Collection Manager, Cleveland Public Library
EAST: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
It’s tough to choose against the success of local resident Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife. Yet I was fascinated by Hillenbrand’s nonfiction account of survival, suffering and redemption of World War II Airman and prisoner of war Louis Zamperini. Hillenbrand’s writing can hold its own against any best selling thriller.
DOWNTOWN: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games, a blockbuster title of the 21st century’s first decade, is one of those young adult novels with enthusiastic crossover appeal for adult readers. Katniss Everdeen is a sympathetic character trapped in an impossible situation; she must use her warrior skills in a fight to the death. Despite overwhelming odds, Katniss kicks butt.
SOUTH: 11/22/63 by Stephen King
Gah! Can I submit a tie in this section?; Tomorrow I can easily choose Kathryn Stockett’s sensational work The Help. But for today I’m going with Stephen King’s hefty tale of time travel where an everyman character decides to change the course of modern history by preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy. King’s tone in describing a bygone era is pitch-perfect.
WEST: Malcolm X by Malcolm Marable
Here is my come-from-behind pick. I felt Malcolm Marable’s biography places emphasis on Malcolm X’s stance for social change during a turbulent era and brings to life a polarizing figure of the 1960’s. Malcolm X is close to becoming more of a myth than man and this work accurately refocuses on his fascinating life and assassination.
Winner: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins