Tuesday, December 26, 2006


In less than a week we'll be saying bye to 2006, and the "Best of" lists are already making the rounds. I don't pay much attention to the book biz lists, as those who prepare them won't offer anything beyond the usual ballot box and shirt stuffers. Often "best" serves as a synonym for "most-hyped," too; not very helpful.

I'm more interested in favorite lists. I want to know what novels people really read and enjoy, not what they buy and leave out on their coffee tables to impress their friends. I like learning what readers are putting on their keeper shelves, even those whose reading preferences are completely opposite of my own. Finding new and interesting books to expand my horizons as a reader is one of my endless quests. As a writer, it helps me to track trends and see how genre is changing, so I can figure out how what I write fits into that equation.

This week I'm finalizing my 2006 list for an end-of-the-year giveaway (stayed tuned to PBW for more details.) How about you guys? What were some of your favorite novels of 2006, and (if you don't mind sharing) what made them so special?


  1. Anonymous3:01 AM

    Anansi Boys.

    Which is odd, because I have not been wild about Neil Gaiman's other works, but this one was goofy fun.

    Everything else is a blur. I didn't read much fiction this year at all.

    (ps: got accepted to university.)

    hope you had a good holiday.

  2. Anonymous3:22 AM

    I think one of my favourite 2006 books is Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Scion, book 1 of her new trilogy set in the same world as Kushiel's Legacy.

    A new writer I've discovered this year is Maria Synder, whose first book Poison Study is extremely engaging. I also discover Moira Moore this year, with her Resenting the Hero and The Hero Strikes Back. Hmmm... And also Stephenie Meyer and her Twilight.

    And I do believe I start reading StarDoc this year too, although if so that was during the early part of the year. Needless to say, I love this series. :D

  3. Anonymous6:14 AM

    I'm not one for re-reading books unless they truly deserve it, so I was amazed that I read and re-read "Moon Called" by Patricia Briggs. And I didn't just re-read it for the exciting parts! I read the whole thing again, which almost never happens.

    The rest of this year's crop I can hardly remember, except maybe the new translation of "Don Quixote" that I got for myself late last year.

  4. Anonymous6:30 AM

    My favorite novel this year was Kit Whitfield's Benighted, which talked about prejudice and minority labelling through a werewolf urban mystery. I thought that was pretty cool.

  5. Anonymous8:59 AM

    I absolutely adored Lies of Locke Lamora, and the aforementioned Poison Study. (I have a copy of Magic Study, the sequel, right in front of me, calling my name.)

    Even though they weren't published this year, I really liked the first two books in Kelley Armstrong's Otheworld series. I'm sure I'll like the others as much, I just haven't gotten to them. :)

  6. I have to admit that I picked up "Moon Called" from Patricia Briggs as well... I read it more than three times. It was great. I can't wait for her next book.

    I really enjoyed Tess Gerritsen's Mephisto... I actually picked it up in hardbound. I don't usually buy hardbound books. It was good too.

  7. Make that three for Moon Called. I really loved this book and plan to reread it very soon. I also truly enjoyed Night Life by Rob Thurman. There must be a smartass teenage boy living inside of me. *ggg* Loved Wolf at the Door by Christine Warren.

  8. Anonymous1:11 PM

    Of yours, Rebel Ice and Dark Need, I can't choose between them. Lucan is {harkening back to my valley girl days} totally aaaaaaaaaawesome, but then you snuck so much in under the radar with Rebel.

    Of other 06 releases, my favorite was Tied to the Tracks by Rosina Lippi. Great fun finely written.


  9. Anonymous1:31 PM

    Some of my favorite 2006 books were:

    THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak. Beautifully written & unforgettable book about the lives of several different people during Nazi Germany. (This book was nominated for a Quill Award for best YA novel of 2006.)

    THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS by John Connolly. A fun, touching fairy tale for adults.

    BENIGHTED by Kit Whitfield. What Vernieda said. :-)

    GREYWALKER by Kat Richardson. Enjoyable urban fantasy.

    IVY COLE & THE MOON by Gina Farago. Excellent werewolf novel with a heroine who is very different than the usual.

    THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield. Excellent, old-fashioned Gothic like the ones I loved as a teenager.

    ELSEWHERE by Gabrielle Zevin. A YA fantasy novel that touched me deeply. (This book was nominated for a Quill Award for best YA novel of the year.)

    I have lots more, but I'll stop here because I'm looking forward to reading everybody else's choices.

