Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Books of 2011

I meant to write this yesterday and got caught up. I was going to talk about my 2 favorite books from last year, with an honorable mention as well.
Ok-1st book would be "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness. It's a sad book. Incredibly sad. I found myself sobbing out loud. (PMS most likely contributed as well). The book was based on an idea from Siobhan Dowd, who passed away before actually writing the book. So someone had Patrick Ness take the idea and write the story. It's about a boy named Connor, whose mother has cancer. One night a monster comes to his window claiming that Connor has called him. The monster then goes on to say that he(the monster) will return 3 more times and each time tell a story. After the third story, Connor will then have to tell the monster a fourth story that is true or he will eat him alive. Ok Ok, the monster actually tries to scare the crap out of him the first visit and on the second visit states his terms. This really scares Connor because the poor kid is trying to deal with some really tough feelings, especially about his mother's impending death. There are also difficult life things going on for him and the illustrations are really really good. Definitely read it-It's a downer, but in an uplifting, beautiful way.
My second favorite book this past year was Kelly Link's "Pretty Monsters". Kelly Link is a master of the short story. Short stories are fucking hard to write. You have to get characters, setting, a good story line all in a small amount of pages and wrap it up well. She is a true artist. My favorites were "The Wizard's of Perfil", "Monster", and "The Constable of Abal". (I actually just looked inside my brand new copy of said book and have discovered that there is a story in this edition that I have not read yet, so that's good). I should probably describe the stories more but I'm not going to-just read them.
My honorable mention would be "Johannes Cabal Necromancer" by Jonathan L Howard. The scene where a mob of lunatics, freshly broken out of an asylum are marching and singing happy songs about Lovecraftian monsters is priceless, as are the descriptions of Hell.
I'm sure you have noticed that I like fantasy books. Every single book here is fiction and has monsters in it. I used to feel very self-conscious about my reading choices. I am surrounded on all sides by non-fiction lovers, who can be rather uptight about it. I read plenty of non-fiction, mostly about gardening, beekeeping or animals. Biographies and history books don't hold too much interest for me. I guess that is kind of the way it is. My husband somehow thinks that I am obsessed with vampire and zombie books. But I'll go into detail on that maybe tomorrow. School is almost out and my shitty job beckons.

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