Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday BlogNog

So the contest is over. I wish we'd had more contestants, but the ones we had were splendid! Judging begins and we should announce our winners sometime next week.

Just want to give a shout out to Christine Fonseca and Elana Johnson for naming this blog as one of their faves of 2009. Did I already do that? If so, I'm saying it one more time for good measure. It gives my blog authenticity because I usually repeat my good stories at least twice (so my mother is quick to tell me.)

Elana gave me this award!!! I am so honored. My little blog is a newborn, but hopefully in 2010 will grow to maturity. (Well, since it's my blog it's never going to be that mature.) I'm passing this on to:

The Bloodred Pencil
Deb Salisbury
The Bookshelf Muse
To end off the year I'm going to list my favorite books of 2009.

And yeah, I admit it. ALL I ever read is YA with an occasional MG thrown in.

These days, we've been remodeling our living room and have just built two giant-sized floor to ceiling bookshelves (yes!). I unloaded all my old books from college days and even earlier, and realized I have some GOOD ONES in there, like Ursula LeGuin THE DISPOSESSED, and Robert Heinlein's TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE. Anne Rice's vampire books. (Man, am I dating myself). I'm itching to re-read some of these.

But let's get back on topic—2009 faves:

1) CATCHING FIRE—by Suzanne Collins. (It think I read Hunger Games in 2008).

This series has got to be my all-time favorite. When I started reading Catching Fire I had to force myself not to read the whole thing in ONE SITTING. I managed to spread it over two days, I think. This woman is everything I want to be as a writer. Descriptive. Imaginative. Poignant. Suspenseful. She has it all. Bless you, Suzanne Collins. Keep em' coming.

2) CITY OF GLASS—Cassandra Clare. How do I love thee, Cassandra? Let me count the ways. She is my icon of urban fantasy, plain and simple. The master.

3) FIRE—Kristin Cashore. Again, I love her books. She does so much telling, yet somehow gets away with it. It fascinates me. And her romance is exceptional, her world unique. This one started off slower than GRACELING, but in the end, I loved it just as much.

4) GOING BOVINE—Libba Bray. I haven't seen this on too many fave lists, but I adored it. As I've mentioned on the first post on this blog, I love Libba!!! How she has leapt from a Victorian fantasy to a modern day Jack Kerouac teen road trip that was wrenchingly sad and gut-splitting funny at the same time, I'll never understand. Can't imagine what's next.

5) BEAUTIFUL CREATURES—I'm not done, but the creep factor and the southern small town gothic makes a wonderful combo.

These five books have something in common—great writing and great characters. I crave this. If anyone has others they can recommend, please share.

In other news:
Don't forget to check out Lindsay Eland's newly released SCONES AND SENSIBILITIES. It is a hoot!

Now for 2010 coming attractions:
Three critmates have books coming out.

Heidi Ayarbe's second book COMPROMISED The tale of an escaped foster child and her harrowing road trip in quest of a long lost relative. (her first book FREEZE FRAME won acclaim and awards. Check it out!)

Christine Johnson— CLAIRE DE LUNE, young adult fantasy
A story of forbidden love and coming of age as a werewolf. She has a sequel due out in 2011!!

Kate Milford— THE BONESHAKER, steampunk fantasy
Devilish happenings at the crossroads at a turn-of the century medicine show. This book is life-altering. Kate is one of the most original voices around. Just wait. You heard it here first.

I'll be interviewing all of these fascinating ladies and more...

Have a great holiday and be well!!!



  1. I'm reading Beautiful Creatures right now and LOVING it!

  2. Hey, Cole. It was #3 on the NYT Children's bestseller list this Sunday. It looks like it may become the breakout YA of 2009!

  3. Dying to read Going Bovine. If they don't have it at the library when I go tomorrow, I may just have to break down and buy it, lol!

  4. Ooh! Love the lists and can't wait to check out the ones I haven't read. Thanks for sharing! I actually just discovered the YA section of the bookstore back in April. How in the world had I missed it before? I don't know, but I am so loving this new world!

  5. Hey, Lisa. I just found your comment - back a ways.

    Thanks for commenting, and like your blog! Always like to meet YA fans.

  6. Tere: My sense is people either love GOING BOVINE or hate it because it is such a departure from The GEMMA DOYLE trilogy. Let me know!

    Nisa: Welcome to the wonderful world of YA. You are going to be one busy lady in 2010. So much good stuff out there. Though I didn't list him, since I've yet to read LEVIATHAN, read anything by Scott Westerfeld and start with the UGLIES trilogy..pretty much the grand-daddy of all YA dystopic fiction and the inspiration (I am SURE) for THE HUNGER GAMES. There is no one more original than SW.

    Thanks for visiting, Anne! Your blog made me hoot! Gonna keep my eye on you!

  7. i agree with all of your picks lisa! beautiful creatures is magical. what about shiver? did you like that one?

    and sidenote: i can't believe you have anne spollen commenting on your blog. her book 'shape of water' changed my life as a writer. i had to buy two copies because i voraciously tore through the first one and did not want creases in my second one. talk about a literary know here stuff is right up my alley. hook me up with an introduction, haha!

    and lisa, you must add levianthan to your must read list. FABULOUS! its my bible as i am steaming ahead in steampunk fantasy.

  8. Well, Yeesh, D!!! I'd better hustle and read her book. I'm a bit embarrassed. I stumbled on her blog randomly and got a huge kick out of her posting on how teens speak.

    D and Steampunk fantasy sounds like a winner to me, Baby Cuda.

    Yep..I'm going to add Leviathan as well.

  9., Shiver. I LOVED Lament and I love the way Maggie Steifvater writes. She is a poet. For some reason Shiver reminded me so much of some unpublished work I'd read (books that PRE-DATE Shiver that she couldn't have read) I couldn't finish. But I will probably get back to it. I did that with Graceling.

  10. Thanks for the shout out...and man we have similar taste in writing *wink*...have a great realxing New Year!!!

  11. I so need Going Bovine and Beautiful Creatures. I may have to force my husband to stop at the bookstore tomorrow.

    And I loved Graceling by Cashore, so I need to get Fire too.

    The best book I read this year? Um, I loved (loved) The Unnameables. And The Magic Theif. And The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. And a few more I'm sure I've forgotten.

    There's so many good books out there!

  12. The image of you demanding to stop the car for an urgent need for new books cracked me up, E. Hope there's lots of new books in your stocking! I new you'd love the Hunger Games being your are such a Westerfeld freak. Maybe your book will join that pantheon some day soon.

  13. Most of those make my list too! Can't wait to check out the other ones. I want to read the Uglies. Merry Christmas to you all! Santa had better bring me a Borders gift card lol!

  14. Thanks, Keri! Let us know what you buy with your Borders card (that you hopefully get). Look out, Santa, if you don't!

  15. Hi Lisa! Thank you for the award - it's my blog's first ever!!! How cool!

    Happy Blognog to you! :-)

  16. You are most welcome, Deb! We are both new bloggers, so our best days lie ahead. Looking forward to keeping up with your blog in 2010 and seeing you on the Querytracker forum. (I'm justwrite on there. You are magicseeker, right?).

  17. Thanks again for the shout out, Lisa!! You're an amazing crit-mate, writer, cheerleader, and uber blogger now!!
    Happy Blognog to you!

  18. Thanks, Heidi! Hope you're feeling better!

  19. Lisa, when I see a list of great reads like this I wish I could quit writing and simply curl up with great books and forget about everything else that's ruling my world. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Me, too! Thanks for the follow, Bonnie!

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