Hello and welcome to a brand new week on damppebbles. We’ve almost made it to the end of November and what a cracking month it’s been. So far we’ve had 74 individual book recommendations, across multiple genres (always nice to feature books outside of damppebbles’ comfort zone – which is dark and scary!), from a bevy of publishers. Our current leader is The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean with three votes. You’ll have to wait and see if TLTtB remains at the top as there are still a couple of weeks to go. It could be anyone’s game!
Joining me today is the fabulous Jen Lucas of Jen Med’s Book Reviews. Jen’s blog is a firm favourite of mine. One of the many reasons I like it is because Jen (and her sister Mandie) both adore crime fiction as much as I do. It’s a treasure trove of criminal delights and I heartily recommend you give Jen a follow.
So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2021? 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 2021. To make things interesting there are a couple of teeny, tiny rules; 1) the book must have FIRST been published in 2021 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes 😉
As this is the fifth year of #R3C, things are going to be a smidge different this year. There’s a scary deadline involved *shudder*. The #R3COMM3ND3D application form will only be open until midday (GMT) on Wednesday 1st December. If you would like to take part in #R3C this year (and I would LOVE you to!) then please get your three choices in sooner rather than later. Any posts scheduled for later in December will be brought forward and I will close the series early if I’m not able to fill all of the available dates. The form is at the bottom of this post if you fancy taking part.
Here are the three books Jen recommends…
This is How We Are Human by Louise Beech
Louise Beech is the queen of reinvention, every single title she releases is different from the last and each one hits the mark, every single time. This book is full of hope, love laughter and memorable characters, whist still tackling the very serious subjects of abuse, family, friendships and what it really means to love and be loved. Sebastian is probably one of the most beautiful and uninhibited characters that the author has created and it’s impossible not to fall in love with him. I can’t even listen to Billy Ocean’s Suddenly without thinking about this book now.
Jen’s Review of This is How We Are Human
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
Now this will not be a book for everyone, and it was a bit of a slow burner, even for me. But there was something very unique, very twisted about the story which drew me in. Told from a multi-narrator point of view, nothing is ever quite what it appears and there is far more to this book than first meets the eye. Yes, one of the narrators is a little unusual, but I really loved the quirkiness of it, and I do like the author’s style. The premise, when revealed, put me in mind of what I consider to be a very clever movie, but I can’t name it because it will give the game away.
With a blend of storytelling that could creep me out, unnerve, intrigue and amuse me in equal measure, it is, without question, one of the most memorable reads of this year for me.
Jen’s Review of The Last House on Needless Street
What Will Burn by James Oswald
I love the Inspector McLean series by James Oswald and I have to be honest, this was one of my favourites. I loved the otherworldly element of this particular tale, it really did make me smile for reasons I think fall into spoiler territory. As always with James Oswald’s stories, this was full of mystery, intrigue, jeopardy and a whole lot of sleight of hand and antagonists you love to hate (and quite probably want to throttle). I love the characters that he has created and the slightly off kilter picture of Edinburgh that he paints with this detective fiction that blends real life with something a little more spectral or other dimensional. Grumpy Bob and Madame Rose are two of my absolute favourite characters and the nod to Mr Oswald’s other series makes this one of my top reads of the year. Definitely recommended.
Jen’s Review of What Will Burn
Cracking choices, thanks so much Jen. This is the second time we’ve seen This is How We Are Human by Louise Beech and the third time we’ve seen The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward which puts it in joint first with The Last Thing to Burn. It really could be anyone’s race this year!
About Jen Lucas:
Book blogger, Contract wrangler and part time cat bed, I love to read all things criminal and action and thrill filled reads. I’ve been blogging for more than five years now, having started on a whim that I expected to last no more than a few months. I only started reading again about 7 years ago after a long, post degree, hiatus but am having fun trying to catch up on all I’ve missed.
Most likely to be found with my head in a book, hooked up to intravenous supplies of coffee, if I’m not off walking around. the country, pretending I know how to take a good photo.
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/pHinvKCHGP89wumn9)