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2012 Year In Review: Fiction

Top Ten

1. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Now that I’ve finally read this, I can’t help but recommend it to every single person who crosses my path. It is at once a gut-wrenching morality play, a brilliant psychological study, and a gripping crime thriller (not to mention a stunning refutation of Frederic Nietzche’s “Superman”). It’s dark and heavy, yes, but also shot through with hope; a story that affirms both the lostness of the human condition and the power of Christ to save.
This acclaimed novel is ostensibly a courtroom drama, but such a description does not really do this profound and multifaceted book justice. Through the eyes of a child, Lee explores the evils of racial prejudice with subtlety and power, gracing her story with an elegance so unspectacular it’s spectacular. More than once, I had to pause and read passages aloud, just for the pleasure of rolling them off my tongue. Full review
3. ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card
As far as science fiction goes, Ender’s Game isn’t good, nor is it great – it’s brilliant. Winner of the Hugo and the Nebula awards, this bestselling novel by Orson Scott Card is a stellar fusion of action and ideas; a story as intellectually challenging as it is relentlessly entertaining. (The sequel, Speaker for the Dead, is also terrific). Full review
This is not a novel, nor a memoir, nor a short story collection: it is, instead, an exquisite combination of all three. Through this unique but effective merging of fact and fiction, the author paints a picture of his life (and the lives of his fellow soldiers) before, during, and after the Vietnam war. And what a picture it is. Full review
5. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
It’s either one of the best novels I’ve ever read… or it’s one of the best novels I’ve ever read. They call ‘em classics for a reason, and this one is no exception. Beautiful writing, thought-provoking story.
Continue reading 2012 Year In Review: Fiction

On the Bookshelf VI

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I just finished this, actually. It’s either one of the best novels I’ve ever read… or it’s one of the best novels I’ve ever read. They call ’em classics for a reason, and this one is no exception.
Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl by N.D. Wilson
“Wide-eyed wonder in God’s spoken world.” My copy should arrive in the mail today, and I’m itching to get my hands on it. Also, just to give you heads-up, I’ll be writing a guest review of it later this month for Quieted Waters. Keep your eyes peeled… there will be a giveaway, too.
Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
I watched the movie last year and enjoyed it tremendously. While running errands in town last week, I was pleasantly surprised to find a copy of the original novel at the library. It’s a good story, so far. Bleak and gritty, too.
All Quiet On the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque
This is supposedly “the greatest war novel of all time.” Hmmm. That’s a pretty lofty claim, so I’m suspending judgment until I’ve finished the book; at any rate, it looks to be a fascinating and provocative read.
A Place to Stand by Gene Edward Veith, Jr.
A relatively short biography of the great German reformer, Martin Luther. Veith writes in his typical straightforward and engaging style, and the book promises to be every bit as good as the other installments of the Leaders In Action series.

What’s on your bookshelf right now?