1. What fiction book (or books) would you nominate to be the best new book published in 2007? (Older books that you read for the first time in 2007 don’t count.)
I feel so underqualified to answer this. Although I’ve read more books than most people (as evidenced by my bookrolling page), most of the fiction I’ve read fall in the romance/speculative fiction hybrid category. And even those–I’ve only read a fraction of what’s been published this year in just that subgenre alone. But if I did have to recommend books, curiously they all have strong sci-fi elements. So here they are: Nalini Singh’s Visions of Heat (review) and Caressed by Ice (review), Linnea Sinclair’s Games of Command (review), and Eve Kenin’s Driven (review).
Now if you had asked which was the best fiction book I have read in the year, regardless of publication date, I would have said Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (review).
2. What non-fiction book (or books) would you nominate to be the best new book published in 2007? (Older books that you read for the first time in 2007 don’t count.)
I’m probably even less qualified to answer this question than the one above. My non-fiction reading has always been somewhat sporadic and random. My recommendations are more nature oriented. The absolute best would be Chrysalis by Kim Todd (review) followed closely by Amy Stewart’s Flower Confidential (review) and Terry Abraham’s Mountains So Sublime (review).
If that list was not restricted to those published this year, I would have included The Face in the Mirror by Julian Paul Keenan (review), Nabokov’s Blues by Kurt Johnson and Steve Coates (review), and something that I’m currently reading: The Arcanum by Janet Gleeson (review forthcoming, but I can tell you right now, it’s a kickass book about Meissen porcelain).
3. And, do “best of” lists influence your reading?
Ha! I amuse myself by reading them, but no, they don’t influence my reading much. Unless your reading tastes align with mine, I suggest people go find books that they like on their own. Reading books which other people deem “good” (which on an individual basis may or may not be true) is a waste of time. Example: I would not pay attention to a list heavily weighted with Thomas Pynchon and other writers with his sort of style. If I did, I’d end up swearing off my book addiction.
Onesome: Angels– as tree topppers? …or spires? Stars? Bears? What do you like to use to set off that tree?
I don’t really have a preference.
Twosome: we have– heard you’re getting something special this year! Do you have any idea what any of your Christmas presents are going to be?
I’m at the age where I don’t really give a damn about presents anymore. (Although I must say that I never really gave much a damn before…) What’s wrong with just relaxing and spending time with your family?
Threesome: …heard– the worst Christmas song ever this year? Which one is it for you? I mean that one that even if Aunt Martha is playing it on Christmas Eve puts you out on the porch!
Er, all of them? Yeah, I know I sound like such a Bah Humbug on these questions, but I just can’t get up enough enthusiasm for something that remains the same year after year. I know it’s tradition, but tradition is boring.
Or maybe I’m just grumpy because I’m stuck in lab until almost the end.