Monday, January 18, 2010

Books Read in 2009:

I compile a list every year of the books I managed to read. And even though I didn't start reading the classics until September, I decided to still post what I read last year.

Silver Bells: Luanne Rice
Thirteen Reasons Why: Jay Asher
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: J.K. Rowling
Joust: Mercedes Lackey
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban: J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: J.K. Rowling
The Freedom Writers’ Diary: Erin Gruwell
Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul
Alta: Mercedes Lackey
Sanctuary: Mercedes Lackey
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: J.K. Rowling
Blending Genre, Altering Style-Writing Multigenre Papers: Tom Romano
The 6 Most Important Decisions You will Ever Make: Sean Covey
The 6 Most Important Decisions Workbook: Sean Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens: Sean Covey

Aerie: Mercedes Lackey
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: J.K. Rowling
Stonefather: Orson Scott Card
High School Confidential-Secrets of an Undercover Student: Jeremy Iversen
The Tales of Beedle the Bard: J.K. Rowling
The Forest of Hands and Teeth: Carrie Ryan
Hunted: P.C. and Kristen Cast
McKettrick’s Luck: Linda Lael Miller
Dragonspell: Donita K. Paul
McKettrick’s Pride: Linda Lael Miller
McKettrick’s Heart: Linda Lael Miller


The Highland Groom: Sarah Gabriel
Light of the Moon: Luanne Rice
What Matters Most: Luanne Rice
Outlander: Diana Gabaldon
Dragonfly in Amber: Diana Gabaldon
Voyager: Diana Gabaldon
Drums of Autumn: Diana Gabaldon

The Fiery Cross: Diana Gabaldon
A Breath of Snow and Ashes: Diana Gabaldon
Prayers for Sale: Sandra Dallas
Ghostland: Jory Strong

The Tory Widow: Christine Blevins
The Swan Maiden: Jules Watson
A Great and Terrible Beauty: Libba Bray
Rebel Angels: Libba Bray
The Sweet Far Thing: Libba Bray
Youth in Revolt: C.D. Payne
Dragonquest: Donita K. Paul
Dragonknight: Donita K. Paul
Dragonfire: Donita K. Paul
Dragonlight: Donita K. Paul

Neverwhere: Neil Gaiman
Dragon Champion: E.E. Knight
Dragon Avenger: E.E. Knight
The Road: Cormac McCarthy
Interpreter of Maladies: Jhumpa Lahiri
Dragon Outcast: E.E. Knight
Dragon Strike: E.E. Knight
Vision in White: Nora Roberts
Chosen: Ted Dekker
Infidelt: Ted Dekker

Renegade: Ted Dekker
Lock and Key: Sarah Dessen
Chaos: Ted Dekker
The Hunger Games: Suzanne Collins
Ranger’s Apprentice-The Siege of Macindaw: John Flanagan
Lunatic: Ted Dekker
Elyon: Ted Dekker
The Onion Girl: Charles DeLint
Eyes Like Stars: Lisa Mantchev
A Northern Light: Jennifer Donnelly
Wildwood Dancing: Juliet Marillier
Cybele’s Secret: Juliet Marillier
Night World No. 1: L.J. Smith
Chalice: Robin McKinley

Catching Fire: Suzanne Collins
The Odyssey: Homer
Crime and Punishment: Fyodor Dostoevsky
A Room with a View: E.M. Forster
Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen

Much Ado About Nothing: William Shakespeare
Frankenstein: Mary Shelley
The Fellowship of the Ring: J.R.R. Tolkein
The Two Towers: J.R.R. Tolkein
The Return of the King: J.R.R. Tolkein
The Old Man and the Sea: Ernest Hemingway

McTeague: Frank Norris
Great Expectations: Charles Dickens
The Bluest Eye: Toni Morrison
The Stranger: Albert Camus

Germinal: Emile Zola
Watership Down: Richard Adams

I read a grand total of 90 books last year, which is 10 less than I would have liked. There is something about hitting the magical 100 that just makes me happy. You can see that I slowed down quite a bit in the last few months. I hope to change that this year.

My LEAST favorites of the year included:
  • High School Confidential by Jeremy Iversen: Basically Iversen goes undercover as a high school student. This book details his time in a California public school. While interesting, I gained nothing new from it. Iversen outs the district and parents for allowing their students to drink, party, and do drugs, but offers nothing new to the conversation.
  • Ghostland by Jory Strong: I honestly don't know why I bought this. Reading the back blurb offers nothing. It was horribly smutty and had no basis for a plotline.
  • Dragon Champion (et. al) by E.E. Knight: While I read through the entire series, it was a chore at times. The opening scene of the first book depicts the main character killing off his siblings. It is really hard to sympathize with a character like that. It also moves to slow and the timing/spacing is inconsistent.
  • The Lost Books Series by Ted Dekker: I read all 6 books. And while I enjoyed the first 2, I couldn't figure out what was going on in the last 4. I kept reading, hoping that I would be told. I never was. Horrible choppy writing also ruined anything these books could have offered.
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Did you really think I would leave this off the list? I hate Dickens. And this is why.

My favorites of the year included:

  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: A girl commits suicide and leaves behind a box of tapes that chronicle the 13 reasons (people) why. As each individual receives the tapes, they have to listen to her lay blame on those people knowing that everyone else has heard. I read this after I caught a student (who never read in class) diving into this novel. I read it in one sitting and it has haunted me ever since.
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: While the rest of the series sucked me in as well, the first novel is by far my favorite. I love the rich historical setting, the characters...everything. My mom recommended this to me and I am grateful she did.
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy: A man and his son are traveling along a road in a post-apocalyptic world filled with cannibals and evil. Together, they fight for survival and the hope that at the end of the road they will find something better, something worth living for. Again, haunting.
  • Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen: I have come to expect great things from Dessen and she has yet to let me down. Whereas other young adult novels for females seem to be flighty, hers are always deep and meaningful. This novel portrays a girl abandoned by her mother and sent to live with her estranged sister and her husband. As she starts a new school, she comes to learna great deal about her past and present and how to let others in.
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I put off reading this for as long as possible because I KNEW I would love it and I knew it was a series that was unfinished. But this novel was amazing. Violent and well-written, it is a thriller that makes the read question government and the people around you.
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky: My second book in my classics challenge was supposed to be one I just got over with. But I ended up loving the rich depiction of a man who thinks that committing the murder of a hated individual can be justified.

And the number 1 book of 2009?

Germinal by Emile Zola.

Hands down, Zola's novel about the plight of a mining town and their strike touched me the most of anything else I read this year. I have made myself a promise that after I get through this current list, I will grabbing more of Zola's work to read. The images and descriptions are still CLEAR in my head. Go out and get a copy of this as soon as you can.


  1. Our house is so empty without all your books. Of course we miss you, but could not be happier for you and Matt. All our love and can't wait for your posts for the coming year. Love, Mom

  2. I just found your blog, and I really love what I've read so far. The wide variety of books is great, and it has a lot about work I haven't yet read. Plus the reviews seem well thought out and articulate. Keep up the good work! (And I completely agree with you on Great Ex.)