Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Favorite Books This Year

I read kind of a lot of books this year. I didn't quite reach my goal of 100, but I got to 83.

A couple of the books I read were BEASTS (ahem LITTLE DORRIT and THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE), and I also read 10 manuscripts for friends, so I practically made it to 100.

Many of the books I read were fantastic and I wanted to share my list of favorites, so here goes...

(Note: I'm only including books I read this year. If I had to list all of my favorites this post would go on forever.)

Favorite Memoir

THE GLASS CASTLE by Jeannette Walls
The Glass Castle
This is pretty much a must read. It's horrifying and heartwarming all at once.

Favorite Middle Grade

PRINCESS FOR HIRE by Lindsey Leavitt and Janice Hardy's SHIFTER
Princess for HireThe Shifter
PRINCESS FOR HIRE is really cute and magical (two things I love in MG) and THE SHIFTER is a great story, with great writing.

Favorite YA

MATCHED by Ally Condie, followed closely by Ally Carter's HEIST SOCIETY and Kiersten White's PARANORMALCY

MatchedHeist SocietyParanormalcy

These were all just fun. I read a lot of deep YA too, but I really appreciated the lighter stuff this year.

Favorite Classics

Little DorritFar from the Madding Crowd

I always read a few classics. LITTLE DORRIT took me all year to get through, but it was a great story and well worth the effort.

Favorite Series

THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Obviously)
The Hunger GamesCatching FireMockingjay

I love these.

Favorite book from a genre I'd never read before

Jody Hedlund's Christian romance THE PREACHER'S BRIDE
The Preacher's Bride

I read this because Jody is a friend. I loved it because it was a really great story, told well.

Favorite Nonfiction

NURTURE SHOCK by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children


Favorite Books from Childhood Revisited

THE GIVER by Lois Lowry and pretty much everything by Roald Dahl
The GiverRoald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

It was really fun to read these again now that I'm grown up.

Favorite book for grown ups and favorite book this year

THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett
The Help

LOVED this. I think it was probably my favorite read in five years.

So there you have it! I read a very wide range of books this year so hopefully there's something here for everyone. I promise if your taste is exactly like mine you will love these books! And if you're taste isn't exactly like mine you'll probably still like some of them. :)

Now the question is, what should I read in 2011?


Wen Baragrey said...

We have about 3/4 of our reading list in common :) I really want to read The Preacher's Bride, Jody's blog has been an amazing source on writing info. The Shifter, as well. Janice's blog is amazing. I loved The Shifter, and broke it down to study exactly how she did everything. It was THAT good!

Diane said...

What a line-up! I've only officially read one on your list but I did want to read Matched. It looked great. :O)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I love that we have so many books in common. Need to get to The Glass Castle...

Happy New Year!

Rachel Searles said...

The Help is excellent! I started reading it on a Saturday morning and couldn't leave the couch until I'd finished it.

Emy Shin said...

Some of these are definitely on my list as well, and some I need to pick up, stat. I think it's wonderful how varied your taste is. I definitely do need to read more outside of the YA genre.

Yat-Yee said...

I read Glass Castle a few years ago. The entire time I kept feeling horrified that I was reading what actually happened. From the 3 year old burning her tutu while making hot dogs for herself to the maggots from the ham. It was a great book but I don't have the stomach to read it again.

I was lacking in classics this year. Need to remedy that next.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I read about half of those. You've got excellent taste. ;)
I used to adore Thomas Hardy. I shall have to read him again.

Faith E. Hough said...

This is a great list! I like a lot of Charles Dickens, but I've never read Little Dorrit... Is it as well-plotted as his others?
Princess for Hire was one of my favorite MG books this year, too. :)

Katie Ganshert said...

I just read The Hunger Games. I read it all on Sunday. Very engrossing. But I'm not sure if I want to jump into the next one. You totally recommend the trilogy?

Loved The Help. Totally wonderful read. Also loved Jody's book. I'd recommend Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes. That was super good.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Great post! Thanks for these recommendations - I've read some (OMG - just finished Matched and LOVED it)
I also tried for the 100, but got to 76. Not nearly as organized as you for my favorites. That is a hard thing to do - I find the one I'm reading tends to be my new favourite!
I'll have to look up THE HELP.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great books! My faves from your list are The Giver, Charlie & the Choc Factory, Hunger Games :) Really want to read Matched too.

Meika said...

I devoured The Hunger Games this year -- I don't usually read YA but I had to see what all the fuss was about. And I LOVED them! I've been meaning to pick The Help up. Maybe I'll get it with my Christmas gift card. Great list! Thanks for sharing!

Janice Hardy said...

I love how you broke this list down. Revisiting classics, old childhood faves--what a really great idea. And thanks so much for including mine in there:)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Mudbound. It reminds me a little of the help, is extremely well written. Loving it. Glass Castle, check and yes, very good. Loved Jody's book and I'm with you, I don't normally read that genre. I need to get to the rest of the books in the Hunger Games series. And The Help...a classic!

Happy New Year!
~ Wendy

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Natalie!

Thank you so much for including my book on your list! You're such a sweetheart!! I'm glad that you enjoyed it, even if it isn't a genre you normally read. It means so much to me that you (and so many other blogging friends!) have supported me! You guys are all so awesome! :-)

Laurel Garver said...

One of the better funny YA books I read this year was _Into the Wild Nerd Yonder_. The character interactions are really fun and didn't feel overdone, as can sometimes be the case with comedy.

In the classics category, I'd recommend Willa Cather as an author worth exploring. _A Lost Lady_ is quite good, as are her other prairie books. Interesting look at how industrialization changed the face of the west.

Happy reading in 2011!

Lisa Aldin said...

The Help was one of my favorites, too! What a great, great book! Looks like it got through some great stuff!

Jean Ann Williams said...

I read Glass Castle twice. I think my favorite read for the year was The Chosen One, by Cynthia Williams. I read that one twice, also.

When I read a story more than once that's an amazing book, because I get bored quick.

Erica M. Chapman said...

Nice list, Natalie! I fell in love with the Hunger Games series in 2010 ;o) And Matched was a huge favorite of mine!

Hope you have a great New Year's!!

Jessica Nelson said...

Nice list! Some I've read, some I haven't. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year. :-)

Joanne Fritz said...

Love your list, Natalie. I've read quite a few of those (except for all the adult ones).

Please don't apologize for not making it to 100. I didn't have a baby in 2010, and my two sons are in their 20s, so I should have more time on my hands than you do! Still, I only read 104 books. Currently reading The Alchemyst by Michael Scott.

For even more compelling reads, try Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr or The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams.

Anita Saxena said...

Really want to read Matched. You're not the only one saying good stuff about it. In 2011 you should read Anna and the French Kiss. Happy New Year!

Solvang Sherrie said...

We have similar taste in books! Great picks on your list. I recommend Across the Universe for 2011. I loved that book.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Natalie, thanks for sharing your list. It's fun to see what you've read and what tickled your fancy among them all.

Happy New Year!

Laura Marcella said...

Happy New Year, Natalie!!! May 2011 be your best year yet!

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