Susan Griffith: What are You Reading and What Books Do You Love?

Books have always been escapism for me. I do read for research and just a general sense of the world, but when I dive into a book I want to be swept away to amazing places and encounter intriguing characters. There are too many favorite books to just pick one favorite all time book, so this is just ONE of my personal favorites.

WHAT I’M READING

ILONA ANDREWS: MAGIC BURNS

I’m addicted. I’ll admit it. There’s just something special about Kate Daniels and Curran that feeds my love of characters. The world’s magic (or lack of it) is such a cool concept also. It’s an intriguing magic system, but if I’m being honest, my addiction is really to watch Kate be snarky and Curran roar in frustration. This time it’s witches and gods making a mess in the world. The heart of the story is Kate’s devotion to protecting a young girl caught in the middle between the two. We’re witness to a softer side of the blade-wielding mercenary. You add into the mix the slow burn building between the leads and I’m hooked. I love a hint of romance in books and the love/hate relationship between Kate and Curran is wonderfully played out. My favorite moment has been when Kate finds out that accepting a bowl of soup from the lion shapeshifter is tantamount to a bouquet of roses. And that she took it from his own hands means he’s in a serious mood for romance. It hits her completely out of the blue. And even though I know they are destined for one another, the way it plays out was original and delightful. So many of you already know about this series and adore it as much as I do. But if I can reach that one soul out there who hasn’t picked up these books, I’ll consider my job done.

WHAT BOOKS I LOVE

NAOMI NOVIK: HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON

Since we’re confessing here, I’ll keep going. I’ll confess to my secret love of war novels, but not in the manly way with guns and violence. Instead it is to the bonding of brothers in times of great strife. Where the stranger beside you becomes your best friend, the one who has your back under fire. There’s just something so appealing about male bonding. War novels (or even westerns) were the easiest ways to scratch that itch back in the day when I was younger (much younger.) Then television came with Rat Patrol, 12 O’clock High, and Combat. I watched the reruns constantly. I still do. Modern novels continue to feed that craving with Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe series. And now it’s rooted deep into the world of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. It’s the Napoleonic war but with dragons! And it’s amazing, mainly because the male bonding comes not from two humans, but from a soldier and his dragon. Either would give their life for the other. They support each other’s politics and tolerate one another’s odd quirks. Temeraire’s penchant for hording gems comes to mind. He is a dragon after all. Novik’s love for her characters is evident. Even though Captain William Laurence is soft spoken for an officer, and his humanity and compassion for the dragons and their plight is like a roar. It tugs at you from the opening volley.

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