[DWJ] best books of 2007

Emma Comerford comerford.emma at gmail.com
Thu Jan 3 17:20:17 EST 2008

I don't think I'm going to get around to fleshing out these notes and
want to post sometime within the start of 2008! Let me know if you
want my LJ address if you want to read what I thought about these
books throughout the year.

Most unusual yet wonderful book:
I didn't think I would get on with a book without a words, but Shaun
Tan's _The arrival_ was a highlight of my reading year. The
illustrations were amazing and the story moving. Although I was
leaving the country and consequently focussed on downsizing my book
collection to be stored, I ran out and bought a hardback of the book
straight after reading it.

Author I have very belatedly discovered: Sherwood Smith.  This year I
finally ordered _Crown duel_ and found out why it's counted as a
classic YA fantasy.  I also gobbled down _Inda_ during a recent
holiday and was hopping with frustration until I could get home last
weekend and finally order the sequel. It's embarrassing to admit that
it's taken so long to read some of Sherwood's novels, but hey, what
would life be if we didn't have authors who already have published
lots of books left to discover?

Author I discovered through a blog: Maureen Johnson
(http://maureenjohnson.blogspot.com/).  I'm not sure if this was the
first time I bought books simply because I liked an author's blog. I
mean, sometimes if somone has been consistently entertaining you it
seems right that they get rewarded even if their books end up sucking.
 But in this instance the books were worth reading.  Although I
thought _Devilish_was great, I think I admired the more serious
_Burmudez triangle_ even more.

Most long overdue reprint: _The secret countess_ by Eva Ibbotson.  Yes
I'm another list member who thinks this is a lovely romance, worth
buying even with the changed title and lame blurb.

Winner of the consistently good fantasy award: Martha Wells for
_Element of fire_. I thought this was a solid and enjoyable fantasy
novel that left me with itchy fingers for my copy of  _Death of
necromancer_ back in Australia in storage.  It's too cruel just to
read one of the earlier books on its own! I'm not sure how I feel
about the fact that some changes were made since the first edition as
it's interesting to see how an author's style evolves, but I'm glad
this book was finally re-printed, even if Wells had to do it herself.

Otherwise it's been a year of some great YA books in general, with
some great reads including:

_An abundance of Katherines by John Green_ – funny and clever
coming-of-age story with lots of footnotes (my heart still belongs to
Alaska, though)

_Incarceron_ by Catherine Fisher – Mix of adventure, mystery and
political intrigue.  Intriguing setting combining creepy futuristic
prison and a society pretending to be in the 17th century.

_Dreamhunter_ and _Dreamquake_ by Elizabeth Knox – A unique fantasy
premise, where select people are able to enter another layer of
reality and catch dreams, and can replay them to others. It seemed
more like one book split in two. I think the second half was weaker
although can't remember why I thought that!

Other notables included Robin Brande's _Evolution, me, and other
freaks of nature_, Sarah Dessen's _Just listen_, and Mitali Perkins'
_Monsoon summer_.

Weirdest discovery about my taste: I found that I'm not a huge fan of
fiction books written from the first-person POV in a recent time.
Although I thought Patricia McCormick's _Sold_ and Hosseini's _The
kite runner_ (what I read of it) were very good, I'm uncomfortable
reading fictional accounts that are written as though they are memoirs
when they are from a time when one reasonably expects memoirs (ie the
recent past). I think I'd rather just read non-fiction in this
instance, or a story from a third person POV.

Thanks for all your lists, everyone! I'll be using them (as usual) to
garner books to read in 2008.

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