Sunday, January 03, 2010

A plea for amnesty & my best of 2009

This year just got away from me. Maybe I needed a break from blogging, maybe I got distracted by shiny new social media tools. Who knows? Anyway. I'd promise to keep up from now on, but I'd hate to make myself a liar. I will promise to try though.

In the meantime, here's my 2009 rundown:

This year my numbers were way down from last year's. I only read 108 books: 53 adult fiction, 38 young adult fiction, 15 non-fiction, and 2 graphic novels.

My favorite 16 of the year in the order I read them:

1. Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway. This one was just so much FUN. I laughed out loud many times and even made a playlist of all the songs mentioned or quoted.

2. The Likeness by Tana French. I enjoyed both of Tana French's books, but this one was an awesome mix of Daphne Du Maurier and Donna Tartt.

3. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach. This was a hilarious yet respectful look at the history of sex research and its current status.

4. & 5. The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. One of the best YA series out there right now. These were just awesome. I can't wait to find out how it ends!

6. Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky. I was hooked from the opening scene of a small group of people trying to save a dumpster full of Yiddish books before the rain could destroy them.

7. Persuasion by Jane Austen. I can't believe I hadn't read this before now. Loved it completely.

8. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. I've had this book sitting on my shelf ever since it came out, but didn't get around to reading it until this year. I'm kicking myself for being stupid because it was utterly delightful and engrossing.

9. Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town by Warren St. John. This was a pretty strong year for me and non-fiction. I loved reading about this town full of refugees and the woman who decided these kids needed a soccer team.

10. Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis. Just fun and silly. Mame is one of the greatest characters ever written.

11. & 12. Home Cooking and More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin. I love Laurie Colwin's breezy tone when writing about food. She's just as eager to share her mishaps as she is her triumphs. Bonus: all the recipes sound amazing.

13. Anathem Neal Stephenson. Another one I've had on my shelf for a while (I've found vacations are excellent for tackling thick paperbacks). It was a little tough to get into at the beginning, but once I got used to the world and the jargon the massive philosophical and mathematical undertaking swept me away.

14. The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge. Warning: this book may make you cry in public. I love the intricacy of the society depicted in this book and how the author works it all in without sacrificing one hell of an adventure story.

15. Born To Run: : A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. A great non-fiction book that taught me about a sport I had no idea existed.

16. His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik. This is the first book of a very entertaining series about the Napoleonic wars. With dragons.

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