The Birthday Book

If I have studied the entrails of this pelican correctly, and if scholars are correct in that the Seal of Baal-Ashtoreth has finally split in twain, that means it is my birthday. I am, by all reports, “no longer young,” but also, “not quite old,” which means I’m “middle-aged.”

I’ll buy my sports car next year.

For this year, I’ll buy myself a book.

Because books and birthdays go together like chocolate and more chocolate.

So: recommend to me a book you liked that you read recently.

Please do not recommend your own books because this is not that time.


  • Many happy returns on this fine day.

    Good books I read recently:

    BETWEEN, by Kerry Schafer
    BE DIFFERENT by John Elder Robison
    BLOODLINE, by James Rollins

    Three very different books, by three very different authors. Enjoy.

  • Happy birthday, Chuck. I might as well take the opportunity to say that I’ve been a reader for over a year now – thank you so much for all the pleasure and inspiration this blog has brought.

    Crateloads of books I could recommend my fellow birthday boy, but I’ll go for De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage – a nice cross betweeen the litfic I tend to go for and your urban noir. Two friends reaching adulthood in the horror of wartorn Beirut: one choosing exile, the other the underworld. Punchy, cinematic prose and a beautifully rendered sense of place. Enjoy.

  • Happy Birthday, Chuck!

    I’d recommend, Blackbirds … no, hold on, that’s yours …! :)

    How about this instead: Sylvestre In Blood There is Truth, by S.K. Renait. It’s a good read.

  • Happy Birthday! A book that I’ve read recently that I think you’ll enjoy is “Black Heart on the Appalachian Trail” by T.J. Forrester It’s gritty, dark, and compelling…like you ;)

  • Happy Birthday Mr Wendig! I’ll recommend something old and a bit off-the-wall: “The Life And Opinions Of the Tomcat Murr” by E.T.A. Hoffman, or if you want an easier read try “The Devil’s Elixirs” by the same author.

  • Happy Birthday good sir! I have recently enjoyed “The First Law Trilogy” by Joe Abercrombie. While I realize that you said “book” and my recommendation here is three books, I would definitely stand by it as an excellent read.

  • Hey Chuck,
    Happy Birthday again…. if you have not read Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed that would be my first suggestion …. Second would be Red Sun Also Rises by Mark Hodder….

  • Happy birthday! I recommend Good Omens if you’ve never read it. Amazon blurb:

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    It was a joint project between Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, with all the voice and dark humor of both authors.

  • Hope you had a happy birthday I have 2 I currently am reading Life after Life by Kate Atkinson and it has been great about have way thru it. The other is one of my favorite from last year The Rook by Daniel O’Malley a great superhero psychic spy mashup.

  • Happiest of Birthdays to you! I think you’d enjoy reading The Abhorsen Trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen) by Garth Nix. It’s Australian fantasy with a dash of historical fiction. I also really love Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo and Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones (I’ve never read a book quite like that one in tone or tense usage). I’d be curious to read your thoughts on these.

  • Happy Birthday!!!

    I would recommend Alastair Reynolds’ “Chasm City”. It was my introduction to his work & I’ve been hooked ever since.

  • Happy Belated Birthday! I would recommend Seanan McGuire’s first book in her new InCryptid series called: Discount Armageddon. I think her protagonist Verity Price and your Miriam Black would have a very fun play date together.

  • I recommend The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike. Forget the movie. I would consider this the definitive Urban Noir before the term was even coined.

  • Just got back from vacation, but here are my most recent reads, all good:

    - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    - Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
    - Fire by Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley
    - Water by Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley
    - Ratlines by Stuart Neville
    - Mockingbird by Chuck Wend… Never mind.

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