With the movie adaptation packing theaters and the trade paperback climbing the lists, Life of Pi is once again showing its charming smile. A boy and a Bengal tiger trapped in a rowboat for 227 days, on the shark infested seas makes for an adventure for readers of all ages. Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, Pi Patel’s journey returns to its best-seller status ten years later. It would seem that Pi himself had some of the same items on his holiday gift list as we do: “My greatest wish–other than salvation–was to have a book. A long book with a never-ending story. One that I could read again and again, with new eyes and fresh understanding each time.” Bonus if you are downloading: less than five bucks for Kindle although traditional publishers would’ve liked it to remain at sixteen!
Whether you enjoyed Life of Pi in ‘02 or are just meeting it in ’12, check out some more eclectic epics this season:
The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders sits prettily at number nine on IndieReader’s “List Where Indies Count” and promises a journey of its own. This journey is emotional and frustrating and will keep you reading into the snowy nights. From Amazon “All Alessandro de Lucci wants from his wife is a son but after a year and a half of unhappiness and disillusionment, all Theresa de Lucci wants from her ice cold husband is a divorce. Unfortunate timing, since Theresa is about to discover that she’s finally pregnant and Alessandro is about to discover that he isn’t willing to lose Theresa.” If you enjoyed the way Pi makes due with his tiger, check out the de Lucci saga.
Jardi’s Journey by Gaye G. Fowler is the story of a butterfly’s life.
Jardi meets many other creatures along the way and makes both friends and enemies—pretty deep for a butterfly, and butterflies only live for an average of two weeks! This is a lighthearted tale of bugs and birds that will whisk you away just like a boy and a tiger on the open seas. See Jardi transform from crawling caterpillar to beautiful creature and forget about life for a while.
The Golden Ball by Katelyn Sinclair is an 2012 IRDA Winner and a fairytale for all ages.
Based on the idea that there are two sides to every story comes a charming look through another set of eyes: froggy ones!
We usually get the idea of how the princess feels when looking at the once upon a time stories and this is a refreshing change indeed. Read the frog’s side of things with your kids or enjoy it amongst yourselves—either way, it’s a treat. Boasting sweet illustrations and intelligent (but not bossy) vocabulary, this book bridges the gap between being read to and reading ages. Open stocking, insert frog.
Parts North by Kevin Cohen takes place in a rural setting where the focus is on a father and son who have barely known each other as dad Quinton has been in jail and son Newland debates picking up and starting anew before he gets attached. Just like Pi Patel in his boat wishes for a book and has a tiger to contend with, Quinton and Newland face some peril of their own: specifically in the worlds of safe cracking, harness racing and paper making. The story is set in the White Mountains near Nezinscot, Maine and boasts a large family cast of characters who never fail to keep it interesting. Read on!
Me by Yuaziiqann is the story of a young man. It begins in Ghana and then smashes into the streets of New York, where Aaron stumbles broke and on the verge of dying and we are thrown into the last minutes of it all. From Amazon: “Cold, shivering and numb, Aaron crouches on a steep fire-escape, hoping and praying as a bullet speeds his way. His body is shock-frozen but his mind races on through the fuzzy jungle of thinly stored memories. He sees everything, his entire life flashing before his eyes. The highs, the lows, the heart breaks, the bitter spells and the many capricious twists and turns of his short existence.” If that’s not enough to get you reading, gift it to another adventurous reader in your life.
Parable by S.A. Williams is the story of Sam, a troubled young man with choices to make.
A friend warns Sam he is headed down a treacherous road but it’s up to Sam to hear him. This is a short story, one with personality and decisions that need to be made. Additional perks include the price: a buck on Amazon, and the fresh new voice of an author you most likely haven’t read yet.
Wallbanger by Alice Clayton is the book your friend tells you about after hearing about it from her friend and so on. It has a theme that we can’t ignore: the lack of O. The Big O that is. Caroline Reynolds is beyond frustrated. She has everything she needs; except sexual satisfaction. She also has neighbors who are loud, blatantly climaxing, well… wall bangers. When Caroline meets Simon Parker, she is in for a surprise. Storming next door at the height of her frustration has an interesting outcome indeed—especially since she was scantily clad and the noise that prompted her to arrive was well… wall banging. You get the idea—now get the book.
Each of these titles are a journey of some kind. Whether for happiness, soul searching, growing wings or diving deep into the darkness within, there is something for everyone here. If you enjoyed Pi Patel’s escapades with Richard Parker, you can happily lose yourself in all of the above.
Grab your comfy socks and snuggle up fireside with some cocoa (or maybe Pinot Noir if reading you’re Wallbanger). Either way you won’t be disappointed. Bring your reading glasses (if you need them!) and place a cozy blanket nearby. It’s time to relax and enjoy the ride.