Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day 4 of Book Week - Adult Fiction

Today's forecast for St. Peters: Overcast, freezing rain high of 31 degrees; chance for thunderstorms tonight. (Guess I better run my errands this morning before the nasty stuff gets here later today.)

Because most of the books I read are fiction, written for an adult audience, this post is a bit long. This year I've read some great novels, some very good ones, and some--well the typing was nice.

Here's a list of some of the great and very good ones from this year:

THE SECRET SCRIPTURE by Sebastian Barry - set in Ireland, it's a story about Roseanne McNulty, a woman turning 100 in a mental hospital, and Dr. Greene, who has been called in to evaluate her. A lovely written and deeply moving novel about the destructive power of well intentioned people to destroy lives and the redemptive power of truth to heal, no matter how long it takes. (Nominated for this year's Mann Booker Prize.)

ANCIENT HIGHWAY by Bret Lott - a beautifully written novel spanning three generations; it’s a story about family, failed dreams, hope and healing.

THE FIFTH FLOOR by Michael Harvey- a mystery set in Chicago with a failed hero worth rooting for; a story about worst and the best of the human condition --- power, greed, corruption and hate; loyalty, sacrifice, courage and love. Chicago politics --- now where have I heard that lately?

THIS ONE IS MINE by Maria Semple - a debut novel that is at times wickedly funny, tart and bitter, sweet and wise --- and always entertaining. (Laugh-out-loud funny and quietly weep-to-yourself sad).
SALT RIVER by James Sallis - Technically published late last year, but it needs to be mentioned because of the tight, crisp and brutally honest writing. It's a dark and intelligent mystery that grabs and won't let go. (The third and final mystery featuring John Turner.)

THE GHOST WAR by Alex Berenson - a well crafted thriller about events that bring two super powers to the brink of war. It’s a story of ambition, betrayal, sacrifice, redemption and the remarkable power of faith to transform and save lives.

THE SEVEN SINS: THE TYRANT ASCENDING by Jon Land - a fast-paced thriller with a flawed, yet fascinating, character whose daredevil personality and single-minded ambition thrust him into a high-stakes world of greed, betrayal, revenge and murder.

THE HERETIC’S DAUGHTER by Kathleen Kent - a debut historical fiction written by a descendent of the Salem Witch Trials --- strong storytelling, vivid use of descriptive language and a haunting voice.

**Footnote to yesterday's post: Beth Fehlbaum, author of Courage in Patience, posted a comment and a link to her story of hope for those who have endured abuse. I read part of the first chapter and thought I would share the link in case you haven't read her comment on yesterday's post. Here's the link:

How about everyone else--anyone have a favorite to add to the list?

Tomorrow will spotlight non-fiction.


  1. Hi Donna,

    Interesting picks, particularly the first novel about the Irish 100 year old woman. I'm writing that down right now(well, after I write this)...

    My favorite adult book this year was "Travels with my Aunt" by Graham Greene. Just never got around to reading this novel, but I'm glad I did. It's brilliant!

  2. I've jotted down a few of those titles--some sound quite interesting. I'm currently reading The Shack by William P. Young, a sort of fantasy/faith/forgiveness/redemption type book.
    It's different, but has me hooked!

  3. Cathy and Pat,
    Thanks for the tips. I'm always looking for recommendations on good books.

  4. A few weeks ago I read The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle. It haunts me still. I hope she is working on her next book -- I can't wait.

  5. Thanks for the recommendation, Dianna.


Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V - Interviews with Lonnie Whitaker and Dr. Barri Bumgarner

Here is the second installment of interviews with contributors who have stories in Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V , from Ozark Writers, I...