Sunday, December 20, 2009

2009: Books

Every year I try to read 12 books. This would work out to a book a month. It's a realistic goal for me and something I know I can do. I track what I read on Goodreads. If you're not a member, I definitely recommend joining. It's a great place to find new books, and I love tracking what I've read and when I read it. If you are a member, add me as a friend here.

Here are my 2009 reads (click on any of the images below to see them on Amazon):

February/March 2009
Anne Lamott is one of my favorite authors. I read her book Bird by Bird in a college writing class and it's one of a few books I didn't sell back at the end of the semester. It's an excellent read on faith, and her writing is just beautiful. Took me awhile to get through it, mainly because it's not one story. It's lots of little stories and snippets from Lamott's life. I love this quote from it...
"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us."

March 2009

April 2009
I love Emily Giffin's books. She's one of my favorite Chick Lit authors out there. In 2008 I read Something Borrowed and Something Blue. Loved both of 'em, so I was happy to find these on the shelves of my local library. I flew through each of these. I think I liked her first two books more, but these were both fun, easy reads.

May 2009
I read this book for my first book club! I blogged about it here.

June 2009
This is one of three Picoult books I read this year. I've blogged about my love/hate relationship with her before, but I'll restate it again. Her writing to me is like a bad Lifetime movie. She draws me in with these elaborate, crazy plots. She uses the SAME formula in every book (some sort of medical or ethical issue, a lawyer to solve the problem, big twist at the end). I continue to read her stuff though, mainly because it's a quick read and I find myself enjoying it. Do I think she's a good author? No. Will I still read her stuff? Of course. Just like Lifetime, I can't turn away.

July 2009
Probably my favorite book I read all year. I loved every second of this book. Never read Sittenfeld's first book, Prep, but I have it on my list. I blogged a little more about American Wife here.

July 2009
Jennifer Weiner is another Chick Lit author who I love. This is a quick read, so sweet, but very real. One reason I love Weiner's books is that they go past the surface. Unlike other chick lit authors (Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin, Jane Greene), I think Weiner writes rich stories that are witty and honest. This book is about motherhood (something I know very little about it), and she didn't hide anything from it. She writes openly about the good and bad of having babies. If you've never read her stuff, give it a try!

July 2009
I'm sure most of you have heard of Randy Pausch. I know I had seen on Oprah last year and all over the internet. I didn't have any desire to read this book, as I figured it'd be the same things he said in his speech that I had seen. Before vacation with J's family this summer, they asked that we all read this book so we could have "family book club"at the lake. J and I each read the book, and found it to be a wonderful take on how to live life to the fullest. This book might not be for everyone, but it certainly was enjoyed by me.

July 2009
This is another vacation read. I read most of this book as we drove from New York, through Canada, to Michigan. I enjoyed it, but I'll admit that it's all fluff. I like Kinsella, but she is by no means a deep writer. This was a cute, fun, mindless read.

August 2009
A little professional development reading. If you're an elementary teacher who teaches language arts, this book has some wonderful ideas. I have implemented the program into my classroom and I'm really enjoying how easy it has made my job during my reading groups. There are no "teacher made centers"; instead, my students are independent workers in the classroom.

September 2009
I really disliked this book. Way too far fetched and over the top for me. Someone blogged about it last spring (cannot remember who...) so I added it to my list since I usually Sophie Kinsella's writing. Sadly, this book was a big let down. I love the cover artwork though!

September 2009
I know said American Wife was my favorite read of the year, but this book is a very close second. I saw a review of this book on D.A.R.'s blog , and I added it to my reserve list at the library. Watch this video from Kelly Corrigan's website, and you'll want to give this book a try.

October/November 2009
I actually listened to this book in my car as I wrote about here. Like I wrote above, Jodi Picoult let me down again. This was one of my more favorite books be her, but it was still her writing and her story which made it just so-so.

November 2009
My Horizontal Life was definitely the funniest read of the year. I am not a Chelsea Handler fan, but a friend read this in book club and recommended it to me. It's certainly funny and a little raunchy, and I'm sure it's not for everyone. If you want a book that will make you laugh, this one will definitely do it.

December 2009
I know...I keep complaining about her, but this is her 3rd books I've read this year. What's wrong with me? This is another audio book for me. It was good, but just like the last two, it's nothing new from Picoult.

December 2009
I've been reading this juvenile fiction book aloud to my kids this fall. They (and I) have really enjoyed it. Spinelli writes some of my favorite children's literature. If you're a parent of an upper elementary or middle schooler, this is a great book with a wonderful message to get for your child.

