Tag Archives: Anne Rice

Top Ten Tuesday! The Ten Best Books I’ve Ever Read. What Are Yours?

Like the title says, these are the ten best books that have ever read. They’re my favorites. Yours may be different. In fact, I’m hoping they are. Either in the comments or, in your own blog post with a link back, I’d like you to share some of your favorite books so that we can all maybe find a new favorite book or author from each other. Of course I won’t shamelessly plug my own books by putting them on my list, but if you want to, I won’t argue.


10. The Vampire LeStat: by Anne Rice. Unbeknownst to most people (you know it’s serious when I use big words like unbeknownst) it wasn’t Stephanie Meyer who invented the vampire genre, but Anne Rice about fifteen years earlier. LeStat, referred to as the Brat Prince, is such a fun character you’ll want to become one of the undead just to hang out with him for eternity.


9. The Da Vinci Code: by Dan Brown. The first in the series was easily the best. Don’t watch the movie because Tom Hanks stars in it with a ridiculously bad hairdo, but read the book.

8. How to Succeed in Evil: by Patrick E. McLean. Edwin Windsor is an Evil Efficiency Expert who contacts out his services to help supervillains be more villanous. Hilarious!  You end up rooting for evil!

7. Bite Me: by Christopher Moore, award winning, New York Times bestselling author who I interviewed for The Phil Factor about three years ago. Spoiler alert: This won’t be his only book on the list. Trust me on Christopher Moore. You’ll want to read so many of his books. Bite Me skewers the vampire genre with brilliant sarcasm.


6. Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys: by Pulitzer Prize winning Dave Barry, whom I interviewed for The Phil Factor in 2013. If you’re a woman, you’ll laugh as you read countless hilarious examples of the idiocy of men. If you’re a guy you”l see yourself in so many of the true stories.

5. 11/22/63: by Stephen King. I hope you didn’t watch the Hulu miniseries. They took some liberties with the plot that I didn’t think were necessary and detracted from the story. Read the book. It’s a surprising love story.

4. Good Omens: by Neil Gaimans and Terry Pratchett. Read. Laugh. Thank me later. Both authors are cherished titans of English literature, and their other solo works are brilliantly funny. Together they don’t disappoint.


3. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: by Douglas Adams. This book is a literary classic. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT watch the movie. Read the book. Your cultural education cannot be considered complete until you’ve read this book.

2. A Dirty Job: by Christopher Moore. Being the Grim Reaper is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Hilarity galore. If you enjoy the absurdity of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, then you’ll also love Christopher Moore.


1. Odd Thomas: by Dean Koontz. In general I consider Dean Koontz to be Stephen King lite, but Odd Thomas is his signature character. I read books from a first person point of view. I become the protagonist when I read. Some characters fit in my head better than others. Odd Thomas fit me like a glove. For me, he was one of those characters where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be him or have him as my best friend. I read the first Odd Thomas novel at least a decade ago and was disappointed earlier this year when, after 16 novels, the series came to an end.
Those are my top ten. What are yours? Answer in the comments or create a post and link back so we can all find a few more good reads.

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Four Books I Liked and One I Didn’t

These are quick reviews of books I’ve read this year. Unlike most people who read, I don’t read a whole lot of books. The reason is that I read to relax and empty my brain (yes, I know that probably seems like it would be a very quick job). I read to relax so I can go to sleep, so consequently other than blogs, I read about ten minutes a day before I doze off.


Prince LeStat by Anne Rice: I enjoyed the first three installments in Ms. Rice’s vampire series, but then she put out a series of vampire novels in rapid succession that just seemed to be… well… not that interesting. The one bright, shining star of the vampire series however has been the character LeStat. It appears that she brought LeStat back one more time to close out the series and this final installment was a fitting finale to LeStat’s legacy. For my money you should read the first three books in the series, starting with Interview with a Vampire and then after the third just skip to this one


I sometimes characterize Dean Koontz as “Stephen King lite,” BUT the exception is his Odd Thomas series. Odd Thomas is an unassuming fry cook with a habit of attracting ghosts of the dead who are not resting in peace. It’s a seven book series beginning with Odd Thomas and  ending with Saint Odd and I wholeheartedly recommend you read the whole series in order. It pains me to give such an enthusiastic review because I emailed Dean asking if he would interview for The Phil Factor and I got no response, so I’m harboring a little bit of a grudge. That being said, it’s impossible not to like Odd Thomas. He’s unintentionally funny and pithy at the same time. Each and every book in the series is thoroughly enjoyable.


The Rules of Supervillainy  by C.T. Phipps: A flat out fun book from start to finish. Gary Karkofsky is a down on his luck regular guy in a very irregular world where superheroes and supervillains are everywhere. With an unusual stroke of luck but without any better prospects he decides to join the supers, but on which side? Gary stumbles and fumbles his way through supervillainy and super heroism much the way I think each of us probably would.

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Inferno by Dan Brown: From the author of The DaVinci Code comes the fourth  installment in the adventures of Professor Robert Langdon. I’ve gotta say, this one just didn’t do it for me. I abandoned it half way through. It was set up as The Hangover meets The DaVinci Code. Unfortunately it followed the same premise as the others in the series: Mystery, ancient symbols, finds a girlfriend along the way, everyone’s out to get him.


Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore: Death isn’t supposed to be funny, nor is it supposed to have a face or a day job, but what if it did? Stop what you’re doing. Stop it right now and go buy A Dirty Job and read it. Then buy Secondhand Souls and read that too. If you are a Terry Pratchett fan you should also be a Christopher Moore fan.  You should also read Christopher Moore’s books because he did this interview with me back in 2013 right here on The Phil Factor.

Have a great Sunday! ~Phil