Finally made out my Top 20 list, although I had to make it 21 because I just could. not. remove. any. more. titles from the list. I had already taken off The Age of Innocence, The Help, and Shanghai Girls, which was painful to say the least. I did include some ya/children’s titles as well, though, because they were just that good. Still, I probably left off at least ten 4.5 star books, but what’s the use of a top 30-35 list? It just must be narrowed down somehow.
I’m also working on a stats post, but that takes a little time so look for that later in the week.
I read a lot of great books in 2009. Really great. It’s too bad I didn’t review more of them. I’m still going to try to at least get to the ones on this list, though. I owe them that much. I just hope I have the same success in 2010 as well.
Anyway, in the list below, the first five are ranked, while the rest are in no particular order.
- The Houskeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (2009)
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (2007)
- So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba (1980-81)
- Unless by Carol Shields (2002)
- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
- Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (1891)
- The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (1931)
- Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (1999)
- The Remains of the Day by Ishiguro (1989)
- Fear and Trembling by Amelie Nothomb (1999)
- Solaris by Stanislaw Lem (1961)
- The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho (2006)
- Finn by Jon Clinch (2007)
- Petropolis by Anya Ulinich (2007)
- Intuition by Allegra Goodman (2006)
- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (2009)
- The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh (2004)
- The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland (2004)
- The First Part Last by Angela Johnson (2003)
- The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (2002)
- Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (1983)
How is it the middle of November already? It doesn’t seem possible. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, though. I’m probably going to Colorado to see my side of the family so that’s always exciting.
Since I didn’t have a Sunday Salon last week, I’ll go ahead and tell you what I’ve read so far this month instead of just this week. I’ve listened to quite a few audios lately because I’ve been feeling under the weather (hence the lack of posts). These included Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith, The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland, and The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti. And then I also read The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist. All of them were 4 or 4.5 stars. Just great books so far for the month of November.
I was most surprised by how much I appreciated The Forest Lover. I had seen mixed reviews on it, but I heartily recommend this fictional biographical look at one of Canada’s foremost female artists. I knew I would probably like The Unit because I’m fascinated by dystopian fiction, and I did. Dystopians always scare me but in a good way. Afterward I’m so appreciative of living under our own government (though, of course it has its flaws). And I always take great delight in Smith’s books, this one was the last (so far) of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective series, and I’m not at all getting tired of them yet. The Good Thief was entertaining as well — it was sort of a mix of Dickens and Twain. I will definitely be reading more of Tinti’s works.
I’m not sure what I’m going to take up next, perhaps something for the Women Unbound challenge. By the way, The Forest Lover would definitely qualify for the challenge, and you could make an argument for The Unit to count as well.
Have a great reading week!
I always enjoy the read-a-thon, and this one was no exception. I had a bit of a late start (really didn’t start reading until 10 am) and then crashed at 1am, so actually for the time I had available, I really did well. I had 15 hours that I participated, and I read just over 11. I do hope to hit the 15 hour mark in a future read-a-thon, though!
My strategy for any read-a-thon is really just to read as much as I can. I don’t do a lot of the mini-challenges just because I’d rather spend the time reading. I don’t visit other read-a-thoners very much during the read-a-thon, either, but I do enjoy going to everyone’s blogs the following day to see how they did and which books they read. It seems like quite a few people read the same books as I did, so it will be fun to compare notes.
Thank you organizers and cheerleaders for such a fun event!
Time spent reading: 672 total (11 hours 12 minutes)
Pages read: 772 pages total
1. Which hour was most daunting for you? The 19th hour. I fell asleep hoping to take a short nap, but my body demanded more.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I would definitely recommend the two books I read, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope, it was great as usual.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything!
5. How many books did you read? Two
6. What were the names of the books you read? The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
7. Which book did you enjoy most? Both
8. Which did you enjoy least? N/A
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/A
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Very likely. I’ve participated in every read-a-thon since the very first!
