Friday, December 29, 2006

The best of books, part 2

I'm back with more great reads from this year. Before I dive into the fiction list, I should note a couple of honorable mentions that didn't get props yesterday. Red Sun asked if I'd read Running with Scissors, and the answer is no - it seemed too grim. But I grabbed Dry, another by the same author, and LOVED it. And if you're curious about the music biz, check out Everything I'm Cracked Up To Be by Jen Trynin. She almost made it huge, but then didn't. Not a perspective you read about every day (I'm contemplating a similar book, chronicling my brief gymnastics career...)

Okay, on to fiction...

This was a GREAT year for fiction reads, probably the best bunch of books I've read since I skipped Spanish class every day for a week to find out what happened to Alya and Jondolar in the Clan of the Cave Bear series. Here are my top five...

5. Dear Zoe by Philip Beard
This is the best angsty teenage girl voice I've read, and Beard does it without making his character annoying - rather a miracle. There is real life "stuff" going on in this book, and I loved the choices he made for his characters - they felt right, somehow. Fabulous book. It's on sale at Amazon, so grab a copy and thank me later :)

4. Plan B by Jonathan Tropper
The people in this book are the kind of friends we all want - that we all hope we'd be, if push came to shove. Tropper captures that, "Oh crap - I have to decide what to do with my life?" stage well, and winds it through a fun story to keep it from getting too dark. All his stuff is great.

3. The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart
I used my Barnes & Noble Christmas gift card from Starbucks Girl to get my own copy of this book. It makes me think about why some friendships survive and others don't. No big answers so far, but this story is a great example of how love is often more elastic than we give it credit for.

2. The Big Love by Sarah Dunn
How cool to see a character wrestling with her faith life and her love life at the same time. Dunn tortures her main character, but the result is a great story that doesn't resolve perfectly OR leave you dangling in the misery. It takes an artful touch to find the middle ground, and Dunn has it. I read it twice.

1. Once Upon A Day by Lisa Tucker
This book comes out in paperback in the spring, and if the author comes anywhere near New England, I will be there. This story blows to smithereens our incessant pop-psychology labels and personality types. The characters, each faced with some pretty untenable situations, do the best the can with what they have in the moment. It's beautiful, messy, and fabulous. Hands down, the best book I read this year.

How about you???


LEstes65 said...

Wow. Clan of the Cave Bear. I have to confess, I saw the horrid movie before picking up the book (my M.O., I'm afraid). I'm so glad the book was awesome and not a turgid piece of crap like the movie.

Personally, I've been reliving the Calvin & Hobbes collections in my library with my 6 yr old. Reading with him makes me remember the first time I read each one. He laughs so hard at them and then asks me to explain why they're so funny. Love that.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Wow! I actually haven't read any of these...haven't even gotten around to the copy of Dear Zoe you sent me. I have been a very bad/slow reader this year--I need more time!

I truly appreciate you taking the time to offer such personalized reviews. With so many choices, it's nice to get a rec.

Sara Hantz said...

My best book....... Sparkles by Louise Bagshawe... totally loved it.

I haven't read any of the ones you mention, but i'll look out for them.

JenKneeBee said...

Ooh! I haven't read any of these either, but I'm going to have to get on it. They sound great, thanks for the recommendations.

Amanda Brice said...

Haven't read any of those, but I need to!

b/sistersshoes said...

Trish ~*~

I am blessed to hae such a friend as you during this time. In my time of need, you have been wise and loving and all of it gave me hope.

Thank you,
grateful me
much love
XOXO Darlene

Beck said...

You know, the only one of these five that I'd heard of was The Myth of You and Me, which I haven't read because I was afraid that it would be too painful... I'm adding your others to my list.

Sarah said...

Most of the reading I do is for work (and as a Young Adult Librarian, that means reading a lot of books written for teens), but Looking for Alaska by John Green is incredible - it's moving, it's got great quotes, and it made me ever so grateful that I never had to go to boarding school.