I’m not too good at picking my favorites of anything, least of all books. In general, if I manage to read and review it, I like it. These days, I rarely plod through a book I don’t like. (Maybe this says something about the years I spent taking English classes, huh?) I do like going back over my bookish accomplishments, though. Despite the fact that Lulu started “real” school (meaning I’m schooling her in a grade denoted by a number rather than a letter) and I had a baby this year, I have read forty-five books so far this year (and it ain’t over yet!) and have published reviews of 39 so far. I have a few reviews queued up here for the weeks ahead (more about this in an upcoming post, I hope!), so almost everything I’ve read this year will have been reviewed by the end of January 2011.
Of the forty-five books I’ve read this year, twenty-six of them are juvenile or young adult books, almost all fiction. The following are the standouts from this group:
- The Hunger Games trilogy. Of course. You expected this, didn’t you? Wow pretty much sums up this amazing set of novels. My reviews are here: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.
- Leaving Gee’s Bend by Irene Latham. I loved this Alabama story so much that I went to meet the author when I was just a few weeks postpartum (and none too fond of leaving behind the DLM or being caught on camera, but I did both!) and I nominated the book for the Cybils in the middle grade fiction category.
- The Door in the Wall by Marguerite DeAngeli. I love, love, love historical fiction, and this vintage Newbery winner gets it right.
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I’ll always associate this exciting read with sitting in the rocking chair in my bedroom and rocking a newborn DLM. Good times and a great story.
- Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. This is a truly unforgettable story, and based on what I’ve read of its sequel so far, it has the makings of a fantastic series.
- A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. I loved this story of modern-day Sudan. Its review will be up in a week or two. 🙂
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. I positively gushed about it in my review, and now, months later, I still get all warm and gooey on the inside when I think about it. This is my favorite kidlit pick of the year.
I feel like I’ve rediscovered my love for juvenile and young adult literature this year. I’m thinking that 2011 will hold lots more kidlit for me and Hope Is the Word!
I only read seven works of adult nonfiction this year. One of these was a re-read, and two of these I didn’t review at all. (The two I didn’t review, For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Crazy Love by Francis Chan, are both great books, but I just didn’t have the time or wherewithal to write up a review when I read them. For Women Only really earns a Highly Recommended from me–it’s possibly the most practical marriage book I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a few.) Of the books I reviewed, the best works of nonfiction I read this year were The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp. (Both are linked to my reviews.) Maybe I’ll get around to more nonfiction in 2011!
As far as adult fiction goes, it was sort of a ho-hum year for me. (With a caveat, which I’ll explain below.) I guess the best part of my adult fiction reading was discovering the author Alexander McCall Smith. I read three of his books this year and introduced my children to his works of juvenile fiction. I enjoyed The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency best.
I am so happy to say that I added a couple of classics to my books read list this year, too. A Tale of Two Cities was every bit as good as I expected it to be. The Hobbit was so good, and much funnier than I expected. Why did I wait so long to read these books? I really need to persevere and add more classics to my TBR list. There’s a reason why they’re considered classics. 😉
The biggest accomplishment for me this year by far was reading the entire Bible, from cover to cover, in about six months. I didn’t write much about it here at Hope Is the Word, but I consider it one of the biggest things I’ve ever done. 🙂
That’s a hodge-podge of a post, but those are my thoughts about the year in books. I’m looking forward to reading even more great books in 2011, Lord willing!
Come back on Thursday to read about my girls’ favorite read-alouds of 2010!