[DWJ] best books 2006

Emma Comerford emmaco at tpg.com.au
Sun Dec 31 01:22:20 EST 2006

You've reminded me that Gate of the Gods was my satisfying end to a series 


At 04:00 PM 31/12/2006, Roslyn wrote:

>I seem to have read fewer YA books than usual this year, and more of other
>kinds of books. There's no particular reason for this, but as I have a pile
>of new YA books that I intend to read in the coming months, so the situation
>will be remedied soon!
>Most Surprisingly Good Book of 2006
>_Love Walked In_ by Marisa de los Santos. I expected this is to a fluffy,
>fun chick-lit book, but it turned out to be much more than that. I read this
>last February, so my memory of the details isn't so good, but it absolutely
>charmed and moved me. If it's chick-lit, it's extraordinarily intelligent,
>beautifully written chick-lit. Not to say that chick-lit can't be any of
>those things, but I think the book transcends the usual boundaries of what
>would normally regarded as chick-lit. And of course it could be argued that
>such boundaries are useless anyway, but I won't get into that now. Anyway,
>when I discovered that the author was also a published poet, I wasn't
>The story is about a romance between the narrator and a man who is just like
>Cary Grant (so yes, it is based on the romance or chick-lit genre) and
>deepens into what that romance really implies, and into a story about the
>daughter of the lover and then a story about family and love in general. It
>getsn quite serious without being weighty or losing its funny It's lots of
>fun, because the narrator is a classic flim fan and drops heaps of
>references to old films and actors (and music and books, though less of
>those than films). Anyway, I l oved it.
>Most Satisying End to a Series
>I haven't read _The Gate of Gods_ yet, so that can't be a contender for this
>category for me yet! For me, the book that most satisfactorily ended a
>series was _Ptolemy's Eye_ by Jonathan Stroud. The resolution was totally
>unpredicatable, not to mention sad, but that didn't ruin it for me.
>Best Fantasy Novel
>_Corbenic_ by Catherine Fisher, thanks to Hallie! This is so beautifully
>constructed and written, I'm in awe.
>Other Terrific Books I Read in 2006
>_Pinhoe Egg_, DWJ. Not my favourite of hers, but still enjoyed it.
>_Od Magic_ and _Solstice Wood_, by Patricia McKillip. I loved both of these,
>though not quite as much as I loved _Alphabet of Thorn_.
>_Inside Job_, by Connie Willis. Vintage Willis. Loved it.
>_Anansi Boys_ by Neil Gaiman. Much better than _American Gods_. Funny and
>intelligent and wise.
>_Child of a Rainless Year_ by Jane Lindskold, thanks to Melissa! Adding my
>voice to everyone who's praised this book on the list.
>_Shadow of the Wind_ by Ruiz Zafon. Gothic, over the top and delightful.
>__Never Let Me Go_, by Kazuo Ishiguro. Can't say I actually enjoyed it,
>because it's chilling and creepy, and written in such a way that it kind of
>lacks colour. But a brilliant book.
>Most Disappointing Book I Read in 2006
>_A Princess of Roumania_ by Paul Park. Based on reviews I'd read and
>everything else about it, I was sure I'd love this book. And I'm still naïve
>enough to believe that a book that has rave comments on the blurb by Ursula
>le Guin, Karen Joy Fowler and John Crowley must be as good as it sounds.
>But, although it's based on an idea that's really brilliant, and has at
>least two intriguing characters, I found it so bloated and padded out and
>filled with unneccessary plot tangents (not to mention a heroine who didn't
>really grab me), that it was a bit of a struggle to finish it. I found the
>prose fairly dull (except in a few bits that involved the two interesing
>characters) and even clunky/incomprehensible at times.
>These problems seem emerge from the fact that it's the first of four (I
>think) and that it seems to have been padded out to fill a big book. It
>needed a good, thorough edit. I will probably read the next book, but I'll
>either borrow it from the library or buy it really cheaply. And I won't have
>such high expectations this time!
>Because I didn't make a list last year, I thought I'd just list the books
>that made an impression on me in 2005:
>_Alphabet of Thorn_ by McKillip. Brilliant. One of her very best.
>_Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell_ by Susannah Clarke. I'm one of those who
>thought it was terrific.
>_The Goose Girl_ by Shannon Hale (thanks to Melissa again). I did read _Enna
>Burning_ in 2006, but although I thought it was very good, I didn't enjoy it
>as much as TGG.
>_The Historian_ by Elizabeth Kostova.
>_Magic or Madness_ by Junstine Larbalestier. I particularly enjoyed the
>alternating narratives in Australian and American English.
>_The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray_ by Chris Wooding. Weird, gothic.
>_Friends, Lovers, Chocolate_ by Alexander McCall Smith. The second in his
>Isabel Dalhousie series. Better than the first (_The Sunday Philosophy
>Club_), I felt. I like the way Isabel is developing. I also read the last
>few in the Ladies' Detective series, and enjoyed them all (except for the
>most recent, which I haven't read yet).
>_The Safe-Changer's Secret_ by Sharon Shinn. Shinn hardly ever disappoints
>I was really, really ambivalent about _Fortune's Rocks_ by Anita Shreve.
>(Read it because my book club was reading it.) On the one hand I found it to
>be a very powerful book, but on the other, it annoyed the hell out of me.
>Currently reading:
>_Magic Lessons_ by Justine Larbelestier, sequel to _Magic and Madness_.
>A happy new year to everyone!
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