The best books I read again and again

Who am I?

There are some books that transcend a time or a place. Some books demand space on your bookshelf, elbowing aside less demanding, more transient material. Some books, every time you read them, reveal something new about themselves, the writer, or the story they are telling. These are some of the books I return to when I want to rediscover why I became a writer. Why are they my favourites? I really have no idea. The only thing I do know is that re-reading them is like being with an old friend, sharing both the past and the present and everything in between. 


I wrote...

The Irish Inheritance

By M J Lee,

Book cover of The Irish Inheritance

What is my book about?

Sometimes, digging up the past reveals more than just secrets…

Former police detective, Jayne Sinclair, now working as a genealogical investigator, is commissioned by an adopted American billionaire to discover the identity of his birth father. She has only three clues to help her: a photocopied birth certificate, a stolen book, and an old photograph. But she soon realises somebody else is on the trail of the mystery. A killer who will stop at nothing to prevent Jayne from discovering the secret hidden in the past. It is the first in a series of novels featuring Jayne Sinclair, a genealogical detective.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Daughter of Time

M J Lee Why did I love this book?

This was one of the first books I ever read that forced me to re-evaluate the way I look at history. It was recommended to me by my teacher when I was fourteen. In it, Josephine Tey examines the death of the Princes in the Tower during the reign of Richard III and comes to some startling conclusions. But it’s not a dry, historical tome. On the contrary, she uses the device of a detective using modern investigative techniques to examine the evidence. He comes to some startling conclusions and so will you if you read the book. Up yours William Shakespeare…

By Josephine Tey,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Daughter of Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_________________________
Josephine Tey's classic novel about Richard III, the hunchback king whose skeleton was famously discovered in a council car park, investigates his role in the death of his nephews, the princes in the Tower, and his own death at the Battle of Bosworth.

Richard III reigned for only two years, and for centuries he was villified as the hunch-backed wicked uncle, murderer of the princes in the Tower. Josephine Tey's novel The Daughter of Time is an investigation into the real facts behind the last Plantagenet king's reign, and an attempt to right what many believe to be the…


Book cover of And Then There Were None

M J Lee Why did I love this book?

I read virtually all the books of the Queen of Crime when I was in my teens, relishing her plots for their deviousness and twists and turns. I return to this one every couple of years because this is the perfectly plotted book. I defy anyone to guess the denouement. Despite her reputation as not a great writer of characters, I think she manages a great job here. Each of the suspects is sharply defined in a few pithy sentences. Brilliant.

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked And Then There Were None as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Agatha Christie's world-famous mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.

Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.

The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but…


Book cover of Flicker

M J Lee Why did I love this book?

I picked this up by accident in a beach hotel I was staying and I’m so glad I did. Written in the 1970s, it is a precursor to, and far better than, The Da Vinci Code and the library of conspiracy novels that followed. It tells the story of an obscure Cathar sect, taking in the history and role of film and the movies in the twentieth century. You’ll never be able to look at a horror movie in the same way again. 

By Theodore Roszak,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Flicker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the golden age of art movies and underground cinema to X-rated porn, splatter films, and midnight movies, this breathtaking thriller is a tour de force of cinematic fact and fantasy, full of metaphysical mysteries that will haunt the dreams of every moviegoer. Jonathan Gates could not have anticipated that his student studies would lead him to uncover the secret history of the movies—a tale of intrigue, deception, and death that stretches back to the 14th century. But he succumbs to what will be a lifelong obsession with the mysterious Max Castle, a nearly forgotten genius of the silent screen…


Book cover of Master and Commander

M J Lee Why did I love this book?

This should actually cover the whole 20-book series as I’ve read them all. Three times. They take historical fiction, and Napoleonic sea stories, to a whole new level. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are wonderfully rounded characters, the detail of life at sea is amazing , and the books unputdownable. And did I say they are beautifully written too? Well worth a few months of reading. Get them and discover their world. You won’t be disappointed.

By Patrick O'Brian,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Master and Commander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.


Book cover of L.A. Confidential

M J Lee Why did I love this book?

Again, this should cover the whole LA Quartet. Crime novels that ooze the sleaziness, despair, and hypocrisy of the city of dreams that Hollywood built. Perfectly formed sentences, amazing characters, a story that twists and turns more than a rollercoaster and Ellroy’s savage wit. What more could anybody want? Except more Ellroy books….

By James Ellroy,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked L.A. Confidential as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Christmas 1951, Los Angeles: a city where the police are as corrupt as the criminals. Six prisoners are beaten senseless in their cells by cops crazed on alcohol. For the three LAPD detectives involved, it will expose the guilty secrets on which they have built their corrupt and violent careers. The novel takes these cops on a sprawling epic of brutal violence and the murderous seedy side of Hollywood. One of the best (and longest) crime novels ever written, it is the heart of Ellroy's four-novel masterpiece, the LA Quartet, and an example of crime writing at its most powerful.


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Off Season

By Randy Kraft,

Book cover of Off Season

Randy Kraft Author Of Off Season

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Introspective Observant Bookish Friendly

Randy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

When Sharon's ex-husband, Red, invites her to join him for a winter retreat, she agrees. After all, they've moved past what ails them, and they get on well. She will be on sabbatical fine-tuning a PhD dissertation, and he needs a respite from an illness. Why not enjoy the charms of a southern California beach town off-season?

Soothed by sea breezes, they become fascinated with their mysterious landlord and her late artist partner, Red is befriended by a flirty neighbor and her surfer husband, and Sharon shares her literary passions with a sexy retiree. When the winds of the pandemic blow, they have to confront their past within a daunting future.

Is off-season an opportunity for renewal or a glimpse of what might have been?

Off Season

By Randy Kraft,

What is this book about?

When Sharon's ex-husband, Red, invites her to join him for a winter retreat, she agrees. After all, they've moved past what ails them, she will be on sabbatical fine tuning a PhD dissertation, and he needs a respite from an illness. Why not enjoy the charms of a southern California beach town off season? On the other hand, what else might he have in mind and what will she face if she lets her guard down? Soothed by sea breezes and ocean views, they become fascinated with their mysterious landlord and her late partner, a Fauvist painter. Then, Red is…


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