Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Also-rans, fiction.

Looking back over my ten years of reading lists, there are many, many 4-star books. That's probably the largest category. And if I were to go back and re-read some of them, some would probably become 5-star books. And vice-versa.

These are some of the fiction books I rated with 4 stars. I've picked the ones that really stand out in my mind as special and memorable, even years later.

The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
Water For Elephants, Sara Gruen
The Art of Detection, Laurie R. King
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
Those Who Save Us, Jenna Blum
The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker
We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson
Under the Dome, Stephen King
Ahab's Wife, Sena Jeter Naslund
The Help, Kathryn Stockett
People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
Dissolution, C.J. Sansom
Dark Fire, C.J. Sansom
Sovereign, C.J. Sansom
Revelation, C.J.Sansom
Homeland, Barbara Hambly
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, Seth Grahame-Smith
The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
11/22/63, Stephen King
The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The House Next Door, Anne Rivers Siddons
Stettin Station, David Downing
The Rose Garden, Susanna Kearsley
Needful Things, Stephen King
How It All Began, Penelope Lively
The Blue Castle, L.M. Montgomery
Atonement, Iam McEwan
Little Dorrit, Charles DIckens
Harvest Home, Thomas Tryon
Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey
The Ivy Tree, Mary Stewart
The Dog Stars, Peter Heller
The End-of-the-World Running Club, Adrian J. Walker
Lincoln, Gore Vidal
The Anchoress, Robin Cadwallader

Items of note: 
The four books by C.J. Sansom are the first four in his Matthew Shardlake series, about a crippled lawyer in Tudor England. Sansom really captures the fear and dread of living in the time when Henry VIII was embarking on the destruction of the Catholic Church in England.

Brat Farrar and The Ivy Tree appear next to each other in the order I read them...Tey's story came first, and Mary Stewart wrote her own gender-swapped version a few years later. This is a tale of assumed identity and inheritance, lots of fun in both versions.

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