My A-Z of books

I’ve seen a few of these posts now so thought I would have a go at my own A-Z of books.

I have pinched the questions from my blogger friends Gordon at Grab This Book and Kate at Bibliophile Book Club. Join in!

We’ve already talked about my love affair with books, so I’ve got form here. Get yourself a brew, this could take a while.

*flexes writing muscles*

*something goes PING*


Author you’ve read the most books from:

Ah, an easy one to kick us off. That would definitely be Sir Terry Pratchett. I’ve got all of his Discworld books, most of them in hardback, and some of them are even unsigned! (long-running joke)

Best Sequel Ever:
Oh, I see how this is. An easy one to warm you up, the BOOM. In with the tricky ones. Errrm. Ignoring Sir Pterry’s books…

Oh! Of course. Has to be Pierce Brown’s Golden Son. Though Rob Boffard’s Zero-G is a worthy mention here. Both follow first books which just rock, and rock mightily, to the point where you worry that the ‘difficult second album syndrome might kick in. Both authors knocked it out of the park for the sequel. And they’re both top blokes too and I’m glad to say I’ve met them both in person.
Rob Boffard

Currently reading:
Where do I start? OK, here goes:
Black Night Falling, by Rod Reynolds (@Rod_WR)
The Evolution of Fear, by Paul E. Hardisty (@Hardisty_Paul)
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (@misterkristoff)
The Fireman, by Joe Hill (@Joe_Hill)
Epiphany Jones, by Michael Grothaus (@michaelgrothaus

Drink of choice while reading:
Depends on the time of day. Coffee at lunchtime, tea in the evening, perhaps a nice glass of red wine later on.

E-reader or physical book:


OK, slightly facetious answer there. Both have their place, and I have a large collection of both physical and ebooks. I’ll buy hardbacks for authors whose books I love, paperbacks when I’m catching up, and ebooks all the time (someone hide my credit card, please!)

Sometimes I’ll buy the hardback of a book to complete a series I’ve been collecting, but will also pick up the ebook so I’ve got it on my Kindle, and by extension, my phone. Having a library of books on my phone has been a wonderful thing. Five minutes reading here and there, always got a book with you.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school:

Based on books I’d have read then, or books I’ve read now, thinking back to what I was like then?
(yes, I’m stalling for time).

Erm. Thursday Next, from Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair. Love of books and stuff. Probably.

Glad you gave this book a chance:

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Picked it up at a friend’s house and got lost in it. Wonderful book.

Hidden Gem book:

Breath, by Tim Winton. An Australian colleague had said that Tim was his favourite author and one day I happened across Breath in a bookstore. It’s astonishingly beautifully written, an evocative exploration of adolescence and surfing. Gorgeous book. Go read it.

Important moment in your reading life:

Working in a public library in Newcastle as a saturday/holiday job. Saturdays were my favourite as the library closed for lunch, so you’d get this hour where you’d have the whole library to yourself and could just wander the shelves in peace and quiet.

Just finished:
Paul Crilley’s Poison City. Kind of a mix between Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London, Paul Cornell’s Shadow Police with a dash of Lauren Beukes thrown in for good measure. If that doesn’t make you want to read it, I don’t know what will. It’s dark, funny, and has an alcoholic dog as a spirit guide. A bad-tempered one. Out in August, add it to your lists now.

Kind of books you won’t read:

I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question. Next.

Longest book you’ve ever read:

Dunno. Dune? It’s pretty long. Good though. The first one at least. Probably best to stop there though, they go downhill after Dune Messiah/Children of Dune. Does Lord of the Rings count as one book? Currently reading Joe Hill’s The Fireman, which is HUGE.

Major book hangover:

The Red Rising Trilogy. Emerge blinking into the daylight after mainlining each book. And each book was better than the one before. And the one before was brilliant in each case. Omnis vir Lupis!

Number of bookcases you own:

Not enough.