December 2009
I just started this book a few weeks ago, and it's so sweet. I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the year. If you're a dog lover, you need to read this. Makes me really think about what's going through my little dog's head!

So that is it! It's been a busy year of reading for me, and I surpassed my goal of just 12 books. I have a big list already made for 2010. I just hope I get to them all.

What books did you read this year that you loved?
What do I need to read in 2010?


  1. I have Goodreads as well! I went ahead and sent you a friend request!

    I've read several of the same books this year, I love seeing what people have been reading!

  2. THANK YOU for this list - I wrote down quite a few to check our library for!! I used to read ALL the time. Then, I used a literature rich curriculum for my kids. Read ALL the time. Got tired of hearing myself, got tired of reading. So, I took a "hiatus" (sort of) I SO want to get back into reading - I think it it good for our kids to see us reading all the time, so that will be able to nurture a love for reading as well!!

    This year, though, I DID read & would recommend:

    Here's to reading many more books in 2010 :)

  3. My Sister's Keeper was amazing!!! I'm waiting to see the film...

    LOVED Twilight then again, I'm a teenager at heart. :)

  4. The only one out of your list that I have read is The Last Lecture. I thought it was an amazing book. I usually do not read but your list has gave me ideas for this next year! Thank you for posting it!

  5. I thought that Wedding Girl was a letdown too very far fetched! It was a major bummer.

  6. i recommend you to read the pillars of the earth from ken follett : it's fabulous ! it's gonna take you more than a month to read it but if your love historical medieval fresque it's for you !

  7. hey girl! i haven't read ANY of these books with the exception of "racing in the rain" as you know...

    have you read the glass castle by jeannette walls? i just read her new book - half-broke horses. loved them both!

  8. I love love love LOVE Kelly Corrigan's book - I even did a giveaway on my blog a while back. SUCH a good book!

  9. loving this post!

    i did a lot of reading right after Hudson was born. here are the books i read in 2009:
    stori telling, mommywood, my sister's keeper, the lucky one, dear john, the last song, the help, vision in white, same kind of different as me, and i think that may be all of them.

    my list of unread books in my house is getting smaller-- but i keep adding books, too! i'd say that the MUST READS of 2010 are the help and same kind of different as me-- if you haven't read them yet.

    i just joined goodreads after reading this post!

  10. I just read the book "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss in two nights of babysitting. Oh man. Read it. So good.

  11. I read The Last Lecture in July as well!!! It was SO good. I wrote down a bunch of his quotes from the book that I loved as well.

  12. Jennifer Weiner is my favorite! I have read (and own) everything she's written thus far.

    Your list has inspired me to add some new authors to my library!

  13. I have never heard of Goodreads, but checking it out now. I have read majority of your reads and looking forward to a few new ones to add to my list!

  14. Thanks for this post. I'm always looking for good books. I wrote a couple titles down to look for at the library :)

  15. Love this post, and what a great idea to have a goal for one a month! I'm such a dork and have been reading historical books or "the classics," and I really want to read some lighter books, so I will definitely have to put some of these on my list=)!

  16. You should read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It's the only book that I've read by her but it's an amazing book! Everyone that I've recommended it to has loved it! =)

  17. isn't goodreads amazing! I love using it! From some of those books you read, I think you'd really like "How (not) to have a perfect wedding". You should check it out if you get a chance.

  18. I loved the first two of Emily Griffin, was wondering about these 2. I also met "The sisters" at Reading convention and they rock.

    The only ones I have gotten to really read of note is the first two books in nora roberts bride quartet!

    Merry Christmas!

  19. Wow, some great picks there. Since I've been on chemo, I haven't been able to read books... it's so weird. I can't wait to read again, I miss it. I always, always am reading a book, but the words get all jumbled now... this is probably how people with dyslexia feel. Anyhoo, soon I should be able to get back into reading an the American Wife sounds really good.

  20. I have the same grip about Jodi Picoult. But I keep reading her books thinking it will be different.
    I read Little Bee which was wonderful. I also enjoyed the Wicked Lovely series (which are really for young adults).

  21. Love this post! I maye have to copy you at some point soon! I'll give you credit :)

    I loved Little Earthquakes when I read it a couple of years ago.

    Also loved American Wife (Prep's not as good, don't bother).

    Totally agree about Jody Piccolt. I did like 19 Minutes a lot -- but the rest I read where "eh" -- I also read Plain Truth in 2009. She is such a Lifetime Movie.