Sweet Trouble

Rants, raves, book reviews and one girl's thoughts on life, the universe and everything.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Discoveries in 2008

Everyone's reading habits vary. Some readers chose by subject, others by author, even more are genre oriented. I have rather eclectic tastes that cross many genre's depending on my mood and current interests. I do have favorite authors, though, and I do like to reread. This means my list for the year has a handful of names that get repeated a lot. It's always fun to "discover" new authors to add to that list of favorites, and this year I came across several:

Scott Westerfeld is the American husband of Justine Larbalestier. I first discovered him through her blog, but it took me awhile to get around to his books. Shame on me for dawdling, since they are wonderful. I raved about the Uglies books enough that even my husband read them. They aren’t perfect, who is? What they are is fun and intriguing and hugely popular with teens. In fact Westerfeld is cited by some as single handedly introducing a whole new generation to true science fiction (vs fantasy.) He sneaks in science lessons and social issues while entertaining with rusted roller coasters and exciting high speed chases.

Katie Fforde is veddy veddy British and veddy veddy funny. I picked up "Bidding for Love" on a whim at the library and adored it once I got beyond the hokey title (the action is set in an auction house.) Fforde delivers humor, whimsy, romance and happy endings that aren’t perhaps the pairings you’d expect in the beginning chapters of the books...and if that’s not an accomplishment for a romance writer I don’t know what is. I’ve read almost all of her books this year, and while some ranked higher on my favorite list than others the author hasn’t disappointed yet.

Sarah Strohmeyer wrote Sweet Love which had more depth than I expected and really pulled my heartstrings. I’m not sure if it was a wonderful book, or if the plight of the main character just happened to match up with some real life stuff going on in my extended family in a manner that made an impression on me. Whatever the case I’ve got Strohmeyer on my short list of authors to keep an eye out for.

Kristin Cashore’s debut novel Graceling was probably one of the best books I read this year. The prose has been dinged by some reviewers as a little clunky, but I didn’t notice. I was too captivated by the storytelling. The world came alive for me. Part coming of age, part robin hood and part Jack London wilderness adventure all seasoned with a dash of romance and intrigue Graceling has a little something for everyone. I read this book and was satisfied. I was content to ponder upon it for almost a week without reading anything else. Not many books do that to me.

Mary Kay Andrews set Deep Dish in the southeastern US of A. I’m a sucker for books set in my neck of the woods. Factor in cooking, humor and pets and this is one Dish that I’ve been serving to all of my friends. Seriously, I’ve passed it around to at least four different people. It’s with my step-mother right now and I think I’ll be due for a reread by the time it gets back to me.