Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Best Books of 2010

In case you missed a good read last year, here are some well-respected lists of the best of 2010, including fiction and non-fiction:

Publisher's Weekly

National Public Radio (NPR)

New York Times 

Barnes & Noble

A Real, Readable Mystery

The Scent of Rain and Lightning is a readable, subtle mystery-drama.  It begins with protagonist, Jody Linder, as she learns that the man sentenced for murdering her parents has been released from prison.  The narrative then unfolds, as we are taken back in time to Jody's childhood and what came before and after her parents' death.  As Pickard moves effortlessly between past and present, we begin to understand the family dynamic, and a budding, yet forbidden, relationship between Jody and the son of the accused murder. Like a good mystery should, the novel holds us until the very unpredictable end, when the evening of the murder is fully revealed.  What is further enjoyable is the recognizable mid-western landscape, and the way in which Pickard utilizes the landscape in combination with the acts of mother nature to create a larger metaphor.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning  follows Pickard's  well-reviewed The Virgin of Small Plains.