Dad and I have similar taste when it comes to reading, especially in science fiction and fantasy. I also have read my share of Dad’s Louis L’Amour novels, and although I rarely read westerns anymore, I did enjoy them. My dad isn’t big on being the center of attention, but he humored his blog-obsessed daughter with a list of his favorite reads. I’ve added either a publisher’s blurb or my thoughts or both.
Bendigo Shafter by Louis L’Amour
Blurb: “At what point does a group of strangers become a community? When young Bendigo Shafter and a ragtag bunch of travelers settle in the rugged Wyoming mountains, they quickly come to depend on a toughness and wisdom many of them never knew they possessed. Led by the beautiful and resourceful widow Ruth Macken, the settlers battle harsh winters, renegade opportunists, and the destructive lure of gold. Through these brutally demanding experiences, young Bendigo is forged into a man. But when he travels to New York to reclaim the love of Ninon, his childhood sweetheart, Bendigo is faced with new challenges. Will hard-edged instincts, honed from years in the mountains, serve him in the big city? Does Ninon’s heart belong to the lights and glamour of the theater? And if his destiny deems it so, will he be willing to leave the community he toiled so long and hard to build?”
My thoughts: “I enjoyed this one very much when I read it many years ago – in high school, I think.”
Comstock Lode by Louis L’Amour
Blurb: “It was just a godforsaken mountainside, but no place on earth was richer in silver. For a bustling, enterprising America, this was the great bonanza. The dreamers, the restless, the builders, the vultures—they were lured by the glittering promise of instant riches and survived the brutal hardships of a mining camp to raise a legendary boom town. But some sought more than wealth. Val Trevallion, a loner haunted by a violent past. Grita Redaway, a radiantly beautiful actress driven by an unfulfilled need. Two fiercely independent spirits, together they rose above the challenges of the Comstock to stake a bold claim on the future.”
My thoughts: “Another one I remember enjoying, but it’s been a long time.”
The Conrad Stargard Series by Leo Frankowski
My thoughts: “A boyfriend in college introduced me to the Conrad Stargard series, beginning with The Cross-Time Engineer. Conrad is a Polish engineer who suddenly finds himself transported to Poland in the 13th century. He uses his engineering smarts to build a life – and also to try to build up Poland’s defenses against the upcoming Mongol invasion. These are humorous and inventive – and if you can get past the author’s love of lusty, always-willing women – they are a great ride.”
Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Blurb: “A monster on the loose in New York City’s American Museum of Natural History provides the hook for this high-concept, high-energy thriller. A statue of the mad god Mbwun, a monstrous mix of man and reptile, was discovered by a Museum expedition to South America in 1987. Now, it is about to become part of the new Superstition Exhibition at the museum (here renamed the “New York Museum of Natural History”). But as the exhibition’s opening night approaches, the museum may have to be shut down due to a series of savage murders that seem to be the work of a maniac-or a living version of Mbwun. When the museum’s director pulls strings to ensure that the gala affair takes place, it’s up to a small band of believers, led by graduate student Margo Green, her controversial adviser and an FBI agent who investigated similar killings in New Orleans, to stop the monster-if the culprit is indeed a monster-from going on a rampage. Less horror then action-adventure, the narrative builds to a superbly exciting climax, and then offers a final twist to boot. With its close-up view of museum life and politics, plausible scientific background, sharply drawn characters and a plot line that’s blissfully free of gratuitous romance, this well-crafted novel offers first-rate thrills and chills.”
My thoughts: “I haven’t read this, but I know the entire series is one of Dad’s favorites.”
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Blurb: “When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.”
My thoughts: “I absolutely loved this YA dystopian novel (my review), and passed my ARC on to Dad. He loved it, too – and we’re both waiting impatiently for the sequel.”
Have you read any of these books or other works by these authors?