Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One woman's search for books to read

Guess what? My to-read is list empty. Naught but a dust bunny doodled in the corner. Horrors! For guidance and inspiration, I turned to the internet. But...

 "Upcoming YA titles 2011", "new young adult fiction", "2011 recommendations"--none of those searches turned up anything interesting. Upon scouring the plethora of YA lit blogs, I realized something disturbing. There is a lot of paranormal, dystopian YA fiction and romance being published right now--and I'm just, well, gosh darned sick of it. I have nothing against a good paranormal and/or dystopian novel, but nowadays they all seem a little too cookie cutter. How many romances about werewolves, vampires, zombies, fallen angels, and faeries does the YA genre need? Not this many, in my humble opinion.

But anyway, the reason for all that preamble is this: it took me a long time (and some clever internet magic) to come up with the following list of books that I want to read in the near future. Not all of these are YA fiction. There's even a non-fiction one thrown in just to mix things up. But they all seem interesting.

The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge (2007) 

After reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I've become inspired to scout out fantastic non-fiction books. My sister recommended this to me--and amazon reviewers agree with her: this one's supposed to be a fascinating read.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (2010)

Bacigalupi's debut YA novel seems to be an interesting one. I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this (it seemed a little dark), but the reviews are positive. Hopefully this dystopic YA novel breaks some new ground. I guess we'll find have to read it and see.

Replay by Ken Grimwood (1987)

Now this one seems like it'll blow the rest of this list out of the water. Replay reputedly has a cult following, but I've never heard of it before. A man replays his life over and over again, each time with all the knowledge and experience of his previous lives. Amazon reviewers say this book is a spiritual, mystical, expansive experience. That's a lot to live up to. I have high hopes for this one.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (2005)

I've seen mention of this title and its sequels thrown around quite a bit on the internet, always with positive comments. I don't know why I never fully believe those comments. Or maybe I do--but I just can't shake the feeling that this book won't be my cup of tea. Perhaps I'll prove myself wrong.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (1908)

I've been wanting to read this for ages. I finally have it on my kindle. And yet, now that I have it, somehow the drive to read it is fading. I've heard so many good things about it that I feel guilty for not trying harder.

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