I'll start at the top with the Nancy Award winner, The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles. And not just because I'm from Nebraska! I'll be reading it again after the demand calms down a bit at the library.
Hell of a Book has a hell of a structure telling a powerful story in a fascinating way. Is this the layer of the onion, or the memory of the onion, or a dream of an onion?
In the undiscovered gem category, I am pleased to present one of the most enjoyable books of the year, Raft of Stars. It's perfect for fans of Where the Crawdads Sing. Two ten-year old boys think they’ve committed a horrific crime, and light off into the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Four adults track them in the forest and down a river, including a sheriff recently arrived from Texas and doubting his future in law enforcement. The wonder, the ferocity, and the healing power of nature make this a great adventure in reading. A terrific story well told, with characters worth caring about.
In the mystery and suspense category I recommend Bullet Train and Velvet Was the Night. Yes, Barack, I liked Harlem Shuffle, too.
Should you happened to be annoyed with the governor of the Lone Star State and his disingenuous nonresponse to the FEBRUARY WEATHER EVENT and POWER GRID FIASCO, I suggest Melanie Benjamin's The Children's Blizzard. Benjamin does a great job describing northeast Nebraska in 1888. While this blizzard is the stuff of lore where I grew up, it is not as famous in other places. The novel is an appropriate read when you are wrapped in quilts with just a flashlight for illumination.
It's weird calling a novel historical fiction when it's set during my lifetime. It's like hearing David Bowie in the grocery store...or Opal and Nev.
Even if you don't need to read children's book for work, I recommend The Beatryce Prophecy to brighten your life. Definitely the best literary goat of the year, and way more fun than Lauren Groff's Matrix. Keep your library card right next to your vaccination record, kids!
© 2013-2021 Nancy L. Ruder