Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Books of the Year 2007

On December 31st, I'll be choosing my Book of the Year 2007. I'm not sure if Lady Bronco will be or not. Got to talk to that girl, I guess. Some of my books are new releases and some are simply new to me. Here are my favorite books I read this year in no particular order:
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1)SWEET SENSATION by Gwyneth Bolton. Why It Should Win: This is a Romance novel, but it's not your standard issue. It's a Secret Baby Story turned on it's head. You know how I adore babies! The one in this book is actually a teen and she gets a Point-Of-View too. She's not consigned to the shadows where most young people lurk if they're in Romance novels at all. I can't understand why grown-ups don't like young people. Also, Gwyneth Bolton is the Queen Author of the Sensual Love Scene. You know how I think the Standard Issue Sex Scene is ridiculous, regardless of Heat Level. This novel is an excellent example of love scenes done right, I think.
2) MASTER OF VERONA by David Blixt. Why It Should Win: Mr. Blixt is a Shakespearean actor and it shows in this debut novel. If you're like me, you were taught to hate Shakespeare in high school by being forced to read his plays. In college, I learned Shakespeare's plays were not meant to be read. They were meant to be performed. When I witnessed a play performed, it was magic! Mr. Blixt captures that performing magic in the novel form and makes it a riveting read. He even includes a Commando Nanny (a baby's nurse who saves his life) and you know how that scores huge points with me!
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3) GAMES OF COMMAND by Linnea Sinclair. Why It Should Win: Brandon Kel-Paten is part human and part machine, and hopelessly and secretly in love with Captain Sebastian, a.k.a. Sass. Between him and Tank the Furzel, this story is a rollicking good space opera read. I own the GAMES' "No-No Bad Captain" sweatshirt.
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4) NEFERTITI by Michelle Moran. Why It Should Win: This novel has everything I love in a good story - a riveting plot, a variety of characters and not just a Hero and Heroine, a setting far away from my contemporary reality, a heroine I can relate to despite the time warp, conflicted bad guys, gorgeous men in Egyptian kilts (yowsa, Yul Brynner!), fabulous art and fashion, and lots of babies. And a believable Happily Ever After. In Real Life, HEA is a lot of work and always comes at great cost. Michelle captures that too. No Standard Issue anything in this debut novel!
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5) LOTTERY by Patricia Wood. Why It Should Win: Because Pat'll give me a free trip to Hawaii if I pick her - JUST KIDDING! Actually, I can fly there from Alaska pretty cheap. Really Why It Should Win: The Characters. There's a wide variety of them, they're real, and we've all walked in at least one of their shoes. Perry is one point up from being considered retarded and anyone who's been treated like crap will relate to him. The lead female character is plus-sized. The ensemble of friends close ranks to protect Perry when he wins the Lottery while everyone else tries to take the money from him. It's the kind of story that can change you on a spiritual level.
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6) STAR WARS DARK FORCE RISING by Timothy Zahn. Why It Should Win: Mommies are rare in Science Fiction. In this second volume of the Thrawn Trilogy, Princess Leia gives birth to twins and has a fabulous nanny, Winter. It's all done so believably well. Besides the gripping space opera plot, daddy Han Solo and his enduring romance with the Princess brings this story to life. Mr. Zahn does them better than the movies, in my opinion.

7) CONTACT by Susan Grant. Why It Should Win: Susan's an airline pilot and a mommy and so is the Heroine in this story. The passion and knowledge she brings to the story is akin to the magic David Blixt brings to MASTER OF VERONA.
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8) SAVE THE CAT! by Blake Snyder. This is our only non-fiction book on the list. Why It Should Win: As a writer, I've had a terrible time corralling all the images in my head into a comprehensible story. Structure has been a pox on my imaginary house. Jacqueline Lichtenberg suggested this book on screenwriting and it's made a huge difference! This is the only one on the list I haven't actually reviewed too.
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9) DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES by Linnea Sinclair. As you can see, Linnea is competing with herself for Book of the Year on this blog. Hey, Linnea, don't slap yourself silly trying to win! Why It Should Win: Sure, Jorie's an alien hunting zombies, but she also has a sweet vulnerability. She was a biracial Pat Benetar in my head, probably because of the cultural barriers she crosses falling in love with Greek American Theo. The pace of the story was gripping.
10) THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak. Why It Should Win: Death literally tells the tale of a young girl surviving World War II Europe by stealing books and losing herself in them. The way the story is told is as spellbinding as the tale itself.
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And that's it, unless I find another book which makes the cut before December 31st. I'll narrow the list down and re-read the short-list books between now and New Year's Eve. Maybe you should jot a few of these down on your holiday gift-giving list.
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2 comments:

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Thanks for putting Sweet Sensation on your list, Kimber An. You rock! :-)

Gwyneth

Kimber An said...

You're welcome, Gwyenth!

Hey, Linnea, if you pop in, you should know Gwyneth's next books have hot cops in them! No zombies though. Just cops.
;)