24 December 2013

Eight Short Takes to Round Out the Year

Here are eight books I read or listened to in 2013 that I never got around to reviewing on the blog (though reviews and blurbs may have appeared elsewhere). I'm sure I missed some other books this year, but I'm going to count myself caught up and will start the new year with a clean slate.

Enon by Paul Harding follows a father's first year of mourning his 13-year-old daughter, who died in an accident. Much of the book is written with such emotional authenticity, it's difficult to remember it's fiction. Other parts of the story, however, seem to wander. The audiobook, read by the author, was only okay. (Random House, ISBN 9781400069439) Mark Slouka's Brewster was one of my picks for the Bloggers Recommend newsletter. Four teens dream of escaping small-town life and feel the pull of the generation-defining events of 1968. Powerful, haunting, and stunning. (Norton, ISBN 9780393239751) One Hundred and Four Horses, a memoir by Mandy Retzlaff, is an unflinching and heartbreaking view of Zimbabwe's violent government-sanctioned land reclamation. Left homeless and in fear for their lives, the Retzlaffs nonetheless risked everything to save their beloved horses. Unforgettable. (William Morrow, ISBN 9780062204370)

Although I did post my early thoughts about The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, I never did get around to writing a real review of this mix of paranormal and dystopian. Black is a fantastic world-builder and I love her writing and characters. A great audiobook too. (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, ISBN 9780316213103) Francesca Lia Block's Love in the Time of Global Warming is another dystopian, this one with its roots in Homer's Odyssey. We follow Pen as she travels across the U.S. Southwest in search of her family in the aftermath of an environmental disaster. The audiobook was a little slow, but the story is worth the read. (Henry Holt for Young Readers, ISBN 9780805096279) The second Saga book by Brian K. Vaughan continues the story of the Marko, Alana, and their child as they flee from their enemies and try to find a safe haven. This beautifully illustrated graphic novel combines elements of myth, science fiction, and fantasy. Don't miss this series. (Image Comics, ISBN 9781607066927)

Wild Boy by Lloyd Jones is a Sherlock Holmes-type mystery starring an orphan boy who is part of a traveling freak show. When Wild Boy is accused of murder, he must use his powers of observation to clear his name. Middle grade readers will love the audiobook edition of this action-packed story set in Victorian England. (Candlewick, ISBN 9780763662523) When Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr get together to write a new middle grade fantasy, you know the result will be magic. In Loki's Wolves, the authors combine elements of the hero's journey with Nordic mythology to craft an exciting start to a adventure-filled trilogy. (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, ISBN 9780316204965)


rhapsodyinbooks 12/24/13, 7:45 AM  

OMG, I didn't know about Loki's Wolves! Must get it! (so love Kelley Armstrong!)

JoAnn 12/24/13, 8:15 AM  

Glad I've got Enon in print.

(Diane) bookchickdi 12/24/13, 12:52 PM  

Brewster has been on my radar, I must read this one,

Anonymous,  12/24/13, 1:46 PM  

Will definitely be looking for Coldest Girl soon!

Daryl 12/24/13, 4:56 PM  

coldest girl seems to me to be the most appealing .. thanks!

Kailana 12/25/13, 10:56 PM  

Oh, I missed Loki's Wolves! I love Kelley Armstrong.

Tif Sweeney 12/29/13, 11:39 AM  

I have Saga, Volume 2 sitting here right now from the library and I need to get to it this week. I am a fan of Vaughan's work!

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