Books of The Year

2015 Book of the Year

“Larson moves forward the action and characters of Prophet in the next installment of the Books of the Infinite series. Prophet Ela of Parne bears the burden of knowing that her homeland risks the judgment of the Infinite because of its corruption… Larson is good at making readers care about her human characters.” Publishers Weekly

Hands down this years book of the year is Judge (Books of the Infinite Book #2). But it comes with a caveat, you need to read Prophet and King as well. This series really needs to be read together to get the full flavor of the world the character inhabit and the love of the Infinite for his creation. This is an A+ series. I loved every minute of Judge and I hope that others will too.

2014 Book of the Year

 “A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards–not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews.” Kirkus Review

The book I keep coming back to in my mind is Number the Stars.

A really moving story about the Danes during WWII. Did you know that a German official tipped off the Jews about “relocation” plans? The Danes were able to smuggle most of their Jewish neighbors out of the country to safety. It’s an amazing story (although this story is fictional it’s based on the real actions of Danish citizens) that shows what quite courage can do to save lives.

There is a reason this book is a Newbery Award book, it’s a moving story that stays with the reader. And that’s why is my book of the year pick for 2014.

2013 Book of the Year

“This book shows why “Borlaug” should also be a household name. It portrays the making of a modern miracle that is unique, unknown, and of universal benefit. It is the story of how one man saved billions from certain hunger.” Ag

It’s because feeding the world is so important that Norman Borlaug is one of my hero’s. He was honored this year on March 25th, 2014, National Ag day and the anniversary of his 100th birthday (#Borlaug100) with a statue on Capital Hill in Washington DC. How can you not appreciate a man who save 1 billion live from starvation? That’s why Our Daily Bread: The Essential Norman Borlaug is my choice for 2013 Book of the Year.

2012 Book of the Year

“Katniss Everdeen is a survivor.

She has to be; she’s representing her District, number 12, in the 74th Hunger Games in the Capitol, the heart of Panem, a new land that rose from the ruins of a post-apocalyptic North America. To punish citizens for an early rebellion, the rulers require each district to provide one girl and one boy, 24 in all, to fight like gladiators in a futuristic arena. The event is broadcast like reality TV, and the winner returns with wealth for his or her district. With clear inspiration from Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and the Greek tale of Theseus, Collins has created a brilliantly imagined dystopia, where the Capitol is rich and the rest of the country is kept in abject poverty, where the poor battle to the death for the amusement of the rich.Kirkus Review

I know that some will call me cliche for my pick of book of the year, but The Hunger Games really best fits all of the qualifications . When I think about the book it still takes me places intellectually and emotionally. It hangs on to you because it resonates with being a future that seems real and possible. Yes, at times it’s over the top and it will probably resonate better with an audience of girls, but I think there is something here for everyone. It’s a classic in the making.

2011 Book of the Year

“Stephen Lawhead has never been a conventional Christian author, or even a conventional fantasy author. He writes by his own rules. Sometimes I like what he does, sometimes not so much. But all in all I was pleased with his novel The Skin Map, and look forward to the continuation of the series.” Touchstone Magazine

This year there was no contest for book of the year. Which may seem weird when I tell you it was a tie. I kinda had to pick both books because one is the sequel of the other. And since the first book ends on a kinda of cliff hanger, well you’ll probably want to read both anyway.

The 2011 Books of the Year are… Stephen R Lawhead’s The Skin Map and The Bone House. And I cannot wait for the third book, The Spirit Well, of the Bright Empires series to come out.

2010 Book of the Year

“Impeccably written, this historical work of fiction about a young mother’s westward trip with her abusive husband in the early 1800s is not for the faint of heart. The author’s research seems exhaustive and the characterization of Marie Dorion is rich and believable, as are many of the other players. Pierre Dorion is about to set off on the Astor Expedition as an interpreter. His wife, Marie, and their young son, Jean Baptiste, are to remain behind. But Marie isn’t about to settle for that. She manages to find a way to join the expedition and soon wonders if she’s made a grave mistake. Many factors work against the trip, including hostile tribes, inexperienced leaders and the elements of nature. Pierre’s abusive treatment of Marie doesn’t help, nor his penchant for alcohol. Will they make it to the Columbia River and make history? Or will they all succumb to numerous disasters along the difficult route?” RT Review

A book of the year pick has to be more than a book I really enjoyed reading. First of all it has to be re-readable and recommendable to a wide audience. The book also has to be entertaining and have a lasting impression upon readers. With those things in mind my pick for book of the year is… A Name of Her Own by Jane Kirkpatrick.

