Monday, 27 December 2010

Festive Fifteen - Best Books of 2010 (Part 2)

Well, the goose is well and truly cooked, the pudding ignited and devoured, the base of the tree just a barren land of pine needles and scraps of torn wrapping paper – can Christmas really be over, so soon? Not likely! I'll be wearing my paper crown until the first chimes of Auld Lang Syne.

So, pour yourself another sherry, crack the seal on that tin of Roses and enjoy the second part of my Festive Fifteen favourite reads of 2010. (Part One can be viewed here, if you missed it.)

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. 
Daisy is sent from New York to England to spend a summer with cousins. She's never met anyone quite like them before and, as a dreamy English summer progresses, Daisy finds herself caught in a perfect timeless bubble. But their lives are about to explode. War breaks out – a war none of them understands, or really cares about, until it lands on their doorstep.

No Worries by Bill Condon. 
Brian Talbot, seventeen, virgin, high school dropout, nightshift worker at the local dairy, in love. When life is kicking you down, you need to kick back, but when your old man lives in the shed in the backyard, and your mum has problems of her own, that's not always easy. Sometimes though, you just gotta hang in there – you never know what might happen.

That Eye, The Sky by Tim Winton. 
When Ort's father is seriously injured in a car crash, his isolated outback world is thrown into disarray. As he, his sister, mother and grandmother are struggling to come to terms with what has happened, a stranger appears in their midst. Preaching God’s word, Henry Warburton’s unexpected arrival seems eerily prescient – and Henry quickly makes himself indispensable. But Ort is suspicious – who is Henry really and what does he want with them?

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick. 
It's 1910. In a cabin north of the Arctic Circle, in a place murderously cold and desolate, Sig Andersson is alone, except for the corpse of his father – and then there's a knock at the door. 
As an extraordinary story of gold dust and gold lust unwinds, Sig's thoughts turn more and more to his father's Colt revolver, hidden in the storeroom – a revolver just waiting to be used.

Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks. 
Late one night, two brothers learn that their sister has died in the worst way imaginable. She's found, strangled, in a desolate place hundreds of miles from their East London home. Ruben, though younger, is the smarter of the two, with a gift for getting into other people's hearts; Cole is a devil's angel who doesn't care if he lives or dies. Together, they retrace Rachel's final journey to an end neither of them anticipated.

Right … who's had the last Hazel Whirl then? Come on, it's no use hiding the wrapper …


  1. Of these I haven't read the No Worries and That Eye, The Sky - loved all the others. Kevin Brooks is my big discovery this year, starting with Killing God - and I'm trying to catch up with any books I've missed. Meg Rosoff is always brilliant to re-read because you always discover something new - re-read Just in Case and What I Was this year.

  2. No Worries and That Eye, The Sky came from Australia on the personal recommendation of a bookshop owner in Perth. I really enjoyed them both, but the Tim Winton was especially good – beautifully written and that little bit different to the norm (worth a read if you see a copy – or I can lend you mine). Glad you're getting into Kevin Brooks, I've been a fan of his since Martyn Pig. Killing God is on my pile to read – Black Rabbit Summer is good too. Yeah, Meg Rosoff is always an inspiration.

  3. Great list. More books for me to read!! Although I recently finished Revolver and throughly enjoyed it.
    Looking forward to seeing your books on people's lists, Dave. :)

  4. Kevin Brooks and Meg Rosoff - yes, yes, yes!

  5. Am going to have to stop reading these blogs my book list is never ending! Thank goodness we overlap on some....

  6. Tracy – thanks. Yours too! Thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions.