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Best of Bookslide

Top picks for reads, chosen 2009:

Children:

Gus Beezer With Spider-man: Along Came a Spidey!, Gus Beezer With the X-men: “X” Marks the Mutant, Gus Beezer With the Hulk, and The Marvelous Adventures of Gus Beezer with Spider-Man (I don’t know if that’s exactly the right title, because I can’t find a good picture of it, but there are two with Spider-Man) by Gail Simone – The perfect introduction to the Marvel universe for your little ones.

Young Adults:

The Changeover: A Supernatural Romance by Margaret Mahy – I didn’t like this when I was a kid because it confused me, but now that I am older I completely love it.

Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras by Scott Westerfeld – In the future, we will all be beautiful.  I’d thought this one would be overhyped and lame, but no, it was pretty darn cool.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – Great YA road trip book about a guy who has only dated girls named Katherine.  Really.

Looking for Alaska by John Green – Green’s first book, more serious and touching.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen – An unfortunately rushed (or purposely crafted) ending to an otherwise amazing book about a high school outcast and the outcast she befriends.

Comics:

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan et al – Set in a post-apocalyptic world where all men have died suddenly…except for Yorick and his monkey.  Yes, I said monkey.

Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan et al – Every kid thinks his or her parents are the bad guys.  These kids are unfortunately right.

Strangers In Paradise by Terry Moore – My first non-superhero series, this is the amazing story of two women who were friends in high school and have met up years later.  The plot is twisting and sometimes shocking, but ultimately I feel that it tests the very definitions of love and friendship, showing how thin the line of intimacy truly can be.

Starman by James Robinson et al – A comic book story that 1) ends (I love when that happens) and 2) works for new readers.  A brash young man reluctantly takes over his father’s mantle as Starman, and his adventures as a not-very-super hero.

Fables by Bill Willingham et al – What if fairy tales were real?  Bill Willingham moves the characters into present-day New York City.

Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis et al – Although Spider-Man purists like to knock this one, it’s great for people who want to read Spider-Man but don’t want to deal with decades of continuity.  Great starter series.

Alias by Brian Michael Bendis et al – Not based off the TV show in any way, Bendis creates a new character, Jessica Jones, and fits her into Marvel continuity with a gritty noir feel.

Manga:

Tramps Like Us, Yayoi Ogawa- This is my all-time favorite manga.  It is the story of an emotionally shut off woman and how her life changes when she discovers an injured young man in front of her residence.

Kitchen Princess, Natsumi Ando and Miyuki Kobayashi – A young girl has the cooking equivalent of perfect pitch.

Novels:

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen – The ultimate romance novel, I suppose.

The Ice Queen, Alice Hoffman – My favorite Hoffman novel.

The Gate to Women’s Country, Sheri S. Tepper – Another book I didn’t really like at first, but then I had to read Plato’s Republic for an intro to philosophy class and realized I needed to give it another look.  Another post-apocalyptic world, this one where men and women are strictly segregated.

PopCo, Scarlett Thomas – Codebreaking and toymaking.

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood – Probably the greatest feminist sci fi novel yet, and also as terrifying today as it was when it was published.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, Christopher Moore – A hilarious, irreverent look at Jesus’ Lost Years

Karma Girl, Jennifer Estep – The perfect beach read for the girl who’s always liked the romance and superhero genres.

These Old Shades, Georgette Heyer – My first and favorite Heyer, the mother of the romance genre

Roman Blood, Steven Saylor – A mystery set in ancient Rome.  Truly, Saylor was the best part of my historical fiction class.

Fortune’s Favorites, Colleen McCullough – A book so big you feel like you should marry it after you’ve spent that much time with it.  But it’s well-researched and entertaining as heck, even if McCullough has it bad for Caesar.

The Runaway Princess, Hester Browne – Chick lit done right.

Woman on the Edge of Time, Marge Piercy – Second-best feminist sci fi book I’ve ever read.

Plays, Poetry, and Other:

Happy Days, Samuel Beckett – A strange play but really quite amazing.  My favorite of the Becketts we read.

King Lear, William Shakespeare – It’s probably me, but I get the weirdest sense of science fiction when I read this one…

Cicero’s Orations – Law & Order: Ancient Rome

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