Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Best Reads Of Fall 2012

Most people reserve their spookiest, creepiest horror reads for fall and specfiically October - 'tis the season to be scary, after all. Not this blog. In fact, this blog promptly forgot it was the season for Halloween and ghosts as this autumn was fairly mild reading wise.

Below are some of the top picks that were being flipped through last month. All links lead to Goodreads.

  1. Two Or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates. Once again, Joyce Carol Oates dips into the young adult genre - and once again, she delivers. It covers the reaction of two girls when their best friend, Tink, dies - in fact, she kills herself. It's a story definitely written for high school girls who can understand what it's like to be rejected, to be accepted, to need to be loved by one's peers. It covers a lot of heavy subjects - suicide, self injury, sex, divorce, student/teacher relationships - but never becomes a heavy-handed PSA on any of these things. Would recommend to young women 16 years and older.
  2. Inherit The Wind by Jerome Lawrence. It's a thrilling, dramatic play depicting the historic Scopes trial of 1925. I absolutely loved it; it's the kind of play you can see unfold in your head with startling detail, like you're sitting at the foot of the stage watching the whole thing up close. I especially loved the courtroom scenes and the way it ended, with the two books in the briefcase, sitting side-by-side like it's natural for them to be together - God and Darwin. I would give my left leg to actually see Inherit The Wind live and on stage; I imagine it would take quite a dynamic cast to bring this play to life properly.
  3. Never Have Your Dog Stuffed/Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself by Alan Alda. I totally loved these books. And if you are a fan of Alan Alda - whether through M*A*S*H or his stage work or his hosting work on PBS or whatever - you will probably love them too. They had me alternating between laughing and crying and doing both at the same time. His writing style is rather brilliant and intelligent and sharp while still being humorous and easy to relate to - so like his most famous character, Hawkeye. Also, I adore the photos he included in the middle of the first book; he was such a cute kid!
  4. Resistance by Anita Shreve. Love in Nazi-occupied Belgium between a resistance fighter's wife and an American bomber pilot. Naturally, because this of the setting - and because this is Anita Shreve, the master of pulling heartstrings - it becomes a tragic love story that never falls into the schmaltz category. Equally touching is the side plot of the young boy who discovers the bomber pilot in the woods and his own home life. A definite hit for fans of historical romance/drama works.
  5. Deadman Wonderland volume 1 by Jinsei Kataoka. Okay, I have one horror-esque read on my list, and that is this blood-splattered manga that takes place in a prison like no other - part detention center, part circus, where the inmates are on display for the amusement of the public. The main character, poor Ganta, is sentenced to death for killing his classmates (despite the fact that the real killer is still at large) and is sent to the Deadman Wonderland prison to finish his sentence. It's violent, fast-paced, and yet somehow humorous in how Ganta manages to live day to day in such a place.
You can purchase these books at the following places: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Audible

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