Wednesday, January 09, 2008

2007 in books, part II

The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander: I had read one or two of the books in the series before and enjoyed them, but I had never made it all the way through. This time I did and loved it! Parts reminded me of Lord of the Rings, but most of it was original and interesting.

The Quest of the Fair Unknown by Gerald Morris: The latest in the Squire’s Tale Series. Just like the earlier books, it is a mix of humor, good story, and interesting re-tellings of the Arthurian legends. Highly recommended.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Wonderful story set in WWII. There’s a great deal of sadness in it, but also love and hope. Highly recommended for more mature readers.

The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien: The latest compiling by Christopher Tolkien of his father’s work. I found it very well done and different from The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Recommended for all Tolkien fans.

A Schilling for Candles and other Josephine Tey: Josephine Tey is perhaps one of my favorite mystery authors of all time. She wrote introspective mysteries which are quite lovely in a certain way. I find myself falling in love with her characters.

The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner: Probably my biggest discovery of the year. I love these books! I can’t wait until the fourth comes out and I’m hoping desperately that a certain character does not die because I will be very sad if he does. At any rate, these are very highly recommended for slightly more mature readers. There are a few swear words in the second two books.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith: My mother and I are both reading these. Charming stories of Botswanan life. As you read through the series you find yourselves following the characters and their lives. Highly recommended for slightly more mature readers.

The Earthsea series by Ursula LeGuin: I enjoyed this series a lot, although I suspect that only fans of high fantasy would. The writing style is dramatically different from the sort that I normally enjoy, but I found myself becoming more and more used to it as the series went on. Highly recommended for fantasy fans.

The End and other Lemony Snicket: I finally finished up the Series of Unfortunate Events! The End is the best book in the whole series, but the last few before it are really wonderful as well. Snicket [Handler] steps out of the formula he’d been following earlier in the series to create some really great works.

Spiritual Counsels by St. John of Kronstadt: I had heard about St. John of Kronstadt all of my life and I’d read his biography but I never really understood why people loved him so much. He sounded like a holy man, certainly, but I knew so many people that just loved him and went on and on about him and I did not get it. Then I read Spiritual Counsels and went, OH. That’s why. Now I love St. John too!

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess: I think I posted about this one close to when I read it. Very different from any other book I’ve ever read and so interesting! I actually found it quite easy to read because I’m taking Russian. There are parts that are very violent but it’s a really interesting book. If you’re going to read it, make sure that there’s a 21st chapter since the original American edition doesn’t have it.

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith: I enjoyed this book in a campy sort of way. There were parts that were pretty stereotypical fantasy adventure, but I found Meliara to be a compelling narrator and enjoyed it. I’ve got the second one out to read right now.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale: I’d read The Princess Academy by the same author and went into this book thinking that it would be fairly similar. But this book was much better! Complex story and beautiful writing. I’m not saying The Princess Academy is bad, just that Goose Girl was better, in my opinion.

Part I here.


Mimi said...

I read the Josephine Tey book about Richard III this year, but that's the only one of hers I have read.

MaureenE said...

That's probably one of my all-time favorite mysteries. And I will freely admit that she totally convinced me, assuming that all of the facts she gives in the book are true.