Nano Day 6: In Which A Zombie Reflects On Books of 2009

Well, that was a bit drawn out of a title, wasn’t it? But what can I say? Read a couple of steampunk books and that is likely to happen to you. Not to mention Pride, Prejudice and Zombies.

I know, this has very little to do with Nano, but Nanowrimo for me is more than just writing 50k in 30 days. For me it is also those things that attempt to derail your work. Year One for me was the death of a family member and a drive across several states. Year Two was the trip to Dallas and Wizard World/FearFest and the discovery of my new writing habits. This year it is the books.

You saw that my Wednesday was met with car trouble and a good book I picked up due to a Q&A at Bitten By Books. Last night though, after coming home from Public Authorin’ Nano11.5 I had a surprise in my mailbox. My first prize ever from a Bitten By Books contest (well the second installment of said prize) – a Battle of the Network Zombies ARC! (It is acceptable to get up and do a little happy dance, I know I did. I will wait.)

Although I was thrilled to finally have it in my grubby dice-rollers, I was also a little disturbed. I was now going to read this and do a review while attempting a 75k word novel – in 30 days. For all of you Nanos out there, I say 75k because I feel I can edit/rewrite that into something I can pitch to a publisher. But it can be done. I am on track for my daily goal in Nano, but not the extra amount to attempt to make 75k. But this is Amanda Feral we are talking about. I can read the holy hell out of an Amanda book. After all I did Twilight in just over a day on a bet once. Didn’t wretch once either! (Go Team Zombie!)

I started reading it at lunch today and figured that I would now probably never be able to eat corn on the cob again. Thanks Mark!

Additionally, there were two links rolling out of the Twitterverse today. Both were publication professionals looking for input on people’s favorite books of 2009. These were Publishers Weekly and Barnes and Noble Book Clubs. The problem here is that Publishers Weekly is asking for your top 3 books of 2009. Three books.

For me that is similar to when our Athletic Communications people asked for one or two books we were going to read or attempt to read over the summer. One or two. I said, “Sure, now what about the next 9 weeks of summer?” Of course I was not going to give them the full list of books I was reading this past summer. My momma didn’t raise no fools. Well, provided you discount my sister – or at least prorate her foolishness.

Three books that I considered the best, which would consequently fit into the Barnes and Noble request quite nicely as well? How do I choose? Who do I snub?

Here is a list that I will likely add to as the days keep rolling on…

  • Road Trip of the Living Dead by Mark Henry (No brainer, really… See what I just did there?)
  • Red Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells (Mr. Giggles wins best supporting demon hands down!)
  • Blood Groove by Alex Bledsoe (Vampires that are really vampires. I am talking old school Dracula shit. Besides, 70’s funk… need I say more?)
  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (Seattle steampunk AND zombies? Where has this book been all my life?)
  • Soulless by Gail Carriger (Steampunk, but she is half Italian and can negate the powers of vampires and werewolves? WOO!)
  • Deader Still by Anton Strout (Men In Black/Ghostbusters with zombies running around Manhattan? Homages to Angel and Buffy sprinkled in? Yes, please.)
  • Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon (Young Adult with characters that are strong role models with some actual personality? Not to mention one of the few books out there that uses Oriental mythology as a base.)
  • Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (This was my first attempt to find a Young Adult book where the monsters were actually monsters. Definitely one of the best I have read all year.)
  • Death’s Daughter by Amber Benson (This is mostly here as it reminded me of the Incarnations of Immortality series a bit. Plus it had some awesome Bollywood scenes in it.)
  • Demon Inside by Stacia Kane (Both books kept me reading by sheer force of words until I was done.)

And there are still more books sitting on my “to read” shelf (now that Mrs. Zombie made me take them off of the mantle). Who is to say the next gem for this list is not sitting there waiting its turn?

What books have you picked up this year that are your personal favorites?


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