Best of 2001

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Mon Jan 7 00:38:46 EST 2002

>Favourite (new) book of 2001: Tamora Pierce's Squire. I love it, keep
>re-reading it, and Kel is one of my favourite heroines. It is refreshing to
>have one who can't depend on magic! McKinley's Spindle's End would probably
>run this one very close if I hadn't been reading it in adverse circumstances
>(on the bus back from Oxford, one hour after getting engaged!).

This is an odd coincidence. I first read Spindle's End when I had just had 
a baby, so I was similarly distracted by personal issues. Well worth a reread.

>Most haunting book: This is not necessarily one I liked best, but which
>sticks with me. Mary Gentle's Ash. I'm not sure whether I enjoyed it or not,
>but bits of the story keep popping up in my head, maybe because I find the
>"alternate history" idea so intriguing.

I have to comment on this one, because I read about 2/3 of Ash and then 
just couldn't cope with it any more. The whole frame/"alternate history" 
thing didn't work for me at all. Possibly because I am too close to the 
academic medieval history reality.

>Best discovery: Connie Willis. Though I might have read To Say Nothing of
>the Dog the previous year, in which case Doomsday Book and Bellwether tie.

Have to agree, although as yet I have only read the Doomsday Book. In this 
case, detailed knowledge of medieval studies actually made the book more 
enjoyable. I think there is something in there about the way in which the 
two authors managed the subject.

>Best re-discovery: Winter Rose by Patricia McKillip. I read it under
>different adverse circumstances (the weekend of my best friend's wedding,
>for which I was bridesmaid) and wasn't too impressed, but on re-reading (to
>decide whether to keep it) I thought it was excellent. I am now looking
>forward to the other book of hers I own, which is lurking somewhere at the
>bottom of my second "books waiting to be read" pile because I only received
>it last Christmas...

I have just finished reading the Tower at Stony Wood, and found it 
excellent. A really interesting weaving together of several (can't work out 
if it is 4 or 5) different mythical tales.
Anyone else read this one? It is kind of confusing, but the confusion is 
also part of the mood of the book, so it works well. I found Winter Rose 
had a similar mood.


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