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project 365 – day 2: best books of 2009

8 January 2010

I read an average of 3 books of month –sometimes more, sometimes less.  So I approximate that to about 36 books a year.  I’ve read so many books that I really don’t remember some of the titles of what I’ve read; I have sometimes re-read something by accident.  I realize by the 3rd or 4th page that I’ve already read a story before! 

I do, however, remember books that have struck a chord in me one way or another.  I remember books that were just fun to read, books that were beautifully written, or books that had such an engrossing story that to this day I wonder what happened to the characters (as if they were real people).  Here’s a handful of memorable books I read in 2009 (not in any particular order) that I highly recommend reading.  The synopsis will be brief, but I will tell you why I liked it. 

  1. In a Perfect World by Laura Kasische: this book is certainly thought-provoking, engrossing, and beautifully written.  It’s about a woman dealing with a new marriage, stepchildren, and the influx of the “Phoenix Flu” that is slowly changing the world around her. 
  2. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist:  Oskar, a lonely, bullied boy finally makes a friend –but Eli only comes out at night, and needs a bit of blood to feed on!  There is a lot of suspense in this one (think film noir); but what makes it so poignant is the focus on the friendship between Oskar and Eli.
  3. The Pretend Bride by Bridget Asher: I liked this story because you can totally relate to it.  In a nutshell, it’s about a married woman who wonders about what her life could-have-been.  It’s not a literary classic by any means, but it’s a fun and quick read.
  4. Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz:  Oh no! Not another vampire series…ah but yes!  And totally different than Twilight, etc.  de la Cruz has an awesome fresh take on the vampire mythology, and her vampires are young and gorgeous.  Think vampires-meets-Gossip Girl and Sex in the City.  Witty writing, stylish settings, and a cool story all wrapped up into one.
  5. The Blue Notebook by James Levine: this novel is written from the point of view of Batuk, a 15-year old Indian girl whose parents have sold her into sexual slavery.  Levine captures her thoughts perfectly;  you’ll be instantly transported into her sad, sad, world.  The story is obviously depressing (really, it’ll break your heart), but it’s still a wonderful read. 
  6. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld: I was wary about reading another Sittenfeld novel since her protagonist in “Prep” annoyed me to hell.  This book is wholly different.  It’s a fictionalized life story of a very familiar first wife.  Very entertaining.  Read it!
  7. Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar: I’m cheating since this is actually a book I read in late 2008, but it’s so darn cool that I’m recommending it to everyone!  It’s about Kalix, a teenage werewolf princess who is outcast from her home and ends up living with two teens in London.  This story comes complete with fairies, demons, punk bands, oh my!  A description can’t do it justice, so read it for yourself!

I’ll leave you with a notable “Don’t” read:  I was sorely disappointed by Audrey Niffenegger’s latest novel Her Fearful Symmetry.  It was so promising but left me just scratching my head.  I’m usually fond of ghosts and reincarnation and all that, but this novel was sooooo slow and it lead to absolutely nothing!  Well, nothing meaning the end was written pretty much non-descriptly (is that even a word?) that you miss the “splash!” it was supposed to create.  It’s definitely a library book, not a book to own.

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11 comments

  1. I am so glad I read your reviews. Was about to buy the Niffenegger book! I’m going to scour the bookstores for your other suggestions. Yayness!
    PS. By the way, I will indeed make you a compilation cd! It may take some time to get there (my baby is an expert at time suckage) but by god I will send you one. Yayness again!


    • Kala! Yippee!! Music from France! I’m expecting a 5-volume compilation from you! 😉 Can you include some Moriarty in there? I saw there stuff thru your blog and am intrigued! You know, I am just now discovering The Cribs?! Where have I been?!

      Btw, you should still buy Niffenegger’s book. It is good, but def. not the Time Traveller’s Wife.


  2. I was absorbed pretty much by Lauren K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris this past year. All fun, lightning quick reads but sensual (okay, sexual). I loved them! They balanced my textbooks very well.

    I hated the protagonist from Prep too.


    • Hey Tin!I shouldve put Harris’ series too but I read those in ’08. I did read her latest one. They are so much fun –I wish she hooked up w/ Alcide though ;). As for Hamilton, I was engrossed at first, but got put off by Obsidian Butterfly b/c it was just too much of the same shit. I’ll def. pick it up again at some point!


  3. heeeey – you got me your “don’t read” book for Christmas!


    • Girlie Ha! I know, but just cuz I didn’t like doesn’t mean you won’t. Figured you may have wanted Niffenegger’s new book regardless. Her writing
      was still crisp; but too nuanced that it comes off as contrived. Then again, that’s just my take. I did like the idea of it all.


  4. LOL! it was a regift!

    Kat, I stopped like six books into Hamilton’s series. Yea, I wikied what was gonna happen and she becomes some ho who sleeps around, so I said, no thanks. I don’t know if what I read was accurate but Sookie is funnier so I stuck with her.


  5. Tnx for this book review Kat! I love books and just like you, I sometimes forget what i’ve read and end up either buying them (again!) or reading it again before realising that I’ve actually read the book before. I’ve started a novel list on my blog in 2009 but never got to complete the list. I like the American Wife too!


  6. Good thing I haven’t bought Her Fearful Symmetry yet. I loved her The Time Traveler’s Wife so had high hopes for this as well. Will put it on my “To be read later later later” list. 😀

    I loved American Wife! It just dragged for me towards the end, when it became more about politics. I’m just not into that but I really enjoyed it overall.


  7. my resolution is to read at least a book a month. thanks for your suggestions. 🙂


    • Den! How are you?! Thanks for reading my suggestions! And I must say, the thing about living in the UK is that you get books on paperback faster!



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