Today on the blog we’re joined by the fantastic Peter Kenny, the narrator for a range of our audiobooks, from House of Shattering Wings to Andrzej Sapkowski. He has come along to share his reading recommendations for the Christmas break.
Wow! This has proved tougher than I thought! There are so many amazing books, genres and narrators out there… anything read by Scott Brick, Clare Corbett, Penelope Rawlins, Sean Barrett, David Timson, David Thorpe and Victoria Fox, to name but a few; and then there are the Authors: Paul Torday, Anthony Horowitz, Catriona Ward, Claire North, Jonas Jonasson, Iain Banks, Neil Gaiman… where do you stop…?
The only way I could be honest about this was to talk about the books that have “Hit” me in the last while… which means mostly they are books I’ve read, or recorded… so here goes:
The Prestige by Christopher Priest: Very different from the movie, this genuinely creepy story is brilliantly told by four different voices; David Timson and Jonathan Keeble sparkle as the feuding magicians.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday: Once again, way better than the film it inspired, this multi voiced recording is lively, engaging and great entertainment with beautifully understated performances from a glittering cast including the joyously anodyne Andrew Sachs and the always wonderful Fenella Woolgar.
The Allegations by Mark Lawson: This witty novel was among the stand-out reads for me this year, as it is wincingly on the money about the zeitgeist with regards celebrity and political correctness and “corporate speak” anonymity. At times humorous, uncomfortable and thought provoking the ending is satisfyingly realistic and pulls no punches.
The Tourist by Robert Dickinson: This may be a controversial choice, as many readers have been frustrated by what appears on the surface to be a meandering story with no obvious end. However, this is one of those stories it is absolutely essential that you read twice, otherwise it is almost impossible to uncover the truly elegant and intricate, time-travel thriller that it really is. As the true story unfolds (on the second read/listen) all the apparently unconnected events make chilling sense… well worth the time invested.
The Witcher Saga by Andrzej Sapkowski: I really couldn’t leave this series out of my list. For lovers of epic fantasy, the world building of Andrzej Sapkowski takes some beating. The internal lives of his characters are driven by genuine feeling and humanity… even some of the “monsters”. The action is far reaching spread across an immense world full of corrupt politicians and spy masters, psychotic sorcerers and intriguing sorceresses with benign intelligent dragons and singing mermaids and elves. Epic battles and at the core a conflicted anti-hero trying to do right by the world and his friends and loved ones… astonishing! …apparently the narrator isn’t bad too!
There are so many titles I could reel off, particularly those of the late great Iain (M) Banks, all of which are extraordinary. A name to look out for, whom we have very suddenly and very sadly lost at the top of his writing prowess is Victor Kloss and his Royal Institute of Magic series. Due for Audible release next year, they are a brilliant addition to the YA sword and sorcery section. Very sadly the author passed away quite recently but not before leaving as his legacy a delightful real-world fantasy-world crossover that younger readers and parents are bound to enjoy.
Keep an eye out for a bumper giveaway on the 13th December, including a paperback copy of House of Shattered Wings!