With all the craziness of NaNo, assorted birthdays and Thanksgiving, it’s been tough to find time to read. Still, I managed to squeeze out a few minutes in the corners of my day to read quite a few books. These are the ones I enjoyed the most.
The Edge of Nowhere
I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth George and her Inspector Lynley novels. So I was intrigued by her new young adult series. The Edge of Nowhere tells the story of Becca King, a girl who hears people’s thoughts. She’s on the run because she heard her stepfather’s thoughts of a crime he committed. Her mother sends her to a friend while she tries to make a new life for them someplace else. Unfortunately for Becca, the friend dies. Becca’s on her own on an island where she knows no one. And ends up involved in a murder mystery.
Ursula K Le Guin comes up with another fully-imagined world that makes me believe that she’s actually been there. Her writing is so skillful that I learn of that world in little bits and pieces as the story unfolds, as I need to understand the history and culture her characters live in.
Voices is a coming of age story about Memer, a girl living in a conquered city. The new rulers fear writing and books, and have banned both. Memer, a member of a prominent family that prized learning, has learned to read. When a poet and his wife come to town, everything changes. One thing I liked was Memer was different from so many other teen-age protagonists. There was no headstrong plunge into stupidity that created trouble and conflict. Rather, Memer acted as best she could within the situation she lived in, resulting in an interesting and thought-provoking story.
Elizabeth Kostova wrote a complex and engrossing vampire story mixing elements of the supernatural, history and suspense. And who was her vampire? None other than Vlad the Impaler himself.
The story begins with a young woman finding a collection of old letters tucked into an ancient book in her father’s library. “My dear and unfortunate successor” is the salutation in every letter. This discovery sends her on a quest to track down secrets of her parents’ lives and the truth of Dracula and whether he still lives.
A Man Called Intrepid
I took a break from fiction to read this account of World War II British and American spies. To describe this book as fascinating doesn’t do it justice. From behind the scenes looks at the negotiations between Churchill and Roosevelt to the involvement of the man who later created James Bond, A Man Called Intrepid gives a inside look at the perilous days when many believed Britain would be lost and Hitler could rule the world. We owe a great debt to the many who labored in secret to make sure the evil ambitions of the fascists were thwarted.