If you know me at all, you know I love coffee, birds, and book lists! January is a great time of year for readers because of all the "Best Books of 2018" lists that start circulating online. I'm going to throw one more list on the stack, just in case you are thinking about setting a Reading Resolutions for the New Year to explore a new genre.Here are some of my favorite novels--not of 2018 but of all time:
My Favorite Mystery
In Tana French's Broken Harbor, there's an arrest about half-way through the book.Case closed? Not so fast; there are more surprises in store for you.I enjoy the Irish setting, the dynamics of the fictional Dublin Murder Squad, and the keeps-you-guessing twists.
My Favorite Speculative Fiction AKA Sci Fi
I've got a tie here: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell is a classic in the field, and I'd argue that Wool by Hugh Howey is a modern classic. I can't leave out Andy Weir's The Martian. The Sparrow has some deep philosophical questions, Wool has a really great premise of a society living for years in an underground silo with a slow reveal of how they got there, and The Martian is a fun mix of adventure, pretty plausible science, and humor.
My Favorite Fantasy
Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson takes a really great twist on the genre. It's essentially a heist novel set in a really cool universe where different metals impart different powers to people that are born with powers. Most people have no powers. Some people can harness just one metal; Mistborn can use them all. What I most appreciate about this novel is that nothing seems contrived. The author creates the world and sticks to its rules instead of inventing a solution that you couldn't see coming.
My Favorite Western
Some people claim it's not really a western, but you can't go wrong with Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. You won't believe the scrapes that Gus and Call get into—and get out of. The book gives you a different relationship with the characters than the miniseries does. Fifteen years after reading it, and I still quote it from time to time.
My Favorite Romance
This isn't for anyone who blushes easily. Jennifer Crusie's Welcome to Temptation is a hot romance set in a small Midwestern town. Are you supposed to be surprised that opposites attract, split up, and get back together? No, but it sure is fun to read.
Leah Dodd is the director of Willard Library.She is currently reading "Trout Fishing in America" in print and listening to "The Coffee House" playlist on the Freegal Music app. If you have a favorite book of your own to recommend, please contact her here.