[DWJ] Best Books of 2006

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Wed Dec 27 16:26:18 EST 2006

On Wed, 27 Dec 2006, Melissa Proffitt wrote:
>*Worst Publishing Decision 2006:  _The Sharing Knife: Beguilement_, Lois
>McMaster Bujold
>I don't care how long the finished book would have been or how long it would
>have taken her to write it, they should damn well have published the whole
>thing.  This first volume is literally half a book--half a romance book, at
>that--and I think this was a big mistake.  It feels so unfinished that it
>will probably put a lot of readers off, particularly the ones who aren't
>sophisticated enough to identify why they didn't like it.  The core of the
>story is very good, but I'm betting Bujold padded it out in places to get it
>to a full novel length, and the result is a total loss of momentum (forward
>momentum, remember, Lois?) when Dag and Fawn sidetrack into her little
>village for family time and a wedding.  If anyone hasn't read this yet, wait
>till July and then read both volumes back-to-back.  (I'm still ticked off
>that we didn't get to see the Lakewalker camp.)

Ditto on all counts.  This book was disappointing, and I love
both schmoopy romances and Bujold.

Here's some of my own, all YA.

*Best YA books of the year:

Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit,
Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a
House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog. By Ysabeau S.

An original magical world; a flawed and funny heroine;
fascinating gender construction; political intrigues. Also, super
funny.  A debut.

King Dork. By Frank Portman.

Also a debut.  This one is another Catcher in the Rye reworking,
but it's full of humor, jokes about 1970s-era spirituality, and
constant band names.  Sadly, it's also full of blow jobs, so it
can't go on my friend's seventh grade DEAR shelf.  Death and high
school politics.

*Best Series Concluder:

Specials. By Scott Westerfeld.

If you haven't read the Uglies trilogy, do.  This book concludes
with Tally's third stage of life: Ugly, Pretty, Special. The
conclusion is much less simple than we could have expected.
Although the heternormativity saddens me, in some ways -- I wish
Westerfeld had been willing to play up more Tally's flawed
friendship with Shay -- it's a very powerful book.

*Most Disappointing Series Concluder:

Last Days. By Scott Westerfeld.

Okay, maybe Peeps was so sublime this book was bound to be a
disappointment.  It's good, don't get me wrong.  Good and worth
reading.  But in no way is this book worthy of being a sequel to
Peeps, which was without doubt one of the best vampire books I'd
ever read.

*Best Guilty Pleasure;

New Moon.  By Stephanie Meyer.

This is a cheesy, schmoopy, romantic sequel to one of the
cheesiest, schmoopiest, most romantic vampire books I've ever
read.  My inner 16 year old devoured it like potato chips, while
my outer grownup was disturbed at the obsessive compulsive nature
of the heroine.

"A grown man punting a kitten who was looking the other way... It
was the bravest thing I've ever seen."  -- Sluggy Freelance

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