Time for the annual list! Please feel free to tack on your choices. Really I should have done this post a couple weeks ago, to aid in the Christmas shopping, but you can always ship directly to the recipient. Drumroll, please...
Favorite Disaster/Adventure book:
First Runner-Up: Timothy Egan's The Big Burn. I liked this history of a forest inferno almost as much as his The Worst Hard Time. But in the end I'll always choose reading about people freezing to death over people burnt to charcoal.
Favorite History/Disaster book:
First Runner-Up: Just finished Birthright by Roger Ekirch, the story of a young heir sold into indentured servitude by his wicked uncle, and how he fought to recover his name and inheritance. It was a quick read and inspired famous works like Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped and less-famous-outside-of-English-major-circles The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle by Tobias Smollett. The true story could have used a fictional ending, though...
Second Runner-Up: I'm only 1/3 of the way through this book but know very well I'll have forgotten it by December 2011, so Dancing to the Precipice by Carolyn Moorehead deserves a mention. The history of a woman who, Zelig-like, lived from the American Revolution to long after Napoleon and always managed to be in exciting places at exciting times. She hung with Marie Antoinette and the Duke of Wellington!
Favorite Book that the Rest of the World Read Years Ago:
Favorite Book that No One Has Picked Up in Years:
Speaking of Daphne DuMaurier, the First Runner-Up in the category is The King's General. Missed this one as a kid, but it was lots of fun this summer. Lots of Cavaliers swashbuckling about. It's no Rebecca, but, then, nothing is.
And for my trendier readers who don't like to stray far from bestseller lists,
Favorite Current Bestseller:
movie. I had some questions about the ballerina's first encounter with her husband (do people really behave like that?), but after being assured that this was a case of my sheltered innocence, it was smooth sailing from there.
There you have it, folks. Don't forget my own piddling contributions to the literary world this Christmas, of course, but I've plugged those things from here to eternity. Oh, except to mention that, if you somehow managed to duck all the signing parties and launches for Mia and the Magic Cupcakes, it's isn't too late!!!
***Saturday, January 29, 2011: University Book Store in Bellevue. We'll be having a pre-Valentine signing event, complete with heart cookies and/or cupcakes. Plan to bring your favorite child-at-heart! All three of us will be there to sign and read and answer questions. XOXO***