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Super Fantastic Book Recommendations

Book 8 in the Cal Leandros series. My favourite.

The Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman. Urban fantasy. The first book in the series is called Nightlife. I often say this is a little like Supernatural and also nothing like Supernatural. It’s about 2 brothers that hunt monsters in New York City and there’s lots of sarcasm. That’s about where the likeness ends. Cal is half-human, half-monster. He and his brother Niko have been on the run from the monster half of Cal’s family for years. They want Cal for something but the brothers aren’t sure what that is. I really became obsessed with the series when I read the 3rd book. The 8th is my favourite. So far there are 10 but I’m hoping Ms Thurman will not leave us hanging. Seriously, why are you not reading this series?

The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. Urban fantasy. The first book is called Storm Front. Harry Dresden is a wizard (not the Harry Potter kind) and a private investigator. He’s filled with sarcasm and a need to be chivalrous that tends to blow up in his face. It’s set in modern Chicago. There’s magic. There are supernatural beings. There’s a talking skull. What more could you ask for? I wasn’t entirely sure how to take Harry at first, the whole chivalry thing was a bit of a turn off until it kept blowing up in his face. This series really hooked me on the 3rd book. There are 15 books so far but the 16th is being written.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson. Memoir. It’s a strange journey filled with drugs and weird adventures while Thompson attempted to cover a sporting event in Las Vegas. It turned into something much weirder and much more wonderful. This is one of the books that has had the most impact on my life.

A River Runs Through It by Norman McLean. This is fiction and a slice of Americana. If you read this, you will learn more about fly fishing than you ever wanted to know. You will also have read the single most beautifully written book I have ever read. I don’t care if you’ve seen the movie. I don’t care if you liked the movie or not. If you have not read this book then you have missed out on something beautiful.

Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. Fantasy. While this is classified as young adult, the story really matures as Harry does. I think there are still people out there who haven’t read the books. If you are one of those people, you should correct that. The movies are great but, as always, the books are better. What better time to read about fighting an oppressive system and conquering over evil?

American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Urban fantasy. This is about to air as a TV show. Who knows what that will be like but you should read this book. It goes back and forth a bit, talking about old legends and it can, at times, get a bit dry in those sections but the main story, about an ex-con named Shadow and the mysterious man, Mr Wednesday, that hires him, is well worth the read.

The Body by Stephen King. This is in the book Different Seasons. You should read all the stories, sure, but if you will only read one, read The Body. That’s the story that was the basis for the movie Stand By Me. The movie is wonderful. The story is so much more. I read it when I was 11. It is absolutely the book that had the most influence on my life. Most of you know the story, 4 friends set out to see a dead body. I can’t begin to explain why this story is so important to me. Honestly, even if I could explain it, I wouldn’t. But if you haven’t ever read it, you should probably do that.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Young Adult. This is the story of a kid who lives on a reservation and decides to leave the rez to go to an all-white farm town high school. This is the story of a boy balancing between two worlds and feeling like he doesn’t fit into either. It’s a story about growing up. I think this book should be taught in high school. Everyone should read it.

Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis from the NFL to Youth Leagues
by Christopher Nowinski. Non Fiction. So, I know Chris. I actually appear in the thanks in this book. But that’s not why it’s on my list. EVERY parent and EVERY coach should HAVE to read this book. Concussions are serious business. This book is incredibly easy to read, it isn’t bogged down with medical jargon and it is interspersed with some stories from Chris’ days with WWE. This book is important. If you have a child that plays any kind of contact sport or if you coach contact sports or if you play contact sports, you need to read this. There is no excuse not to read this. Even if you don’t play sports or have kids who do, you need to read this.

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. Children’s. Most people know I’ll Love You Forever and that is a beautiful book but this book is important. I have a history of gifting this book to new parents especially new parents who have just had a girl. This is a book about a girl who doesn’t need saving because she can save herself. She outwits the dragon, rescues the snotty prince and walks away, head high. Sure, I just gave the story away but it’s a children’s book so I’m sure you’ll live. Likewise, I highly recommend David’s Father by the same author. David’s father is different. He’s a giant. The book is about accepting differences.

* I’ve left all Yaoi off this list. If you want a list of recommendations for Yaoi, let me know!

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