This is a list of books that I particularly enjoyed, spent a lot of time with, learned something new or were just well written. 

 I'm just hope Moonlight doesn't send the internet gremlins to interfer with my computer.  ;)






Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley Holland

Der Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman

Max und Moritz by Wilhelm Busch

The Three Investigators

Brother's Grimm Fairy Tales





Janny Wurts - .  Cycle of Fire trilogy,  Master of Whitestorm, Wars of Light and Shadow.

Everything this woman writes is amazing.  Her style, her use of the English language, her world building, the depth of characters.


Sydney J Van Scyoc - Drowntide

The best and still most original "mermaid" novel I've ever read. 


Girl of the Sea of Cortez by Peter Benchley

Poignant environmental and family story, the author's love letter to the sea.


Firebrand - Marion Zimmer Bradley

My first introduction to the Trojan War.  My mother had no idea what she bought for me.  She thought it was a tame kiddies book.  This is what happens when adults think books with elves, dragons and generic fantasy covers are children's books.


C.J. Cherryh - The Chronicles of Morgaine

Mix of SF and Fantasy, family drama and relationship issues.  Brilliantly written.


Yarrow - Charles de Lint

Fantasy/horror novel


David Eddings - The Losers

Not fantasy, but something of a social commentary


David Eddings - The Elenium

For the humour and character dynamics and interactions and Sparhawk.


Raymond E. Feist - Faerie Tale

My first urban fantasy.  And it has neither fluffy werewolves or sparkling vampires or cute faeries


Raymond E. Feist – The Magician and Silverthorn

Rich characters and world building.


Elf Defense - Esther M Friesner

Funny.  Lawyer vs Elf King.  I still wish my copy didn't look like the previous owner dropped it in the bath and then spilt tea over it, but I can't find another copy.


Mary Gentle - Golden Witchbreed

It took me a while to get into this book, but it turned out to be very different to anything else I had read at the time.


Mercedes Lackey - Four and Twenty Blackbirds

A murder mystery with strange not always human characters and a bit of magic.  This is the way I like my mysteries.


Mercedes Lackey - By The Sword

First book that I read by this author.  I hunted down other books by her and let’s just say they were educational.  I didn't know same-sex pairings were even an option before reading her stuff.


Havenstar - Glenda Larke/Normaly



Megan Lindholm - Wizard of the Pigeons and Clovenhooves


Thomas Malory - Le Morte D'Arthur

I went through a King Arthur phase


Anne McCaffrey - Diversity of Dragons. 

McCaffrey novels might be entertaining but I loved this one because John Howe painted all those delightful dragons.


Tolkien - Lord of the Rings and Unfinished Tales

I have an obsession with this book/author.


Dennis L McKiernan - Dragondoom and Eye of the Hunter

Emotional – I cried oceans.


Patricia A McKilliip - Middle Master's Trilogy.

Everything she writes is beautiful.


Peter Morwood - Tales of Old Russia Trilogy, especially Prince Ivan

Russian fairy tales. how could one not love these!?


Andre Norton - Flight in Yiktor

Delightful worldbuilding and fully-fledged, growing characters.  I eventually tracked down the rest of the books in this series a few years ago.


Terry Pratchett - Guards! Guards!

Because...Vimes  and the humour


Byron Preiss - Dragonworld

Original and it had dragons.  I went through a stage where I read everything that had dragons in it or on the cover, no matter how bad it was.  This was a pretty good book.


Melanie Rawn - Dragon Prince Trilogy

Politics, a novel magic system and delightful world building


 Josepha Sherman - The Shining Falcon

Russian fairy tale and beautiful writing.


Dracula - Bram Stoker

One of the few horror novels I've read.  I loved this.


Sherri S. Tepper - Beauty, also Gibbons Decline and Fall , also The Family Tree

Food for thought, good writing.


Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman - Rose of the Prophet Trilogy

Underrated, humorous characters and poignant.  Probably their best work.


Kim Wilkins - Giants of the Frost

Norse mythology-based novel


Walter Jon Williams - Knight Moves

Aliens and genetically engineered centaurs.  My type of fantasy novel.


Connie Willis - Passage, Doomsday Book

Interesting concept, great writing (despite the problems)


Beowulf:  A Dual-Language Edition – Howell D. Chickering

Bulfinches Mythology - Thomas Bulfinch


The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Murderbot Diaries – Martha Wells


Jim Butcher – Dresden Files


Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin


Garden Spells – Sarah Addison Allen


Good Night, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian


Revolting Rhymes Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)







 All are well written, taught me something I didn't know and stuck with me:



Medusa by Stephen R. Wilk


Christopher I. Beckwith - Empires of the Silk Road


Roger Crowley - Constantinople:  The Last Great Siege, 1453


Barry Cunliffe - Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek


Vanished Kingdoms:  The History of Half-Forgotten Europe - Norman Davies


Dracula, Prince of Many Faces:  His Life and His Times by Radu Florescu


Mozart's Women:  His Family, His Friends, His Music by Jane Glover


Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.:  A Historyical Biography by Peter Green


