Staff Favorites of 2006
We thought it would be a neat idea to poll the staff about a favorite read of 2006 and we've presented the results here.
As you'll see, we're quite an eclectic bunch of readers with pretty wide ranging tastes as reflectd in the assortment of titles and genres that they have chosen.
We hope that this feature will spark some interest in a new author or two for your own reading.
Mary Alice's Favorite
The Virgin of Small Plains is a pitch-perfect rendition of life in a small town under the strain of events kept hidden for years. Nancy Pickard sustains a crackling suspense from the opening truck crash to the stories of January 23, 1987 and the impact of those events on the tiny town’s professional leaders and their families. In between the gorgeous country, a vicious tornado and lingering love are delivered with the sure grace of a gifted writer. A winner here.
Paperback available May 2007.
2006 brought a number of superb reads, but if I had to pick a favorite, I would vote for Peter Robinson's stunning new novel. Robinson's uncanny facility with language, masterful insights into character and subtle plotting render his Alan Banks novels real gems. Piece of My Heart brings together disparate plot strands involving past and present, tied together thematically by rock music. All of which brings me to my New Year's resolution (O.K.--one of them): to reread this fantastic series, culminating in Piece of My Heart.
Kathy S.'s Favorite
A treat for readers of all sizes and just in time for summer. Three friends make a pact to diet and turn themselves into the glamorous women who live inside each of them. This plan leads to love, pride and new attitudes for the three and the folks around them. Led by Nola Devlin, Sass! magazine editor by day and British advice diva by night, there are many spot-on moments in the process and the deft storytelling skills of this queen of the funny to savor. Bubbles would be proud.
One of Pelecanos’ finest novels and that’s saying a lot for an author with a string of outstanding novels that have documented the Washington DC rarely seen by tourists. The body of a young man found dead in a community garden is a flashback for homicide detective Gus Ramone who well remembers a string of similar killings twenty years earlier when he was a rookie along with “Doc” Holliday, bounced from the force, and a legendary detective now retired. This is the cast of characters that Pelecanos takes through an intricate investigation against the background of Ramone’s complicated family situation and the realities of Washington. Not to be missed.
What if you could opt out of a slow painful death or buy insurance to protect yourself from a life confined to a bed and hooked up to machines. Basically, what if you could hire somebody to kill you rather than live a life you didn't think was worth living? But what if you weren't allowed to change your mind once you signed up...and then you did? Stephen White's new thriller kept me up all night to find out. This book goes beyond the engaging page turner and looks hard at one man's evolving realization of a life well-lived. Smart, tight writing with dry humor, this book should be on your list.
paperback available March 2007
Hewson brings Roman detective Nic Costa back but this time Costa has been exiled to Venice where he and his partner are assigned to investigate the murder of two family members in a Murano glass factory. As Hewson weaves a dark tale of political corruption and familial ties as only Venice can offer, you can almost smell the Venetian canals and feel the heat of the glass furnaces, making for a can’t-put-down-read.