Friday, December 21, 2007

So I'm a procrastinator...

...which is why I'm Booking Through Thursday on Friday.

1. What fiction book (or books) would you nominate to be the best new book published in 2007?
(Older books that you read for the first time in 2007 don’t count.)
2. What non-fiction book (or books) would you nominate to be the best new book published in 2007?
(Older books that you read for the first time in 2007 don’t count.)
3. And, do “best of” lists influence your reading?

Thanks to Elle magazine, I got in a bunch of new reads this year that I very likely wouldn't have picked up on my own. In general, I don't think I tend to read many brand new books, but with the advent of amateur reviewer Megan, I've been reading some newer stuff.

Here's a few that deserve some kudos this year for fiction:

Black & White by Dani Shapiro (for just being an out and out excellent read)

The Other Side of You by Salley Vickers (for beautiful, absorbing prose and a plot that really made me think - in a good way)

The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty (because I thought I didn't like it, but a week after finishing it found myself still thinking about and wondering if maybe I did like it after all)

And Harry Potter. But that goes without saying, right?

As for non-fiction, I only read one book published this year in the realm of non-fiction. Unfortunately There is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene didn't quite make the cut as it was originally published in October 2006, but it is definitely a great book! As it stands, though, after some inspection of my "read this year" list, I remembered I did read Jenna Bush's Ana's Story, but I probably wouldn't nominate it for a "best of." To be fair, though, it was a good way to illuminate some big world problems for younger readers and goes so far as to suggest ways the average person can get involved (instead of merely saying "here's a problem, someone should fix it!" which seems to be oh-so-popular these days), and the pictures were fantastic!

To the third question, I have to say I love best of lists. Love them. When I see them in magazines or on websites, my heart goes pitter-pat. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but I do quite enjoy them. I love to make my own, and I love to read other peoples' lists of their "best ofs" for the year (I've found lots of great books this way!). That's not even to mention the many lists put out by websites and in print publications (where I've found even more great books!). No, I don't sit down and read everything off any one list, and there are definitely books on best of lists that I really didn't like, but I find that the lists are a great way to look for books that might strike my fancy that obviously someone thought had some merit. I think they're a very fun way to keep up with what's new and good or what's been under-loved down through the years or even what from the literary past should be a part of my current reading repertoire. In my opinion, they're great fun if you don't take them too, too seriously.


  1. Black and White sounds like a good one!

  2. I don't think my number for books published this year would have been quite as high without a little help from publishers and such either. :-)

    The "best of" books sure can be fun to look through.

  3. I do like lists of best of, but usually from indepenent media outlets, not the big boys.

    As for best fiction book, I would say Crimson Snow about the last Russian Tsar. My favorite nonfiction was Integrity: Do You Have It?, a book that I believe a lot of people could do good with reading.