Welcome to Smugglivus 2011! Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2011, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2012.
Who: Julianna Baggott, prolific writer of adult and YA novels, also writing under the pen names Bridget Asher and N.E. Bode.
Recent Work: Pure a post-apocalyptic novel set to be published in early 2012.
Give it up for Julianna, folks!
I’m typing this out in the hinterlands, far from the warm swamps of Florida that I call home. It’s bitterly cold and I wish I had gloves with cut-off fingertips. I’m inside and can see the white clouds of my breath in the air. So I must be filled with Smugglivus cheer just to survive.
And now … some books that may have slipped under your radar:
1.FLIP by MARTYN BEDRORD
This book did not get enough play in the US. It’s a tight thriller about a boy who wakes up in the wrong body. Bedford has written many novels for adults but this is his first YA. I hope he stays.
2. KARMA by CATHY OSTLERE
This is a completely wild novel. It’s ‘written in verse” but don’t let that sway you either way — it simply means that the narrators write truly engagingly. It’s partially set in India and in parts feels like a surreal adventure. It has a great historical backdrop that doesn’t overwhelm the story. Check it out.
3.I AM J by CRIS BEAM
I’m halfway into this novel about a transgender teen. Born female, the narratior identifies as male and we get to see the world through this perspective — where gender isn’t simply taken for granted but fought for.
4.TEN MILES PAST NORMAL by FRANCES O’ROARK DOWEL
A funny, smart, quirky read — perfect for figuring out the wilds of high school.
And 5. not technically YA, but for the younger sibling, say, I’d wrap up a copy of BIGGER THAN A BREADBOX by LAUREL SNYDER.
THE DROWNED CITIES by PAOLO BACIGALUPI
Highly anticipated, The Drowned Cities will surely be on your radar come May. And Bacigalupi is always one to keep an eye out for.
TESSA MASTERSON WILL GO TO PROM by EMILY FRANKLIN and BRENDAN HALPIN
Always smart, funny, and gunning for the heart, Franklin and Halpin make a great writerly duo and I’m looking forward to this one. It’s a politically-charged novel and one that I think people will also find very moving.
SUDDEN FLASH YOUTH: 65 SHORT SHORT STORIES Edited by TOM HAZUKA and CHRISTINE PERKINS-HAZUKA and MARK BUDMAN
This collection host stories from Dave Eggers, Alice Walker, Richard Bausch, and Kelly Cherry. I love the short-short genre — great story, exact language, a burst of a world. It’s great for aspiring writers. (This might actually pub in 2011, but since I don’t have it in hand it’s technically something I’m looking forward to.)
Novels for adults: I’d like to slip in Matt Bondurant’s Night Swinner, Elizabeth Flock’s What Happened to my Sister, and a debut novel by Wiley Cash, which sounds like a made-up name but is actually quite real, A Land More Kind than Home.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey — I scored an advanced copy and am digging in. Beautifully written characters in a brutal terrain.
OK, there you have it. My fingers are now frozen and blue tinged. If one day we meet and I’m missing some fingers, you’ll know why. Happy Smugglivus!