2009 books in review

04 Jan

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout is the most readable literary award winning book I’ve come across.  I really enjoyed getting to know Olive.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. I really didn’t want to leave these off or pick between them, so I’ll just list them here:

Posted by on January 4, 2010 in blogging, books, summary


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14 responses to “2009 books in review

  1. sherry

    January 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    We have two books in common in our Best of 2009 lists. I’ll have to check out Last Night in Montreal as I keep spotting it in Top Books-type lists.

  2. novelwhore

    January 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    THE HELP was also on my 2009 best book list! I too would include GUERNSEY on an extended list…. and 2009 also marks the year I was first introduced to the Betsy-Tacy collection. They’re the best form of escapism to childhood. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Britt, Book Habitue

    January 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Awesome! I couldn’t make a “best of” list. Too indecisive… 😀

  4. Marce

    January 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Very nice reading year, hope you have the same or even better this year.

  5. Lisa

    January 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Emily St John Mandel’s got The Singer’s Gun coming out in March. I can’t wait to see if it’s as unique and if its characters are as interesting.

  6. nanscorner

    January 4, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Great list of books! I have to read The Help. I keep hearing about it.

    Happy reading!

  7. Sue

    January 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Wow, you read a lot of books this year! I haven’t tallied up my year yet or made my best of list, but I will definitely agree on a couple of your choices – The Help and Suzanne Collins’ books will certainly be on my favorites list, too.

    Enjoy a wonderful year of reading in 2010!


  8. Dominique

    January 4, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Interesting list, The Help and The Hunger Games made my 2009 favourites list too. 🙂

  9. Kim V

    January 5, 2010 at 6:14 am

    You did terrific — congrats! I need to read The Help — I keep hearing such wonderful things about it!

  10. kay

    January 6, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Great list! I’ve seen The Help on many “Best of 2009” lists, and I’m really thinking I should be reading it.

  11. nina

    January 9, 2010 at 5:58 am

    That’s awesome, but where do you get the time?

  12. Pam

    January 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Oh I loved Guernsey! Great list. Some things that not everyone mentioned on here.


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