Books of The Year

2010 Book of the Year

“Impeccably written, this historical work of fiction about a young mother’s westward trip with her abusive husband in the early 1800s is not for the faint of heart. The author’s research seems exhaustive and the characterization of Marie Dorion is rich and believable, as are many of the other players. Pierre Dorion is about to set off on the Astor Expedition as an interpreter. His wife, Marie, and their young son, Jean Baptiste, are to remain behind. But Marie isn’t about to settle for that. She manages to find a way to join the expedition and soon wonders if she’s made a grave mistake. Many factors work against the trip, including hostile tribes, inexperienced leaders and the elements of nature. Pierre’s abusive treatment of Marie doesn’t help, nor his penchant for alcohol. Will they make it to the Columbia River and make history? Or will they all succumb to numerous disasters along the difficult route?” RT Review

A book of the year pick has to be more than a book I really enjoyed reading. First of all it has to be re-readable and recommendable to a wide audience. The book also has to be entertaining and have a lasting impression upon readers. With those things in mind my pick for book of the year is… A Name of Her Own by Jane Kirkpatrick.


2009 Book of the Year

“With a beginning and ending that pack hefty punches, this introduction to a dystopic future promises an exciting series.

Tally is almost 16 and breathlessly eager: On her birthday, like everyone else, she’ll undergo extensive surgery to become a Pretty. She’s only known life as an Ugly (everyone’s considered hideous before surgery), whereas after she “turns,” she’ll have the huge eyes, perfect skin, and new bone structure that biology and evolution have determined to be objectively beautiful. New Pretties party all day long. But when friend Shay escapes to join a possibly mythical band of outsiders avoiding surgery, Tally follows—not from choice but because the secret police force her. Tally inflicts betrayal after betrayal, which dominates the theme for the midsection; by the end, the nature of this dystopia is front and center and Tally—trying to set things right—takes a stunning leap of faith.

Some heavy-handedness, but the awesome ending thrills with potential.” Kirkus Review

As I thought about it I realized that Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1) would make a very good book of the year. It came to me highly recommended, and I would also highly recommend it. Sure it’s a sci-fi story, but like Fahrenheit 451 serves as a good allegory or warning about the course of pop culture if left unchecked. It dug into what beauty is, and what beauty should be. As well as touching on a lot of things that adolescents face; being part of the in-crowd, expectations, the reason for living, the “cost” of a good time, choices, and betrayal.

2008 Book of the Year

“Hubbard celebrates 50 years as a pro writer with this huge (800+ pages), swarming, sometimes gripping slug-fest. The Earth has been occupied by monsters, imperial Pyschlos representing the Intergalactic Mining Corporation, who use “breathe-gas” (air is poisonous to them) and whose power derives from the closely guarded secret of teleportation. Furthermore, ambitious, devious Psychlo security chief Terl schemes to enrich himself by clandestinely mining gold, using humans as slave labor and he is soon exploiting explorer-bravo Jonnie Goodboy Tyler (holding Jonnie’s girlfriend as hostage). But Jonnie, learning that breathe-gas explodes on contact with radioactive materials, quickly amasses allies, arms, equipment, and expertise for a war of liberation: he plots to doublecross the snarling Terl by substituting nuclear bombs for the gold to be teleported to planet Psychlo.”  — Kirkus Review

So which book will I remember 2008 by? Battlefield Earth. As much as if seems cheesy to pick the first book of the year, and to pick a sci-fi book. “Battlefield Earth” was really the most outstanding story I read this year. It was truly epic, it drew me in, held me, and made me want to be part of the story.

2007 Book of the Year

“Instead of presenting an overly sentimental worst-case scenario meant to frighten its readers onto the straight-and-narrow, Wuthering Heights seduces its readers with its dark passion and misguided characters. Both Heathcliff and Catherine are flawed characters, but their flaws intrigue the reader just as surely as they repel. If there is any lesson to be learned in Catherine’s death, it is the folly of denying your heart’s greatest passion”

And my book of the year is…. Wuthering Heights

It was a tough choice, I was really torn between this book and The Lathe of Heaven. You know me and my soft spot for sci-fi. However, Wuthering Heights IS a classic. There is no doubt in my mind as to why. It gets under your skin, it becomes almost too real. If you like classics pick this one up. And if you’re willing to try classics again, even though high school literature class left a bad taste in your mouth, go ahead and try this one.

Even several years after I’ve read it this book is still haunting. It’s dark and mysterious and it’s characters seem so real.

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