What are your top 5 books of 2006?
Why Moms are Weird by Pamela Ribon
They always warn you that an author's second book is never as good as her first. Well, Pamela Ribon proves them wrong. Don't get me wrong, I adored her first book, Why Girls are Weird, but this one was even better.
To give you an idea I went to bed thinking I would read a chapter or two before drifting off. I got so hooked, I stayed up until dawn to finish it.
The idea is that the book is written as a testament to why the narrator might need to kill her mother. It begins with a phone call in which her mother calls and tells her daughter she thinks she may have chlamydia, and wants her advice because didn't she (the daughter) have it? You can only imagine what happens next.
I found myself laughing out loud so hard I was choking. Part of it are just that funny. But of course, parts are more serious and about what it takes to be part of a family and move on after an important member dies.
In case you weren't aware, Pamela Ribon has a website. Also rumor is that there are plans in the works to turn this book into a sitcom. I believe it is ABC that is interested.
Raise a Smarter Child by Kindergarten by David Perlmutter, MD
I think I already wrote a review of this book somewhere in here. Although I do feel that Dr. Perlmutter can be a bit preachy at times, I also feel that this is an important book for anyone who cares about young children should read. For the record, I don't have any children.
Essentially the idea is that we as a nation (in general) are giving our children junk food and high doses of t.v. and computer games and it is literally rotting their brains. Dr. Perlmutter believes that since the first 1000 days of a child's life are literally life forming parents and childcare providers should do everything possible to see that they get the most of it.
His recommendations are simple, but require dedication and in some cases stepping up to the plate on the parents part.
The Sound of Colors by Jimmy Liao
Everything about this book is just lovely, despite that it is about a girl who knows she is going blind. I can't tell you how tickled pink I was when Daniel Pinkwater added it to his best picks of 2006 too.
We bought this on our visit to Boulder, CO this summer on our way back to California. Despite that I had already read it, I refused to let B pack it away when we were trying to lighten our load as we headed to LA.
The book is a bit surreal. The images are stunningly beautiful. And at the heart of it is the journey to find home. Everyone should read it.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
This book was on a lot of critics lists and was also nominated for several awards, so I picked it up. It is one of the few books where I can honestly say I was satisfied with the ending.
The book tells the story of the main character's time when he worked in the circus. He is now an old man living in an assisted living facility, and for the first time is sharing his tale. The chapters switch between present day and his time at the circus.
One of the reasons I think the book is so amazing is that the author did her homework. She got her inspiration from a book of photographs taken in the early 20th century by a man who spent a year on the road following the various circus troops. From there she visited museums on the subject and read many books. Her story is in part a fictionalized version of what she discovered. And at the end of the book she explains how truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I received this book from my Secret Santa last year but didn't get around to reading it until this year. Again this was another book that was on all the critics best of the year lists, although I don't think that is initially why I added it to my Amazon wish list.
To tell you much more about the book would potentially ruin it for you. I think it is best to go in blind and see how things unfold. This is much different than Ishiguro's other work, Remains of the Day. And in many ways this book is more than a bit disturbing.
Oh wow, I think that is five already! Here are a couple of runners up: