Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2009 Reading Wrap Up

My 2009 Reading Wrap-up

  • Jan. 3rd, 2010 at 2:35 PM
While looking back on the 200 books I read in 2009, I found it fascinating how some of the books are still so vivid in my mind while there are others I’d forgotten that I read. The books that shine brightly for me feel like I just put them down yesterday, instead of many months ago. I read most of them in the second half of the year, as I had not hit 100 by July 1. A lot of reading happened in August, when Jace was away.

People have asked how I am able to read so many books. Yes, I do read pretty fast, plus I usually have more than one book going at a time. That allows me to pick and choose what to read depending on my mood or how tired I am. Books I call "brain fluff" are easier to handle when fatigued. You'd think after all these years, I'd know better than to pick up a thriller or mystery at bedtime, but no. There are still nights when I stay up almost to the hour my alarm is set to go off because I could not put a book down. It's hard to sleep when I want to know "whodunit."

By the Numbers
Total: 200
Number of books that I'd read before: 28
Non-Fiction: 13
Mysteries: 35
Romance: 55
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 57
Young Adult: 23
Anthologies/Short Story Collections: 11

I discovered several new authors (to me anyway) and series this year. I liked books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, she calls her books "historical horror" and they follow an ancient vampire through different periods of history. I finally tried Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" novels about a woman who is able to jump in and out of books. I discovered Georgette Heyer, who pioneered the historical romance genre, and loved the few titles of hers that I read, especially "Devil's Cub" and "The Grand Sophy."

Here are the Top 10 books (or authors) I read in 2009, in no particular order...

- "Love Walked In" and "Belong to Me" by Marissa de los Santos. (She's a poet, and her books have a lyrical quality that I admire, and she creates characters you fall in love with. "Belong to Me" is a sequel to "Love Walked In.")

- "Till There Was You" by Lynn Kurland. Kurland writes some great time travel romances. This one revisits characters from earlier books and introduces a whole new cast of characters that I hope there will be books written about. She's got a great back-catalogue of titles. Start with "A Dance Through Time."

- "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" by Alan Bradley is the introduction of a young British girl who is fascinated by chemistry and has an uncanny talent for getting herself in trouble and solving mysteries. The next book comes out this year.

- "Chosen By a Horse" by Susan Richards is a memoir of a woman with a rough past who adopts an abused horse. If you are half as horse-crazy as I am, this book will break your heart.

- "Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends" by William "Wild Bill" Guarnere and Edward "Babe" Heffron, with Robyn Post. Two men from Easy Company, whose story was shared in "Band of Brothers" share their side of the story.

- "Land of a Hundred Wonders" by Lesley Kagen. Kagen wrote "Whistling in the Dark," one of my favorite books from 2008. This one is part drama, part mystery and part romance, and it adds up to an incredible story.

- "What Happens in London" by Julia Quinn is another great romance and moved into my Top 3 favorite books by Quinn.

- "Let Me In" by John Ajvide Lindquist. The novel that the movie "Let the Rights Ones In" was based on. Creepy and horrifying and brilliant.

- "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay. The story jumps between modern day and World War II as an American journalist living in Paris tries to solve the mystery of what happens to a Jewish girl who once lived in the apartment the journalist's father-in-law grew up in.

- "Another Life" by Andrew Vachss - the final book in his Burke series. It is a dark series about a "family" of crooks with a vendetta against those who abuse children.

Honorable Mention - "An Echo in the Bone" by Diana Gabaldon, which might have ranked higher if she hadn't left readers dangling off so many cliffs. It's the latest in her series about Claire Randall Fraser, a World War II nurse who travels through time.

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