I read 151 books in 2009. 89 of these were on paper, 62 were audiobooks. I significantly exceeded my goals for the year, which worked out to about 50 paper, 25 audiobooks.
Although I expect to keep reading much as I have been, I’m keeping the same goals– one paper book a week most weeks, an audiobook about every two weeks. I hope to read more, but it’s OK if I don’t.
I read a LOT of good books last year, and I wanted to call out a few of my favorites. These aren’t necessarily the ones that had the highest ratings at the time, but they’ve stuck with me through the year. They weren’t necessarily published in 2009, but that’s when I read them.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett is my top audiobook for the year. It is overall an amazing book, with outstanding characters and a great story to tell. I was a little nervous going in, since I don’t always enjoy books about serious issues. This one delivered all around.
- The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins have my votes for best general appeal. I bought multiple copies for Christmas presents, including a gift exchange where I didn’t know who would end up with it. These also worked very well in audio.
- The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison was the book that best delivered words I needed to hear, while being beautifully written and still enjoyable to read.
- Betsy and the Great World by Maude Hart Lovelace (and the rest of the Betsy-Tacy books) made me wish I’d discovered them earlier. I actually had read the first four (about Betsy as a young child) with my daughter, and we liked them a lot, but I was completely unaware of the books taking Betsy from a teenager to adulthood.
- Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout is the most readable literary award winning book I’ve come across. I really enjoyed getting to know Olive.
- The Language of Bees is the latest book in my favorite series, Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell books. I’m really looking forward to the next book, coming out in April 2010.
- 31 Hours by Masha Hamilton was a book that looked inside the life of a very ordinary young man, someone you could know. He’s confused about the world, and has decided that he needs to deliver a message. This is a book that is much more readable than I expected from the description, but still delivers a major impact that has really stuck with me.
- Little Brother by Cory Doctorow and The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale are two very different books which were 5 star reads for me, but I can recognize they might not be as objectively high quality as the others on this list. They each were very good, and had appeal for me in particular.
- I really didn’t want to leave these off or pick between them, so I’ll just list them here: