Monday, December 21, 2009

Reading List for 2009

Every year I try to keep a reading list. It's interesting to see how many books I read and what I read. The fact is,I like mysteries. It's kind of a guilty pleasure after being brought up by an American lit professor. Mysteries were looked down upon, but then again my dad is the person who introduced me to Stephen King, but that's a different story. So here's my list for 2009. I'll probably add a couple more by the actual end of the year, but I thought I go on and list these. All are available on Amazon and most at your local library or through interlibrary loan. I don't buy fiction unless it's remarkably good.

In no particular order and with some commentary:

The Lady Elizabeth
The Johnstown Flood -- remembered seeing this one in my grandmother's collection sometime in the early '70s
Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs Novels)-- I really enjoy this series based on an early female criminologist in England between the World Wars
Speaker of Mandarin: An Inspector Wexford Mystery
Murder Short & Sweet
The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation
Marshmallows for Breakfast
The Help
The Chameleon's Shadow
Olive Kitteridge
The Magicians -- the WORST novel I read this year
The Doctor's Daughter
The Big Skinny: How I Changed My Fattitude
Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life -- the BEST nonfiction this year
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective
A Death in Belmont
Dark Places
How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else
Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 1)
Miscarriage of Justice
Payment in Blood (Inspector Lynley)
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Living Dead in Dallas (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 2)
Bleeding Heart Square
Summer Reading
The Laws of Harmony
Round Robin (Elm Creek Quilters Novels)
Sleeping Arrangements
A Prayer for the Dying
Uncommon Grounds
The Wednesday Letters
44 Scotland Street
Benny and Shrimp -- the strangest novel of the year
The Anatomy of Deception
Dexter By Design
The Suspect
Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office
The Front -- ok, maybe the WORST novel of the decade
A Place of Hiding
A Reliable Wife
Capote in Kansas: A Ghost Story
Duma Key
By Reason of Insanity
The Dead Hour
Home Safe
Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest To Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, Or Why Pie is Not The Answer
A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley)
House and Home
The Quilter's Apprentice
The Beautiful Stories of Life: Six Greeks Myths

I think that's 52 which is pretty good. I think I need more variety and I probably read more children's books than are listed here. It will be interesting to see how my reading patterns change in the coming year, now that I'm no longer working at the library. What were your favorite reads of the past year?


  1. My favorites so far: Ron Carlson, The Signal. It's completely different, literate fiction, it's a suspense story set around a love story that may be beyond redemption. Beautiful setting in the western mountains. LOVED IT. Carlson perfectly captures the brittleness of communication between the estranged husband and wife who have come out to the wilderness to go on one last camping trip together, for old times' sake.

    Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games. Part of a long line of apocalyptic, end-of-civiliation as we know it books, but very different. Interesting characters and a compelling line, I could not put it down. This is written for teenagers but I found it to be quite engaging.

    Lisa Genova, Still Alice. A fictional account of one woman's gradual descent into dementia. Scary but realistic.

    Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife. A mystery set in early 1900s Wisconsin. Very well done.

    George Dawes Green, Ravens. What happens in the Facebook age when a family wins the lottery but all their personal foibles are out there for the world to see? The con men can get a lot closer, that's what.

    Brilliant, by Marnie Davis Kellogg. The adventures of a jewel thief across Europe among the super-wealthy, are pretty much just waht the dr ordered for these difficult times. Pure and simple fun,

    Haven Kimmel, Iodine. (NOT recommended for those trying to cope with childhood abuse issues). But a good read. This book is written on many levels and makes you work to figure it out. It is sad and haunting and redemptive. It is beautifully written. And yes. there is also humor.

    Ben Mezrich, Accidental Billinaires. A book about the guys who founded Google. A great read.

    Thomas Perry, Runner. Jane Whitefield returns, and it's a lot more difficult post 9/11 to get good fake IDS that make sense. I've missed Jand; a new one makes me feel like I can wait again.

  2. I reread all of Jane Austen and then read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
    "Wives and Daughters"
    I also read the last of the Robert Jordan "Wheel of Time" series. I enjoy these but they are not fine literature by any stretch of the imagination.
    True Blood- funny until it got really icky towards the end.
    Twilight series (under duress)
    But those were all in the Fall- I didn't keep a written list this year. I did read a good bit of non-fiction.

    I received "City of Thieves" for christmas. Can't wait to get started.


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