metro mama

Friday, December 05, 2008

More Best Books of 2008

Wow, I really am delinquent in my book reviews. Here are four more of my faves for 2008. Happy reading!

Broken by Daniel Clay

This book is a riveting tragicomedy, narrated by Skunk, an eleven-year-old girl in a coma. As Skunk lies still in the centre, the lives of those surrounding her explode: the five menacing Oswald girls and their brute of a father; poor Rick “Broken” Buckley humiliated by the Oswalds and broken by the police; Skunk’s father, who longs for love.

The book draws heavily on To Kill a Mockingbird. And it really reminds me of one of my favourites of 2007, Lullabies for Little Criminals.

Read an excerpt here.

When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson

I don’t read many mysteries, but this is a complex, smart, well-written mystery, with compelling characters, including another young, wise beyond her years young girl named Reggie.

Sixteen-year-old Reggie is the nanny for Dr. Joanna Hunter, who at the age of six witnessed the brutal murders of her mother, brother and sister before escaping their assailant. When Dr. Hunter goes missing, Reggie is the only one who believes something is wrong. That is until she meets Investigator Jackson Brodie (from two of Atkinson’s previous books) who has his own mysterious connection to the case.

Be prepared to stay up all night to find out how it ends!

Read an excerpt here.

What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn

I seem to be on a roll with little girl characters in this list. In What Was Lost a lost little girl with a notebook and toy monkey appears on the CCTV screen of the Green Oaks shopping centre, evoking memories of junior detective, Kate Meaney, missing for twenty years. Kurt, a security guard with a sleep disorder and Lisa, a disenchanted deputy manager at Your Music, together become entranced by the little girl they keep glimpsing on the security cameras. As Kurt and Lisa’s after-hours friendship grows in intensity, it brings new loss and new longing to light.

Like Atkinson’s book, this novel will keep you up ‘til all hours, and will resonate with you long after you finish. It is the winner of the 2007 Costa First Novel Award.

Read an excerpt here.

Babylon Rolling by Amanda Boyden

Don't you love the cover?

Set in New Orleans in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina, Babylon Rolling is narrated by several of the diverse characters whose lives bump up against each other, often too close for comfort. Fearius, fresh out of juvey, embarks on his drug-dealing career; Ariel and Ed, white, middle-class, parents of two relocate from Minnesota; Indira and Ganesha, professionals, move into the biggest house on the block; Cerise Brown, 70-year-old black woman and long-time resident and Philomena Beuregard de Bruges, the white “uptown lady” observe their new neighbours. New Orleans itself is practically another character in the novel (Boyden resides in the city). Gritty and real, the voices simmer and roil until they reach the boiling point.

This book is evocative of the movie Crash, only much more sophisticated.

Amanda Boyden is married to another brilliant writer, Joseph Boyden, this year’s Giller winner for Through Black Spruce (another marvelous book—review to come!)

Read an excerpt here.

Now it’s your turn: tell me your favourite books of 2008. Comment here, or write your own post.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:31 AM  

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