Monday, December 31, 2012

Final reading update of 2012

Favorite reads of 2012 to follow in a separate post...

106) Black Diamond, by Martin Walker. Third in the Bruno Courreges mystery series, which like its predecessors makes me want to hop on a plane for France asap. This one involves rival Chinese and Vietnamese gangs, buried state secrets, truffle market tampering, and some particularly sordid goings-on that appear late enough in the book that mentioning them here would be a spoiler. But for all that, it's still a fairly cozy and leisurely mystery, and the biggest surprise for me was that it introduced yet a third potential love interest for Bruno.

107) Dream More, by Dolly Parton. I admire Dolly Parton for her guts, sense of humor, and the fact she's used her brains, talents, and all-around gumption to build a successful life from an unpromising background (and one not unlike my own family's, though I think compared to the Partons we were a relatively rich and educated bunch of hillbillies. This book, based on a commencement address she gave at the University of Tennessee a few years ago, made a nice read for reflecting on the year that's ending and the new one about to begin.

108) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin. This fantasy novel was recommended to me by any number of readers whose taste I trust, and I have to say I found the worldbuilding original and compelling, and I was intrigued enough by the plot to finish the book in a day. Yet for all that, the characters didn't quite come to life for me, so I never developed that undefinable connection that makes me want to revisit fictional places ranging from Terre d'Ange to Barrayar to Anne Shirley's Avonlea.

109) Julie, by Jean Craighead George. These are just delightful books, though I get depressed thinking how the Arctic environment they're set in is being wrecked by global warming.

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