The shortlist for the Guardian First Book Award includes two titles Goldsboro Books stock. This is our take on them.
The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet by Reif Larson
If these are only the selected works of T. S. Spivet then I am very keen to read the entire collection. This book is a delight.
We follow twelve-year-old, mapping genius, T. S. Spivet across country, from Montana to DC, to claim his place as the adult winner of prestigious museum the Smithsonian's Baird Award. But being twelve, and keeping the journey a secret from his family, at the same time as keeping his age a secret from the Smithsonian, makes this journey an adventure, and a perilous one at that.
The story would be enjoyable if you only had the text in a word document, however, you can not separate this narrative from the beautiful production and illustration of the book. I was totally transported to T. S's world, a world of mapping, loss, adventure and bravery. Through his mature, yet naive, twelve-year-old eyes I became a more considerate reader, absorbing every piece of information even hinted at, studying every diagram, and then getting carried away with the plot so turning back to read any asides I might have missed.
This book was not just a purchase but a gift from me to me. And, just to let you know, you have no idea what a map really is until you read this book!
The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey
This is a truly unique novel. For the first time, that I know of, Samantha Harvey has written a novel from the point of view of an Alzheimer's sufferer. And she pulls it off with incredible skill and style.
As Jake, her protagonist, slowly succumbs to the disease, so his memories fracture and his fact becomes fiction and his memories bleed into each other. But this novel is not a depressing one. It is a life affirming novel.
This wonderful and outstanding novel is one of the most thought-provoking novels of 2009.