Reading update (June 2023)

I last posted a reading update in January. Since then I’ve made quite a bit of progress with another 14 books completed albeit a bit slower than previous years.

This is partly attributed to me being more active on Twitter since late January alongside a focus on working on my plugins as well as writing up tutorials. This has meant a bit less time to read.

So here’s the list of what I’ve been reading so far. Comment below if you’ve read any of these or plan to. You can also follow me on Goodreads.

Fake Truth (Ian Ludlow Thrillers #3)

Fake Truth

Author Ian Ludlow writes great adventures…but after helping Chinese movie star Wang Mei defect to the United States, he becomes the accidental hero of a real-life espionage thriller. Now he’s stuck with the actress—and suffering a nasty case of writer’s block—when he stumbles into a secret Russian plot using “fake news” to outrage Americans into believing a terrifying lie.

This is the third book in a rather fun series by Lee Goldberg and picks up from book 2, so you’ll need to read the first two to make some sense of the early parts of the plot. The book tells an unbelievable story, which is exactly what it is. Ian continues to be the bumbling writer who gets lucky when he uncovers the Russian plot. And for the third time in a row, he’s on the run for his life.

Lee writes a good story bringing in several characters while expanding on the role that Ian and Margo play.

The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Lost World

There’s only one way for Professor George Edward Challenger to prove that dinosaurs still roam the earth. He invites sceptical journalist Edward Malone to accompany him and a group of adventurers to see the creatures with his own eyes. But when they arrive at the fantastic volcanic plateau in the Amazon where time stands still, their expedition quickly becomes one of survival.

This book has been sitting on my virtual Kindle shelf for years, not to mention my website dedicated to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I finally decided to dust it off and I wasn’t disappointed.

The Lost World by Sir Doyle is very different from that of Michael Crichton. But it is every bit a great read if you like dinosaurs.

It introduces the hot-blooded Prof Challenger as a new protagonist following the success of Sherlock Holmes who has returned from South America having discovered, what he believes to be, a lost world. The book is written in the first person by Edward Malone, an eager young journalist who accompanies Prof Challenger and fellow adventurers to the Amazon.

I enjoyed the twists in the tale and the evolution of the story as the relationship between the characters evolves as they need to support each other to survive.

That being said, I’m not so sure I’ll be reading all the series involving Challenger.

My Dear Friends

Ashwina introduced me to this book. And, for a change, I read the paperback version. This is a new release from an unknown author John Ellwood. “My Dear Friends…” is a compilation of John’s contributions to The Conservative Woman.

Sir Charles Chatterton M.P. can arguably claim to be the only parliamentarian who has emerged from the events of recent years with any credit. With the loyal support of his secretary and confidante Catherine, and his formidable wife, Lady Veronica, he has fought valiantly to maintain the spirits of his constituents in Greater Tittleham. As a junior minister, Sir Charles has been able to observe first-hand the fateful decision-making that has mired the country in debt and division. Other players, such as the crisis actor Erasmus Demosthenes Hepplewhite, and Covid Marshal (Grade 2) Ivan Dennison, also recount their experiences of these tumultuous years.

This is a hilarious read. If you can get your hands on the book, please do that. And, you don’t need to be living in the UK.

Raven Black

Raven Black is the first book of the Shetland series. Having read Ann’s Vera series, this seemed like a good place to start. It introduces Jimmy Perez, an inspector is the island of Shetland.

Raven Black begins on New Year’s Eve with a lonely outcast named Magnus Tait, who stays home waiting for visitors who never come. But the next morning the body of a murdered teenage girl is discovered nearby, and suspicion falls on Magnus. Inspector Jimmy Perez enters an investigative maze that leads deeper into the past of the Shetland Islands than anyone wants to go.

The story evolves across the book and has a few interesting twists keeping in Ann’s writing style. However, it is a bit of a slow read which is also her style so you might need to pace yourself.

Like the Vera series, Shetland has been made into a TV series on BBC, which I have just started watching, albeit in slow motion.


Your concentration was better, you could multitask quicker, read faster, memorize more, and sleep deeper. For Logan Ramsay, it’s happening. He’s beginning to see the world around him, even those he loves the most, in whole new ways. He knows that it’s not natural, that his genes have been hacked. He has been targeted for an upgrade.

This is the third book that I’ve read by Blake Crouch. As usual, Blake explores next-gen sci-fi. This time it’s in the future where you have hyperloops and science has reached the next stages of understanding DNA. I found it less convoluted than the first two, albeit it has a tonne of jargon which is Blake’s style. I recommend reading this, especially if you’re read his other books.

Other books

I picked up two different books by J.B. Turner – No Way Back and Miami Requiem. I also continued the Renée Ballard series and DCI Ryan series and read a new book by Lee Goldberg called King City.

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