Nik Perring recently started a trend of blog post writing recommendations, all in the interest of letting people know about the massive amount of great writing out in the wide big world. I, like a fair few others, thought this a comfortable enough bandwagon to take a trip on, so here are the books I have read most recently that are worth waving in front of your nose:

In Search of Adam – Caroline Smailes – a powerful, heartbreaking story of abuse and abandonment. This brave, challenging novel is an important book that addresses themes that most writers would shy away from. That this is a debut novel makes it all the more remarkable. I will be reading Caroline Smailes’ other novels in due course, make no mistake.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet – David Mitchell – a fantastic book that manages to be an historical drama, a heist movie, an account of a naval engagement, a love story and a thriller all at the same time. Mitchell once again proves he can spin genre plates like no other living British author.

The Cheese Monkeys – Chip Kidd – a brilliant novel by the graphic designer most famous for his book covers. The character of tutor Winter Sorbeck is a real find. The structure of the novel follows that of the academic year and the best bits of the book detail the graphic design course Sorbeck teaches. Like the students, you will squirm as the volatile, scathing Sorbeck lets rip at his woefully unprepared students. Looking forward to reading the sequel, The Learners, as soon as I can find a copy at a reasonable price.

The Exclamation Mark – Anton Chekhov– Anyone following my short story challenge posts will know I’ve already discussed this collection at length. I’ll simply reiterate that this collection of Anton Chekhov’s early work will astound you with its breadth and scope. You will marvel at how much a master can develop his craft in a little over six months.

The Floating Order – Erin Pringle – I am part way through this short fiction collection and am being repeatedly blow away by the author’s control of narrative voice. Contains some of the most convincing first person narrators I have come across. I reviewed the title story as part of my short story challenge and will be reviewing the rest of the collection once I have completed it. On second reading, the title story is even more convincing and gripping. An impressive collection from what I have read so far.