between the murders before another innocent child is snatched from its streets.
  6. the Devils's only friend.jpgThe Devil’s Only Friend by Dan Wells.  John Wayne Cleaver hunts demons: they’ve killed his neighbors, his family, and the girl he loves, but in the end he’s always won. Now he works for a secret government kill team, using his gift to hunt and kill as many monsters as he can…
    …but the monsters have noticed, and the quiet game of cat and mouse is about to erupt into a full scale supernatural war.
    John doesn’t want the life he’s stuck with. He doesn’t want the FBI bossing him around, he doesn’t want his only friend imprisoned in a mental ward, and he doesn’t want to face the terrifying cannibal who calls himself The Hunter. John doesn’t want to kill people. But as the song says, you can’t always get what you want. John has learned that the hard way; his clothes have the stains to prove it.
    When John again faces evil, he’ll know what he has to do.
    The Devil’s Only Friend is the first book in a brand-new John Wayne Cleaver trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells.
  7. the secret chord.jpgThe Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks.  Peeling away the myth to bring the Old Testament’s King David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.
    The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David’s life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected.  We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikhal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.
  8. lock in.jpgLock In by John Scalzi.  A blazingly inventive near-future thriller from the best-selling, Hugo Award-winning John Scalzi.
    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.
    A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “integrator” – someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.
    But “complicated” doesn’t begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery – and the real crime – is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It’s nothing you could have expected.
  9. ourendlessOur Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller.  1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother’s grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change.
    Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared. And so her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.
    Peggy is not seen again for another nine years.
    1985: Peggy has returned to the family home. But what happened to her in the forest? And why has she come back now?

  10. theinvisibleguardianThe Invisible Guardian
    by Dolores Redondo.A killer at large in a remote Basque Country valley, a detective to rival Clarice Starling, myth versus reality, masterful storytelling – the Spanish bestseller that has taken Europe by storm.The naked body of a teenage girl is found on the banks of the River Baztán. Less than 24 hours after this discovery, a link is made to the murder of another girl the month before. Is this the work of a ritualistic killer or of the Invisible Guardian, the Basajaun, a creature of Basque mythology?30-year-old Inspector Amaia Salazar heads an investigation which will take her back to Elizondo, the village in the heart of Basque country where she was born, and to which she had hoped never to return. A place of mists, rain and forests. A place of unresolved conflicts, of a dark secret that scarred her childhood and which will come back to torment her.Torn between the rational, procedural part of her job and local myths and superstitions, Amaia Salazar has to fight off the demons of her past in order to confront the reality of a serial killer at loose in a region steeped in the history of the Spanish Inquisition.

16 Responses to “Out of the comfort zone…”

  1. readerbuzz

    Oh yes, True Grit. Quite a surprise, that one.

    Here’s Books I Love…and Hate.

  2. Alison Doherty

    I haven’t read any of these. A lot of them look way to scary for me. Here’s My Top Ten Tuesday in case you want to check it out!

  3. Tammy

    Nice list! There are a few on here I’d love to read, like The Ice Twins. Also I’ve read several glowing reviews for Our Endless Numbered Days.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I enjoyed all of these – Our Endless Numbered Days was particularly good.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Carmen

    Great list, Lynn. I’ve read several reviews of the Ice Twins and they make me want to read it. Loved your review of True Grit; you did the story justice.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I loved True Grit. The ice Twins was also really good.
      Lynn 😀

  5. jessicabookworm

    I haven’t read any of these books, however I am very tempted by The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks and True Grit by Charles Portis; especially as I loved both the films of the latter 🙂

    p.s. this week I decided to take part in Top Ten Tuesday too 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I think you’d really like True Grit. It’s a great story. I also enjoyed The Secret Chord – I really like Geraldine Brooks though.
      Lynn 😀

  6. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Scalzi is always surprising, no matter what kind of topic he chooses to explore – I might be a bit biased, because he’s one of my favorite authors, but every book he writes brings something new to the table…

    • @lynnsbooks

      It was a really good book – my first Scalzi – definitely encourages me to read more though.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Allyson

    I love the cover to Our Endless Numbered Days and it sounds so good!

    My TTT.

    Also, feel free to check out the last week of our giveaway!

  8. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Some great books on this list (the ones I’ve read). I obviously need to check the others out.

  9. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Many of these I would have considered outside my comfort zone too, but I’ve enjoyed a lot of them (The Mechanical, Lock In) and a few more (The Devil’s Only Friend, The Doll Maker, etc.) look very interesting too!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I know – I was almost scared to read The Mechanical – I just didn’t think it would be for me for some reason but I loved it.
      Lynn 😀

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