Sunday, December 20, 2009

Books - My best of 2009

What were your favourite books this year?

Here's mine... though sometimes I get mixed up about whether they were strictly from This Year. I track my reads on facebook, and it doesn't show the date when added.

Literary: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Juniot Diaz
About a Dominican- American family and how they became cursed. Loved it because...
- original style
- exposure to a culture I don't know well
- characters I cared SO much about (never wanted a guy to get laid so much in my life)

Humour: Angus Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging - Louise Rennison
I loved E. Lockhart too, but no one holds a candle to Rennison. Diary of a 15 year old British girl who isn't terribly bright but is full of moxy. Loved because...
- hiLARious first person narration (best since Bertie Wooster)
- hiLARious use of vocabulosity
- main character so full of sass, you wish you were her
- great side characters

Trash: The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous - Jilly Cooper
Usual Jilly Cooper novel--that is, a giant cast of upper crust Brits drinking, horse-riding, and bonking their way through the English countryside. Loved because...
- a couple of her most stoopid, lovable characters
- her baddies are so bad, but get their due
- characters are totally outrageous (the grown-up version of the previous book)
- funny
- she's great at building up romance

Comics: Top 10 - Moore & Ha
Though I also read Watchmen and From Hell, I loved Top 10 more than these other Alan Moores. Watchmen is heavy-deep with great characters, but Top 10--about policing a society where everyone has super powers--is...
- chock full of charming characters, whose lives you really care about
- suspenseful little mysteries going on
- super creative characters and stories, that make full use of the world Moore's created
- the illustrations are filllllled with little jokes

Bande Dessinée: Les Nombrils - Delaf & Dubuc
Okay I also read two Aya books, which were much better quality graphic novels. But um... Les Nombrils has me hooked. (Must get fourth book!) About a plain girl who's best friends with two completely self-involved and stupid sexed up hot girls.
- some really odd-funny storylines and jokes (like the boy they love, only because he rides a motorcycle... the site of John John on a squeeking bicycle was so funny)
- likable heroine, and her hate-lovable best friends
- a sweet romance

Cookbook: Get It Ripe - Jae Steele
I don't think I bought it this year, but it's become my most reliable standard. The recipes (vegan) are so simple, un-process-food-ee, and taste great. This year I bought a brunch book, and a raw desserts book, but I haven't used them a lot yet.

Romance: Nobody's Baby but Mine - Susan Elizabeth Phillips
If I've read a couple of poorly written books, I turn to Phillips to cleanse my palate.
- solid writing
- good pacing,
- probably most important... when hero and heroine in her books have Witty Repartee not only is it actually witty, but the woman holds her own (I big failing in to0 many romance novels, in my opinion, where I always feel like the woman is "losing" the argument)

Mystery: Night's Child - Maureen Jennings
I only read a couple mysteries this year, but I would read another Jennings. Liked it better than The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which didn't live up to the hype.
- 1900s Toronto, which is cool
- likable and flawed hero
- well-constructed mystery

French: Morlante - Stéphane Dompierre
Okay I only read two French books this year, but this was by far the better one (I don't care how many awards it's won, Nikolski just didn't do it for me.) Loved it because...
- pirates!
- a psychokilling anti-hero who just wants to be left alone to write his novels!
- great side characters
- some really good jokes
(But it's dirty as hell, so if you draw the line at reading about a woman pirate masturbating on the nose of a man she's just killed... then better stick to Pirates of the Caribbean.)

Business/Self-help: The Speed of Trust - Stephen Covey Jr
I didn't read much non-fiction this year (offline) but I really liked this one. Bit overlong, but a pretty good encapsulation of how I think businesses (and life) should be run. Be honest, be ethical, recognize others, take responsibility, admit mistakes, etc etc. Pretty basic stuff and yet... hard to find sometimes. Or basically, act the opposite of the characters I love to read about!

Other genres...
I think I only read 1 fantasy I think--Neverwhere--and I wasn't enamored. No sci fi. Didn't reach much in the way of kids books.


Anonymous said...

I love this site! Thank you sooo much for all your posts!

jAe said...

Thanks for the mention! So glad the book's working out for you.

Anonymous said...

Thank for you for your hard work on this siteI really appreciate it.

Latest mabeltalk posts, so you can catch what interests you :-)

Where would I be without you?

Support Wikipedia