Friday, December 24, 2010

2010 in Review: Books

I don't have a very long list of favorite fiction for the year, as most of my fiction reading is focused on my favorite authors' latest stuff: Robert B. Parker died, but left enough manuscripts behind that his lost will begin to be felt next year; John Sanford has two mystery/thriller series based in Minnesota--Prey and Virgil Flowers; Carl Hiaassen; and a few others.

I rarely read Stephen King because I am not really a horror fan (despite my Zombie inclinations), but when I do (like in the case of Eye of the Dragon), I really enjoy his books.  So, it was not a surprise that I got into his massive tome: Under The Dome.  It was pretty dark, of course, but this tale a town cut off from the rest of the world due to a mysterious invisible dome had heaps of interesting politics, corruption, and heroics.  Just a fun read.  The second diversion into horror was Joe Hill's Horns.  Hill is, well, King's son.  He is very talented, and this tale of a guy who wakes up one day with horns and special powers was fun and engaging.  Will need to re-read.

The discovery of the year was Lee Child, who writes wonderfully tense thrillers.  Jack Reacher, his protagonist, is an ex-military police, who is smart and tough.  He's a drifter who keeps wondering into trouble.  The adversaries are often involved in much bigger endeavors than we might expect--terrorism, trafficking of people, counterfeiting, etc.  The government is usually a difficult obstacle to overcome rather than an ally.  It was terrific to discover an author who had already written about a dozen books. That allowed me to spend the summer reading the entire series thanks in part to my family bringing their copies of his books to our summer vacation.  I am now caught up and will have to wait for the yearly thriller.

I also consumed Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series as my new young adult series.

The next author on my desk is Michael Connelly.  I am 76 pages into Black Echo, which is pretty good, but not nearly as addictive as Lee Child.

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