Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Book of the Year

The Smart Bitches announced the winner of their March Madness-style book of the year tournament- The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason.

I read The Rest Falls Away last year and enjoyed it. But it didn't get my vote for book of the year. My first choice (out of the options in the tournament) was Agnes and the Hitman by Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer. When they were knocked out in the first round by the eventual second place finisher- Nora Roberts- I picked Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs which was knocked out by, I believe, Gleason in round three. I preferred Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson as well, but that was knocked out by Gleason in the first round. It's sequel, Lady of Light and Shadows, was also excellent, although it didn't make the list.

There were a couple other books that didn't make the tournament list that I enjoyed more:

Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen
Jinx, Meg Cabot
White Knight, Jim Butcher
An Ice Cold Grave, Charlaine Harris

This all sounds like I'm dissing Gleason and The Rest Falls Away. I'm not. It was a very entertaining book, with a unique take on vampires. (I do love the supernatural beasties.) It just wasn't, in my opinion, the best book of 2007. Did it belong in the top 64? I think so. I only read 9 of the books on the list. All but one were quite good. TRFA fit comfortably in the middle of that pack.

At one time I read romance almost exclusively. Eight or nine years ago I probably would have read closer to half of the books on the list, maybe more. I wandered off into mysteries, which lead me into scifi/fantasy, which lead me back around to romance. The funny thing is that just among the titles I'm familiar with, 3 of them aren't shelved in romance at all. They're sold with scifi/fantasy. (I'm not counting the YA titles, which are obviously shelved with YA.) A few years ago they never would have been included in a romance contest. I wonder how much the fact that the authors are women causes readers to associate them with romance anyway?

Well, my sleeping pill is really starting to kick in, and I'm getting (more) rambly, so I guess I'll go now. Have you read any good books lately? I hope so!

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