Books read 2009.

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It’s that time again. Though everybody else has migrated to GoodReads, I continue to post my book list here. Y’all, I just can’t keep up with something else. Meaning a GoodReads account. And I will be honest, reading has always been a solitary sort of experience for me. Even when I post my reviews here, I never really know what happens to them, if people take my advice or not. So the idea of community reading like that, it gives me pause. As always, if you’ve got a good argument for me to finally get an account, I will listen. But meanwhile, this is the list that I wrote down in my tiny notebook. It works for me. Inclusion on this list does not count as a recommendation, and a lack of review should not be considered as a lack of a recommendation. This year my goal was to average 10 books per month, and I am happy to say that I met it.

January
1. The Host by Stephenie Meyer (f)
2. Q & A by Vikas Swarup (f)
3. LeRoy and the Old Man by W.E. Butterworth (f) (Battle of the Books)
4. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (f) (Battle of the Books)
5. Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan (f)
6. My Cousin the Saint by Justin Catanoso (nf) (bookclub)
7. Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos (f)

February
8. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin (f)
9. The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas (f)
10. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (f) (Battle of the Books)
11. Sin Boldly by Cathleen Falsani (nf) (I didn’t write this one up, but Brandi did.)
12. Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez (f)
13. College Girl by Patricia Weitz (f)
14. Coraline by Neil Gaiman (f)
15. Tangerine by Edward Bloor (f) (Battle of the Books)
16. My Dog Skip by Willie Morris (f)
17. The ABCs of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro (f)
18. How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life by Kaavya Viswanathan (f)
19. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (f)
20. A Winter’s Love by Madeleine L’Engle (f)

March
21. The Girl With No Shadow by Joanne Harris (f)
22. The Reader by Bernard Schlink (f)
23. Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian (f) (bookclub)
24. Carolina Harmony by Marilyn Taylor McDowell (f)
25. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (f)
26. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (nf)
27. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (f)
28. Lady of the Snakes by Rachel Pastan (f)

April
29. Choosing My Religion by Stephen Dubner (nf)
30. The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters (nf)
31. Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan (f)
32. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (f) (reread) (audiobook – I listened to it while running)
33. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King (f) (reread)
34. A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King (f) (reread)
35. A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King (f) (reread)
36. The Moor by Laurie R. King (f) (reread)
37. O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King (f) (reread)
38. Justice Hall by Laurie R. King (f) (reread)
39. The Game by Laurie R. King (f) (reread)
40. Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King (f) (reread)
41. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith (f)

May
42. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (f)
43. The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King (f)
44. The Believers by Zoe Heller (f)
45. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (f)
46. The Fiction Class by Susan Breen (f)
47. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (f)
48. Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz (f)
49. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (f)
50. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson (f) (bookclub)
51. The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King (f)
52. Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies (nf)

June
53. The Song is You by Arthur Phillips (f)
54. Why Kids Can’t Read by Kylene Beers (nf)
55. A Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy by Charlotte Greig (f)
56. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (f)
57. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (f)
58. The Gathering by Anne Enright (f)
59. Peculiar Treasures by Robin Jones Gunn (f)
60. On a Whim by Robin Jones Gunn (f)
61. Coming Attractions by Robin Jones Gunn (f)
62. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (f) (bookclub)

July
63. Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch (f)
64. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister (f)
65. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (f)
66. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (f)
67. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim (f)
68. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (f)
69. Columbine by Dave Cullen (nf)
70. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (f)
71. Seven Loves by Valerie Trueblood (f)
72. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (f)

August
73. Little Bee by Chris Cleave (f)
74. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (f)
75. Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas (f)
76. Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti (f)
77. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (f)
78. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner (nf)
79. Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan (f)
80. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (f) (Battle of the Books)
81. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (f) (Battle of the Books)
82. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (f)
83. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (f) (reread) (yes, it was the British version)
84. Little Children by Tom Perotta (f)
85. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb (f)
86. The Enders Hotel by Brandon R. Schrand (nf)

September
87. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (f)
88. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (f) (reread)
89. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (f) (reread)
90. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (f)
91. Diary of a Witness by Catherine Ryan Hyde (f)
92. Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick (f) (Battle of the Books)
93. Going Bovine by Libba Bray (f)
94. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (f)
95. In the Kitchen by Monica Ali (f)
96. The Writing Class by Jincy Willet (f)

October
97. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (f)
98. Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner (f)
99. Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan (f)
100. A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle (f) (reread)
101. The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle (f) (reread)
102. The Monster Variations by Daniel Kraus (f)
103. The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith (f)
104. The Magicians by Lev Grossman (f)
105. A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper (f)
106. A House Like a Lotus by Madeleine L’Engle (f) (reread)
107. The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs (nf)

November
108. Jesus Girls edited by Hannah Faith Notess (nf)
109. The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt (f)
110. Swimming by Nicola Keegan (f)
111. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (f)
112. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (f)
113. Consider Lily by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt (f)
114. Joker One: A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood by Donovan Campbell (nf) (bookclub)
115. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (nf)
116. Blankets by Craig Thompson (f) (graphic novel)
117. SuperFreakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (nf)

December
118. Entertaining Disasters by Nancy Spiller (f)
119. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (f)
120. Sand Sharks by Margaret Maron (f)
121. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (f)
122. Fallen by Lauren Kate (f)
123. The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder (with Mike) (reread)
124. How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Sasa Stanisic (f)
125. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (f)
126. Scouting the Divine by Margaret Feinberg (nf)
127. Fat Cat by Robin Brande (f)
128. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett (f)

Some of my favorites, in no particular order:
The Girl With No Shadow by Joanne Harris
My Cousin the Saint by Justin Catanoso
The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Choosing My Religion by Stephen Dubner
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
Columbine by Dave Cullen

Top Ten for the Year (in no particular order):
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Jesus Girls edited by Hannah Faith Notess
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

I would also like to mention that one of my greatest reading pleasures this year was getting two people to read the Harry Potter series in its entirety. I got emails and text messages from them that were a joy to read, full of the excitement and anticipation that I remember about reading through the books (except they didn’t have to wait like some of us did, jerks). The other great pleasures that should be mentioned are my rereads of Laurie King’s Mary Russell series and of some of my favorite Madeleine L’Engle books. Those rereads, coming at just the right time, helped remind me that, indeed, books can be an axe for the frozen sea within us. Those are certainly books that helped thaw me out this year.

Previous book lists: 2005 2006 2007 2008

If you posted a book list, please link it in the comments, or at least tell me what your favorite was! Posting book lists is one of my favorite days of the year.

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