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Monday, December 31, 2012

Carin's Book of the Year 2012

Wow, this year it was a terrible hard decision. In fact, I had a different book listed for a while, but I had to go back and change it before it posted. I read several wonderful books this year. Should I pick the young adult novel that kept me reading, weeping, until the wee hours of the morning? What about the 1000+ page book that is my best friend's favorite book of all time, and when I finished with it, I wished it went on and on? Or the nonfiction book about feminism that I can't stop recommending to people and read in just 24 hours? Alas, I can't have a half a dozen best books, so here's the one that I think will stand the test of time:

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

I have used passages from this book as examples when explaining to my editorial clients how to show, not tell. It was beautiful, profound, simple and yet dealt with major issues (racism, prejudice). I read many, many passages aloud to my boyfriend while I read it, and it's the only book I recall that when he came home and I was early finished I ordered him to be quiet until I was done. It is like a wonderful Masterpiece Theater production -- very British and quiet, and yet lives on within you months afterward. Masterfully written, I find it utterly astonishing that it is the author's first book.

I hope Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali live long and happy lives. And I really hope someone at the BBC has bought the film rights! If you haven't yet, you must read this book!

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