During my recent recovery from my sixth Crohns intestinal surgery, I took the time to read as much as possible. I’m usually more of a TV binger or classic movie-watcher, but I was determined to shut off the technology and sit down with the growing stack of books on my desk.
Here’s what tickled my literature fancy…
The Martian by Andy Weir. An insanely easy read about an insanely impossible situation. The book, filled with Apollo 13-style space challenges, techno-babble and a healthy sense of humor, keeps you learning and guessing all the way to the end.
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. Disturbingly effective. The book is seen through the eyes of a Jasper Dent, a young teen whose father was the most notorious serial killer in U.S. history. The story is both intriguing and unsettling as Dent fights memories of this father’s sick teachings on how to kill, dismember and keep trophies. Determined to overcome his father’s psychopathic brainwashing, Dent decides to hunt killers before he becomes one, starting with a local serial killer mimicking his father’s early work.
It Is About Islam by Glenn Beck. An interesting non-fiction read that pulls nearly all of its information from Muslim texts or quotes from their leaders, past and present. Beck puts it into context for today’s reader, explaining the difference between a Muslim and an Islamist. The most concerning pages of his book discusses the Al-Qaeda documents stolen by an undercover operative that highlights their long term plans. The bad news is that it has all come to pass, as planned and on time… so far.
Air Awakens by Elise Kova. This fantasy novel is a fun mix of the Avatar TV series and Harry Potter, as it tells the story of an air bender, Vhalla Yarl, who learns of her burgeoning powers while fighting/embracing the flirtatious advances of her mentor, the charming and haunted Crown Prince Aldrik. This book is killing it in sales right now and I could not be more happy for Elise. She did everything right before selling her releasing her first novel and is reaping the rewards.
I’m also trying to read and support Catholic fiction writers. Here are the first three I’ve read.
I Am Margaret by Corinna Turner. A Catholic, dystopian Hunger Games-esque novel about a young teen, Margaret, living in a world where nations have consolidated into a few mega-governments. These brutal regimes harvest organs from those unable to meet societal standards and punish those professing a divine with live dissection. Margaret is one of the few who did not pass the government tests and is moved into a facility where she will be housed for up to two years before being harvested. The first in a series, Margaret’s devout faith is a simple reality of her existence and the consequences of her belief force her to keep it hidden from all but her closest friends. It’s a worthy read.
At Home in Persimmon Hollow by Gerri Bauer. Bauer, no relation, tells the historical romance story about of Agnes, a devout Catholic and school teacher who moves from the midwest to teach in the small Florida town of Persimmon Hollow in the late 1800s. Forced to leave her beloved work at an orphanage, Agnes struggles with the many challenges of the Florida heat, being and outsider in a small town, and her lure to Seth, a fallen-away Catholic rancher. If romance and faith are your thing, you’ll enjoy this book.
3 Gates of the Dead by Jonathan Ryan. This horror novel doesn’t involve Catholicism, but is written by Ryan, a convert who writes about the faith online. As it is the first in a series and deals with the faith struggles of a disgruntled Presbyterian minister, the story may evolve into the realm of Catholicism. We’ll have to see. In this novel, the minister, Aidan, assists the police in trying to solve the brutal, ritualistic murder of his ex-fiance while supernatural forces begin to attack those around him. An intriguing story and I’m anxious to see how it plays out.
As a fan of thrillers and mystery, it was fun to delve into fantasy, romance, sci-fi, and horror.
Have you read any good books lately? Let me know in the comments section.