I read 65 books in 2009, including 20 children's or young adult chapter books (I didn't include history books, picture books, etc.) that I either read to my kids or taught in various literature classes.
It was a good year for reading, although I was often frustrated with myself for failing to read faster. I fell asleep too frequently during my allotted before-bed reading time. Someday I will again be a person who reads during the day, but for this season of my life, I must be content with my bedtime reading.
And so, out of those 45 "adult" books read, here are my favorites:
The Top 10
Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
Cutting for Stone (Abraham Verghese)
Day After Night (Anita Diamant)
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Shaffer and Barrows)
Other Side of the Bridge, The (Mary Lawson)
People of the Book (Geraldine Brooks)
Road, The (Cormac McCarthy)
Sarah's Key (Tatiana de Rosnay)
Skeletons at the Feast (Chris Bohjalian)
Prayers for Sale (Sandra Dallas)
It was hard for me to narrow this down. I had about eight other contenders for the Top 10 list, but I'm sticking with the list above. These are books that are especially memorable to me. They were well-written, poignant, and captured my attention and imagination more than the others.
And for my number one favorite novel of the year: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Part of the draw for me is the "sweeping epic" aspect of this novel. I love "sweeping epics" that span generations. A book like this gives me that sense of closure. Nearly all my questions as a reader were answered; the prose was perfect; and I felt truly satisfied upon finishing the novel.
Below are my two lists. Click on the titles for my reviews of nearly all these books. (A few of the children's books didn't get reviewed.) If the book as one or two asterisks** by the title, I can't really recommend it with any sort of enthusiasm.
The Whole List of Books Read in 2009