Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Enjoyed But Rarely Talk About

It’s been a little while since I took part in Top Ten Tuesday but I’m looking to get back to posting regularly on SWB again and what better way to do it than to jump on this week’s prompt and share some of the books I enjoyed but rarely talk about! Some of the books here are ones I enjoyed before I started blogging and haven’t spoken about in any real detail on the blog. Others are newer books that I love but don’t necessarily talk about all that often on the blog. Some I found looking through the tag list here on SWB and others come from some of the early books I added to Goodreads when I first joined.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme currently hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


Books I Enjoyed But Rarely Talk About

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

About The Book…

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought — a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?

I first read Noughts & Crosses back when it was released back in the early 2000s but I’ve never really spoken about it on the blog. I only read the original trilogy so I have some catching up to do. 2020 might be the year for a re-read and to read the later two books in the series.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

About The Book…

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

I read this one back before I started blogging. I loved that this was different from anything that I’d read before, there’s a book within a book and it was wonderful. This was never reviewed on my blog, but I spoke about it briefly in a discussion post. There is a sequel due out this year and I’m intrigued to see how Anthony follows up.

Read my discussion post all about intriguing book premises

Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz

About The Book…

A delightfully fiendish crime thriller from the bestselling author of The House of Silk.

Sherlock Holmes is dead.

Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind who has risen to take his place.

Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction, Frederick Chase must forge a path through the darkest corners of the capital to shine light on this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace.

Another Anthony Horowitz book! In general I have really mixed feelings about retellings and current authors using existing characters in new works. When it works I think it can be amazing, but part of me thinks more and more often publishers are going down the easy route and building on an existing ‘franchise’ that’s easy to market rather than taking risks with original works. That said I really loved the twist in this book that focuses on Moriarty rather than Sherlock!

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

About The Book…

A killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on them before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician – a physician who, instead of saving lives, takes them.

But as homicide detective Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli begin their investigation, they make a startling discovery. Closely linked to these killings is Catherine Cordell, a beautiful doctor with a mysterious past. Two years ago she was subjected to a horrifying rape and shot her attacker dead.

Now the man she believes she killed seems to be stalking her once again, and this time he knows exactly where to find her…

I got hooked on these books as a teenager when The Surgeon was a freebie with Company magazine. I’ve fallen behind with the series now and haven’t really read any of them since I started the blog so I’ve not spoken about them all that much. The books can be pretty graphic, Tess Gerritsen is a doctor and she’s not afraid to use her knowledge of anatomy in her descriptions. The series was picked up and turned into a TV show which I also loved but it definitely had a much lighter vibe than the books and I missed seeing a slightly more dark and gothic Maura on screen!

The Book Of The Year by No Such Thing As A Fish

About The Book…

In a year when much of the news was believable but fake, comes a book packed with stories that are unbelievable but true.

The Book of the Year is a hilarious guide to 2017’s most extraordinary events, unearthed by the creators of the award-winning hit comedy podcast No Such Thing As A Fish. Each week, over a million people tune in to find out what bizarre and astonishing facts Dan, James, Anna and Andy have found out over the previous seven days. Now the gang have turned their attention to the news of the past twelve months.

You’ll discover the curious details behind the main headlines – how Donald Trump slept on the 66th floor of a 58-storey building, what effect Brexit had on Coco Pops, and why China’s president can’t stand Winnie the Pooh – as well as hundreds of stories you may have missed entirely, like the news that:

– Qatar built a refugee camp for camels
– 2,000 bees were stolen in Beeston
– The victim of Britain’s first ever shark attack ended up with a cut thumb.

From bizarre arrests to baffling elections, via a surprising amount of sausage news, The Book of the Year is an eye-opening tour of the incredible year you didn’t know you’d lived through.

I absolutely adore the No Such Thing As A Fish podcast so when they started publishing their books of the year filled with interesting facts from the year that were overlooked in the mainstream press. So far they’ve released three books, 2012, 2018 and 2019 and I’ve downloaded the audiobooks which are just like extended podcasts and are brilliant! I should shout about these more!

Never Somewhere Else by Alex Gray

About The Book…

When a series of young women are discovered strangled and mutilated in a Glasgow park, it is up to DCI Lorimer to find their killer. He enlists the services of Dr Solomon Brightman, a psychologist and criminal profiler.

Right back at the beginning of SWB I reviewed The Swedish Girl which is one of the later books in the DCI Lorimer series. I had picked it up months before hand, probably as part of a three for two promotion in Waterstones and at the time I hadn’t even realised that it was part of a series, let alone so far into it. I really enjoyed it so I’ve slowly been working my way through the audiobooks of the earlier part of the series but for some reason I’ve not reviewed them on SWB yet. I think when it comes to Scottish crime characters Ian Rankin’s Rebus is probably the most well known but DCI Lorimer is a great character and I should shout about this series more!

Check out my review of The Swedish Girl here

Hotel Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones

About The Book…

‘Something strange occurs to guests as soon as they check in. Even if in real life they are perfectly well-mannered, decent people with proper balanced relationships, as soon as they spin through the revolving hotel doors the normal rules of behaviour no longer seem to apply.’

All of the following is true.Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty. All the anecdotes, the stories, the characters, the situations, the highs, the lows, the scams, the drugs, the misery, the love, the death and the insanity are exactly as was told by Anonymous – someone who has spent his whole career working in hotels at the heart of London’s luxury hotel industry. However, for legal reasons, the stories now take place in a fictitious hotel known as Hotel Babylon. More than a decade is compressed into a day. Everything else is as it should be. The rich spend money, the hotel makes money and the chambermaids still fight the bellboys over a two-pound coin.It’s just another twenty-four hours in an expensive London hotel.

