While you wait for me to publish the next Adam Lapid novel (which I am close to finishing), I would like to share with you five books that I’ve read recently and which I think you will enjoy.
They include fiction and non-fiction and are written in a variety of styles, so I’m sure you’ll find at least one book on this list that you’ll love.
All the links on this list are Amazon affiliate links, which means I get a very small commission from Amazon if you buy any of these books, at no added cost to you.
So, here are five books you should read:
1. Speak You Also
This relatively unknown book is the best Auschwitz memoir I’ve ever read.
Paul Steinberg was just 16 when he was deported from France to the Monowitz forced-labor camp, also known as Auschwitz-III. The same camp that Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi were imprisoned in.
In fact, Steinberg is mentioned unfavorably in Levi’s seminal work, If This is a Man, but after reading Speak You Also, I feel nothing but admiration for Steinberg, both as a survivor and a writer.
What’s most remarkable about this memoir, and there are many things that are, is Steinberg’s unflinching analysis of his own character and why it contributed to his survival.
If you ever wondered what sort of person had a better chance of surviving a concentration camp, read Speak You Also. It will imprint itself on your mind forever.
Click here to get your copy of Speak You Also
2. I Am Watching You
I Am Watching You was a massive bestseller on Amazon a while back and with good reason.
I found this British psychological thriller very difficult to put down. I would go back to it every chance I had because I found the story very suspenseful, believable, and gripping.
I Am Watching You revolves around the disappearance of teenager Anna Ballard on a trip to London a year before the main part of the novel takes place.
The story is told from several viewpoints, including Anna’s father and her best friend, both of whom have secrets that cast suspicion on them or those closest to them as possible abductors of Anna.
Another character is Ella Longfield, a florist who just happens to be on the same train as Anna and her best friend on that fateful trip to London. While on the train, she overhears a conversation between the two girls and a pair of freshly released convicts. Ella knows she should alert the girls’ parents, but eventually does not. She is wracked with guilt ever since.
Guilt is not Ella’s biggest problem, though. Her biggest, most frightening problem is a series of threatening postcards in which she is warned that she is being watched by someone who may wish to do her harm.
If you’re looking for a suspenseful, well-written thriller, I Am Watching You is a book you need to read.
Click here to get a copy of I Am Watching You
3. My Sister, The Serial Killer
My Sister, The Serial Killer is the debut novel of Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite, and if it’s any indication of her talent, she has a very bright future as an author.
This book achieved a great deal of success, in small part because of its intriguing title, but mostly because of the writing style, which is quick, punchy, humorous, and fresh.
My Sister, The Serial Killer takes place in Nigeria and the protagonist is Korede, a nurse by profession, whose beautiful and flighty sister Ayoola is causing her a great deal of trouble.
You see, Ayoola has the unfortunate tendency to murder the men who court her, and there are many of those around.
And Korede, the responsible, wise sister, must clean up after Ayoola’s deadly messes in order to keep Ayoola out of prison.
This is not a crime thriller in the traditional sense of the word, but more a story of familial love and loyalty, and how far one would go to protect one’s imperfect sibling.
This is a short book, with very short chapters that fly by like a bullet. It’s a quick, very enjoyable read that will put a smile on your face, even as you grow to love Korede and ache with her.
4. The Last Kingdom
Okay, this is actually a book I read a couple of years ago, I think, and not as recently as the others on this list.
The reason I’m putting it here is that since then I’ve gone through the first ten books in this series, reading the tenth a few months ago, and I intend to read the next three in the very near future.
This historical fiction epic series takes place in England in the 9th and 10th centuries, a time in which the Danes ruled much of England and were on the verge of subjugating all the Saxon nations.
At the beginning of the series, three of the four Saxon kingdoms in what would one day come to be called England have already fallen to the Danes, and the last kingdom, Wessex, appears certain to be next.
The protagonist is Uhtred of Babbenburg, who as a child is abducted by the Danes after they kill his father and elder brother. At first, Uhtred is nothing but a slave, but a series of events leads him to become a regular Dane, with all the military training involved.
Throughout the series, Uhtred is torn between his love of the Danes, their culture, and pagan religion, and his innate loyalty to his Saxon brethren.
This series is rich in historical detail, thrilling beyond measure, and enthralling. The battle scenes are detailed and exciting, and the characters are superbly drawn, the sort that linger in your mind.
Uhtred is a bigger-than-life hero you won’t forget. As I write this, I’m getting the urge to lay the book I’m reading now aside, and start book 11 in this series. It’s that good.
Start from the beginning with The Last Kingdom, and you’ll have a long and enjoyable reading experience ahead of you.
Click here to get a copy of The Last Kingdom
5. All Quiet On The Western Front
I’ll finish with a classic that I recently read for the second time. All Quiet On The Western Front is one of those books that everyone should read.
A breathtaking examination of the experience of trench warfare from the eyes of the common soldier, All Quiet On The Western Front tells the story of Paul Bäumer, a German soldier fighting in France in World War I.
He begins the war with youthful romanticism, but soon learns the true nature of war. The horrors, death, uncleanliness, hunger, and the detachment between the warriors and the civilians back home.
War is laid bare in this book in a way I had not encountered anywhere else. If you ever wanted to know what World War I was like for the enlisted man, you need to read this book. It will be one of the best reading experiences of your life.
Click here to get a copy of All Quiet On The Western Front
This brings my short list of five books you should read to a close. Read one of them, read them all. I enjoyed each and every one, and I think you will too.