I had several people ask me what I read this past year that was good, of the 99 books I managed to read in ’09: 5 books short of my goal.
I do keep track of the books that I read and give them a rating: Keeper, Good, Okay, and then Stinkers.
The majority tend to end up in the “Good” category. I’m not that hard to please.
A lot fall into the “okay” category, too.
For a book to fall into the “Keeper” category, it’s a book that I’d actually want to own and reread, instead of just checking out from the library.(I want to thank Carol for telling me that I’m not cheap for using the library, I’m being GREEN. I love that.)
For it to be a “stinker,” it has to really stink. Otherwise, I give it some benefit of the doubt and let it go in the “okay” category.
This is just of the books I read in ’09, so it’s not a “best of EVER” list, but here are the books that I read last year that I consider KEEPERS.
You should also note that this is just pleasure reading for the most part, so if it’s lighter and fluffier than your tastes, I apologize. I did used to be a lit. minor and I know I should scoff at some of these books, but I can’t help it: they’re FUN.
Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson: I LOVED this book. There are some truly memorable characters in it. It made me think, it made me cry(just a little), and it made me smile.
Will You Be There? by Buillaume Musso: this was a translation and I really thought that I wouldn’t like it for some reason, but not only was it a keeper, but it was one of my favorite keepers. HOWEVER, there is a very slow build up to this one- stick with it until the point where Eliot tells his younger self why Ilena dies(no, this isn’t a spoiler, you know from the start that she died).
What I Did For Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips: again, probably one of my top favs, because it was just so much fun.
The Help by Katherine Stockett: I read this for book club and was surprised by just how much I loved this book. Usually, if a book gets rave reviews, I end up disappointed, but I loved this one! And, if you are trying to curb your appetite for chocolate cake, go read this book and it will cure you.
Some groupings of books that are also good:
Return to Summerhouse and Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux : you don’t have to read The Summerhouse to read the return, though I highly recommend it. The first one was one of my favorite books, ever.
By Nicholas Sparks: whom I once stalked and waited in line for 3 hours to have him sign my books and get a pic taken with him…with my 2 month-old in tow. I didn’t read all his books this year, but of the ones that I did read, these are the ones that are keepers: Nights in Rodanthe, The Last Song, and The Notebook. I really need to reread Dear John, as it was on my stinkers list in a previous year, but I know that I let my personal feelings with the storyline get in the way of the quality of the story.
I did read all of Jodi Piccoult’s books this year(some were a reread). Of those, these were the ones that were Keepers: Second Glance, Perfect Match, Vanishing Acts, Handle With Care, and My Sister’s Keeper(do NOT getting me going on the terrible, horrible changes that were made from book to movie. It’s a good thing I was warned about this ahead of time and didn’t go see it in the theater, unknowing, because I would have pitched my popcorn at the screen while everyone else looked at me like I was crazy).
On the suggestion of a friend, I read the Blackbird Sisters Mysteries Series by Nancy Martin and I did enjoy it. Some of the books were keepers and some were just “good,” but if you like cozies, I’d recommend them.
I did read the Twilight series this year, but didn’t rate them all as keepers. Some, but not all. Should I be scared of some of you for that?
I reread all the Harry Potter books and still love them, too. You want to see magic? I saw these books make middle schoolers who claimed they didn’t like to read voluntarily choose to read a book that was 800+ pages. That’s magic.
Now, for the Stinkers.
There’s only a few. Like I said, a lot tend to fall in the middle for me and I usually find something redeeming in a book. But, in these, nope, sorry, didn’t happen.
The Return: Nightfall by L.J. Smith I LOVED The Vampire Diaries when they came out in the early 90s. LOVED them. But, this book came out last year, I guess to try to benefit from the Twilight-craze. However, it failed miserably. The first books(actually, the first 3- the 4th was a little questionable…) were great love stories. But, this just went off the darkside deep end. Not to mention that the author tries to pretend like the story is happening right after the ones from the 90s…and it just doesn’t work at all. Not going to read any more if they come out. This actually breaks my heart, since I LOVED these books as a 14 year-old.
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout Here’s what I wrote about it right after I finished this one: No, no, no, do not waste your time. This book has gotten good literary reviews, but for the average reader: slow and depressing and even uninteresting at times. Not even sad in a make-you-have-a-good-cry sort of way, just flat out depressing.
The Glass Castle by Jeanenette Walls I know this is a controversial choice, because not only do the reviewers love it, but so do most people I know. To me, it’s just depressing and makes me so angry. I wouldn’t have finished it had it not been for book club.
Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand Yeah, so you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this one’s cover made me think I’d love this book. Three girls standing on the beach, jeans rolled up, barefoot, big towel around the 3 of them. I don’t really even remember much about this book, other than I rated it a stinker and since I only rated 4 books out of 99 this year as stinkers, that has to say something.
So, there you have it. My keepers and stinker for ’09.
Do you have any to add to my lists?
Any books you suggest I read? (aiming a little lower this year- 52 books)
Any I should stay away from?
Share, share, share!!!!
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