[DWJ] best books 2006

Emma Comerford emmaco at tpg.com.au
Sat Dec 30 21:21:47 EST 2006

I feel like I’ve spent a lot of the year starting books then impatiently 
throwing them down and returning to old favourites. But as I went through 
my blog I realised I’ve actually come across lots of great new books in 
2006, many of them YA novels. My only worry is that seeing as I didn’t keep 
a reading list I only have the books I reviewed to prompt my memory. I hope 
I haven’t missed any crucial ones! I have cheated and included lots of 
books in the first category.

Belated author discoveries: Scott Westerfeld. Why hadn’t I found Scott 
before this year? Peeps is one of my favourites for 2006 and one of my 
favourite vampire books in general. I also loved his Uglies trilogy that 
other people have mentioned here.

Jaclyn Moriarty. Overlooking this author was embarrassing as she’s 
Australian and you’d think I’d have noticed her books everywhere. I 
wouldn’t have thought the stories told through a mix of notes/diary 
entries/letters etc would work so well, but I’ve laughed my way through 
these books and appreciated the handling of the serious elements (although 
I agree The Betrayal of Bindi MacKenzie was the weakest book).

Hilary McKay. I’ve loved her funny and perceptive Casson and Exiles books. 
Fantastic family stories. Actually for McKay and Moriarty I agree with all 
of Hallie’s comments!

Most anticipated book that fulfilled all my expectations: King of Attolia 
by Megan Whalen Turner. I didn’t think she’d be able to pull it off a 
sequel so well – it’s different but still wonderful and clever.

Best new series: The Temeraire books by Naomi Novik: A great combination of 
dragons and sailing ships.  These books are fun and have proved to be very 
popular with everyone I’ve lent/recommended them to.  I think the series 
was starting to flag a little by the third book but am looking forward to 
the next one.

Book that lived up to its hype: How I live now by Megan Rosoff.  I wasn’t 
thrilled with the couple of pages I flicked through in the bookstore but 
bought it anyway. I’m glad I did! The style grew on me and I was sucked 
into the story.

Book that reassured me that the author is still on the ball:Dzur by Stephen 
Brust. A long-awaited installment in the Vlad Taltos books and a great read.

Other great books: Criss Cross by Lyn Rae Perkins.  I just loved this 
book.  I can see why the lack of an overarching story annoyed some people 
but I enjoyed the writing style, the humour and generally the whole summery 
feel of the of book.

Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.  I reached a point a few years ago where I 
decided not to read any more WWII, especially holocaust, novels as I felt I 
had read so many.  But this story, narrated by Death and telling the story 
of a German girl who steals books, was a worthy exception.  Published as an 
adult book here but YA in the US.

Other notable authors I’ve enjoyed for the first time in 2006 have included 
Caroline Cooney, Sarah Dessen, Shannon Hale and Penni Russon. What a great 
year for YA fiction!

Here's to a 2007 filled with more great books! No doubt this list will help 
with that aim as admirably as it has in the past so thank-you.


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