Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Good reads for 2013

This year's been one for some great books, and for introductions to some really interesting authors.  I have enjoyed reading the mysteries of Elly Griffiths (coastal English anthropologist), Sara J. Henry (Adirondacks), Susan Elia McNeal (during the London blackouts of WWII), and Swedish writer Camilla Lackberg.  I'm all caught up with them, so I hope to read new offerings by each in 2014.

I enjoyed new titles by favorites Chris Bohjalian (The Light in Ruins), Jennifer Chiaverini (Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker), Sandra Dallas (Fallen Women), and Jacqueline Winspear (Leaving Everything Most Loved, another Maisie Dobbs mystery).  Most disappointing was W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton.  Perhaps I expect too much from her after all the books I've enjoyed.

The books I felt were most amazing, that left me nearly breathless, were, in no particular order:
  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett - a scientist goes deep into the Amazon to hunt for a missing colleague
  • The Dog Stars by Peter Heller - a post-apocalyptic pilot sets out to look for other survivors in Colorado
  • The Language of Flowers by Victoria Diffenbaugh - a young woman leaves foster care and ends up homeless in San Francisco
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny - latest mystery involving the very human Quebecois Inspector Gamache in which many loose threads are tied together.  How will she top this?  This was my absolute favorite of the year.  I am sorry to have to wait another year for the next book.

Other favorites this year included:
  Eight Prison Camps - Bonga - Japanese concentration camps in Indonesia
  The Perfume Collector - Tessaro - woman is left a mysterious inheritance
  The Dry Grass of August - Mayhew - travels through Jim Crow south as seen through the eyes of a young girl
  Where'd You Go, Bernadette? - Semple - just fun!

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