We had our first snow here yesterday. That is SO EARLY, and though no one else in my immediate family was happy about it, I was. To celebrate, I made some chili and let it simmer all day, and it was yummy, too. I love all seasons, and I especially love the first snowfall. It was so pretty with nice big flakes. I do feel bad for the farmers, though, which does include some of my family members. This snow sure didn’t help with getting the corn in.
This time of year is so great for reading. I love curling up with a book when it’s cold outside — especially if it’s for the R.I.P. Challenge. So far in October, I’ve already read four books for it (in addition to last month’s).
- Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
- Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
- Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
- The Inhabited World by David Long
I’m also in the middle of listening to The Historian on audio and really like it. It fits the mood of fall extremely well. Unfortunately, it’s on my computer so I can’t finish it until I get my new power cord. I’m now reading The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny that I got from the library, and since I always have to have an audio going, I’m listening to The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh. I’m really impressed with this book so far, and I now plan on reading Sea of Poppies (shortlisted for 2008′s Booker Prize) at some point as well.
I don’t think I’ll plan on reading the new Booker winner, Wolf Hall, anytime soon. I have too many other books to read for challenges at the moment. I will, however, be reading one of Herta Müller’s (the new Nobel laureate) works as it fits in with the German Challenge I’m doing. Has anyone else read Müller? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Happy reading this week!
I’m now winding down my time here at my ‘summer home’ in Kentucky and will be heading back to Iowa soon. I’ve enjoyed it — even all the work painting and getting this house ready to sell (again), but I have missed having internet access and being able to visit blogs and comment on them. I’ve gone to the library for my own blog postings, but just haven’t had much time for other book blog community activity. I HAVE had time to listen to lots of audio CDs while working and I’ve devoured some print books as well, most notably the Twilight series, some of Sookie Stackhouse, and some of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series, all of which need reviews!
Series books can be a comfort in that you already know the characters, but there’s also a danger sometimes, of the series going on too long and becoming dull. For instance, even though Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective series has 10 books, I’m not tired of them yet. I love them and have not tired of them in the least. I’m pretty sure I won’t complete the Sookie Stackhouse series, though, and I haven’t made up my mind yet on The Inspector Gamache series. Usually I can tell by the third book or so if I’ll continue or not. Of course, much of anyone’s delight in a series is simply a matter of a reader’s taste as well. Every reader and book blogger is so different, but that’s also what makes reading books (and blogs) exciting. When I find a book blogger that has very similar tastes to my own, I definitely take notice, but I also enjoy reading those blogs whose owners have different tastes from mine, so that I can at least be knowledgeable about what’s out there.
Book Blogger Appreciation Week is this week, and though I haven’t been able to spend as much time commenting on my favorite blogs as I’d like to, mostly because of lack of internet access, I hope you know that I do appreciate the book blogging community very much.
Here’s to all of you!
I read The Time Traveler’s Wife in 2006, and though I didn’t like some of the bad language in it, I absolutely LOVED the story. I think the movie was supposed to come out last fall, but it kept being pushed later and later, so I was a little worried about how it was going to turn out. But with Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana as the lead roles (two of my very favorite actors), I thought it couldn’t be too awful.
I really liked but didn’t quite love the movie. It was very emotional for me, just as the book was. Of course they changed some elements of the story (Gomez is all good in the film), but most of the movie was as good as I expected. The problem for me was that the beginning of it didn’t quite work for me. I’m not sure why, but I think they could have set up the storyline a little better than they did. Also, while Erica Bana was great,I didn’t like Rachel McAdam’s acting in parts — it was as if I could “see” her acting. I loved loved loved her in The Notebook, so I was surprised and disappointed in this. But, it was only in parts. In other sections of the movie I thought she was as fantastic as Bana.
My only caution is that if you haven’t read the book, it might be a little hard to follow. And if you haven’t yet read the book, I highly recommend you do so!