Books I Read in February 2018

Books I Read in February 2018


As I’ve been preparing to work on the next draft of my upcoming novel, I’ve delved heavily into reading in the thriller/military techno thriller genre. Part of the reason for this is to get my own creative juices flowing, part of it is because once I get hooked on a character and his/her story, I can’t put it down. Hence, you’ll see the same author repeatedly one my “read list” as I work my way through a series.

I’ve written previous posts about the importance of reading. I’ve mentioned how I read to my nine-year-old and I love to field his questions about the people and the places we’re reading about. It’s fun to see his imagination light up and his curiosity spark. His older siblings were the same. My wife and I have read to each of them when they were young and as a result, they enjoy losing themselves in a good book whenever possible. School and work and the demands of life often make that difficult, as you may have experienced, but reading is good for the mind and good for the soul.

In February, I devoured four installments of the “Jet” series by Russell Blake. Yes, it’s fantastic in the outrageousness of the situations this female protagonist finds herself in and from which she extricates herself. Yes, it stretches the limits of reality. Yes, she’s almost super human. But, so what. It’s fun and it’s mostly clean, and there’s a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek to it all. That’s the beauty of fiction.

My son and I also finished another installment of “The Heroes of Olympus” series by Rick Riordan. This features Percy Jackson, a character that has captured the imagination of kids old (like me) and young (like my son). It centers on Greek mythology, which I have never bothered to learn much about. Nonetheless, I find it fascinating. I have to assume the Mr. Riordan is making up a bunch of this mythology, but I might be wrong.

During lunch one day, I downloaded and read an entire Stephen King book. Actually, it was a novella – only 66 pages. It was riveting. In true Stephen King style, he brought the reader into a strange situation and made you believe it was very real and very plausible – enough so that I couldn’t put it down once I started. Another fun, quick read that made my mind whir.

More recently, I have delved into Tim Tigner’s books at the behest of a mutual friend. Tim lives a zip code or two away from me, so, at first, it was all about supporting the local guy. After reading “Chasing Ivan,” a novella that introduces us to Kyle Achilles and his unusual assortment of skills and hobbies that lend themselves nicely to a successful career as a spy. Tigner’s style is at once engaging and conversational. It’s storytelling at it’s finest. He draws out suspense by giving you access to a wealth of knowledge pinging inside the characters’ heads, guiding their decisions and motivating their sometimes-unpredictable actions. He keeps the reading guessing, or, I should say, wanting to know more as he leads us through his dynamic and intricate plots. Again, really fun reading. If you like spy novels, you’ll love the Kyle Achilles series.

Whilst doing all this reading, I’m preparing to run a half marathon, working hard at my day job, hanging out with my family, keeping up with the Warriors, writing another revision of my fourth novel, and doing some home improvement projects.  Once in a while I try to get some sleep, too.

Here’s my list of books read in February 2018:

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan 586 pages
Jet #6 – Justice by Russell Blake 248 pages
Jet #7 – Sanctuary by Russell Blake 250 pages
Jet #8 – Survival by Russell Blake 269 pages
Jet #9 – Escape by Russell Blake 286 pages
Riding the Bullet by Stephen King 66 pages
Chasing Ivan by Tim Tigner 174 pages
Pushing Brilliance by Tim Tigner 375 pages

Add your comments about what you’ve been reading lately. I’d love to hear about it.


January 2018 List of Books Read

Books I Read in January 2018


As an avid reader and writer, I will try to remember to post more often about what I’m reading and, from time to time, I’ll update you on what I’m writing and how my next novel (or novella – however I decide to move forward) is coming along.

For now, here’s my list of books read last month.

I found myself engrossed in the “Jet” series by Russell Blake. These books are fascinating to me because Jet, the main character, is so lively, smart, and lethal. She’s human on the inside – meaning she has many of the same emotions you and I have, like the protective instinct for our children, love, loyalty, self-preservation. But her actions are more machine-like: swift, decisive, and deadly. She’s a beautiful woman but also a highly skilled assassin. That is an intriguing combination. And the situations in which she finds herself add to the intrigue as she bounces all over the world just looking for a safe place to call home. She doesn’t want to have to keep killing people, but it’s either that or be killed. With her skill set, the choice is obvious, but always highly entertaining to watch it play out in your mind’s eye as you rapidly turn the pages (or swipe the Kindle screen).

I’m also enjoying Rick Riordan’s “Heroes of Olympus” series with my fourth-grade son. I may be more enthralled by these books than even he is. He loves Percy Jackson but might still be a bit young for them. I, on the other hand, love the action and the imagination that goes into the writing.

I finished Michael Grumley’s most recent installment in the “Breakthrough” series as well. Like I said in my last post, his books really make me think. There are some concepts that he explores that keep churning in my head as I wonder if and when those ideas may ever become reality. He wraps these notions with enough action and intrigue and compelling characters to keep the pages turning. His books contain elements of science-fiction, techno-military, and action adventure that propel you to keep reading because, like I said, theirs plenty of brain food flowing in the pages.

I guess that’s the answer to the question, “How do you find time to read when you’re also writing?” Reading fuels my imagination and opens up my mind. Or, as they say, it sparks my muse and gets the creative juices going. Not that I try to steal other authors’ ideas or hijack their style but reading makes me think up ways to make my characters more real and their situations more life-like. Getting a fresh brain rush is always good for an author.

I’ll post another list next month to show you what I’ve read in February.

Here’s January’s list:

Ripple by Michael Grumley 448 pages
Jet #3 – Vengeance by Russell Blake 237 pages
Jet #4 – Reckoning by Russell Blake 263 pages
Jet #5 – Legacy by Russell Blake 233 pages
Total 1181 pages


Leave a comment and share your favorite recently read books. Tell us why you like what you read.


Favorite Books

Books I Like
If you’ve visited my site and read any of my posts, you know that I like adventure – reading about adventure, writing about it, and experiencing it. It’s what keeps life in our hyper-competitive, ego-fueled, money-centric world palatable. Sometimes, we all need to get away from it all, but since can’t always physically take off, books are there to sweep you away into another realm. A good reading adventure doesn’t replace a real adventure, but is a very acceptable, easily accessible alternative.
So, with that in mind, here’s a short list of books that I really like, in no particular order and from a range of genres: Continue reading “Favorite Books”