[DWJ] Best of 2008

Mark Allums mark at allums.com
Sun Dec 21 07:48:04 EST 2008

Can we comment about these here?  And top post?  :)

I am not too keen on Cory Doctorow.  I don't know if I would want to 
introduce a child to him.  I guess it depends a bit on how one feels 
about Marxists.  (Quasi-Marxists, anyway.)

Zoe's Tale should be good; Scalzi can write.  Some may not care for the 
work (the work aimed at adults will not appeal to everyone), but for the 
most part, what he does, he does well.

If I were to contribute to the given list, however, I don't guess I 
could find any better examples than these.

Mark Allums

deborah.dwj at suberic.net wrote:
> I posted my best of 2008 on my professional blog at
> <http://gnomicutterance.livejournal.com/30120.html>. It's all
> children's and young adult; what with reviewing and teaching, I've
> almost had time to read nothing else.
> I will paste it here so people don't need to go look at a
> webpage:
> -----
> Fantasy and science fiction:
> -----
> Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
> House of Many Ways* by Diana Wynne Jones
> Graceling by Kristin Cashore
> Flora's Dare* by Ysabeay Wilce
> The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
> -----
> Realism:
> -----
> Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
> This Full House* by Virginia Euwer Wolff
> The Porcupine Year* by Louise Erdrich
> Antsy Does Time* by Neal Shusterman
> -----
> Books that weren't as good as I wanted them to be but were still
> very enjoyable:
> -----
> Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock: very enjoyable but the
> well-meaning attempts to deal with body image politics backfired
> badly.
> Rex Zero, King of Nothing* by Tim Wynne-Jones: excellent, like
> everything he writes. But the Rex Zero books are too nostalgic
> for my tastes.
> Impossible by Nancy Werlin: this book was beautiful, but one of
> the things I like about Nancy Werlin is how grim she is willing
> to be. This story tied up all the loose ends more neatly than I
> wanted it to.
> Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin: I really wanted to love this book
> with its protagonist who unwillingly gender swaps monthly. I got
> hung up on some really icky race politics that are a tiny part of
> the book, so it's hard for me to judge the text fairly aside from
> that.
> -----
> Books that were way better than I expected them to be:
> -----
> Mousetraps by Pat Schmatz: this looked like a really fun, silly
> book with a pat message about accepting your gay friends, until
> it got unexpectedly dark.
> Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi: Scalzi decided to write a standalone
> young adult novel that takes place in the middle of an existing
> adult science fiction series. It sounded like a train wreck to me
> -- but the book was great, and worked very well as a standalone.
> He didn't give me any interest in reading the adult books in the
> same series, but it did make me want to read more about Zoe from
> her own point of view.
> -deborah
> --
> The main character is a misogynistic, hermaphroditic,
> heavy-drinking, ultra-cynical aardvark. It's an acquired taste.
>  	-- A member of the DWJ list, on Cerebrus
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