Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Year of Books!

I don't know about you, but 2009 was not a great year for me, or for my family. I'm crossing all my fingers that 2010 will bring much more happiness!

As far as reading goes - 2009 went well. A grand total of 47 books - some good, some bad, some in-between. Here's the breakdown.

  • Best book of 2009 - Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. One of my favorite authors... of course she produced my favorite book of 2009. This was actually a recommendation from my boss and principal, Denise. It takes a great author to make you question your beliefs, and if you have not read this book, it's a five wine glass for sure. Take a vacation day and dig in!
  • Worst book of 2009 - Speak Softly, She Can Hear by Pam Lewis. Usually when I dislike a book, I just stop reading it. The way I figure it, life is too short to waste on crappy books. In this case, however, I was vacationing with my husband. I had brought two books with me - this one, and My Horizontal Life figuring they would be good poolside reading. Whereas I did enjoy My Horizontal Life, I thought Speak Softly, She Can Hear was horrible. If we had been near a bookstore I would have taken a solo trip to get something else. Left with no other options, and no Tivo, I was forced to finish this weak book. The main character was pathetic. I was bitching about her from page one. One wine glass. You can read it if you want, but DON'T buy it. And don't blame me when you hate it. (By the way - Something Borrowed Something Blue by Sandy Henrey was also awful. In case you were wondering...)
  • Guiltiest pleasure book of 2009 - OK. This actually bleeds into 2008 a little bit. I read the Twilight series. I knew I had to when I turned to the cello section during 7th grade orchestra and two girls in the violin section took books out from out of their chairs. If a book's so good my middle school students are grasping for spare moments in class... I had to check it out. Urged by then-7th graders Molly, Kim and Brenda I bought Twilight. I read it over a weekend. We were supposed to get a snowstorm Monday into Tuesday, and Sunday night I rushed out to get the rest of the series - just in case we had a snow day. I was hooked. The writing was not great, but the story was imaginative. You don't have to tell anyone you're reading it - but you should. You'll thank me later.
  • Fastest read - My Horizontal Life - A Collection of One-Night Stands by Chelsea Handler. Another gem from my summer getaway with my husband. This is the definition of beach reading. (Or in my case - poolside reading). You have to know what to expect. It's fluffy. There is nothing profound revealed in this book... but it's fun and funny. I read it in a day sunning myself by the pool, and while I was half watching the Red Sox that night.
  • Sloooooowest read - If you go by my records, it's The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was a great book! But it happened to fall at the beginning of the school year and that is a crazy time. It's nobody's fault. Just bad timing.
  • Biggest Letdown - Michelle Obama, First Lady of Hope by Elizabeth Lightfoot. If you know me at all, you know I'm a big Obama supporter. I was very excited about picking up this book - and it was not good. I didn't finish - and donated it to the Pelham Library. I don't think Lightfoot ever spoke to Michelle Obama in person. Let's start with that huge problem. It felt like I was reading a research paper. Disappointing.
  • Disclaimer - There are a handful of "Quilter" books on the list. I fully realize these are old lady books. I just think they're cute - and quick reads, and my Gram was reading them too. So... don't judge. Sometimes you need an easy read with nice scenery that you can discuss with your Grammy.

Those are the highlights. Look below for a full list. If something interests you, follow the link - I get a (very) small cut if you follow the link and buy through my astore.

Happy New Year! Let's make 2010 fantastic!

1. Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer
2. Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer
3. Michelle Obama, First Lady of Hope, Elizabeth Lightfoot
4. The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory
5. Something Borrowed Something Blue, Sandy Henrey
6. The Pilot's Wife, Anita Shreve
7. The Quilter's Apprentice, Jennifer Chiaverini
8. Good Harbor, Anita Diamant
9. Round Robin, Jennifer Chiaverini
10. The Cross-Country Quilters, Jennifer Chiaverini
11. The Runaway Quilt, Jennifer Chiaverini
12. Portrait of an Unknown Woman, Vanora Bennett
13. The Quilter's Legacy, Jennifer Chiaverini
14. Songs of the Humpback Whale, Jodi Picoult
15. The Master Quilter, Jennifer Chiaverini
16. Good in Bed, Jennifer Weiner
17. Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult
18. The Weight of Water, Anita Shreve
19. The Shining, Stephen King
20. The Sugar Camp Quilt, Jennifer Chiaverini
21. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls
22. The Boleyn Inheritance, Philippa Gregory
23. The Hotel New Hampshire, John Irving
24. The Art of Mending, Elizabeth Berg
25. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
26. In Her Shoes, Jennifer Weiner
27. Plain Truth, Jodi Picoult
28. The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
29. People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
30. The Year of Living Biblically - One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, A.J. Jacobs
31. Change of Heart, Jodi Picoult
32. Speak Softly, She Can Hear, Pam Lewis
33. My Horizontal Life - A Collection of One-Night Stands, Chelsea Handler
34. The Beach House, Jane Green
35. The Help, Kathryn Stockett
36. March, Geraldine Brooks
37. Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood
38. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving
39. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, Nathaniel Philbrick
40. On Writing, Stephen King
41. Malinche, Laura Esquivel
42. Look Me in the Eye: My Life With Asperger's, John Elder Robison
43. Mozart in the Jungle, Blair Tindall
44. Ordinary Life, Elizabeth Berg
45. La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture, Lily Prior
Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris (audiobook)
47. Harvesting the Heart, Jodi Picoult

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