Best books 2002 (also horribly long)

EmmaComerford at aol.com EmmaComerford at aol.com
Fri Jan 17 22:45:36 EST 2003


Well I've finally compiled a list of my best books from 2002. It's been a 
great reading year, due mainly to lots of excellent recommendations from this 
list. I've been keeping a reading log since July and it has reflected lots of 
recommendations from the list as well as the fact that I've discovered a 
couple of prolific authors in the form of Heyer and Wodehouse. 

I've used some of Melissa's categories, and have skipped and changed others.

Best Book: this is too hard a category to fill! But "Possession" by AS Byatt 
was a book I loved that didn't fall into another category, so it is the 
winner. "Coraline" by Neil Gaiman is the children's division winner. I loved 
the style of writiing as well as the story - scary but full of useful 
lessons!

Worst book: It's been such a good year that I haven't come across any 
terrible books that have had me pulling out my hair in frustration (except in 
non-fiction). I couldn't justify placing any books in this category. So this 
category has to remain empty. However, the most annoying book category had 
many contenders. The most recent of these is probably Jane Langton's "The 
Shortest Day", which came highly recommended from a couple of sources. I 
found the majority of the characters and their actions ridiculous, and kept 
waiting for the book to improve until I reached the end.

Funniest book: I've read so many funny books this year, but the Stephanie 
Plum series from Janet Evanovich made me laugh out loud the most, so the 
whole group wins this category. For those contemplating reading these books, 
I recommend trying at least two, as I wasn't enraptured by the first book but 
was hooked byu book three. Runners up included Wodehouse's Jeeves books and 
many of the Heyer books I've devoured over the last year.

Best Series: (using Melissa's definition of a series I've discovered this 
year rather than a new series) David Brin's second uplift trilogy - I can't 
figure out how I hadn't read these boooks earlier when I read his other 
books. I like the wide scope of the story line, as well as many of the 
details in the smaller subplots. 
I also concur with Melissa's choice of Jan Siegel's "Witch's honour" as 
weirdest ending to a trilogy!

Best first book: Definitely "The Thief" by Megan Whalen Turner. I know she 
wrote a book of short stories before this, but this was her first novel, so 
it is qualified for entry! "The Thief" and its sequel "Queen of Attolia", 
were some of the best books I read in 2002. I found them both intriguing in 
different ways, and can't decide which one I prefer.
She's now on my (short) list of "Authors to automatically buy".  

Book I couldn't put down: "Primary Inversion" by Catherine Asaro. I'm not 
sure why I loved this books so much, but I found it extrememly compelling.  
However, none of the sequels struck me in the same way, so perhaps I was 
simply in the right mood for this type of story.

Favourite series revisited: The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I 
hadn't read these books since I was a child, and think I enjoyed them even 
more this time around.  Both the setting and the style of writing appeal to 
me.

Most disappointing: this is a category that is hard to fill, as I feel 
terrible choosing good books for it, as it is really my own high expectations 
that have doomed them rather than  them being bad books. But I think this 
year "Ash: A secret history" may have been the winner, as so many on the list 
loved it and I liked the sound of it. But I found the modern sections 
irritating and the plot itself a little slow. But, that said, I'm still 
reading the series, I just was slightly disappointed in it. Similarly, 
"Diplomatic Immunity" by Lois McMaster Bujold was a great book, but I don't 
think it had the power or the humour of the previous few books.

Best buy: four second hand Georgette Heyer books for 50 cents a piece - I've 
seen even more common ones in similar condition and in the same imprint for 
$12-$17 a piece secondhand, so feel I did very well. And "The Grand Sophy" 
(which must be the only Heyer my library system lacks) was amongst them!

I'm grateful to this list for so many wonderful recommendations over the past 
few years! Thank-you for making it easier to find new books, especially those 
I wouldn't have thought of picking up without a recommendation! 

Emma :)



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