Best Books 2002

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at
Tue Jan 7 08:42:50 EST 2003

Happy New Year!

I'm having trouble coming up with Best Books so here are a few memorable

Bloody Publishers award:
Myths of Gender by Anne Fausto-Sterling. I *would* recommend everybody to
get this (you know all those great revelations in the papers every so often
about how, wow, it turns out that "scientists have found" that women *really
are* rubbish at maths and men are *just naturally* aggressive? She looks at
the studies those are based on and finds them rather lacking) except that
the publishers, Basic Books, are apparently too basic to pay proofreaders.
Three separate sets of double pages are missing- eg, the page printed after
33 is 36. Maybe everyone should get this out of the library.

Stocking Filler Book That Was Actually Funny award:
One of those 3-inch-square things, you know. Called The Languid Goat Is
Always Thin, a collection of proverbs and sayings from around the world. 

And Barbara Cartland Wrote Seven Hundred award:
I've read two of Sarah Caudwell's lovely mysteries, narrated by a pompous
professor of law, which means I only have two more to go. Authors should not
be allowed to die young.

Most Eagerly Awaited award:
The Door Into Starlight. Now put back until 2004. Grrr. Abhorsen really
exists now, so I can hang on until the library gets it.

Nicest Surprise award:
A. gave me Curse of Chalion in trade PB because he knew I was waiting very
impatiently for the paperback. He didn't get properly thanked until after
I'd finished it!

Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me How Funny This Is award:
H.P. Lovecraft. Ia, Shub-Niggurath! 

Books I Gave For Christmas In An Attempt To Gain Converts award:
Truckers by Terry Pratchett; The Magicians Of Caprona; Conflict of Honors by
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

Books That Are Even Better On Rereading award:
Point of Hopes, Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett; Bridge of Birds, Barry
Hughart; The Mating Season, P. G. Wodehouse; Sense and Sensibility, Jane
Austen. All of them are rich, in different ways; there's always more to find
in the worlds, the characters, the writing...

Bloody Publishers award II, They're Too Busy Selling Goosebumps section:
The Marmalade Atkins books are out of print, and so are the Carbonel ones.
Publishers are coming out with some good children's books these days, but
these ought to be among the classic modern books (like Richmal Crompton's or
Margaret Mahy's) that never go OOP entirely. <fx: mutter> Tsk, children not
reading about the horrible ginger donkey, I don't know, in my young day you
never had any of this internet stuff y'know, we had to make our own
entertainment, there were proper books in them days <etc etc>
I think my best discoveries this year were ones that were recommended on
here and I've already gushed about them, so here's a few that have hit the
critical mass of mentions here and elsewhere and I'm going to try to get
hold of them:
Martha Wells, Tim Powers, R. A. MacAvoy, Rosemary Edghill, Gail Carson
Levine, Delia Sherman, Michael Swanwick. 


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