Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Book Floods

While December brings a flood of "best of" lists to my inbox, next month will see the start of the award announcement flood. (Although, the National Book Awards were announced last month: 1919 The Year That Changed America, by Martin W. Sandler, won in the Young People's Literature category.)
I enjoy the end of year "best of" lists and love the winter holidays, but, I think I would trade all the winter holidays for Iceland's Jólabókaflóð (Yule Book Flood). If you don't know this fantastic celebration, here is NPR's report on it published in 2012: Literary Iceland Revels In It's Annual Christmas Book Flood. What could be more ideal than a holiday that brings a pile of new books (I think chocolate is also involved.) shared by and with friends and relatives, and the time to read them? Perfection! If only I could persuade everyone to adopt this book flood celebration...

Here are a few of the best of lists from my inbox:

And here are 5 of my favorite YA reads from 2019:

The Missing of Clairedelune, by Christelle Dabos, 2019. When her dangerous gift for reading the history of objects is revealed by her promotion to Vice-storyteller, Ophelia turns for support to her enigmatic fiance, Thorn, throughout a formidable investigation into the disappearances of several high-profile courtiers. (Book 2 in the Mirror Visitor Quartet.) Fantasy.

Sadie, by Courtney Summers, 2018. Told from the alternating perspectives of 19-year-old Sadie who runs away from her isolated small Colorado town to find her younger sister's killer, and a true crime podcast exploring Sadie's disappearance. Murder Mystery, Suspense.

On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas, 2019. Sixteen-year-old Bri hopes to become a great rapper, and after her first song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, must decide whether to sell out or face eviction with her widowed mother. Realistic fiction.

The Boneless Mercies, by April Tucholke, 2018. Four female mercenaries known as Boneless Mercies, weary of roaming Vorseland, ignored and forgotten until they are needed for mercy killings, decide to seek glory by going after a legendary monster in this re-imagining of Beowulf. Fantasy.

Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom, by Ken Ilgunas, 2013. The author describes his experiences working in Alaska to pay off his college student loans and, how, inspired by the example of Henry David Thoreau, he lived in spartan conditions in his van while attending graduate school debt free. Nonfiction, Memoir.