It was another good year for reading during which I finished 46 books. I enjoyed stories from several new authors like James Rollins, Brad Meltzer and John Heldt. I read more from some of my favorite authors like Dan Brown, Bernard Cornwell, William Dietrich, Stephen King and Tom Clancy.
Inferno by Dan Brown was a great book to start the year with. It is another Robert Langdon story and takes place in Italy. I learned a lot about many of the famous art works, buildings and architecture of Florence and Venice. If you enjoyed the Da Vinci Code, you will love this novel.
I discovered author James Rollins this year. His writing reminds me of Michael Crichton, which is high praise. The teaser on his Website for the book Amazonia says, “The Rand scientific expedition entered the lush wilderness of the Amazon and never returned. Years later, one of its members has stumbled out of the world’s most inhospitable rainforest: a former Special Forces soldier – scarred, mutilated, terrified, and mere hours from death – who went in with one arm missing…and came out with both intact.” The story was just as fantastic as it sounds. I went on to read five other James Rollins novels during the year.
The Fort by Bernard Cornwell tells the story of the Penobscot Expedition of 1779 during the American Revolutionary War. It is the story of an attack by the militia of the Province of Massachusetts Bay to take a British fort in Castine, Maine. The expedition and attack was a major screw-up. The American fleet was destroyed and the assault force ended up making a long journey over land to Massachusetts. Be sure to read my Blog article about the book.
I also discovered Cornwell’s “sailing thrillers” which takes place in the present day, unlike many of his novels. Of the three I read I enjoyed Stormchild the best. The Amazon Website description reads, “A British yachtsman sails to Cape Horn to reclaim his daughter from eco-terrorists.” But of course the plot and story has more depth than that one sentence description.
I’m ashamed to say that I got behind in reading Tom Clancy novels. I sure made up for it this year when a good friend recommended The Bear and the Dragon, featuring John Clark and Jack Ryan. It was so good that later in the year I went on to read Debt of Honor and Executive Order. Executive Order picks up right where Debt of Honor ended so it read like one long novel rather than two. Both are fantastic stories!
One of my favorite stories of the year was 11/22/63 by Stephen King. King is another author that I had not read anything from in years. Instead of a horror story this is a time travel story. Jake Epping find a way to go back in time to 1958 and finds he can change the lives of people in the present by changing events in past. He ends up undertaking the difficult task to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, hoping that it would change the world for the better. It’s a great story and has become my new favorite Stephen King novel.
In December a friend lent me the book, The Journey by John A. Heldt. It’s the second book in his Northwest Passage series. After the unexpected death of her husband after a tough marriage, a 49 year old women returns to her hometown for a high school reunion. After visiting an room in a mysterious old house in town, she finds herself back in 1979. She encounters her younger self and has the opportunity influence the path she takes in life. It turned out to be a great story. Since I find the concept of time travel interesting I was hooked on his time travel stories and ended up reading three other books in the series.
- Inferno – Dan Brown
- The Temple of the Winds – Terry Goodkind
- Firefight – Brandon Sanderson
- Amazonia – James Rollins
- Sandstorm – James Rollins
- Altar of Eden – James Rollins
- Soul of the Fire – Terry Goodkind (Did not finish)
- Ice Hunt – James Rollins
- Deep Black – Stephen Coonts
- Subterranean – James Rollins
- The Fort – Bernard Cornwell
- The Roman Hat Mystery – Ellery Queen
- The Inner Circle – Brad Meltzer
- The Recollections of Rifleman Harris – Benjamin Randell Harris
- Piranha (Oregon Files) – Clive Cussler
- Elantris – Brandon Sanderson
- The Fifth Assassin – Brad Meltzer
- Scoundrel – Bernard Cornwell
- On Writing – Stephen King
- Stormchild – Bernard Cornwell
- A Bone in the Throat – Anthony Bourdain
- Dourado (Dane Maddock Adventure) – David Wood
- Crackdown – Bernard Cornwell
- The Lightening Stones – Jack Du Brul
- The Bear and the Dragon – Tom Clancy
- Grey Lady – Paul Kemprecos
- Dragon Seed – Pearl S. Buck
- The Martin – Andy Weir
- The Einstein Papers – Craig Dirgo
- The Tesla Documents – Craig Dirgo
- The Christos Parchment – Craig Dirgo
- Hadrian’s Wall – William Dietrich
- Adventure – Jack London
- The Sea Wolf – Jack London
- Scourge of God – William Dietrich
- 11/22/63 – Stephen King
- Getting Back – William Dietrich
- The Pharaoh’s Secret – Clive Cussler
- Debt of Honor – Tom Clancy
- Executive Order – Tom Clancy
- The Door Into Summer – Robert Heinlein ( re-read)
- Without Remorse – Tom Clancy
- The Journey – John A. Heldt
- The Mine – John A. Heldt
- The Fire – John A. Heldt
- For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway