#blogjune Blogging challenges Reading Writing

30 must-read books – #27

And from spies and courtroom dramas… to dystopian YA? Sure… why not?

I love Veronica Roth’s take on our future. Her writing style, too. And it’s impossible to divorce Theo James’ looks from the character of Four now… but really, who would want to?#bj28 #bj28aI should also mention here that I quite liked Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games trilogy. Far more than Dashner’s Maze Runner take on it all – but then again, I really really REALLY don’t like zombies. (Here are my thoughts on Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom trilogy, which is the only zombie treatment to date that I’ve found bearable.)

But Divergent / Insurgent / Allegiant? Fantastic work. *Spoiler alert* Of course Tris had to die. And although her death took me by surprise; it was obvious in hindsight.

And that made purchasing and devouring ‘Four‘ all the sweeter.

And with *that* thought; I’m gone 🙂

See you tomorrow, dear reader!

— KRidwyn


#blogjune Blogging challenges Reading

30 must-read books – #26

And after Ludlum must come Grisham. I love his courtroom dramas – The Runaway Jury especially.


In fact, it was my love for Grisham that birthed my affair with the TV series’ Law and Order, NYPD Blue, CSI (in all its versions) and the like – my favourite was Without a Trace (it helped that Anthony La Paglia and Poppy Montgomery are Aussies! LOL) but it all began with John Grisham.

And that’s okay with me 🙂

How about you? Ever read John Grisham? Like it or hate it?

And have a wonderful day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

#blogjune Blogging challenges Reading

30 must-read books – #25

“The trawler plunged into the angry swells of the dark, furious sea like an awkward animal trying desperately to break out of an impenetrable swamp.”

Some memories remain with us, stuck like Ludlum’s simile above. I remember reading that sentence for the very first time, stopping, leaning back in my chair, looking up at the cloud-streaked sky above my parents’ house in Brisbane, and saying, “Wow.” I looked back down; read it again. And again. Then stood up and trotted off to find my dad, and share the sentence with him.

I knew, after that very first sentence in that very first chapter, that this novel, this author, was gong to be remarkable.


No wonder these books, this character Jason Bourne, has spawned a multi-million-dollar movie series. It had to; the writing is too good to NOT be adapted for the big screen.


Because yes, I’ll go watch the movies, but any similarity to Ludlum’s incredible character / setting / plot ceases immediately after the name of the character. Just as there are many ‘John Smith’s in the world, so there is a Hollywood ‘Jason Bourne’ who bears little resemblance to Ludlum’s original creation.

Ludlum’s creation is spectacular. Rarely am I lost for words; but describing how I feel about this novel – in fact, the entire trilogy – eludes me. How many synonyms can I find for ‘brilliant’? And use them without boring my reader? (And I think that was probably my quota gone right there…)

Anyway, have *you* read this? Or the trilogy? Do you agree with me?

And have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

#blogjune Blogging challenges Reading Writing

30 must-read books – #24

So I finished my first novel early in 2015 and then thought, ‘Okay – what next?’

Well, next for me was Google (d’uh!) and discovering Delilah S. Dawson’s post on Chuck Wendig’s blog. And through that, this:


Thank you, Delilah!

This book is EXACTLY what I needed at that moment in time. (She also suggested On Writing by Stephen King and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – both of which I read as well, and both of which were excellent… and yet, this one makes my top 30. Yeh, I know. Go figure, huh?) Yes, this book is on screenwriting – but it’s the structuring, the categorising of plotlines, the suggestions for what to do when facing character problems or plot problems (or even industry problems) that made this one a shoe-in for me.

No, I’m not planning on trying my hand at scriptwriting any time soon. Pipe-dream, maybe – but there’s WAY too much on my plate at the moment to consider it. Nevertheless, this book makes my Top 30 due to its overall usefulness. (So there!)

(Oh, and I’d thoroughly recommend Delilah’s post linked above, if you’re interested. And her blog. And Chuck’s blog… and even his The Kick-Ass Writer too; if you can handle the ‘naughty language’…)

Have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

#blogjune Blogging challenges my novel-in-progress Reading Scribblings Writing

30 must-read books – #23

The countdown is on! There’s just seven days left of #blogjune and I still have SO MANY titles I want to include in my blogposts this month!

Solution: I’m resorting to cheating again. (LOL)

And I’ve decided to go with ‘miscellaneous’ for these final posts, because there’s no way I can fit everything I want to include in, otherwise.

So… continuing with ‘non-fiction’ for the next day or so, here’s a couple of MUST READS for those ‘writer’ readers who visit:









I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled across Mary Kole’s incredible book Writing Irresistible KidLit – but I am SO immensely glad I did! In the short time since I discovered its existence, it has seriously become like my ‘writing Bible’. No joke.

And the second is like it. This one came via 2015 Christmas season recommendation from the QOTKU herself, literary guru Janet Reid, on her blog. Thank you, Janet! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Writers, if you haven’t already, buy this book 🙂

And stay tuned for tomorrow; there’s one more non fiction title before a return to fiction for the remainder of #blogjune. (And yes, it’s another writing one – yay!)

Have a fantastic day, dear reader!
— KRidwyn

#blogjune Blogging challenges Christianity Reading

30 must-read books – #22

And yes, I *know* I’m exceeding my self-imposed ‘quota’ of Christian books here – but I can’t NOT include this second non-fiction book in my ’30 must-reads’. Because this book, in my opinion, should be read like a handbook for our lives; informing us of philosophical underpinnings we’re not easily made aware of in today’s information-overloaded culture.


There is SO MUCH brilliant information here, thoroughly yet concisely presented. It reads like a textbook in its organisation, making it easily digestible in spite of its comprehensive size.

Yes, it’s dated – published 2001 – and yet, it’s still profoundly relevant here and now – June 2016. Which is why I don’t hesitate to recommend it to you, dear reader!

And have a lovely day today 🙂

— KRidwyn


#blogjune Blogging challenges Christianity Reading

30 must-read books – #21

It’s flying by… today’s date-stamp means that we’re into the final third of #blogjune! And I thought I’d finish off this ‘Christian’ books week with a couple of non-fiction titles. Firstly, Philip Yancey’s classic What’s So Amazing About Grace?


Non-fiction rarely moves me; perhaps that’s why I prefer novels. But this one had me both laughing and crying – in fact, there’s a modern version of ‘the prodigal son’ in there so powerful, even thinking about it now gives me goosebumps.

Incredible writing. And what a message! It’s always an inspiring read. Truly, one of the best. Which is why it’s my Book 21, of course 🙂

Have you read it? Would you agree?

And have a lovely day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

#blogjune Blogging challenges Christianity Reading

30 must-read books – #20

The first thing that hit me about this novel was the incongruity of the cover. The GREEN was so vivid – and yet, it’s titled Black. I remember I was intrigued enough to glance at the blurb; and that was all it took; I was hooked. (I must admit, having recently finished his thriller Three also helped!)


Our choices. Dreams. Reality. Good and evil; pursuit and rescue; death and life: it all adds up to an action-packed page-turner – and the first in his Circle series.

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 4.49.42 PMA must-read. But if you don’t have time to read all four novels, read Three instead. Because you won’t want to stop until you’ve read the entire series. Truly!

Happy reading, and see you tomorrow!

And, as always, have a lovely day today, dear reader 🙂

— KRidwyn


#blogjune Blogging challenges Christianity Reading

30 must-read books – #19

And for Book #19 in my ’30 must-read books’ for #blogjune 2016, it’s a return to the ‘classic’ Christian novelist with C. S. Lewis’ Cosmic Trilogy, which I read in my late twenties and fell in love with.


An intergalactic parable; this trilogy with blow any ‘Narnia’ / ‘Christian apologetic text’ preconceived ideas clear away. Not to be read when tired; you’ll want to pay attention. And if you’re like me, these books will make you think – a lot!

Have you read them, dear reader? What did *you* think?

And here’s hoping that you have a great day, wherever you are!


#blogjune Blogging challenges Christianity Reading

30 must-read books – #18

Book 18: A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers 🙂

Francine Rivers is one incredible writer. Inspiring in her brilliance. Her Mark of the Lion series is one that I turn to when I’m in need of ‘a shot in the arm’ as it were.


I’m a sucker for a good historical novel (today’s post is book 18 and there’s Shakespeare, Austen, Dumas, Hugo, and Pargeter in the list already!) and the research in River’s novels is reminiscent of Bodie and Brock Thoene’s meticulous work.

[Unfortunately, although I have immense respect for the Thoene’s novels, I don’t have enough room in my ‘Christian titles’ week to include them 🙁 ]

This series is perfection. History comes to life amidst romance, political intrigue and the clashing of cultures. In spite of the enormity of world-building needed, there are no ‘info-dumps’ removing the reader from the story. It’s a thrilling ride, and I – for one – am caught from start to finish, every time I read them.

Definitely one for the ‘30 must-read’ list. What’s your favourite historical novel?

And have a great day, dear reader!

– KRidwyn