Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review: Favorite and Best

Here is my list of my favorite (and best) books I read in 2009. If I did the math correctly (which is certainly questionable!) I read 620 books in 2009.

My 3 Favorite Board Books:

The Birthday Box. Leslie Patricelli. 2009. Candlewick Press.
Books are for eating reading. by Suzy Becker. 2009. Random House.
Shake It Up, Baby by Karen Katz. 2009. Simon & Schuster.

I read and reviewed thirty board books this year.

My 12 Favorite Picture Books:

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas. 2009. Simon & Schuster.
Here Comes The Big, Mean Dust Bunny! by Jan Thomas. 2009. Simon & Schuster.
All God's Critters by Bill Staines. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Simon & Schuster. 2009.
A Mighty Fine Time Machine by Suzanne Bloom. 2009. Boyds Mills Press.
My Elephant. Petr Horacek. 2009. Candlewick Press.
Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman. 2009. Chronicle Books.
Where's Tumpty? by Polly Dunbar. Candlewick. 2009.
Maybe A Bear Ate It by Robie H. Harris. 2008. Scholastic.
Me and You by Genevieve Cote. 2009. Kids Can Press.
Love That Puppy! by Jeff Jarka. 2009. Henry Holt.
1000 Times No. Mr. Tom Warburton. 2009. HarperCollins.
I Don't Want A Posh Dog by Emma Dodd. 2009. Little, Brown.

I read 120 picture books this year.

My 12 Favorite Children's Books:

The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket. HarperCollins. 2009. 40 pages.
Dragon's Fat Cat by Dav Pilkey. 1992. Scholastic. 48 pages.
Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine by Francesca Simon. 2009. Sourcebooks. 88 pages.
Max Spaniel: Dinosaur Hunt. David Catrow. 2009. Scholastic. 40 pages.
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things. Lenore Look. Random House. 2008. 172 pages.
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters. Lenore Look. 2009. Random House. 170 pages.
Heart of a Shepherd. Rosanne Parry. 2009. Random House. 161 pages.
Anything But Typical. Nora Raleigh Baskin. 2009. Simon & Schuster. 195 pages.
The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis. Barbara O'Connor. 2009. FSG. 150 pages.
Love, Aubrey. Suzanne LaFleur. 2009. Random House. 262 pages.
Umbrella Summer. Lisa Graff. 2009. HarperCollins. 235 pages.
The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine. 2009. Penguin. 266 pages.

I read 88 children's books this year.

My 20 Favorite Young Adult Books:

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork. 2009. Scholastic. 312 pages.
The Ask and the Answer. Patrick Ness. 2009. Candlewick Press. 519 pages.
Fat Cat by Robin Brande. 2009. Random House. 336 pages.
Nation. Terry Pratchett. 2008. HarperCollins. 370 pages.
The King's Rose by Alisa M. Libby. 2009. 320 pages. Penguin.
Antsy Does Time. Neal Shusterman. 2008. Penguin. 247 pages.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore. 2008. Harcourt. 471 pages.
Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott. 2009) 224 pages. Simon & Schuster.
The Lonely Hearts Club. Elizabeth Eulberg. 2010. Scholastic. 304 pages.
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley. 2009. Little Brown. 373 pages.
Twenty Boy Summer. Sarah Ockler. 2009. Little, Brown. 290 pages
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams. St. Martin's Griffin. 224 pages.
The Forest of Hands and Feet by Carrie Ryan. 2009. Random House. 310 pages.
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev. 2009. Feiwel and Friends. 368 pages.
The Farwalker's Quest by Joni Sensel. 2009. 384 pages. Bloomsbury.
The Emerald Tablet. P.J. Hoover. 2008. CBay Books. 288 pages.
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians. Brandon Sanderson. 2007. Scholastic. 306 pages.
Sent by Margaret Peterson Haddix. 2009. Simon & Schuster. 313 pages.
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. 1986. 329 pages.
Tomorrow, When the War Began. John Marsden. 1993. 277 pages.

I read 176 YA books.

My 10 Favorite Adult Books:

Nefertiti by Michelle Moran. 2007. 480 pages. Random House.
The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte. Syrie James. 2009. HarperCollins. 454 pages.
To Say Nothing of the Dog. Connie Willis. 1998. 493 pages.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Random House. 278 pages.
Genesis. Bernard Beckett. 2006/2009. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 150 pages.
Old Man's War by John Scalzi. 2005. 314 pages.
Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty. 2009. 258 pages.
Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck. 1935. 207 pages.
The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. 1926. 218 pages.
Devil's Cub. Georgette Heyer. 1932/2009. Sourcebooks. 310 pages.

