Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rachel's top reads

I love end-of-the-year lists (like this one) and simply had to come up with my own.

It's been fun skimming through my blog, because I've definitely forgotten what books I've read. That's partly why I started this blog; I wanted to keep track of books I liked and those I didn't. The ratings I gave each book also interest me. Why in the world did I rate some so high but others so low? Let's just leave it that my mood obviously influences my ratings.

So, here's a few random favorites I read for the first time in 2008 (and why):

It may have used an epistolary format, but it still managed to woo a 10 out of me:
Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer: A combination of Regency, fantasy and utter delight...this book made me happy and everything worked out so delightfully. I really enjoyed the romances in the book--both girls end up with different but thoroughly enjoyable men.

After the first few sentences, I knew I'd read everything she'd write:
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen: I adore magic realism and this book is a shining example of how enchanting it can be. A mix of Southern lit, magic and romance, I love Allen's work.

Again, after the first page or so, this author had a fan for life in me. Her Lady Julia Grey series was my best new book series this year:
Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn: I love this series...the writing, the characters (oh yes, Nicholas Brisbane) and the mood these books strike. Silent in the Sanctuary wins the award for the most re-reads this year--I probably read it four times or so.

Favorite series I didn't blog about:
Gardella Vampire Chronicles by Colleen Gleason: Sheer fun reading, I breezed through the first four books in this series in about three weeks. I loved the mix of Regency, fantasy and romance--and I'm so happy where the romance is headed (Go Team Max!).

Most eagerly anticipated (ok, it's a tie):
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig and Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer: Willig puts out a new book every January or so and I'm always anxious for the next installment of her spy series (and then after I finish the book, sad that I have to wait another year for the next one). She's an author that I automatically buy. And as for Breaking Dawn, well, we all know why I was anxious to read it--Edward and Bella.

Author whom I devoured:
Barbara Peters: Her Vicky Bliss series drew me in and her stand-alone novels kept me coming back for more. Like a Mary Stewart novel, you know what you're getting with Peters...and I love it.

If I had children, I'd be forcing them to read this book right now:
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall: I gushed over this book in my review. It reminds me of my favorite childhood reads--innocent, interesting and a classic.

I seriously hate to admit this, but the most memorable:
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry: This book's ending rocked my entire interpretation of what I had just read. I couldn't stop thinking about it (mainly in anger--but also in admiration). It was truly a work of literature and one that probably deserved most of the attention it got. But dang, that main narrator is such a liar!

Hilarious classic read:
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons: Aww, my first blog post was about this book. It's so clever, witty and funny. The movie is funny, too. And it's one of Lauren Willig's favorites and she even makes a funny reference to it in Crimson Rose (I think--it's definitely in one of her novels).

Happy New Year--and happy reading!

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