  10. I loved Moon Called by Patricia Briggs and A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.

  11. Anonymous2:58 PM

    Start MacBride's DYING LIGHT and Tess Gerritsen's MEPHISTO CLUB. THUNDERBIRD FALLS by C.E. Murphy was pretty cool, too.

  12. Anonymous3:59 PM

    Okay, this is my first post here but I had to get in on the fun. I, too, love Moon Called. And I can't wait for the sequel at the end of January. I enjoyed Touch of Evil by Cathy Clamp and CT Adams, When Darkness Falls by Mercedes Lackey, and The Turning by Jennifer Armintrout

  13. I read a lot of books this year, and the ones that stick out in my mind the most are Christine Feehan's Dark Celebration, Garou Moon by ME Ellis, and Factoring Humanity by Robert J. Sawyer. Kind of a weird mix, but there you have it.

    I added the Robert J. Sawyer book to the "best of the best" shelf in my home office. That's rare for me to add books to that stack. It's a step above the general keeper shelf in my house.

  14. Anonymous4:26 PM

    Another mention for Moon Called.

    Other books I've loved this year - Lover Eternal and Lover Awakened by J.R.Ward, one of my favourite vampire series.

    Nalini Singh's Slave to Sensation. My favourite new author for 2006 and a series that I shall definitely be following.

    Although I was already reading the Darkyn series (bit of a vampire fan), I also had not read any of the Stardoc books. That was recitifed a couple of months ago, though I had the hardest time getting hold of Beyond Varallan. :)

    And speaking of other hard to find books I finally managed to get a copy of Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris after it was reissued.


  15. Anonymous6:46 PM

    I'm yet another who loved Moon Called.

    I also discovered Elaine Cunningham's Shadows series (Shadows in the Darkness and Shadows in the Starlight), at least I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there will be a series if Tor finally decide they want her to write the third book.

    My other two favourites were Touch the Dark by Karen Chance - the sequel is out in April 2007 and Cast in Courtlight by Michelle Sagara - hopefully the third part of this series won't be affected by whatever is happening at Luna.


  16. Anonymous8:37 PM

    I really enjoyed MML's Eye of Heaven...and I just started the Stardoc novels ;)

    I can never pick a best because everything I read I enjoy on a different level and for different things. Sharon Shinn's Dark Moon Defender was such an amazing read (I say this because I just finished it not ten minutes ago); but I also loved Rachel Gibson's I'm in no Mood for Love and Shana Abe's The Dream Thief earlier this year.

    To me, 2006 was a VERY good year for all these authors and more; I've been introduced to so many new writers that delight and astonish me with their talent to tell their stories that all of them are "the best".


  17. Entangled by Kathleen Dante
    Hunting The Hunter by Shiloh Walker
    Angel with Attitude by Michelle Rowen
    Megan's Mark by Lora Leigh
    All U Can Eat by Emma Holly
    Don't Look Down by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

  18. Anonymous5:40 PM

    Hmm! So hard to think of... definitely standing out in my mind are Tamara Siler Jones' books, all of which I read this year. Her most recent, Valley, is my favorite. Also really memorable was Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. I really enjoyed The Eyre Affair, but the one after it was such a let-down. Eyre is definitely worth reading though, and I normally hate puns. Otherwise...? Beats me. If I can't remember it, it must not have been that great. ;)

  19. Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund

    I felt like I was an Ivy League student as I read the book. It was great fun!

  20. I started a list of books that I've read in January so the question is easier to answer now than a previous year.

    I read two Brust books this year: Issola and Dzur, and I adored both. There's just something about his writing style that really clicks with me. Witty dialogue, sarcastic one-liners, and of course insane and very powerful elves, maybe.

    Another excellent read was Gregory Keyes' Age of Unreason books. The mix of magic and technology and the complex characters was really enjoyable. I even bought the first two books after I've read them as library books.

    McKillip's Ombria in Shadow was also very enjoyable and very different from the others. There was a dreamlike quality to the writing and the ending was a surprise.

  21. I'd never buy a book I'm not going to read just to keep it on the coffee table for the looks of it, I'm way too greedy for that. :)

    A new writer I've discovered is Marjorie Liu - I really enjoyed Tiger Eye for its blend of romance and exotic adventure, written in a very atmospheric way which never degraded from poetic to flowery.

    I also loved Scott Westerfeld's last book in the Midnighters trilogy - Blue Noon. It has something I'm always looking for in fantasy, especially urban fantasy - the feel of supernatural beyond understanding, a rip in the flesh of reality. I think the sheer amount of speculative elements in fiction has dulled that edge of wonderment for me, but his books brought back the excitement.


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