Welcome to Mean Streets, a fan site for Urban Fantasy, Supernatural and Paranormal Fiction. I enjoy reading fiction in this genre, particularly those which focus more on the supernatural and paranormal elements, rather then romance or sex (the latter which I find boring and predictable.) This site's goal is to showcase those books which I've found to be the best in the genre. It's not a complete list of everything that is out there because I've not read everything and some series, even though they are good, have too many elements which I personally find I don't like, but someone else may, and that's perfectly fine.
13th October, 2023
THOUGHTS REGARDING AUDIBLE: I know that people criticize Amazon a lot because the company allegdedly causes brick and mortor shops to go out of business (I don't agree with this statement, by the way - many years ago, in the early 2000's, I used to order books that the bookshop didn't have in stock. I've found that most brick and mortor bookshops hardly ever stocked natural history and zoology books - if they did, it was usually field guides or books related to series that were on TV, or Dorling Kingsley picture books - anything more interesting than that was mostly gone from the shelves. I found a lot of titles on Amazon, made a list of ones that I was interested in and ask the bookshop to order them for me. Most of the time, I couldn't get the books because the shop couldn't even order them from their suppliers, and this was books that were in print, not just the ones that were old and out of print, which was understandable. If they could order them, you'd be waiting for weeks for them, most of the time - I remember one book which I ordered that I'd been asking about for ages and every time I went to pick it up, it wouldn't be in the shop waiting for me, and on the day that I was finally able to pick it up, I was going to cancel the order if it wasn't waiting for me that day. I read a lot of science fiction, particualrly Star Wars and even if I enjoyed an author's writing, it was very rare that I could get their non-Star Wars titles because the shop didn't stock them, and given my experience at ordering books previously, I didn't bother asking them to order them because I knew that they wouldn't do it. Aside from specialist shops or shops that were in cities like Oxford, I'd rarely get the books that I wanted to buy. When I finally got a debit card, ordering from Amazon was a lot better than buying from brick and mortor shops. For the most part, brick and mortor shops put themselves out of business because they don't stock books or their suppliers don't allow them to order books which people ask for.) I like Audible because it allows me to get hold of books from years ago that I no longer have. I have a medical condiction that will eventually affect my ability to read so I use it to get books that I know I will miss if I can no longer read them. I don't have a lot of faith in the medical profession, not because I doubt the scientific break throughs but because of the willingness to treat people for their condictions, so having my favourite books on audible is a good idea. Finally, if you subscribe to audible, you get free access to a lot of titles so you don't have to pay daft amounts for print books. In the past, people with sight problems would have to wait for badly truncated versions of books to be recorded on to tape or cd - with audible, you get the full version. It also helps people who have issues reading because their concentration is bad, or if they have dyslexia - I don't think it's a bad thing if it helps people and Amazon started out as a bookseller, which many people seem to forget.
13th October, 2023
I've added some pages for the Iron Druid Chronicles today, and a few other series. I need to do the book covers, and add the synopsis for each one, which I've not got around to yet. Hopefully they should be done over the weekend. I've also found out that Simon R. Green has two series out which I didn't know about. I don't know when I will get hold of them - last time I looked, they were expensive, which is becoming a problem with new books, and there are quite a lot in the series. I hope to get round to them eventually, but I want to concentrate on other series first, like the Kitty Norville spin-offs.
3rd October, 2023
It's been ages since I updated this site... I've been a bit slack in keeping up with Kelley Armstong's work and found out that she has written a new duology (I hope it becomes a series) about a luck weaver, starting with a book called Cursed Luck. She has also written a couple of time travel fantasy series and tbh, I am not quite sure where they fit in the genre. They aren't Urban Fantasy because they don't have the supernatural element that makes a contempray fantasy an UF one, but aren't quite sci-fi or fantasy as you would think of them, but they are good. I've read the first couple of books in both series and I am currently reading Cursed Luck. Jim Butcher's son, James Butcher has started his own urban fantasy series and the second one is coming out later this month, so the site will grow with more series and authors, which I like. We have moved house this year (at the end of August/beginning of September) so my books are all a mess again, but we thankfully now have more room so I can organise my books properly once I replace some bookcases we had to leave behind (bit annoyed about that, really). I've got all the Kitty Norville books now and the author has done some spin-off series (mainly e-books, and on audible) that are connected to the Kitty universe. I have started listening to audible, and I am getting my favourite books on there, and getting ones which I can't find in physical book form, as I prefer it to the digital format.
10th April, 2021
I am starting to get the books into a better order now. There are a lot of Secret Histories books which I don't have. I kind of lost track of them when I got to the 4th one - it wasn't a good time for me because I had an illness that gave me brain fog for ages afterwards and I stopped perchasing books directly from our local Waterstones - the shop doesn't have a good range and doesn't seem to stock the authors I like any more. There is a specailist bookshop in the city that is closet to us for Sci-Fi and Fantasy but getting there isn't easy because we don't have a car and TBH, I hate going the because the city has degraded a lot over the past 10 years. I also find paperback fiction books to be overpriced now at publisher's prices compared to what they used to be so I prefer getting them second-hand online. Heck, it's just easier to find what I'm looking for that way because second hand bookshops and chairty shops are very dependent on what people get rid of. As for Waterstones, they only seem to get books in now if they happen to be a TV or movie tie-in series, or there's a movie or film that's based on a book or series. On a side note, if you want non fiction books it's worse. I am slowly getting the Secret Histories books that I have missed as I don't like reading long series without having most of the books on hand as if there is too much of a gap between reading the early books to the later ones, I forget what's happened in the series and need to re-read for it to make sense.
18th January, 20201
Today, I found an online library where you can borrow digital books from. It is useful if you want to check out an author but you aren't sure about them, or if just can't afford to buy a copy of the book. Not every book is on there, of course, but there are quite a few popular ones, and given the current state of things it's great to get access to a library, even if it is online and not in hard copy format. The Open Library
15th January, 20201
Got through the first book of the new year, Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher, and I have started reading the next one, White Night. I had planned on reading all the way through the main novels, but I can't find my copies of Small Favour and Turncoat. (They are probably buried in one of the cupboards somewhere, so I'll probably start reading one of the other series if I can find them.
24th December, 2020
Well, it's Christmas Eve. I've been uploading and editing a few book covers for the site, which I hope to organize properly in the new year. A few days ago, while I was doing the links page, I came across this Dresden Files short story on Jim Butcher's website, called Christmas Eve. It does take place rather late in the series, so if you are new to the series and don't want to read any spoilers it's probably not a good idea to read it yet, but if you don't mind, or are looking for something festive to do because you can't go anywhere because of the pandemic, then it's a nice little story to entertain yourself with.
There is also an anthology called Wolfsbane and Mistletoe which was published some years ago which is full of werewolf-themed, urban fantasy and paranormal romance stories set at Christams. It's probably a bit too much on the romance side of things for me, but it's a nice bit of fluff if that is what you are looking for, and you might find a new author to enjoy. I chose the book because there were stories by a few authors that I read in it whereas I usually avoid multi-author anthologies.
It's probably a good idea to take the time to search for a reading challenge to join next year if you are inclined to do it. In the past, I have come across themed ones where you pick a genre or author of books to read, or ones where you try to read a specfic number of books in one year. I find with the latter you usually over reach yourself and get fed up of it come March - May and give up on it, so it's important to find one which will keep your interest.