One book you’ve read multiple times:

Harry Harrison’s The Stainless Steel Rat. My dad had a copy of this on his bookshelf at work, and I was drawn to it by the fabulous spaceship on the front. It’s a corking read which zips along without pausing for breath. The thing I love about old sci-fi books is that they’re short, skinny little paperbacks that you can get through in a couple of hours, but packed with excitement, adventure and really wild stuff. This is the story of Slippery Jim DiGriz, ace con-man, and titular Stainless Steel Rat, and his recruitment into the Special Corps, run by criminals to catch criminals. Who better to catch a thief than another thief? Brilliant. I’m not ashamed to say that Monty (the main character in my own writing dabblings) owes a lot of his heritage to the Rat.

Preferred place to read:

Right. Again this really depends on the time of day/month/year, but one place I like to read is in a particular Starbucks in Leeds. Before the coffee mafia pipe up, I like it here because a large mug of coffee is fairly cheap, they don’t mind you sitting for an hour reading a book, and there’s a nice bench by a large window where I can sit and read in peace and quiet or watch the world go by.

Quote that inspired you/ Gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“It was the day my grandmother exploded.” – Iain Banks, The Crow Road. Best opening line to a novel, ever. Bar none. Yes, I’ve heard the others. No, you’re wrong.

Reading regret:

That there aren’t more hours in the day? That I can’t spend all day reading and getting paid for it?

Series you started and need to finish:

I’ve still got book 3 of Liz de Jager’s excellent YA Blackhart trilogy to read. Ashamed to say it’s been on my shelf since January, when it came out. The first two books were ace!

Three of your all time favourite books:

This list is subject to change at a moment’s notice, but these three crop up fairly regularly, so…
1. Only Forward ~ Michael Marshall Smith (@ememess)

This was Mike’s debut novel, billed as a cross between Blade Runner and The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s neither, but an entirely original blend of smart-talking protagonist, weird & wonderful situations and locations, holding together a dark, funny, unforgettable story. This is the book I’m most likely to recommend to you on any given day.

2. The Red Rising trilogy, by Pierce Brown (yes, I’m cheating)
Red Rising is good. Golden Son is better. Morning Star lifts the story to an entirely new level. I will have rambled on at you to read these books if I’ve seen you in the past couple of years. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? GO.

3. Pyramids, by Terry Pratchett
Pyramids is my favourite and most-read of my Pratchett collection. The opening scenes where young Pteppic joins the Assassin’s Guild are a joy to behold, and Arthur’s line

‘This is a No.2 throwing knife. I got ninety-six percent for throwing knives. Which eyeball don’t you need?’

cracks me up every time I read it.

Unapologetic fanboy for:
Pierce Brown. He’s a brilliant writer, and is astonishingly nice in person.

Very excited for this release more than all others:

I get excited for lots of books. The one I’m currently looking forward to most is Rob Boffard’s third book in his Outer Earth series, Impact. Oh, and Becky Chamber’s A Closed and Common Orbit, follow up to her utterly brilliant The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

Worst bookish habit:
Trying to read ALL THE BOOKS at once. Not giving up on a book I’m not enjoying – there are far too many brilliant books out there waiting to be read.

X marks the spot- start on the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book:

City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett. Been on the TBR pile for quite a while!

Your latest purchase:
Morning Star, by Pierce Brown in hardback. Ebook it was Way Down Dark by James Smythe. He’s another author you should add to your list.

Zzzzz Snatcher book (the book that kept you up way too late):
Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10, which I was lucky enough to get an early copy of. It was (and indeed is) brilliant – a deliciously taut thriller set aboard a luxury yacht. One of those ‘just one more chapter, honest…’ books.

Right, that was my A-Z. What’s yours?

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

2 thoughts on “My A-Z of books”

  1. So many interesting recommendations there, but I think The Crow Road has to be top, you are so right about that opening line, it beats ‘Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself’ by a million miles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: