• J.B.E.McNally

What I’m reading now

Updated: Nov 17, 2018

It's a real juggling act to be able to write a novel, develop and update a website, write your blogs (like this one) and get some decent reading done all at the same time.


From time to time I will include in this blog up to five books I am either in the process of reading, have just read or intend to read. I dont have any more than a couple on the go at anyone time, and I mix up the genre a little when I do so I dont get too disoriented.


I would be keen to learn from visitors or members what you are reading at the moment and why.



1. Agent in Place - Mark Greaney

This is the seventh in the Gray Man Series by Mark Greaney, also prolific in co-writing Jack Ryan novels with Tom Clancy.

Agent in Place sees Courtland Gentry, ex-CIA and independent contractor, apply his almost super human, otherworldly skills to help Syrian freedom fighters put a stop the current tyrannical reign of Ahmed Al-Azzam the Syrian President and his first Lady Shakira. As usual with Court, things often end up with the bad guys defeated, but not until the Gray Man and his clients have been put though some thrilling crises along the way.

A great political thriller. Well worth reading the series if you haven’t already.


2. Origin - Dan Brown

The fifth in the Robert Langdon Series.

Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever”. The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. This evening is to be no exception: he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.

Have only just started reading this one but enjoy the character and genre so will report back once I'm finished.


3. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

Now a major television series.

The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, originally published in 1985. It is set in a near-future New England, in a totalitarian, Christian theonomy that has overthrown the United States government. The novel focuses on the journey of the handmaid Offred. Her name derives from the possessive form "of Fred"; handmaids are forbidden to use their birth names and must echo the male, or master, whom they serve.

I have as yet to read but looking forward to it as next on my list. Reviews over its thirty years of release have unanimously hailed it as brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful vision of the future gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's irony, wit and astute perception.


4. The Midnight Line - Lee Child

I have read all twenty-two of these action packed thrillers. Not overly-complicated, but Reacher's character has been a winner and is at the heart of Lee Child's success with this genre.

The Midnight Line tells of Reacher's interrupted journey to who-knows-where. Getting off the bus in the sad side of a small mid-western town, Jack stumbles across a West Point graduation ring in a pawn shop that looked out of place.

His appetite for solving who belonged to the ring leads Reacher across the Midwest, thrust into an investigation involving the illegal opioid trade, the pharmaceutical companies that often turn a blind eye in the name of profits, and the people dependent on them.


5. The Good People - Hannah Kent

Having read and enjoyed Burial Rites, Hannah's first novel, based upon the true story of the last person to be executed in Iceland, I cant wait to start the Good People.

Based on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, Hannah Kent's startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue a child from a superstitious community.

Nora, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Michael, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help Nora just as rumours begin to spread that Michael is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Determined to banish evil, Nora and Mary enlist the help of Nance, an elderly wanderer who understands the magic of the old ways.


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