The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon: “When he has the opportunity to participate in an experimental treatment that may change the way his brain functions and eliminate his autistic symptoms, Lou must decide whether he wants to be â€œnormal.â€ Without his autism, will he still be himself, or will he become someone else? If the latter, does he want to be that other person? Will he lose the ability to analyze complex patterns and to pair those patterns of color and shape with music and with fencing, his outlet for self-expression? How much of who Lou is is bound up with his autism and with his past experience of overcoming the difficulties of being autistic in a â€œnormalâ€ world?”
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym: “I’ve never read anything by Barbara Pym before, but I found her book, Excellent Women, to be reminiscent of Jane Austen (drolly observant), Mrs. Gaskellâ€™s Cranford (insightful in regard to the ordinary), and even Jane Eyre, without the drama, but with the wry self-analysis.”
Dissolution by C.J. Sansom. I didn’t actually get this one reviewed, but I did like it. The link is to a review of another book in the series, Sovereign.
A Garden to Keep by Jamie Langston Turner. “The book jumps back and forth between past and present, profound and mundane, in a very satisfying way, just as real people think and weave thoughts about the realities of living with thoughts about the meaning of it all.”
Winds of War by Herman Wouk. I never got around to posting my review of this one. It’s a good story, a favorite of my pastor and his family.
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren. “The book is much more than Huey Long renamed and fictionalized, however. Itâ€™s an exploration of how power corrupts, of how weâ€™re all, as Willie says, ‘conceived in sin and born in corruption.'”
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card. “If youâ€™re interested in retellings of fairy tales or in medieval historical fiction, Enchantment is one of the best of either Iâ€™ve read. Itâ€™s an adult or young adult book with some (married) sexual descriptions and innuendos.”
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. I really enjoyed this Cybils nominee, a story of adventure and intrigue in which four chidren save the world from disaster.
The Middle of Somewhere by J.B. Cheaney. Another Cybils nominee. I even got to interview Ms. Cheaney, lots of fun.
Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson. “Isle of Swords is a rip-roaring pirate story in the tradition of POTC, but not too derivative. I think those who enjoy a fast-paced adventure story will love it. It is somewhat violent, so if that bothers you . . . Otherwise, read it over the holidays while it snows outside and dream of high-seas adventure in the tropics.”
Leepike Ridge by N.D. Wilson. “This take-off on Tom Sawyer, Robinson Crusoe, and The Odyssey should also appeal to boys especially. It has caves, tunnels, hidden treasure, wild water rafting, and wilderness (sort of) survival. There are bad guys, good guys, dead guys, blood, raw food, and near-dismemberment. What more could a boy want in a book?”
Leap of Faith by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. “How many childrenâ€™s books can you name that are actually about the process of coming to faith, without being preachy or proselytizing? Thereâ€™s The Bronze Bow, Newbery Award winning historical fiction by Elizabeth Speare from fifty years ago. What else?”
I see that that they’re all twelve fiction.
I read a lot of fiction.
I did enjoy some nonfiction this year, but I suppose the fiction won out.