Wednesday, January 03, 2007

And now it's time for the obligatory end of the year wrap up.

I read a grand total of 124 books this year (I'm sure Daisy will be along shortly to put that number to shame): 62 fiction, 20 non-fiction, 37 YA/Juv, and 5 short story collections (one of which was also YA). And one graphic novel, which I think I stuck in with non-fiction.

My 20 favorites (couldn't cut it down any further) in mostly chronological order of when I read them:

1. The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley
A nice mix of Charles Portis and Raymond Chandler that seems to come to an end in the middle of the book before the bottom drops out and everyone is sent of in a new direction that makes you reconsider everything that came before.

2. & 3. Wounded & Erasure by Percival Everett.
The first destroyed me and the second made me laugh. And vice versa. I read a good number of Everett's works this year and these two were the best.

4. Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn.
Love, love, love. Love Nick, love Norah, love Triss, love the bands and the clubs and the drag queens and the food and the kissing and the music and... yeah.

5. Intuition by Allegra Goodman
Powerful examination of the politics among medical researchers.

6. Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
I read a few Chandler novels this year and FML was my favorite, although on any other day it might be one of the others. I'm looking forward to finishing the rest of his books.

7. Come Closer by Sara Gran
Just thinking about this one still gives me the creeps. It's as much a metaphor of being trapped in marriage as it is a demonic possession thriller and it works just as well either way.

8. Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Some of the most realistic characters in YA.

9. & 10. Swann's Way & In The Shadow Of Young Girls In Flower by Marcel Proust
I've never read another book with which I've interacted so much. You don't so much read Proust as experience it. It's been disconcerting, to say the least, and I look forward to continuing the other volumes.

11. How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton
I loved how he broke down the main themes of Proust's works and applied them to everyday life. It's an unconventional self-help manual, but it works.

12. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
I read all of Dessen's excellent novels this year and I was tempted to chose Dreamland instead, but this one won out for sentimental reasons.

13. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
I debated putting this one on this list because it isn't my favorite by Moore, but I did enjoy it a lot so here it is.

14. But Enough About Me by Jancee Dunn
It could be the Vicodan haze I was in while reading it, but I thoroughly enjoyed Dunn's memoir.

15. Special Topics In Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
It definitely has its naysayers, but I raced through it with glee.

16. Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Another author I was excited to discover this year. I read quite a few of his books and there wasn't a bad one among them. But Winter's Bone stands above the rest, largely due to the wonderful and courageous Ree.

17. Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes
The new book I'll point to when someone questions the worth of chick-lit.

18. An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green
I have a bit of a crush on Hassan.

19. Hypocrite In A Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman
Very funny stories and essays that add up to a touching memoir.

20. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Of course. Thanks again, Claire!

Now, the resolution. I hereby resolve not to buy any new books (unless I'm attending an author event) and that I will actually read the books I've already bought.

We'll see how long that lasts...

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