Saturday, December 26, 2009

Best Books Read in 2009

In the past I've always done a Top 10 list for my end-of-year recap. I've written several times this year how things have seemed lackluster or my reading hasn't been as impressive as previous years, so I decided to break my favorites down into categories as opposed to a grand Top 10 list. What I found is that my reading was very, very different this year than in years past. Perhaps that's why I feel dissatisfied. I'm experiencing a shift in tastes! While I've always posted a list populated by novels in past years, this year the favorites weigh heavily on the side of non-fiction, graphic/illustrated books, and adolescent fiction. There is only one literary fiction novel in the bunch. Holy crapoli! Without further ado:

Best Children's/Adolescent/Teen Fiction Read in 2009:

  • Lyddie, by Katherine Paterson
  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  • The Hunt for the Seventh, by Christine Morton-Shaw
  • Pretty Dead, by Francesca Lia Block
  • Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin

Best Graphic Novels/Illustrated Books Read in 2009

  • The Arrival, by Shaun Tan
  • Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan
  • Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi
  • Life Sucks, by Jessica Abel

Best Non-Fiction Read in 2009:

  • The Joy of Pregnancy, by Tori Kropp
  • The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy, by Vicki Iovine
  • It Sucked and Then I Cried, by Heather B. Armstrong
  • Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell
  • Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, by Anne Fadiman

Best (and One of Only Two) Contemporary Fiction Novel Read in 2009:

  • The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield
Only one NOVEL! I only really read TWO the whole year! No wonder I felt so out of place. I don't know if this indicates a shift in my tastes, a complete lack of patience or what, but it's really weird. However, I can't complain too darn much since I had so many winners in other areas. As you can see, I had a great year in teen/adolescent reading. My love for Gabrielle Zevin continues to grow, and I'm bound and determined to get back around to Suzanne Collins sooner than later.

On the graphic novel/illustrated book front, Shaun Tan is a clear winner. I totally love his style and quirkiness, and I can't wait to get more of his work in my hands.

Finally, pregnancy books are in the lead in non-fiction, and that's not surprising at all. Foodie books continue to be a growing favorite, and I have many more cool offerings on my shelves for 2010.

So there it is! My 2009 reading in a nutshell. I've reviewed almost all of these books and linked them in my sidebar, so please check 'em out if you're so inclined. Here's wishing all of you a great reading year in 2010, and I'm going to make a concerted effort to dive back into novels at some point. I miss 'em!


  1. I had a weird reading year, too, dominated by lots and lots of children's picture books and lots of classics.

  2. Nice. My reading year was pretty eclectic with lots of novels but different kinds of stuff. Great list!

  3. I got The Thirteenth Tale from Paberback Swap but haven't read it yet. Glad to hear you liked it! It looks really interesting.

  4. What? Only two novels all year? A friend lent me The Thirteenth Tale - I need to read it and get it back to her.

  5. Only 2 novels - that's unbelievable! I really enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale, too. I empathize with you feeling your reading has been lackluster - I'm afraid mine has been a bit too, and I've read more than ever before. Will post more about this soon!

  6. Deb, lots and lots of children's picture books sounds heavenly to my waning attention span. And I'm envious of your classics as well!

    Marie, I'm glad to hear you had an eclectic year. Those are always my favorite years, and I'm shooting for much more eclectic reading in 2010.

    Steph, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Simply wonderful!

    Kathy, I know! Isn't that crazy? I hope you love Thirteenth Tale as much as I did!

    Kailana, yay indeed! Triple yay/hooray!

    Tara, isn't that nuts??!! I'm glad to hear you had a good year as of the numbers, but a lackluster impression is always sort of unsettling. Looking forward to your post on this!

  7. Good for you for clearly not reading the same thing everyone else is! Sometimes book blogging can be dominated by current releases and fictions of all sorts, and it is a great thing to break free of the mold sometimes. And The Thirteenth Tale was a great read. Can't wait to see what the new year has in store for you. Happy reading!

  8. I'm glad you enjoyed "The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy" by Vicki Iovine. I liked that book. :)

    How are things coming along? Everyone healthy, I hope?


  9. I like The Thirteenth Tale a lot, too. Excellent book!

    I feel like my reading can be just as moody as the rest of me- maybe this just wasn't a novel year for you!

  10. You've only read two novels this year? Now that is surprising! I'm taking note of your graphic novels as I'm hoping to join the graphic novel challenge. And, lately I've been wanting to read some YA books too so taking note of those as well :)

  11. Am taking notes on your graphic and pre-teen reading. The first because I have joined the graphic novel challenge; the second because of my job (it does help to know what the kids are talking about). Looking forward to your choices for 2010!

  12. I can't wait to read Heather Armstrong's book. I love reading Dooce!

  13. Thank you, Frances! I like looking at it that way. :)

    MizB, everything is great! They were watching my blood pressure for a bit, but on my last visit, the doc said everything looks good, and I shouldn't spend any time worrying about it. Yay!

    Aarti, I'm a toooootal mood reader, and I'm dominated by my attention span, which has been short this year. Here's hoping for a bit more of a novel year in 2010!

    Iliana, I hope you enjoy them! There's some overlap between graphic novels and teen novels, too. I would categorize Tales from Outer Suburbia as illustrated short stories (that all go together) and also as a teen read.

    Thank you, DS! I hope any that you read from my list are enjoyable and helpful!

    Kathleen, it is hilarious and insightful, too. Very good book. :)

  14. I loved The Thirteenth Tale too. I'm glad to see that Heather Armstrong's book is good. I read her blog every day - I need to read her book now.

  15. I think there are so many "novels" out there it may be time to rethink our definition of one. They should paint a society and critique its values in some way. I just released Angela 1: Starting Over. I hope it qualifies as a novel, for teens and older. Only the readers will decide. To learn more, please click on my name and follow the link to my website. Thanks!

  16. Rachel, Heather Armstrong's book is hilarious and insightful. Just like the blog! I hope you enjoy it.

    David, thank you for that thoughtful advertisement.

  17. I so fell in love with Anne Fadiman's books this year. If you enjoyed Ex Libris I would definitely recommend At Large, At Small. It is more of the same witty book love.

    And Shaun Tan is the complete bomb! His books are a visual delight as well as a delight to read.

    And Thirteenth do I love that book. I need to give it a re-read since its been a couple of years now.

  18. Carl, I definitely intend to try more of Fadiman's work. I hope my library has At Large, At Small. If not, that might be one of my investments for my Nook. :) The Thirteenth Tale will definitely warrant a re-read in the future. It's very happy living on the keeper pile.

  19. I certainly hope to stumble upon both Fadiman books at a used bookstore sometime. I'd love to own them, especially since I've already got a desire to re-read them.

    You got a Nook, eh? I'm still not an e-reader fan, but I watched the advertisement in a BN store over Christmas and it was an engaging sales pitch. As far as the way it looked I was impressed.

  20. You had a life-changing year, which I anticipate you following up with another dramatic shift and then I'll bet 2011 will be a fairly normal reading year, unless he's a climber. Grayson, you said? I like that name.

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