Hello and a very warm welcome to day 38 of #R3COMM3ND3D2020. How can it be day 38 already?! Today I am delighted to welcome another favourite book blogger to share their three #R3COMM3ND3D2020 reads – it’s HC of The Irresponsible Reader. HC’s blog is fantastic and if you don’t already subscribe then I insist that changes!
So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2020? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors, book bloggers and bookstagrammers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2020. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2020 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes. 😉
Here are the three books HC has chosen…
King of The Crows by Russell Day
How can I not recommend this book? I honestly asked Emma if I could recommend it in all three spots. There’s no way I can sum up my appreciation for this book in the space provided. Set in a world recovering from a pandemic, there’s a straightforward crime story at the heart of this novel—it’s just surrounded by so many layers, that you can miss it—there’s the disease, there’s the horrible social and political context (both mid- and post-Outbreak), there’s what the characters are going through otherwise—and the whole thing is drenched in social commentary about 2020 society, e.g., sexism, economics, medical care. Yeah, it was bad timing that this book came out in 2020 when the last thing that many people want to read is a novel about a disease that’s out of control. But this had been in the works for months before anyone had heard of COVID-19. I’ve wondered what I’d think of this book if I’d read it last Fall. I’d still like it, I’d still be impressed by it—but I don’t know if it would resonate with me the same way. There’s almost nothing about Gondii that’s comparable to COVID-19. But the way that people and governments respond—well, that’s pretty different, too. but if you can’t see what’s going on around us reflected in this novel? You’re not paying attention. That Day appears so prescient says something about his skill and observation (and a lot about Western culture, too).
HC’s Review of King of The Crows
A Beginning At The End by Mike Chen
Published a week or two before pandemics were all we started thinking about, this one is set a few years after a pandemic wiped out a large percentage of the population, three storylines intertwine as the world is beginning to recover. A widower father is trying to keep his daughter with him, an event planner trying to reestablish a career amid societal rubble, and a former pop-star running from her past make A Beginning at The End the kind of SF that should appeal to SF readers. It’s the kind of SF that should make non-SF readers (including those antagonistic to genre fiction) think there’s something to the genre after all. Because this isn’t “just” a SF novel. It’s a novel about humans being very human, with hopes, fears, loves, joys, sorrows, failures, and successes—it just happens to be set in a post-apocalyptic future.
HC’s Review of A Beginning At The End
A Bad Day For Sunshine by Darynda Jones
I really wanted to pick something that had nothing at all to do with a pandemic (surprisingly hard to this year). This is pure, escapist fun. Think Gilmore Girls mixed with Veronica Mars. A single mom is a new sheriff of a quirky little New Mexico town, with a spunky daughter. There’s a kidnapping, an escaped convict, a missing deputy, and cursed cupcakes. Great dialogue, witty repartee, a mother-daughter relationship that will earn Jones many fans. This is as much fun as you can pack into a police procedural without making it a comedy, but still full of grim, grisly, depravity and darkness. It’s a nice serving of literary comfort food. There’s a freshness to this voice that I just loved, but my appreciation for this book (and the series it launches) goes deeper.
HC’s Review of A Bad Day For Sunshine
Three fantastic sounding recommendations, thank you HC. I’m definitely adding a couple of these to the TBR (and yes, how could I not add King of The Crows following your enthusiastic review!).
If HC has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books recommended above, please see the following links:
I’m just some guy with a hobby that’s out of control.
If you’re a book blogger, bookstagrammer or an author and you have three books published this year which you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/kHTQeQdiUNZTsW4d6)