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The Effulgent Bumberjean
I was more selective with my reading this year.  There are so many good books I want to read that it's a waste to read poor ones.  Without further ado, let the awards ceremony begin:

Favorite Author of 2012:  Shannon Hale
I read six of Hale's novels, and I enjoyed every one--some more than others, to be sure.  Recommendation:  The Goose Girl (if you enjoy fairy tales and fantasy)

Authors I'll Avoid in the Future (I wanted to name this "Authors I'll Never Read Again," but never is a very long time):  Frank W. Abagnale,  John Irving, Cormac McCarthy, and Pam Conrad
Abagnale irritated me with his smug superiority; Irving gutted me with his tale which disturbed me for days after reading (he is an excellent writer, but his story haunted me--still does); McCarthy tortured me with his disregard for punctuation or readable prose; and Conrad was depressing without relief.

Color Me Surprised that I Enjoyed a Book from the New York Times' Best Sellers' List: The Help
Generally speaking, I avoid the Times' bestsellers. Considering that 28 out of 52 weeks last year, the bestseller was E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey, I feel vindicated in my snobbery.  (I also avoid Oprah's Book Club picks and anything awarded the Man Booker prize.  I don't eschew all awarded books.  I actively seek out Newbery Medal winners. Moon Over Manifest was the Newbery winner of 2011, and I enjoyed it very much.)

What's All the Hoopla?: Divergent and Insurgent
Although I enjoyed aspects of the books, I kept stumbling over improbabilities and impossibilities.  I wanted to like this dystopian tale more than I did.  I will still read the third installment when it's published.

Most Disappointing: The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963
The pacing was terribly uneven. We spent forever in the car driving to our destination, but once the author got us there, we just drove back home, and the story was done.  I liked the characters in the book, but the author seemed to lose sight of what his story was about.

Best Foreshadowing and Satisfying Resolution: Ultraviolet
Original, interesting, and quirky.  Not only did the author immerse the reader into the world of a person whose life is interpreted through synesthesia, but she kept the reader nicely off balance.

Well, Isn't this Delightful? (Books I enjoyed and can recommend)
Sorcery & Cecilia - Think Jane Austen meets Harry Potter
Stargirl - Sweet and offbeat
Moorchild - Coming of age story with a twist--the girl isn't quite human
The Name of the Star - Jack the Ripper and the modern college girl
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society - Much to enjoy even though I disagreed with the ending and disliked the authors' duplicitousness
Cinder - Cinderella as a cyborg
The Postman - Dystopia with a dash of hope
Entwined - Most attractive book cover

Favorite New Character: Flavia de Luce from The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Maybe I identify too closely with Flavia.  I was a precocious child, and my reading wasn't monitored.  I was in single digits when I was borrowing murder mysteries from the neighbor lady across the street.  It makes me cringe a bit when I think of some of the things I read.  Small wonder that while my classmates were chattering away on field trips, I was thinking, "Wouldn't this be the perfect place for a murder?" 

1.  Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
2. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
3. Digital Photography, 3 book set by Scott Kelby
4. Unnatural Inquirer by Simon R. Green
5. The Man with the Golden Torc by Simon R. Green
6. Sorcery & Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
7. Life as We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer
8. The Dead and the Gone by Susan Pfeffer
9. The World We Live In by Susan Pfeffer
10. Daemons are Forever by Simon R. Green
11. The Grand Tour by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
12. Here, There be Dragons by James A. Owen
13. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
14. The Art of War by Ralph D. Sawyer (only read the parts by Sun-tzu—not the extraneous bits)
15. The Quiet Eye by Sylvia Shaw Judson
16. The Essential Dale Chihuly by William Warmus
17.  Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
18. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
19. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
20. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
21. Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
22. The Quiet Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott
23. Catch Me if You Can by Frank W. Abagnale
24. Unicorn and Dragon by Lynn Abbey
25. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
26. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
27. Amelia Bedelia goes Camping by Peggy Parrish
28. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
29. The Boy Who Stole the Elephant by Julilly H. Kohler
30. Arthur, For the Very First Time by Patricia MacLachlan
31. Skylark by Patricia MacLachlan
32. Caleb’s Story by Patricia MacLachlan
33. Moorchild by Eloise McGraw
34. Graveminder by Melissa Marr
35. Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
36. Prairie Songs by Pam Conrad
37. Grandfather’s Dance by Patricia MacLachlan
38. Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
39. Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
40. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
41. Among the Imposters by Margaret Peterson Haddix
42. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
43. Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix
44. Among the Barons by Margaret Peterson Haddix
45. Among the Brave by Margaret Peterson Haddix
46. Among the Enemy by Margaret Peterson Haddix
47. Among the Free by Margaret Peterson Haddix
48. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow
49. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
50.  The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
51. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
52. Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
53. River Secrets by Shannon Hale
54. The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
55. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
56. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
57. Split Heirs by Lawrence Watt-Evans, Esther Friesner
58. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
59. Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett
60. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
61. Divergent by Veronica Roth
62. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
63. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
64. Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson
65. Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
66. Entwined by Heather Dixon
67. Forest Born by Shannon Hale
68. Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan
69. Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo
70. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
71. The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett
72. The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
73. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
74.  How to Build a Time Machine by Paul Davies
75. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
76. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
77. Genesis by Bernard Beckett
78. The Postman by David Brin

Date: 2013-01-06 07:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's Bumberjean, Christmas 2009, holding the books she received as gifts. She knows she can count on books as a gift from me. Then, I get to read them! She doesn't mind used books, and I can stretch those buying dollars through Better World.

Date: 2013-01-07 04:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's a pretty good deal. :)


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