Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Contest Winner (Plus Forgotten Top 5)

And the winner of the first Simple Little Bookworm Giveaway Extravaganza is…Commenter #2! Congrats, Shannon. Perhaps second really is “best,” as they say on the playground. (E-mail me for the deets.)

While I’m here, I just wanted to point out a few more awesome books I left off my Recommended Reads for 2010. (Another reason why I hate Top 10 lists: MAJOR oversights.) To make up for it, here’s my:

Top 5 Books I Overlooked from 2010 (in no particular order)

1. Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves: I can't believe it took stumbling across her Twitter account to remember these books. I was up with a flashlight for both of them…Couldn’t get enough of the dystopian zombies. Though I preferred Mary/her story to Gabry/hers, I enjoyed the deepening and opening up of the Unconsecrated/Mudo mythology. Eagerly awaiting the final book in the trilogy.

2. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: With the second installation coming out this March, how could I have forgotten? This 650+ monster of a book grabbed me from the first page and would not let go. Where should I start? The fully fleshed-out magic system, the complex world-building, the eloquent narrator, the huge cast of (non-cardboard) supporting characters, the mystery Big Bad, the muddy motivations, the non-stop interesting? I contemplated skipping work to finish it. (I didn’t and spent the rest of the day yearning to get back home.)

3. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld: A serious brain meltdown because I enjoyed this book SO MUCH when I read it. I even wrote about how much I was craving its sequel here. The living airships were fascinating, the young heroes hilarious. Steampunk, alternate historical reality, and biology are a match made in heaven. Suspense-filled brain food that goes down easy. Plus illustrations!

4. Philip Pullman’s Once Upon a Time in the North: I have a not-so-secret crush on Lee Scoresby and Hester. Seeing Lee as a young man and watching him meet Iorek was a real treat. The language in this book is just beautiful. It’s the opposite of a “page-turner,” and that’s a good thing. Pullman constructs stunning sentences and invites you to sit with them for a while.

5. Blankets by Craig Thompson: I’m no stranger to graphic novels, but this one was so appealing. It is a quiet tale with quiet triumph, quiet heartbreak, and quiet horror. It enfolds you like a blanket, weaving its themes so subtly that you scarcely notice the artful storytelling. You instead notice the art and the story. I read it all in one sitting and I cried.

...So, the Forgotten Top 5. I'll do better this year, I promise!

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