I’m going to be honest, I’m not sure how well this book, and the rest of the series holds up as it’s been years since I’ve read them! The BBC did a drama series based on the book Hotel Babylon and it was cheesy as anything but it was so much fun to watch! These books are similar for me, I’ve read three or four of the books in the series including Air Babylon. Fashion Babylon and Wedding Babylon. They’re not literary masterpieces but such fun!

Rules of Prey by John Sandford

About The Book…

The killer was mad but brilliant.
He left notes with every woman he killed. Rules of murder: Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used…So many rules to his sick, violent games of death.
But Lucas Davenport, the cop who’s out to get him, isn’t playing by the rules.

This is an American crime series, I’m not sure how popular it is over there but it doesn’t seem to be that well known over here in the UK but I could be wrong! I was first introduced to the series through the TV adaptation of Certain Prey which I watched purely because it starred Mark Harmon. Like a lot of things it probably didn’t stick that closely to the source material, particularly with the casting of Mark but it was enough to intrigue me and I listened to a few of the audiobooks. It’s definitely a series I want to pick up, but there are a lot of books to catch up on!

Sing (Like No One’s Listening) by Vanessa Jones

About The Book…

Make your mark. Raise your voice. Fame and Glee meets Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl in former West End actress Vanessa Jones’ YA novel, Sing (Like No One’s Listening).

Since her mother died, Nettie Delaney hasn’t been able to sing a note. This wouldn’t be a problem if she wasn’t now attending Dukes, the most prestigious performing arts college in the country, with her superstar mother’s shadow hanging over her. Nettie has her work cut out for her and everyone is watching.

But one night, in an empty studio after college, Nettie finds herself suddenly singing, as someone behind the curtain accompanies her on the piano. Maybe all is not lost for Nettie. Maybe she can find her voice again and survive her first year at Dukes. But can she do it before she gets thrown out?

A novel about dreaming a dream, finding and raising your voice, and not throwing away your shot!

This was a book that definitely grew on me as I was reading it. There were a lot of amazing UKYA books out last year and I feel like perhaps this didn’t get as much love as it could have done. I’m looking forward to the second in the series coming out later this month (assuming it doesn’t get pushed back). That said it does sound like it might be a bit of a heartbreaker!

Check out my review of Sing here

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

About The Book…

Dear Logan,
Someday I’m going to write a book: How Not to Die in Alaska – A Girl’s Guide to Fashionable Survival.

I bet you don’t know that a hair pin can make an excellent fishing hook. You may think you can use just any kind of mud for mud masks, but trust me, you CAN’T! In a pinch, nothing starts a fire like nail polish remover. Alaska is tough. You might know this, if you ever replied to my letters.

After Maddie’s Secret Service dad takes a bullet for the president, he takes Maddie somewhere he thinks they’ll be safe – far away from the White House and the president’s son, Logan.

But when Logan comes to Alaska, so does the danger.

If there’s one thing Alaska has taught Maddie, it’s how to survive. And now her best friend’s life depends on it

I’ve not read any of Ally’s other books so I can’t compare to her other series but I really enjoyed following Maddie’s adventure. I don’t know if there are any other plans to revisit Maddie and Logan’s characters but I think I would enjoy catching up with a grown up Maddie and discovering what she’s gone on to do with her life!

Be sure to check out my Not If I Save You First review

There are ten of the books I’ve enjoyed but don’t speak about all that much. Are any of these books ones you’ve enjoyed? What books do you enjoy but don’t really talk about all that much? Let me know in the comments!

20 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Enjoyed But Rarely Talk About

    1. Sarah - SWB

      It’s just a really fun read. One of those books that’s easy to pick up read a bit and then put down and come back to at another point. I think every now and then everyone just needs a bit of lighthearted randomness in their lives!

      Thanks for visiting SWB!


  1. lydiaschoch

    Moriarty does sound interesting. Although I agree with you that too many old stories are being revisited in general by today’s publishers. We need more new, fresh stuff.

    My TTT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah - SWB

      In some ways I don’t blame them, it’s like Hollywood, if they’ve got a limited marketing budget the best way to achieve the best income with the smallest outlay is with a big celebrity author or with a character that’s already well known and popular. I do wonder what we’re missing out on though!

      Thanks for visiting SWB!


  2. RS

    Ooh, Tess Gerritsen! I was inspired to read that series a few years ago because of the show (which I…proceeded to then only see 3 random episodes of, even though I loved what I saw), but I was so impatient and not here for a book without Isles that I started with book 2 and never actually read The Surgeon. Now that I’ve finished all the others, maybe I should go back. How far did you get into them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah - SWB

      I got up to the point they gave the UK and US editions different names as it confused me! I think I need to read Keeping The Dead, which was The Keepsake in the US, I own it I just haven’t read it. I think I own the eighth book too


  3. An @ Traversing Chapters

    I loved the Hotel Babylon TV show back in the day, but didn’t know it was based on a book! And Moriarty sounds amazing!


  4. Dedra @ A Book Wanderer

    I haven’t read any of these, but I do remember the buzz for Noughts & Crosses. I’m still very intrigued by it after reading your blurb. May have to check it out again. Thanks for sharing these!


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