As my mate Simon J. said once as he fell off his chair, Happy New YeAAARGH! :D

First up, here’s a link to a page where you can download the current issue of Teen Librarian Monthly, which features an interview with yours truly. It’s a pdf, not a big file, it’s free, and it’s a fine magazine: my thanks to Masterless Samurai Librarian Matthew Imrie for kindly inviting me!

It’s nose to the grindstone time here as I bust on with the second draft of PHASE THREE. Current publication date for the next part of my sinister masterplan is Spring 2010, but that’s only going to happen if I do some hard pedalling over the next couple of months. Rather than have this blog go completely dead in that time (or, worse, fill with variations on ‘I sat here making things up and occasionally tearing the last of my hair out’ ;p) here’s something I thought I’d share with you instead…

My brother Jack and I have a tradition: whenever it’s Christmas or his birthday I put together and give him what we call a BkSTACK(tm). As the name implies, it’s basically a big pile of the finest and most thrilling books I’ve read lately – or at least the ones I reckon he’ll enjoy. If you like Black Tat and Tim then you might like these, too. Take a look! ;)

FLOOD, by STEPHEN BAXTER. A rare treat, this – a proper global DISASTER story! And the author sets a cracking pace. Within the first hundred pages London then New York fall prey to spectacularly rising tides, and the rest of humanity is left fighting for the last of the Earth’s higher ground before much longer. Surprisingly, considering it’s where stories like this can fall down (especially Hollywood ones ;p) the characters give an affecting human perspective on the catastrophe without, ahem, annoying the hell out of the reader. Also, as you might expect if you know Mr Baxter’s books, it’s packed with awesome ideas and unforgettable moments. Brilliant.

NOTHING TO LOSE, by LEE CHILD. The previous two books in the Reacher series (THE HARD WAY and BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE) weren’t /quite/ as much fun as the others, imho. I’m therefore all the more delighted to tell you that NOTHING TO LOSE is /terrific/ – right up there with my personal favourites, PERSUADER, ECHO BURNING and ONE SHOT. The way Reacher mows into town like a man-sized Godzilla is, as always, intensely satisfying. But seeing, in this one, some nutcase End Times fans meet an early personal apocalypse just gave me a special warm glow. You don’t need to read the series in order, so if you haven’t met Jack Reacher or Lee Child before, here is a grand place to start. If you like fast, thrilling storytelling you’ll be glad you did.

More from Jack’s Stack to follow over coming weeks. For further fine reading check my LibraryThing profile.

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)