In my family, the easiest thing in the world is to give the gift of books. And, seriously, who doesn’t read?
If your first thought is “I don’t read,” then I will ask you how exactly this post is getting into your brain.
If your first thought is “Of course, books are easy,” then I’ve got a few to suggest to you for this season of gift giving.
And I don’t mean popcorn for the brain. True, every last book you’re about to see on this list is awesome in their own rights, but most have been vetted and approved by people on this blog — mostly either by our resident reviewer, Lori, or by myself. While’re not not exactly the magisterium, we’re not exactly chopped liver, either. So you can be relatively certain that they’re both entertaining, as well as having some depth. We’re not going to be suggesting James Patterson, we have some standards (Actually false — I do read James Patterson, as I have no taste. but I would not recommend most of his work, especially not on this blog.)
So, what would we recommend?
Iron Chamber of Memory, by John C. Wright. You can follow the link to the review, or you can just buy the book already and be done with it. The short version is that it starts look like a romantic comedy, and ends like Lord of the Rings. If you don’t believe me, I dare you to read it and prove me wrong. But I recommend you give this to anyone who reads Arthurian legends, fantasy, or anyone who knows what epic fantasy looks like.
Murder in the Vatican, by Ann Margaret Lewis. I will recommend this book until I am blue in the face. Sadly, you can’t even go to Amazon and buy it, you have to buy it directly from the publisher, Gasogene books. This is Sherlock Holmes meets the Pope. It even has Pope Leo XIII playing Watson, and narrating one of the stories — The Vatican Cameos, in case you’re wondering. Other Cameos include Father Brown, and Catholicism meeting Holmes, and Holmes giving it a pleasant handshake, and getting down to business. If you decide to buy it, and you’re in the neighborhood of Gasogene Books anyway, you might as well buy…
The Watson Chronicles, by Ann Margaret Lewis. Yes, this is the sequel to the last book, and it is awesome. It’s the story of how Watson met and fell for his third wife, and then introducing her to the rest of the Holmes family. You will laugh yourself silly, and at the end, you will cry your eyes out. I actually do recommend just buying a copy for everyone you know who likes Sherlock Holmes
Stealing Jenny, by Ellen Gable. While it was only reviewed yesterday, this is a solid thriller, and deserves to be on the list for anyone who likes a good, straight up, tightly-written thriller. I do recommend purchasing it, sooner or later.
Neeta Lyffe, by Karina Fabian. While the sequel wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, book one, Neeta Lyffe: Zombie Exterminator is the funniest, best piece of zombie media I have ever witnessed outside of John Ringo’s Black Tide series. Buy it, read, it, but don’t eat or drink anything while you’re doing so.
Honor at Stake, by … me. Yes, sorry, I tossed in books by me on this list. But if you follow the review, you’ll see it’s relatively well liked by a lot of people, including Lori. If you don’t believe me, check the review. It’s basically building a vampire lore that reconciles the traditional vampire legend of Bram Stoker, and fitting it within the framework of Catholic theology and philosophy that we operate within today. Check it out.
Murphy’s Law of Vampires, also by Declan Finn. The review is also by Lori, though she’s writing on a different site. It’s the followup, and I think she liked it even better than the first one. So, enjoy.
Ordinance 93, by L. Fabry. Another one reviewed just yesterday, but trust me, this one is a long chase scene, packed with characters, politics, and a pro-life message … or at least an examination of what happens when you take out the “choice” in pro-choice. If you like dystopias, read this one.
Chasing Freedom, by Marina Fontaine. Speaking of dystopias, this one was nominated for best dystopia at the Dragon Awards. While I didn’t read the one that one (Nick Cole’s Ctrl+Alt+Revolt), I did read Chasing Freedom. If you want to look at it outright, just go here, and buy it. It’s a dystopia that didn’t make me want to slit my wrists. I was surprised.
Tom Stanger by Larry Correia, narrated by Adam Baldwin ….
Okay. You know what? This one is just o weird, I recommend just going to the review, if you don’t know about it already. And if you do know about it already, why haven’t you already bought the audio book?
The Big Sheep. Ditto
And if you’re wondering why I put in 11 books, despite the title claiming the top 10 — well, I didn’t want to hog two spaces all to myself, so I just counted them as one.
And that’s everything for right now. If, at the end of the day, you like what I’ve suggested, you might also want to try Set To Kill, a murder mystery set at the SF&F convention WyvernCon. Because I’m subtle. Buy now, read it over the weekend, order it for your nearest and dearest next week. Heh.