Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 My Best Books List

Those who know me well, know I read a TON of books every year. This year the official total was 127 of published novels, with somewhere around an additional 20 manuscripts that I edited for clients. That's a lot of books!

In past years, I've taught English classes and I was able to build a list of my students' favorite books, but since I'm in the library, I only know the books my patrons have most enjoyed, and which ones have been most popular.

I thought I would give you a list of the books I most enjoyed, and therefore those I most often recommend. Some are for teens, others for adult readers. You may agree; you may not, but I hope this list will at least get you thinking about the books you read in 2012, and what reading goals you plan to set for 2013.

Here's my list in the order I read them. Now, everybody READ!

1. The Death Cure -- James Dashner
2. The Last Lecture -- Randy Pauch
3. Icefall -- Matthew Kirby
4. The Newport Ladies Book Club: Olivia -- Julie Wright
5. Shifting -- Bethany Wiggins
6. Bloodborne -- Gregg Luke
7. Sean Griswald's Head -- Lindsey Leavitt
8. With a Name Like Love -- Tess Hilmo
9. Girls Don't Fly -- Kristen Chandler
10. 43 Old Cememtary Road: Dying to Meet You -- Kate Kliss
11. Pie -- Sarah Weeks
12. How I Sold a Million eBooks in 5 Months -- John Locke
13. The Wedding Letters -- Jason F. Wright
14. Decision Points - George W. Bush
15. No Apology - Mitt Romney
16. How Do You Kill 11 Million People -- Andy Andrews
17. The Future of Us -- Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
18. Ripple -- Mandy Hubbard
19. Friends and Foes -- Sarah M. Eden
20. Banana Split -- Josi Kilpack
21. Both of Us -- Ryan O'Neal
22. Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time -- James Dashner
23. The Harbinger -- Jonathan Cahn
24. Of Grace and Chocolate -- Krista Jensen
25. Savvy -- Ingrid Law
26. Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen -- Richard Paul Evans
27. Lincoln's Last Days -- Bill O'Reilley
28. Almost Home -- Joan Bauer
29. Potterwookie -- Obert Skye
30. The Missing: Caught -- Margaret Haddix Peterson
31.  Heart of the Ocean -- Heather B. Moore
32. Princess Academy: The Palace of Stone -- Shannon Hale
33. The False Prince -- Jennifer Nielsen
34. Third Time's a Charm -- Heather B. Moore
35. A Winter's Dream -- Richard Paul Evans

Thursday, December 13, 2012

With a Name Like Love - Tess Hilmo

When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder, Arkansas, to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others her daddy drags them through—it is exactly the kind of thing Ollie has come to expect. But on their first day, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother is in jail for murdering his father. Jimmy insists that his mother is innocent and Ollie believes him. Still, even if Ollie convinces her daddy to break his three-day rule and stay longer, how can two thirteen-year-olds free a woman who has signed a confession?

Ollie’s longing for a friend and her daddy’s penchant for searching out lost souls prove to be a formidable force in this tiny community, where everyone seems bent of judging and jailing without a trial.

Winner of two Whitney Awards, and a finalist for the Utah Beehive Award, With a Name Like Love has already proven itself to be a winner among adult readers, and children will appreciate the honest look at how far one must go when they have faith in a friend.

Part mystery, part realistic fiction, the novel, which is appropriate for middle readers and young adults, is an excellent demonstration of giving characters a unique and compelling voice. Hilmo’s word choice adds flavor to both the character of a traveling preacher and his family and the people of Arkansas. As Ollie works to solve the mystery that surrounds the murder of Jimmy’s father, and the supposed-confession of his mother, readers can apply supporting details to solve the case on their own, keeping in line with the Common Core Standards.

Reminiscent of Carl Lynch William’s Christmas in Heaven in theme and story, the two novels discussed together would prove an excellent source for the investigation of voice.

Highly Recommend.