Monday, November 14, 2011

This year in reviews

So far this year I have reviewed 24 books. I introduced readers to books from promising new authors and I featured new books from a few popular favorites. Not all the books I review come from a direct contact with the author. This year over half of them did. It’s what I enjoy most about reviewing books. I love connecting with other authors and the friendships we forge.

I reviewed picture books, middle grade fiction, nonfiction, and young adult crossover fiction, which simply means that adults would enjoy these books, too. With so many good books, it seems a shame to let the year end without shining the spotlight on them once more. I thought it would be fun to share my favorite books in each category. I posted the covers of my favorites. I have also included links to my reviews.

Picture books

In picture books, my favorite was not a book but an author/illustrator, Benrali. His illustrations are exquisite. His books are works of art. I feel like I discovered him.

Middle grade fiction

Alex Gonzo, Royal Spy by Jayde Scott
David and the Heart of Aurasius by R.J. Timmis
Elsbett & Robin Take On A-Nasty-Sia by Danai Sabrina Kadzere
The Mystery at Marlatt Manor by Anne Loader McGee
Saltwater Taffy by Eric DelaBarre
The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin
Two Little “Savages” by Ernest Thompson Seton

With this book, R.J. Timmis has created an exciting new fantasy/action series that I think is really going to catch on. She is also the fabulous illustrator.

Young adult crossover fiction

A Job From Hell by Jayde Scott
Blackbird Flies by Chynna Laird
Breaking Fellini by M.E. Purfield
Emory’s Gift by W. Bruce Cameron
How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain
Spaceship Earth by Tom Schwartz

Hands down. Emory’s Gift is a must read. Superb storytelling. My favorite book of the year.


Bad Dog by Martin Kihn
Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
You Had Me at Woof by Julie Klam
You and What Army? by Lisa Bracken

I loved this book because I have a long personal history with Hawaii and thought I knew a lot about it. But Sarah Vowell showed me a wacky side to this beloved state’s history which endeared me to her and Hawaii all that much more.

I appreciate the opportunity I had to read and review these books. I wish these talented authors much success. These are the kind of connections that make the writing life so rewarding and a lot less lonely.

Coming soon: PFC Liberty Stryker

Letters to Juniper now available in ebook & paperback at


  1. I'll have to look into the picture books again since I now have new young grandchildren. Do you do reviews from the group or is this not done. Janet who one day will be allowed to send under her google account.

  2. Yes I reviewed 6 picture books this year. You can click on the titles to read the reviews.

  3. Hey Pegg- I hope Rupert Starbright makes your list next time! : )