What a lovely surprise: the best book I read in 2008 (and I read a lot of books). So good that I bought it. I tell a lot of people about it, when they ask me for a good book to read. It is Sherman Alexie’s first foray into YA fiction. It is the story of Junior, a smart and talented boy in Washington state….hmmm…well, I don’t really want to tell you anything else, because it is a marvellous story, well-written, and it makes you laugh and cry…it moves you. And that’s always the best kind of surprise. (submitted by Jen)
I felt like I’d been on an extreme rollercoaster ride after reading this book. We follow Richard Mayhew, a very ordinary Englishman, until he suddenly falls through a crack into the alternate universe of London Below. He wanders the subterranean world of the London Underground where he meets up with some very frightening beings, but there is enough humour in this book to make even the darkest moments entertaining. I never knew what to expect or whether Mayhew would prevail against the dark forces right up until the end. The book is based on a six-part BBC TV series.
Gaiman is a witty and creative writer and I’ve enjoyed all of his books so far. However, Neverwhere is still my favourite.
Although I’m not planning a fishing trip anytime soon, I grabbed this audiobook in search of some fun before my summer road trip. What I found was a story about fate, miracles, and ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. The story is narrated through letters, emails, and interview transcripts that follow this bizarre plan to introduce salmon fishing into Yemen, between the British government and Yemeni Sheikh.
It is a great story that makes you believe in the impossible, full of personal influences and political agendas. Funny and inspiring at the same time. Warmly recommended to anyone searching for comedy with bite. (submitted by IM)
I chose this book as a light vacation read that I could pick up and put down at whim. Instead I found myself glued to the page, wanting to know what experiences were in store for the families who had joined Nan Powell at her Nantucket boarding house.
Nan is eccentric in an amusing way: skinny dipping in a neighbour’s pool and generally confounding her neighbours with her behaviour. She is surprised to learn that, due to financial woes, she may lose her home. Since Windermere is a large older home, Nan decides to open it to paying guests. The people who join Nan in her home are as interesting as Nan is eccentric.
a) tired of vampires, werewolves, and zombies, and
b) a fan of kick-ass heroines like Buffy
Then, this is the book for you.
Astrid has never really believed her mother’s crazy tales about the bloodthirstiness (or existence!) of unicorns. But one night, her date is gored by a creature with a single horn. When Astrid saves him, she discovers that her mother has been telling the truth. Not only are unicorns real and out for blood, but Astrid is a descendant of one of the greatest unicorn slayers of all time. Now Astrid must travel to a crumbling cloister in Rome to learn the finer points of unicorn hunting. (submitted by GH)
There are people who are deeply offended by this concept: a mash-up of a beloved classic with monsters. I am not one of those people. Quite the contrary, I have never read Pride and Prejudice and never intend to. The movies are about as close as I get to classic literature.
Jane Austen? Boring. Jane Austen plus zombies? Hilarious and action-packed! Also, very commercially successful – a new genre has been spawned.
So, what happens to you if you die before you turn 17, perhaps in a head-on car crash, and something interrupts on your journey toward the light? You might end up in Everlost. Quite the afterlife universe. First book in a trilogy, the sequel is called Everwild – and it is a lot darker than this first book. Everfound is set for release in May 2011.
Fresh vision, wonderful story-telling, and an increasingly dark and unpredictable tale.