The Rose Code by Kate Quinn is my book for letter R this month. It won’t come as too much of a surprise to regular readers of my blog, but I have plenty of outstanding titles to offer you.
The plan for the month is to feature daily a book I’ve reviewed in the past (or review it that day), and also highlight others: not all are included each day.
- spacetime challenge (I host this reading challenge – you can join here)
- middle grade (childrens) choice
- series (love a good series – there’s a challenge for finishing those, too)
- ‘notable’ reads
- ‘outstanding’ books
- my books!
Featured Book: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
The Rose Code sneaked in at the head of a long line of fictionalised accounts of life at the top secret code-breaking establishment of Bletchley Park. Kate Quinn takes three women from very different backgrounds and throws them together. In the hothouse that is Bletchley, they become close friends. And despite everything that goes wrong (and by goodness it does), they come back together when the life of one is in serious danger – from the British.
It’s gripping, well researched, well written, and absolutely right for the time. Even the romance with the young naval commander (poignantly this was published just weeks before his real-life death) fitted right in. I loved it. I want to find time to read it again. No finer honour!
The characters and the story gripped me so much that I had to force myself to take breaks. I was deeply involved in the work, the concentration, the messages passing through the girls’ hands.From my Review March 21
Reclamation by Sarah Zettel; this is a great piece of space opera. I don’t think the blurb does the story justice, and it took me a reread of my review to remember the story–but then it flooded back! Great world-building, wonderful characterisation, and really great pace.
Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. Lots of my favourite things get addressed in this book: recycling in the most fundamental of ways just for starters. Choice of careers in a culture where you work for the good of the community, and not for your own gain. The impact on the concept of gain on traditional ways. Societal change. All told by interlinked and interwoven stories of five (by my count) individuals, with further input from one slug-like alien who records her impressions during her cultural research visit.
Recovering Apollo 8 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. This is an engrossing long novella or short novel about a man with a dream. Full of rich believable space detail, human interest, geek interaction and undiplomatic diplomats, all in a parallel universe. And a swerving twist at the end.
Middle Grade Choice
Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi. I considered skipping the MG choice today, but Rea (probably the first in series) deserves a mention. This is a fantasy set in an Indian environment, where the family turn out to be refugees from an alternative timeline where magic is important. It is well written, and probably fascinating for the right age group.
If you’ve been following my blog this month (or generally), you’ll not be surprised to learn I’m recommending the Ruth Galloway crime series by Elly Griffiths. The fifteenth and final book in the series was published at the end of January, and was a wonderful finale. The first is the Crossing Places. Elly admits she never thought would it be any more than a stand-alone, and she wrote rather too much into the sub-plot as a result! If you enjoy crime, mystery, cold cases, and tangled relationships in wonderful scenery, you’ll enjoy this.
I was planning to give you an ‘outstanding’ read today, but I couldn’t decide which is really the best – so my three candidates joined my other notable reads!
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater; a wonderful YA adventure with some boys are are not what they seem and with time/alternate universe intrigue.
The Rosetta Man by Claire McCague. Probably the book of its year, about an alien who needs a translator – the Rosetta Man being the translator. Inventive and jaw-dropping. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel soon.
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers. One of the most exciting spy stories of the 20th Century. For sailing and historical fiction enthusiasts, possibly the best of those too. The link is to my comparison of book v film. But then it’s one of my favourite films, too.
The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe. Possible the first book to go inside NASA for the space programme, and written with every characterisation and twist to what it takes to conquer space. But it’s a long time since I read it, and I’m a fan of real space stories as well as scifi.
Recessional by James Michener. This stood out for me as I read it in my forties, and this is about how we process through life to the end of our days. If you are lucky, you could have this sort of experience. Immense food for thought.
Both the last two books are linked to their Goodreads profiles.
That’s all for today, so come back tomorrow for more. I’m hoping to meet more people who like the same kinds of book, so feel free to recommend something you’ve read beginning with the letter of the day!