Best books of 2010
It’s a time back to reflect on what the year 2010 has brought us and so I look back to the books that are staying on my to-keep shelf!
• Mystery/Thriller: “Keeper of Light and Dus,t” by Natasha Mostert (Penguin, $15).
This book actually bridges several genres — thriller, science fiction, paranormal, romance and literary.
Mia is a tattoo artist to martial arts fighters with a little extra ability of her own. Her longtime friend (who’s secretly in love with her) Nick finds a strange thread on a message board that relates to one of Mia’s tattooed fighters and a mysterious man named Ashton is drawn to Mia… Mostert’s books are smart genre work that keeps you thinking long after the story is done.
• Romance: “Sundays at Tiffany’s,” by James Patterson and Gabrille Charbonnet (Grand Central Publishing, $13.99).
The best friend of a lonely little girl named Jane is an imaginary grown-up named Michael, who must leave her when she turns 9. But years later, as an adult, Jane goes to their favorite restaurant and sees him again — and this time their relationship becomes romantic. But is their romance to be? This is a magical happily-ever-after kind of story that is like chocolate for the heart.
• Teen Paranormal: “Sleepless,” by Cyn Balog (Delacorte Press, $16.99).
A Sandman named Eron is looking to end his time of service and train his replacement, Griffin, the boyfriend of one of his charges, Julia. But as Eron starts to get days as a human, he begins to spend them with Julia and develops feelings for her, angering Griffin, who just wanted Eron around to protect her. This is a supernatural love triangle beyond the usual vampire/werewolf fare.
• Fantasy/Sci-Fi: “Sleepless,” by Charlie Huston (Ballentine, $25).
Not to be confusing with the last one, this book is about a world in which a number of the population has become sleepless and suffer before finally succumbing to death. When the undercover officer Park sees his wife contract the disease, he’s determined to do his part and to not watch her suffer. But he stumbles upon a conspiracy that could change the world.
This is a dark story, but like all good science fiction, it leaves you thinking.
• Paranormal (Tie): “Ghost of a Chance” by Simon R. Green (Ace, $7.99).
Two teams of Ghost Finders, one from a good side and one from a bad one, work to save the world from inter-dimensional baddies for their own reasons and find their latest case — a subway that seems to be taking people away and never coming back — may be a little too much to handle. And so they team up, with hilarious and frightening results.
• “Doppelgangster,” by Laura Resnick (DAW, $7.99). An out-of-work actress who makes her living singing at a gangster-infested restaurant finds her life not only complicated by her organized crime task force boyfriend, but also someone trying to start a war between the two biggest crime families using magical means.
The magic in this story is still magic — it’s odd and everyone finds it odd — and the story is a fun mix of crime noir and paranormal.
• Horror (Tie): “Rise Again,” by Ben Tripp (Gallery, $15).
A female war veteran, a veterinarian, a firefighter and a television celebrity must find a way to survive after the zombie apocalypse. Dani, Amy, Troy and Patrick are all in a small town when a wave of people first start screaming, then dying, then coming back with a terrible hunger.
In the days that follow, their group of survivors must fight for their lives against the zombie hordes and a deadly group of mercanaries, and some may fall in the process. This is a creepy story of zombies, but also of human survival, both good and bad.
• “Death Troopers,” by Joe Schreiber (Del Ray, $24).
This is a book that begs to be read — Star Wars and zombies! How can you not?
A prison ship comes upon a dead Star Destroyer. When they go aboard to scavenge for parts, they unwittingly bring a disease back with them that turns the entire ship into the undead. It’s up to a small group of survivors, including the ship’s doctor, inmate brothers, the captain of the guard and two very familiar faces to make it off the deadly ship alive. This is fun, escapist fiction at its finest.
• Cookbook: “Good Stuff Cookbook,” by Spike Mendelsohn (Wiley, $24.95).
A former Top Chef contestant’s cookbook full of tasty burgers, salads, sides, shakes and delicious desserts, including decadent Red Velvet Brownies, keeps me coming back for more.
• Graphic Novel: “Blackest Night,” by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis (DC, $29.99).
Fallen heroes return under the power of the dark “black” rings in this Green Lantern-themed series. This was a really great and interesting read that still leaves me thinking.
• Memoir: “Countdown to Lockdown,” by Mick Foley (Grand Central Publishing, $26.99).
A professional wrestler continues to chronicle his life in and out of the ring, leading up to one big match, including the circumstances leading to his parting ways with the WWE, his joining TNA and his charity work building schools for kids in Sierra Leon and with RAINN.
• Literary Mash-Up: “Dawns of the Dreadfuls,” by Steve Hockensmith (Quirk, $12.95).
A prequel to “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” this story follows the Bennett girls’ training in a story that is at turns humorous and terrifying.
• Weirdly Related to Our Area: “Wild Ride,” by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer (St. Martin’s Press, $25.99).
This story about an amusement park that is really a supernatural prison takes place in a southern Ohio in a town called Parkersburg. Cue eerie music… But the story is a wild and fun ride about the guardians of the prison.
Contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org