Book #26 was "Empty Cradle: The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson" by Emmy Jackson. I've read several really, really good books by self-publishers or tiny presses, and it's making me re-assess my instinct to sneer at self-publishing. This is a really good case in point. The book is self-published by a friendly acquaintance who makes a living from writing non-fiction, so I knew the basics of grammar and organization would be good, but it also has complicated, realistic characters, fast pacing, exciting conflicts, well-drawn scenes and just about anything else you could ask for in a blockbuster novel. The story takes place in an apocalyptic near future where many women have been rendered infertile by a mysterious disease called "Empty Cradle." The main character, Ivy, is a scavenger who is looking for her long-lost twin, and she brings several fellow travelers with her on a cross-country trip. I had a few small criticisms of the book, including the fact that the headline telegraphs a major plot point in advance, but overall, I really liked it and am looking forward to picking up the sequel; the author is planning a trilogy set in the same universe.
1. Blue Light [fiction]- Walter Mosley
2. Titus Alone [fiction]- Mervyn Peake
3. "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" [non-fiction]- Beverly Tatum
4. Never Let Me Go [fiction]- Kazuo Ishiguro
5. The Jehovah Contract [fiction]- Victor Koman
6. When the Phone Rings, My Bed Shakes: The Memoirs of a Deaf Doctor [non-fiction/memoir]- Philip Zazove
7. The Foreign Student [fiction]- Susan Choi
8. V for Vendetta [fiction/graphic novel]- Alan Moore and David Lloyd
9. City at the End of Time [fiction]- Greg Bear (unabridged audiobook)
10. Figuring: The Joy of Numbers [non-fiction]- Shakuntala Devi
11. Towing Jehovah [fiction]- James Morrow.
12. Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just [non-fiction]- Keith R. Manning
13. The Finster Effect [fiction]- Wednesday Lee Friday
14. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America [non-fiction]- Ronald Takaki.
15. The autobiography of my mother [fiction]- Jamaica Kincaid
16. Death du Jour [fiction]- Kathy Reichs (unabridged audiobook)
17. What Is My Cat Thinking?: The Essential Guide to Understanding Pet Behavior [non-fiction]- Gwen Bailey
18. God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything [non-fiction]- Christopher Hitchens (unabridged audiobook)
19. History of the Philippines: From Indios Bravos to Filipinos [non-fiction]- Luis Francia
20. Feynman [non-fiction/graphic memoir]- Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick.
21. The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson & the Olympians series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
22. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World [fiction]- Haruki Murakami
23. Slowing Down to the Speed of Life [non-fiction]- Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey
24. Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors [non-fiction]- Lizzie Collingham