There is one thing to be said for spending the first full week of the new year in bed with the flu: one gets a lot of reading done. Whether the mind is fully engaged is debatable. However, I did enjoy the reading I was forced to take time to do. My house and my family did not enjoy the lack of attention directed their way.
Links are to my reviews.
Young Adult Fiction:
UnWholly by Neal Shusterman. A sequel to Shusterman’s best-selling Unwind. I think publishers probably talked him into making it a trilogy in light of the success of THe Hunger Games and other dystopian fiction series. It was a good move for all concerned, whoever had the idea.
Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde. Not as successful. I loved Deadly Pink. This one by the same author was just so-so.
Spirit Fighter by Jerel Law. Angels, nephilim, creepy. A not-too-compelling entry in the Christian horror-dystopia-weird creatures genre.
The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab. A good example of what Christian fiction should be aiming for, this book dealt with religious themes without forced resolution or unreal expectations.
The Terrorist by Caroline B. Cooney. Exciting, plot-driven young adult fiction with little or no sex or gory violence. Why can’t it all be written so well and so cleanly?
If We Survive by Andrew Klavan. More violent, but also compelling and well written.
The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary Queen of Scots by Carolyn Meyer.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I actually skimmed through a re-read of the first book, Divergent, so that I could remember who was who and what was what. Insurgent was a good follow-up.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. Sweet and sassy, and the author is over seventy years old? Congratulations, Mr. Bradley!
The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley. Puppets, a stranded German POW left over from the war, and strangely enough, medicinal use of marijuana(in the 1950′s?) contribute to some of the plot strands in this second Flavia de Luce novel.
A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley. Gypsies, a strange religious sect called Hobblers, and Flavia at her most audacious.
An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd. This second book in the series featuring World War I nurse detective Bess Crawford uses good, solid storytelling and slow, careful character development to hold readers’ interest.
I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. Set in Nigeria for my West Africa reading challenge.
A Light Shining by Glynn Young. Sequel to Dancing Priest, the story of Michael Kent, Olympic cyclist, Anglican priest, and orphan with a mysterious past.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
Swimming with Scapulars by Matthew Lickona. Recommended by Eldest Daughter.
Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution by Holly Tucker.
Apples Are from Kazakhstan: The Land That Disappeared by Christopher Robbins. Kazakhstan is bigger than Texas and the source of much more than just apples. It’s a country that deserves some attention.
Making the List A Cultural History of the American Bestseller 1900-1999 by Michael Korda. I should have had this book when I was teaching Twentieth Century History last year at our homeschool co-op. Interesting to connoisseurs of book lists.