Friday, January 22, 2010

2009 books list

Here's the list of books I read in 2009, divided into genre categories for your convenience. Looking at this list, I'm most impressed with my efforts to diversify my reading list. Normally, I would probably read almost all YA/Science Fiction/Fantasy books, just because I like them. But since finishing with school, I've made a real effort to read at least the occasional classic or nonfiction book. Nonfiction is 1/6th of my reading list this year! Go me.

I've starred the ones I like the best, for those looking for recommendations.

Nonfiction:

The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure - Catherine Blyth
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World - Niall Ferguson
*Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States) - James M. McPherson
*Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs - Ken Jennings
Chrysler: The Life and Times of an Automotive Genius - Vincent Curcio
*Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer - James L. Swanson

Classics:

Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
*Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
The Island of Dr. Moreau - H.G. Wells
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Emmuska Orczy
*To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (Technically a re-read, but it'd been a long time.)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum
The Marvelous Land of Oz - L. Frank Baum
Ozma of Oz - L. Frank Baum
The Road to Oz - L. Frank Baum
Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum

YA (science fiction/fantasy):

*Book of a Thousand Days - Shannon Hale
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn - Alison Goodman
*Eva - Peter Dickinson
Graceling - Kristin Cashore
*The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
*Unwind - Neal Shusterman

Science Fiction:

*Agent to the Stars - John Scalzi
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
Warrior's Apprentice - Lois McMaster Bujold

Fantasy:

Elantris - Brandon Sanderson
*Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book Two) - Brandon Sanderson
Hero of Ages: Book Three of Mistborn - Brandon Sanderson
*Warbreaker - Brandon Sanderson
The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss

Historical Fiction:

*Agincourt: A Novel - Bernard Cornwell
Genghis: Birth of an Empire - Conn Iggulden
*The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer
*The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley

Other:

Atonement - Ian McEwan
Handle with Care: A Novel - Jodi Picoult
Inferno - Larry Niven
The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel - Diane Setterfield


Some things I learned from this list:

*However culturally significant the Oz books are, they're really not that good. Just watch the movie again.
*Chrysler was the dullest personality in HIS OWN BIOGRAPHY. I really should have read about Henry Ford, instead. (Seriously. Do NOT read that Chrysler book. It took a massive amount of willpower to finish it.)
*Brainiac is a fun read and well-written book, but it will make you obnoxious for several weeks after as you try to work trivia you learned from the book into conversation. I read it just before Thanksgiving, and would like to apologize to my entire family. I was pretty obnoxious.
*I really don't like Jodi Picoult books. I'm not sure why I keep reading them. (They always come highly recommended and start out well, but I always want to punch the author at the end.)

Anyway, back to work! And if anybody has any recommendations for me to read this year, I'm all ears!

1 comment:

Tyler & Rose-Ellen said...

I just finished Hunger Games and liked it- have you read the sequels? I'm not sure if the third one is out or just about to come out...I'm wondering if the series is as good as the first. I've been disappointed by most book series.

Also I liked the first 2 or 3 Piccoult books I read, but then I found her to be predictable despite the ridiculous complications in the books. Like she uses one outline for all the books. There are some authors I like a lot better if I DON'T read all their books.