Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me
From mine own library with volumes that
I prize above my dukedom.

- William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Sc. 2

This is a list of the books I'm reading, recent books I've read and books I plan to read. Where possible, I've attempted to include some information about the book, perhaps a brief review and, most important, links to other books by the same author, read-alikes (books by other authors that may appeal) and similar recommendation tools.

The books listed as favorites are significant to me in some way or another. Mostly, they are books that I particularly enjoyed or that struck a chord in me. In most cases, I also feel that they are excellent books from a literary standpoint, as well. My hope is that if you enjoy some of the authors and books on this page, you may find something else here you haven't read that may be of interest. Regrettably, some of them are a trifle obscure and may be out of print. Where that's the case, I encourage you to try and track them down. As a note, either I have good taste in books or, far more likely, the same kind of quirky taste as some editors since a number of these books reappear as reprints at regular intervals.

Currently reading

Everfair

From the publisher:
What if the African natives developed steam power ahead of their colonial oppressors? What might have come of Belgium’s disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier?

Fabian Socialists from Great Britain join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo’s “owner,” King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.

Shawl’s speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. Everfair is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history.

Turing’s Delirium

Translated by Lisa Carter

From the publisher:
The setting: Bolivia in the near future. Miguel “Turing” Saenz, a veteran cryptanalyst, is the most famous code-breaker in the employment of a secret government organization known as the Black Chamber. He is leading the pursuit of the Chamber’s latest target: Kandinsky, a “cyberhacktivist” leader who is staging a war against both the government and the country’s transnational corporations as part of an antiglobalization revolution. As Turing finds himself drawn into a web of murder, intrigue, and deception, he begins to suspect that his work is not as innocent as he once believed.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy, book 1)

From the publisher:
Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

As Tracker follows the boy’s scent–from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers–he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?

Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written a novel unlike anything that’s come before it: a saga of breathtaking adventure that’s also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, and our need to understand them both.

What Matters Most

From the publisher:
On July 17, 2009, Chanel Reynolds’s husband, José, was sideswiped by a van while cycling near their home in Seattle. In the aftermath of her husband’s sudden death, Reynolds quickly realized that she was left bewildered and underprepared for what happens next. What was the password to his phone? Did they sign their wills? How much insurance did they have? Could she afford the house? And what the hell was probate court anyway? Simply put, when life went sideways she didn’t have her shit together.

As it turns out, most of us don’t either. We’re too busy, in denial, overwhelmed, don’t know where to start. We procrastinate or outright avoid having these difficult yet critical conversations.

Reynolds learned the hard way that hoping for the best is not a plan, but you don’t have to. Drawing on her first-hand experience, expert advice, and the unparalleled resources she’s compiled from her popular website and checklists, Reynolds lends her, friendly, human voice to help readers navigate and avoid much of confusion, overwhelm, and uncertainty when ‘something happens’ and learn how to:

• Create a will, living will, and power of attorney documents
• Update (or finally get) the right life insurance policy
• Start or grow an emergency fund and prioritize your spending
• Make a watertight emergency and ‘What-If’ plan
• Keep secure, up-to-date records of personal information

Authoritative yet intimate, grounded but irreverent, Reynolds’s voice carries readers through a tough subject with candor and compassion. Weaving personal story with hard-won wisdom, What Matters Most is the approachable, no-nonsense handbook we all need to living a life free of worry and “what ifs.”

The Scapegracers (Scapegracers, book 1)

From the publisher:
Skulking near the bottom of West High’s social pyramid, Sideways Pike lurks under the bleachers doing magic tricks for Coke bottles. As a witch, lesbian, and lifelong outsider, she’s had a hard time making friends. But when the three most popular girls pay her $40 to cast a spell at their Halloween party, Sideways gets swept into a new clique. The unholy trinity are dangerous angels, sugar-coated rattlesnakes, and now–unbelievably–Sideways’ best friends.

Together, the four bond to form a ferocious and powerful coven. They plan parties, cast curses on dudebros, try to find Sideways a girlfriend, and elude the fundamentalist witch hunters hellbent on stealing their magic. But for Sideways, the hardest part is the whole ‘having friends’ thing. Who knew that balancing human interaction with supernatural peril could be so complicated?

[more]

Books I'm planning to read

[more]

My favorite books

[more]

Recently read books