Thursday, December 30, 2010

Favorite Reads of 2010: Picture Books and Adult Fiction

It's that time of year again--your friendly neighborhood librarians are eager to tell you about their favorite reads of 2010. Here is Andrea B-K. with some reviews:

My favorite new picture books for this year:

The Bog Baby, by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Gwen Millward
Children find in a bog a baby creature SO cute that they cannot bear to part with it. Knowing their mother will not approve of them taking the creature home, they try to keep it secret. Naturally, trouble ensues.


So often environmental books are so busy being politically correct they forget to include a story. This one was very sweet--it taught how keeping something from a parent can cause more trouble than the trouble being avoided, and also how wild things need to be free to be in the home they need.

When Winter Comes, by Nancy Van Laan, illustrated by Susan Gaber
Few words on beautiful pages examine the winter season. The question-and-response format allows a child to anticipate what is going to be heard next; the facts of the season are age-appropriate and just the right length. As a parent, I am always grateful for a story that ends with the child being tucked in--it's a natural lead-in to me tucking mine in after a reading.

My favorite adult reads this year:


My absolute favorites were the trilogy by Stieg Larsson, beginning with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the alternative history/ghost story Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay (previously reviewed for this blog).

My final favorite was Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer, by Jonathan L. Howard. Johannes makes a Faustian bargain with the devil and spends the majority of the book trying to get out of it whilst keeping his moralistic vampire brother happy and running a carnival staffed by zombies. Yes, the living dead are this year’s favorite supernatural, but this one offers great dialogue led by the main character that features a witty, wry sense of humor, as well as bizarrely compelling logic.

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