Semicolon: Twelve Best Books I Read in 2007

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 “normal.” 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 “normal” 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. Gaskell’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. It’s an exploration of how power corrupts, of how we’re all, as Willie says, ‘conceived in sin and born in corruption.'”


Enchantment by Orson Scott Card. “If you’re interested in retellings of fairy tales or in medieval historical fiction, Enchantment is one of the best of either I’ve read. It’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 children’s books can you name that are actually about the process of coming to faith, without being preachy or proselytizing? There’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.

12 thoughts on “Semicolon: Twelve Best Books I Read in 2007

  1. Nice variety. 🙂 One of these titles will be on my best of the year list too…

    I too read fiction more often than non-fiction, though I am a big nerd/geek/researcher and love nothing more than the truth!

  2. I just put Enchantment on the hold list at the library; thanks for the recommendation (all of them, really!).

  3. I have a friend who strongly encouraged me to read Enchantment. I’m glad to see another person give it a favorable review.

    Thanks for the other recommendations. I think I’m going to be busy over at my GoodRead’s account today 😉

  4. Leap of Faith sounds terrific. The cover looks great.

    The Speed of Dark is one I saw last night when I was looking at Hugo and Nebula winners. I am going to try to read more of those this year. We’ll see how that goes. 😉

    I just read my first Orson Scott Card this year, Ender’s Game, followed by A War of Gifts and now Speaker for the Dead. I am loving his writing style.

  5. I loved Enchantment. And Enders Game. This is a great list and I’m adding some to my TBR list. I’ve owned the Mysterious Benedict Society for a while now and had forgotten about it. I wish I had added to a challenge. Rats!

  6. Thank you for the list–I’ll be checking them out. I always appreciate good book recommendations. I noticed you have ND Wilson and JB Cheaney on the list. I enjoyed reading about them in World Magazine’s “books” issue this fall.

  7. I’m still browsing my way through people’s lists from Saturday’s Review. I love that you pick 12 instead of trying to conform to one of the privileged round numbers. 🙂

    ‘Speed of Darkness’ looks like one I’ll want to include on my list for 2008. That dilemma of giving up something that’s become a part of identity–even if it’s something harmful–is interesting to me.

  8. (P.S. Revision: I should’ve put quotes around “harmful.”…!)

  9. Violet III

    I’ve only read one of those books…

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