Best Book of My Reading Year
I ended 2013 with two favorites: A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon and Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Both books followed a small cast of characters over a period of time.
Best "Unexpected" Favorite of My Reading Year (and Favorite Cover)
Best Fictional Story Inspired By a Real Person
Agnes Magnusdottir, who was condemned to die by beheading for the murders of two men in 1828 in Iceland. The book is fiction based on legends and stories passed down over the years, as well as historical documents, telling Agnes' story. As I said in my review:
This was one of those gentle reads, at times so entrancing it is almost hypnotic, like being rocked to sleep. Affective and sensitive, it moved me. I would consider this novel to be rare and extraordinary, and it will carry you along to the bitter end, if you allow it, with tears streaming down your face as you take those final steps. But you aren't alone. Agnes is with you.
Favorite Passage of my Reading Year
Vogon poetry is of course the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning" four of his audience died of internal hemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos is reported to have been "disappointed" by the poem's reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve-book epic entitled My Favorite Bathtime Gurgles when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilization, leaped straight up through his neck and throttled his brain.See? It just made me smile again!
So those are some of my favorites of the year. How about you?