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Monday, January 01, 2007

THE BEST OF THE BEST...

As promised, I wanted to start 2007 with a fond look back at some of my favorite books of 2006. I'm going to try and not give anything away in case you haven't read these books. So there shouldn't be any spoilers.

I wanted to include pictures for each of these books but it took the page so long to load I decided to just try links. I hope they all work. ;)

I admit I struggled with placement on a few of these, so let me just say that these books are 10 of MANY books I read this year. I loved all of these books and I could just about have a 3 or 4 way tie for 1st and 2nd.

Lets go ahead and start with book 10. Write Great Fiction/Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. This is one of those books I had a hard time placing. For one, because this is not a book that was published in 2006, rather, I just finally got my own copy so I had to include it. Also, because it's my only non fiction book on the list, I decided to just put it at the end since it's hard to compare it with a fiction book I read for entertainment. This book has become invaluable to me. It's a fabulous book on the writing craft and a must have for all writers. If you don't have this book, do yourself a favor and get a copy now!

9. You might be surprised by this one. Miss Menace by Nancy Lavo. Again, this is not a book released in 2006, but I got my copy to judge for the ACFW Book of The Year this past spring. It was entered into the short contemporary fiction category. I believe it placed 2nd or 3rd. It's a Heartsong Presents book. The reason I liked this story is because it was well written. A simple, easy to read book that was very entertaining. I laughed out loud a few times. ;)

8. Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury. I've long been a fan of Karen Kingsbury. As always with her writing, she does a great job of taking a situation and making it as bad as possible. Usually, the reader can't figure out how she will come up with a satisfying solution, but somehow she does. In this story, she takes a couple who have adopted this darling child and makes the unthinkable happen...the birth parents want the child back. Very good story. I admit I had tears in my eyes a few times.

7. Georgia on Her Mind by Rachel Hauck. I enjoyed this book because I had been looking for a fresh new chick lit style of book. Rachel didn't disappoint me. I'd never read anything of Rachel's and I wasn't sure what to expect. It was a very good book. I can see why Kristin Billerbeck gave it such a great review. (which might I add I regretfully didn't have a chance to read anything by Kristin this year)

6. Alaska Twilight by Colleen Coble. I've been a long time follower of Colleen's books and when I heard about her first women of faith book, I was very excited. I did a review of Alaska Twilight on Epinions last summer if you'd like to get a more in depth review of the book. The short version is simply well developed characters, fabulous setting and great conflict. I love that Coble's main character had to deal with a handicap. It made the story more believable and realistic. It's refreshing to read about a character who struggles with real life issues. Great read!

5. RV There Yet by Diann Hunt. I hesitated to put this one down just out of pure stubbornness. LOL. My mother read this book first and told me "Oh Sabrina you remind me of ________ in RV There Yet." I'm not going to tell you which one because I am only 33 years old and I did not like being compared to a character in a lady lit book. ;) I'm only kind of kidding. I really did love this book and I loved how I could see Diann evolve in her genre. She seemed to really come into her own with this book. It was well written and seemingly well researched. Great gift book for mom's or any "mature" lady friends.

4. Finding Faith by Denise Hunter. I'm one of those readers who breaks the traditional mold. I do not go into a bookstore and only choose from one section. I love suspense, historical, lits and women's fiction. Finding Faith was the best women's fiction I read all year. Period! She even added a touch of suspense to this one. Maybe her crit partner, Colleen Coble, is rubbing off on her.

3. The biggest fiction surprise of my year. The Reluctant Burglar, by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. I have a new favorite to add to my author list. Jill's story was so intriguing. I've always loved action/suspense/drama/intrigue. Jill's book has all that. I told her after my interview with her that I would love to see a show on TV based on this book. It was THAT good. The characters had great chemistry without being overtly romantic. If that makes sense. I can not wait for book two in this series due out this year. I think it's titled Reluctant Runaway.

2. Here's where I had trouble. I could hardly decide between one and two. I finally settled on Fire Dancer by Colleen Coble. This was, in my opinion, Colleen's best book. This story had more twists and turns than any of her other books. She led us on such a journey with a huge cast of characters. I pride myself on usually figuring out the culprit early on in the story. It took me close to the end to get this one. I can't wait for her new realeases this year. Abomination and Midnight Sea.

1. And the drum roll please... Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins. The determining factor between Violet Dawn and Fire Dancer for me was that Violet Dawn had this underlying element that spoke to me. Something from my own life that I saw mirrored in this book. It was a little less creepy than her other books. There was this one scene towards the end that I found myself holding my breath. Seriously. She did a great job creating panic in this book.

And there you have it folks, my favorites for 2006. I'm already excited about the books I've heard about for 2007. It should be an interesting year.

Feel free to comment on any or all of these books. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

3 comments:

Jennifer Tiszai said...

It's funny, I haven't read most of those just because of the way the year went. Interestingly enough, a good chunk of my reading came from the Book of the Year contest too.

Great way to start the new year!

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

You've cinched it for me--I HAVE to read Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury. I've heard so much about it and the concept of the book sounds awesome. Thanks for your list!

-Alison
blog.alisonstrobel.com

Crystal said...

I am always interested in what other people find to be their favorite books--especially you! Do you have Writing the Breakout Novel? If not, let me know.