Monday, January 3, 2011

Some good reads for the new year

In my last post, I asked readers for their favorite books of 2010. Some of you commented here (thanks!), but others sent emails with suggestions worth sharing. Thanks everyone for a good discussion. And here are some highlights from my emails:

"Monsters of Men" by Patrick Ness. Frazer Dobson, co-owner of Park Road Books, notes that this final book in the Chaos Walking trilogy is his pick, not the bookstore's. If you're a fan of the Hunger Games series, he says, read this series next.

"The setup is that humans have colonized a place they just call New Earth. In the back story, the humans run afoul of the natives of New Earth, called the Spackle, and war begins," Dobson says. The first novel is "The Knife of Never Letting Go." The second: "The Ask and the Answer."

The series "boasts one of the best, most loathsome villains this side of Voldemort," he says. "The three novels are the best novels I have read in years."

"Driftless" by David Rhodes. Cheryl Spainhour says this novel, set in contemporary rural Wisconsin, is spellbinding.

"The Warmth of Other Suns," by Isabel Wilkerson. Anne Dellinger of Chapel Hill found this account of African-Americans' migration from the South to the North from 1917 to 1970 "important U.S. history and beautifully written." Says Dellinger: "Southerners, in particular, should understand and acknowledge this odyssey."

"Hope for the Flowers," by Trina Paulus. Susan Dennis, a new Charlotte resident, loved this tale that's about two caterpillars specifically and life generally. First published in 1972, it's a young-adult book that adults will also love.