2009 Book of the Year

“With a beginning and ending that pack hefty punches, this introduction to a dystopic future promises an exciting series.

Tally is almost 16 and breathlessly eager: On her birthday, like everyone else, she’ll undergo extensive surgery to become a Pretty. She’s only known life as an Ugly (everyone’s considered hideous before surgery), whereas after she “turns,” she’ll have the huge eyes, perfect skin, and new bone structure that biology and evolution have determined to be objectively beautiful. New Pretties party all day long. But when friend Shay escapes to join a possibly mythical band of outsiders avoiding surgery, Tally follows—not from choice but because the secret police force her. Tally inflicts betrayal after betrayal, which dominates the theme for the midsection; by the end, the nature of this dystopia is front and center and Tally—trying to set things right—takes a stunning leap of faith.

Some heavy-handedness, but the awesome ending thrills with potential.” Kirkus Review

As I thought about it I realized that Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1) would make a very good book of the year. It came to me highly recommended, and I would also highly recommend it. Sure it’s a sci-fi story, but like Fahrenheit 451 serves as a good allegory or warning about the course of pop culture if left unchecked. It dug into what beauty is, and what beauty should be. As well as touching on a lot of things that adolescents face; being part of the in-crowd, expectations, the reason for living, the “cost” of a good time, choices, and betrayal.

2008 Book of the Year

“Hubbard celebrates 50 years as a pro writer with this huge (800+ pages), swarming, sometimes gripping slug-fest. The Earth has been occupied by monsters, imperial Pyschlos representing the Intergalactic Mining Corporation, who use “breathe-gas” (air is poisonous to them) and whose power derives from the closely guarded secret of teleportation. Furthermore, ambitious, devious Psychlo security chief Terl schemes to enrich himself by clandestinely mining gold, using humans as slave labor and he is soon exploiting explorer-bravo Jonnie Goodboy Tyler (holding Jonnie’s girlfriend as hostage). But Jonnie, learning that breathe-gas explodes on contact with radioactive materials, quickly amasses allies, arms, equipment, and expertise for a war of liberation: he plots to doublecross the snarling Terl by substituting nuclear bombs for the gold to be teleported to planet Psychlo.”  — Kirkus Review

So which book will I remember 2008 by? Battlefield Earth. As much as if seems cheesy to pick the first book of the year, and to pick a sci-fi book. “Battlefield Earth” was really the most outstanding story I read this year. It was truly epic, it drew me in, held me, and made me want to be part of the story.

2007 Book of the Year

“Instead of presenting an overly sentimental worst-case scenario meant to frighten its readers onto the straight-and-narrow, Wuthering Heights seduces its readers with its dark passion and misguided characters. Both Heathcliff and Catherine are flawed characters, but their flaws intrigue the reader just as surely as they repel. If there is any lesson to be learned in Catherine’s death, it is the folly of denying your heart’s greatest passion”

And my book of the year is…. Wuthering Heights

It was a tough choice, I was really torn between this book and The Lathe of Heaven. You know me and my soft spot for sci-fi. However, Wuthering Heights IS a classic. There is no doubt in my mind as to why. It gets under your skin, it becomes almost too real. If you like classics pick this one up. And if you’re willing to try classics again, even though high school literature class left a bad taste in your mouth, go ahead and try this one.

Even several years after I’ve read it this book is still haunting. It’s dark and mysterious and it’s characters seem so real.

2006 Book of the Year

“Frightening in its implications… Mr. Bradbury’s account of this insane world, which bears many alarming resemblances to our own, is fascinating.”  — The New York Times

The 2006 books of the year is… Fahrenheit 451.

This book is my choice for book of the year. It’s an amazing premise for a sci-fi story. And it’s spooky to see signs of it in our society. A must read for anyone who reads.

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