Most of these books came to my attention through the book blogging community, but The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery is an old favorite that I've never owned. Drood by Dan Simmons won't be out until February, but that doesn't stop me from wanting it now. Perhaps you'll find a good gift suggestion for someone on your list among my selections. (And, if you're a brave soul, you can check out my entire Amazon wish list. At close to 200 items, it's not for the faint of heart.)
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends -- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.
Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.
This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.
Paper Towns by John Green
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.
After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.
The Last Nightingale by Anthony Flacco
San Francisco, 1906. The great West Coast city is a center of industry and excitement–and also, to many, of sin. When the Great Earthquake hits, some believe it is the day of reckoning for the immoral masses.
Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Shane Nightingale is witness to the violent deaths of his adoptive mother and sisters–not from the earthquake, but at the hands of a serial killer. As Shane wanders the city appearing to be just another anonymous orphan, he keeps what he has seen a secret. But when his path crosses that of Sergeant Randall Blackburn, who is in pursuit of the killer, the two become an investigative team that will use both a youth’s intuitive gifts and a policeman’s new deductive techniques and crime-fighting tools to unmask a vicious murderer whose fury can be as intense as that of Mother Nature herself.
The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox
A cold October night, 1854. In a dark passageway, an innocent man is stabbed to death.
So begins the extraordinary story of Edward Glyver, book lover, scholar and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. This seems the stuff of dreams, until a chance discovery convinces Glyver that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. And he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he now knows is rightfully his.
Glyver's path leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England's most enchanting country houses. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driving Glyver irresistibly onwards, is his deadly rival: the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt.
When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.
Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets.
Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse.
Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.
The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery
Sara Stanley is only fourteen, but she can weave tales that are impossible to resist. In the charming town of Carlisle, children and grown-ups alike flock from miles around to hear her spellbinding tales. And when Bev King and his younger brother Felix arrive for the summer, they, too, are captivated by the Story Girl. Whether she's leading them on exciting misadventure or narrating timeless stories—from the scary "Tale of the Family Ghost" to the fanciful "How Kissing Was Discovered" to the bittersweet "The Blue Chest of Rachel Ward"—the Story Girl has her audience hanging on every word.
The Complete X-Files by Chris Carter & Matt Hurwitz
The Complete X-Files is a declassified look at all nine seasons of the American Peabody and Emmy Award-winning science fiction television series created by Chris Carter. Delve into the mystery and myth of X-Files with in-depth looks at its entire television run, the first X-Files film, and the upcoming cinematic sequel. X-Files creator and producer Chris Carter takes us into the never-before-seen archives with explanations of unsolved plots, discussions of the FBI's paranormal investigations, scene by scene breakdowns of popular episodes, and insider information on both the previous and upcoming X-Files films. The Complete X-Files will captivate fans and science fiction audiences, proving that nothing is what it seems and that "the truth is out there."
Drood by Dan Simmons
On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens--at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world and perhaps in the history of the world--hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever.
Did Dickens begin living a dark double life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London mere research . . . or something more terrifying?
The Week in Reviews:
The Lighthouse Children by Syd Hoff
Grit for the Oyster by Suzanne Woods Fisher et al.
Doctor Who: The Doctor Trap by Simon Messingham
Dead Ringer by Mary Burton
The American Journey of Barack Obama by The Editors of LIFE Magazine