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???