Carnage and Culture:  Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power by Victor Davis Hanson


Empires and Barbarians:  Migration, Development and the Birth of Europe by Peter Heather


Byzantium:  The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin


A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons by Geoffrey Hindley


Persian Fire:  The First World Empire and the Battle for the West by Tom Holland


Hellen of Troy:  The Story Behind the Most Beauriful Woman in the World - Bettany Hughes


The Great Mortality:  An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time by John Kelly


Banana:  The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World - Dan Keoppel


The Tradition of Household Spirits:  Ancestral Lore and Practices - Claude Lecouteux


Tarim Mummies:  ancient China and the mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West by J. P Mallory


Gutenberg Revolution:  How Printing Changed the Course of History - John Man


Amazons:  Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World - Adrienne Mayor


Poison King:  The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy - Adrienne Mayor


Carthage Must Be Destroyed:  The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilizations by Richard Miles


White Gold:  The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa's One Million European Slaves - Giles Milton


Europe Before Rome:  A Site-by-Site Tour of the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages by Douglas T. Price


Untold History of the Potato - John Reader


In Search of Immortals:  Discovering the World's Mummy Cultures - Howard Reid


The Celts - Alice Roberts


Food in History - Reay Tannahill


Before the Flood:  The Biblical Flood as a Real Event and How It Changed the Course of Civilizations - Ian Wilson

NOT a religious book, but about archaeology and the Black Sea.


Invention of Nature - Andrea Wulf


Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny by Edward J. Watts


Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King


Stradivari's Genius: Five Violins, One Cello, and Three Centuries of Enduring Perfection by Toby Faber


Wonders of the Ancient World: Antiquity's Greatest Feats of Design and Engineering by Justin Pollard


Witness to Extinction: How We Failed to Save the Yangtze River Dolphin by Samuel T. Turvey






The Spark of Life by Frances Ashcroft


Earth Matters:  How Soil Underlies Civilization - Richard D. Bardgett


Emerald Planet:  How Plants changed Earth's History - David Beerling


When Life Nearly Died:  The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time - Michael J. Benton


Sun's Heartbeat:  And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet - Bob Berman


Excitotoxins:  The Taste that Kills - Russell L.  Blaylock


Nessa Carey - Epigenetics Revolution:  How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance


Our Stolen Future:  Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival?  A Scientific Detective story - Dianne Dumanoski et al.


Storm in a Teacup:  The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski


Gecko's Foot:  How Scientists are Taking a Leaf from Nature's Book by Peter Forbes


Horseshoe Crab:  Biography of a Survivor - Anthony D. Fredericks


March of the Microbes:  Sighting the Unseen by John L Ingraham


Nick Lane - Power, Sex, Suicide:  Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life


Dirt:  The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery


A History of Disease in Ancient Times:  More Lethal than War - Philip Norrie


David Quammen - Song of the Dodo:  Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction & Spillover:  Emerging Diseases, Animal hosts, and the Future of Human Health


Alice Roberts - The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being:  Evolution and the Making of Us


Poseidon's Steed:  The Story of Seahorses, From Myth to Reality - Helen Scales


Planet of the Bugs:  Evolution and the Rise of Insects - Scott Richard Shaw


Where the Wild Things Were:  Life, Death, and Ecological Wrechage in a Land of Vanishing Predators by William Stolzenburg


Why We Sleep:  The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker


The Worst of Times:  how Life on Earth Survived Eighty Million Years of Extinctions by Paul B. Wignall


Restless Creatures:  The Story of Life in Ten Movements by Matt Wilkinson


I Contain Multitudes:  The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - EdJ Yong


Goldilocks Planet:  The Four Billion Year Story of Earth's Climate by Jan Zalasiewicz


Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity by Jamie Metzl


The Fall of the Wild: Extinction, De-Extinction, and the Ethics of Conservation by Ben A. Minteer


A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World by Alexander Jones


Resurrection Science: Conservation, De-extinction and the Precarious Future of Wild Things by M.R. O'Connor


Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth's Last Dinosaur by Carl Safina


Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World by Richard C. Francis







 How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler, & Charles Van Doren


Joseph Davidovits - Why the Pharaohs Built the Pyramids with Fake Stones

Yes, I read these kinds of books.  But this is written by a scientist who is an expert on cement and geopolymers and there is nothing woo-woo about this book.  It makes you think.


Christopher Dunn - Giza Power Plant:  Technologies of Ancient Egypt. 

Another thinking book by an engineer.


Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes:  Flood, Fire and Famine in the History of Civilization - Richard Firestone et al

Earth Under Fire:  Humanity's Survival of the Ice Age - Paul A. LaViolette

Voices of the Rocks:  A Scientist Looks at Catastrophes and Ancient Civilizations - Robert M. Schoch

Interesting, informative and provides new information on ancient civilizations.


Knowledge:  How to Rebuild Our World After An Apocalypse - Lewis Dartnell


RHS Propagating Plants - Alan Toogood