The Mountains of Instead

Championing fiction as an escape from pandemics, politics and bad TV.

That Was The Year That Was - Polka Dot Steph's Pick of 2012

Looking back over the past 12 months in books today is the rather superb PolkaDot Steph.  She's gone for an eclectically excellent list that will surely have you all reaching for the e-readers we suspect most of you got for Christmas. We'd love to hear if you agree or disagree with her choices so please leave your thoughts in the comments!

Toby’s Room by Pat Barker

Toby's Room

Pat Barker again shows her literary magnificence as she revisits the First World War, this time moving from the terror of the muddy trenches to the equally devastating home front.  Exploring the need for war and pacifism, the lasting psychological effect war has on those directly involved and the place society sees for returning servicemen, Barker captures the horror and desperation of the time with an almost poetic talent.  Fans of Barker’s previous work will certainly not be disappointed. 

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child

The debut novel from Eowyn Ivey follows an aging couple desperately seeking a fresh start on a homestead in the wilds of Alaska to escape the memories of the child they lost years previously.  But after the couple build a snow child in a storm, a mysterious little girl appears at their homestead – where did she come from and is there more to this child than there seems?  Written with all the magic and wonder of a fairytale and with a phenomenal sense of place, The Snow Child is an enchanted fable for adults everywhere.   

A Curious Invitation by Suzette Field

A Curious Invitation: The Forty Greatest Parties in Literature

The 40 greatest parties in literature – from Alice’s tea party through the Looking Glass to Gatsby’s legendary soirees, Field recalls what they ate, what they wore, who entertained them and, most importantly, what they talked about.  A truly interesting and unique book – a must for book worms everywhere!  

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)

For as long as she can remember, Blue Sargent has been warned by her psychic mother that she will cause her true love to die.  And when she sees his spirit on St Mark’s eve, she knows he will die within the next year.  All becomes yet more curious when her true love arrives at her home for a tarot reading, hoping to shed some light on an ancient quest.  Stiefvater’s prose is engaging and pacey and the characters are easy to connect with from the outset.  An extremely strong start to what promise to be an exciting and successful series.    

Grimm Tales:  For Young and Old by Philip Pullman

Grimm Tales for Young and Old

There is absolutely no doubt that Philip Pullman is a genius, having penned one of the most successful and acclaimed fantasy series of recent times.  And after much anticipation, he has compiled a re-telling of some of the brothers Grimm’s most well-loved, and some not so well-known, tales.  With buckets of added blooded and gore, Pullman has brought the classic fairy tales straight up to date and gave them added adult appeal.  I don’t believe that anyone could manage to read Grimm Tales without a smile on their face.  

Thank you, Steph, for such a great selection.  Surely A Curious Invitation is a must for, well, everyone?  For our final 2012 retrospective, pop by tomorrow to find out what Splendibird's has chosen as her top five.


Melissa said…
Yay for Snow Child and Raven Boys! And A Curious Invitation sounds, well, curious. I must check it out.
back to top