Best Books of 2004

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Thu Jan 13 14:35:19 EST 2005


>>>Runner-up for Best Best New Book by an Author I've Enjoyed for Years: _A
>>>Fistful of Sky_ by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. This struck me as the most
>>>riveting thing she's done recently. I loved her earlier books (_The Thread
>>>That Binds the Bones_ and _The Silent Strength of Stones_ but her more
>>>recent ones, though full of interesting ideas, didn't seem to have the
>>>oomph of the earlier ones. This one did.
>>Does this need to be read as a sequel to _Red Heart of Memories_ and _Past
>>the Size of Dreaming_ or can it be read as a stand-alone?  (Or did I mix
>>it up entirely?)
>As Alison has said, it's a stand-alone.

Thanks to you both - I meant to say prequel actually, but obviously 
had the wrong book.

>>>_The Jane Austen Book Club_ by Karen
>>>Joy Fowler. This seems lightweight--and is in fact a very easy book to
>>>read--until you look more closely and realise that she isn't knocking you
>>>over the head with obvious concordances to Austen's novels (though there
>>>a few of these) but offering subtle parallels and looking at them from all
>>>sorts of angles. A really feel-good book that offers more than it appears.
>>I'm on a ring for this with BC and can't wait to see what I think, having
>>heard a lot of differing reactions to it.  That you like it is most
>I must admit that at during the first few chapters, it struck me as sort of
>shallow, but its themes deepened as it went along and it came together in a
>most satisfying way. What are some of the differing reactions you've heard,

Here you go, Ros:

I didn't want to read some of the reviews too closely, for fear of 
spoiling something, but that's not an issue for you, obviously.  The 
person who started the ring is someone whose opinions I respect 
(though I'm not as sure about shared reading tastes) but as well as 
the few less-than-enthusiastic JEs, I later saw this:,6121,1323627,00.html
It should be interesting, as I said.

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