Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Top 10 Reads - Part 1

Vampires and Food.

Yep, these were the two major themes in my reading last year.

Thanks to a little gentle prompting from Tseenster, here’s my (belated) top ten reads of 2009 (in no particular order)

Vampire Tapestry – Suzy McKee Charnas
One of the best vampire books.…..ever. A contemporary vampire who disguises himself as an academic! I loved the concept: Dr Edward Weyland, by day a mild mannered sociologist in a mid western University, by night a voracious hunter of humans. What better disguise for a vampire, after all one could argue that some forms of academia are a form of vamprisim?

This book is a riveting thriller that explores the shifting relationship between predator and prey, it's a world where humans are not the top of the food chain but mere cattle. It’s clever, subtle and exceptionally well written.

In other words it’s a vampire book with brains! I loved the way your sympathies constanly shift in the book with a ultimately suprising and moving ending. Oh yeah the skewing of academia is soooo spot on.

I only accidently found this book on Amazon's "Customer's Who Bought this Item also Bought' application. This books definitely needs to be promoted so much more! So I actually got my library to order this book in.

The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood
Master story teller at work here.

No-one does dystopian future narratives like Atwood. She is able to so brilliantly create an imaginative world in which you actually care about her characters. I loved the gene-spliced life forms like a 'liobam" and wonderful word play, for instanced a spa called “Anooyoo”.

A funny, sly, disturbing and also sad and scary read.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher or, The murder at Road Hill House - Kate Summerscale

Am not usually a ‘true crime’ fan but I kept seeing so many great reviews of this book that I thought I’d better check it out.

And the reviews were right! This is a brillant page turner that provides a thrilling account of the murder of three year old Saville Kent. The story takes so many twist and turns that it is hard to believe it was happened in ‘real life’.

But was is also thrilling in Summerscale's account is how she links this case with the rise of detective fiction itself - with the figure of Detecive Jonathan Whicher the model for Wilkie Collins's policeman in The Moonstone and Dickens when he was writing The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

More to come;-)

2 comments:

tseen said...

You posted it (partly)! Yay! I've been sleuthing to find Vamp Tapestry after we'd talked about it, but can't find a bargain basement copy. There are super-cheap ones in the US, 2nd hand, but they don't ship to Oz (what's wrong with them, eh?). Not at my local libraries. Will have to consider BUYING it... ;)

Book Boy said...

Yeah buying books in US is so much cheaper and easier. Though still prob wouldn't be a book buyer;-)

Why don't you try and order it from your library - glen eira right?

http://library.gleneira.vic.gov.au/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/OPAC/ServiceUnavailable

They are usually pretty good at my library about getting your orders in.