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collage by Anne Fontaine

It’s not immediately clear whether I’ve jumped into the rabbit hole or am finally poking my head out of it but time has passed and much has happened, some of it happy and a lot of it sad. The one constant through my life’s most recent shenanigans (which include an interstate move, the loss of a nephew, and then the loss of my mother) has been books. Reading is the only occupation that can both anchor me in this world and, at the same time, send my limping brain soaring to worlds of my choosing—a sort of therapeutic waking dream. If I ever stop reading, you’ll know there is something seriously wrong and you should call someone. To help me get back into blog-writing form, I put together a partial list of the books I’ve read while absent from these pages. Though I haven’t written about any of them (yet), I haven’t been idle—notes were taken. Some of these titles are earmarked for reviews but, in general, if it’s here, I loved it.

  1. The Bromeliad Trilogy  Terry Pratchett
  2. The Apothecary  Maile Meloy
  3. All nine books of Colin Cotterill’s Dr. Siri series and the first two in his Jimm Juree series. (The first Dr. Siri novel, The Coroner’s Lunch, was reviewed here in November 2013)
  4. Frozen Solid and Deep Zone  James M. Tabor
  5. Island Practice: Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom, and Other Adventures of a Nantucket Doctor  Pam Belluck
  6. Skin Game and Welcome to the Jungle  Jim Butcher  I’ve also listened to the entire 15-novel Dresden Files series on audio—three times (James Marsters, ‘Spike’ from Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reads and he’s brilliant); my reviews of Turn Coat, Ghost Story, and Cold Days can be read here
  7. The Lost Island and Gideon’s Corpse from Douglas Preston’s and Lincoln Child’s series featuring Gideon Crew; Blue Labyrinth and Crimson Shore from their Pendergast series (Fever Dream was reviewed here in June 2010 and Two Graves here in January 2013; Preston’s The Kraken Project was reviewed here in August 2014 and Impact here)
  8. The Forgotten Room  Lincoln Child (The Third Gate, also featuring Dr. Jeremy Logan, was reviewed here in July 2012)
  9. The Lewis Trilogy and Entry Island  Peter May (also the first four of his China Thrillers and first five of the Enzo Files novels)
  10. The first seven books in Elly Griffiths’ series featuring Dr. Ruth Galloway (the first, The Crossing Places, was included in a post titled ‘Bring Out Your Dead: Three Forensical Series to Add to Your Shelves’ in September 2013)
  11. Bloodline and The Eye of God  James Rollins (Altar of Eden was reviewed here in January 2010 and The Blood Gospel here in May 2013)
  12. The first 16 books of Deborah Crombie’s series featuring Duncan Kincaid and Emma James
  13. The Great Zoo of China  Matthew Reilly   (a dinosaur park and mayhem—yessss)
  14. The first eight books of Joseph Delaney’s Spook series
  15. Full Dark House  Christopher Fowler
  16. Carry On  Rainbow Rowell
  17. My Life in Middlemarch  Rebecca Mead
  18. Liar & Spy  Rebecca Stead
  19. The Martian  Andy Weir
  20. The first three Cormoran Strike novels by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)
  21. Gaudy Night  Dorothy L. Sayers  
  22. Matilda  Roald Dahl
  23. A Wrinkle in Time  Madeleine L’Engle  

Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher was my first foray into graphic novels since I used to devour Classics Illustrated and Mad Magazine and I will definitely look for more. In addition to the Dresden Files, there are several other series (as you can probably tell) that have become my literary equivalent to comfort food. The last three books on my list are old favorites and have been read many times; I wrote about Gaudy Night here in March 2014 and included A Wrinkle in Time in a December 2009 post titled ‘Suggested Reading for the Imaginative Child’. Which authors or books, in particular, keep you coming back for more?