2016 was a big year for reading and re-reading Tom Clancy novels. It had been a while since I had read his books. I was amazed all over again at Clancy’s military and espionage knowledge in addition to his story telling skills. In some cases I had seen the movie, but not read the book. I made the assumption that the movie followed the book pretty closely. Boy, was I wrong! As usual the books were much better with far more depth.
The “campus” series featuring Jack Ryan Jr. was especially good. Clancy published The Teeth of the Tiger in 2003. He wrote the second book in the series, Dead or Alive, with Grand Blackwood. He wrote the next two books in the series with Blackwood but wrote Vector Threat with Mark Greaney. Since Clancy passed away in 2013 Blackwood and Greaney have continued his Clancy’s work by writing more stories featuring the characters Clancy created.
In February I read a wonderful non-fiction book titled, Sailing Alone Around the World by Captain Joshua Slocum. It’s the story of Slocum’s journey around the world between 1895 and 1898. I was inspired enough by the story to plot the stops on his trip on Google Maps and write a Blog article about the book.
I purchased a book by my old favorite, Alistair MacLean, named The Last Frontier. According to Wikipedia, the book was published in 1959 and was released in the US with the title, The Secret Ways. I may have even read it decades ago when I first discovered Alistair MacLean. The story took place in Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. British agent Michael Reynolds, is on a mission to rescue a professor being help against his will by the Communist government.
Another great discovery in 2016 was The Chronicles of St Mary’s by Jodi Taylor. It’s a series about modern time traveling historians that go back in time to observe the past. Everything that can go wrong usually does, but somehow they make it back, more or less in one piece. You can also learn a lot about history in a fun way since the characters visit some pivotal events and battles. The stories are fun and funny most of the time, but at times the author yanked the old “heart strings” and made you feel sad.
I enjoyed a series by James L. Nelson that took place during “viking age Ireland” about 852 AD. Book one is titled, Fin Gall. The story follows Thorgrim Nightwolf, a raider from Norway, on his way to the “Viking longphort there, known as Dubh-Linn”
I had heard the recent hit movie, The Revenant, was based on a book. I never made it to the theater to see it, but I did purchase the book. It was awesome! It is based in the true story of Rocky Mt. fur trapper Hugh Glass. Glass had survived a brutal bear attack. Fellow expedition members that were caring for him stole his weapons and abandon him to die of his wounds or at the hands of attacking Indians, whichever cam first.
Decades ago, I had enjoyed several Wilbur Smith’s novels set in Southern Africa. I discovered he has a new series of books that takes place in ancient Egypt, which is a fascinating time in history. The first book I got was titled Desert God. Taita, advisor to the Pharaoh, is on a mission to form an alliance with the king of Crete and defeat the Hyksos, who had invaded lower Egypt.
I finished the year reading another book in the series titled, The Quest. The mighty Nile river has nearly dried up and the people of Egypt are dying. Taita is sent on a mission to find the source of the Nile and discover what evil has caused the river to dry up.
- The Sum of All Fears – Tom Clancy
- Clear and Present Danger – Tom Clancy
- Architect of Destiny -Amy DuBoff
- Veil of Reality-Amy DuBoff
- Bonds of Resolve -Amy DuBoff
- The Show – John A. Heldt
- Sailing Alone Around the World – Joshua Slocum
- Command Authority – Tom Clancy and Mark Greaney
- The Teeth of the Tiger – Tom Clancy
- Dead or Alive – Tom Clancy and Grant Blackwood
- The Last Frontier – Alistair MacLean
- Locked On – Tom Clancy
- Threat Vector – Tom Clancy
- Wood’s Relic – Steven Becker
- Patriot Games – Tom Clancy
- One Damn Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St Mary’s) – Jodi Taylor
- A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St Mary’s) – Jodi Taylor
- A Second Chance (The Chronicles of St Mary’s) – Jodi Taylor
- A Trail Through Time (The Chronicles of St Mary’s) – Jodi Taylor
- The Whalemen – Edouard A. Stackpole
- No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St Mary’s) – Jodi Taylor
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (The Chronicles of St Mary’s) – Jodi Taylor
- Cardinal of the Kremlin – Tom Clancy
- Under Fire (Jack Ryan Jr. Series) – Grant Blackwood
- The Coral Thief – Rebecca Stott
- Fin Gall – James L. Nelson
- Dubh-linn – James L. Nelson
- The Lord of Vik-lo – James L. Nelson
- Glendalough Fair – James L. Nelson
- Night Wolf – James L. Nelson
- Total Recall – Philip K. Dick
- The Atlantis Gene – A..G. Riddle
- Wood’s Reef – Steven Becker
- The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge – Michael Punke
- Desert God – Wilbur Smith
- Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings – Jodi Taylor
- The Trespass – Scott Hunter
- The First Deadly Sin – Laurence Sanders
- Landfall – Jerry Aubin
- The Quest – Wilbur Smith