Special Bonus Category: Classics

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. 1905. Signet Classics. 248 pages.
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope. 1857. 525 pages.
Three Men In a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. 1889. 144 pages.
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. 1605/1615. (1998 Modern Library Edition) 1240 pages.
The Way We Live Now. Anthony Trollope. 1875. 776 pages.

I read 97 adult books.

My 5 Favorite Christian Books:

Though Waters Roar. Lynn Austin. 2009. Bethany House. 430 pages.
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. (Audio Dramatization) Focus on the Family. 2009.
Fireflies In December by Jennifer Erin Valent. Tyndale. 343 pages.
The Frontiersman's Daughter by Laura Frantz. 2009. Revell. 412 pages.
Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen. 2007. Bethany House. 412 pages.

Special Bonus Category: Christian Children's Titles

My Story Bible: 66 Favorite Stories by Jan Godfrey and Paola Bertolini Grudina. 2009. Tyndale. 141 pages.
Baby Bible: Stories About Jesus. Currie, Robin. 2004.
Toddler Bible by Bethan James and Yorgus Sgouros. 2008.
Questions from Little Hearts by Kathleen Long Bostrom. Illustrated by Elena Kucharik. 2009
Mortimer's First Garden. Karma Wilson. 2009. Simon & Schuster. Illustrated by Dan Andreasen.

I read 48 Christian books (Though this is only the number of adult titles).

My 3 Favorite Verse Novels:

All the Broken Pieces. Ann E. Burg. 2009. 220 pages. Scholastic.
Crossing Stones. Helen Frost. 2009. FSG. 184 pages.
TROPICAL SECRETS: HOLOCAUST REFUGEES IN CUBA. by Margarita Engle. 2009. (March 31, 2009 Pub.)Henry Holt. 198 pages.

I read 8 verse novels this year. Next year, I don't think I'll keep track of these. I think I'll blend them in with the YA books.

My 3 Favorite Graphic Novels:

Maus: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman. 1986. 159 pages. & Maus II : A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman. 1991. 136 pages.
Babymouse: The Musical (#10) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. 2009. Random House. 96 pages. & Babymouse: Dragonslayer (#11) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. 2009. Random House. 96 pages.
Binky The Space Cat. Ashley Spires. 2009. Kids Can Press.

I read 12 Graphic Novels this year.

My 3 Favorite Nonfiction:

To Be A Slave by Julius Lester. 1968. Penguin. 176 pages.
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain. Peter Sis. 2007.
Clara's War: One Girl's Story of Survival by Clara Kramer. 2009. HarperCollins. 352 pages.

I read 25 Nonfiction this year.

My 3 Favorite Collections/Anthologies:

Lips Touch Three Times. Laini Taylor. Illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo. Scholastic. 272 pages. (three short stories)
Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales. Lucy Cousins. 2009. Candlewick Press. 128 pages. (fairy tale collection)
Starry Rift: An Original Science Fiction Anthology. Edited by Jonathan Strahan. 2008. (Short Stories)

I read 16 in this catch-all category that includes short stories, poetry, essays, etc.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kelly 11:39 AM  

Woman, you are a wicked crazy reader!!!

Love this list. I just posted a top 10 YA list today (because my # read each year comes nowhere close to yours :) and I had Graceling on my list too. I need to add a bunch of your top YA titles to my TBR now...

Kelly 11:39 AM  

Woman, you are a wicked crazy reader!!!

Love this list. I just posted a top 10 YA list today (because my # read each year comes nowhere close to yours :) and I had Graceling on my list too. I need to add a bunch of your top YA titles to my TBR now...

Susan B. Evans 12:27 PM  

You have a lot of variety on your best of list! I'm going to have to check some of these out :) I read Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran this year but haven't been able to get my hands on Nefertiti yet. Maybe in 2010!

Happy New Year!

Amanda 1:46 PM  

I love seeing your favorites! Mine will be posted on the second...that way we can get the Cybils posted first. Great job on how many you read!

Suko 2:48 PM  

This is an incredible list, Becky! Thanks for organizing your books so well (and giving me some book ideas), and for all the terrific reviews throughout 2009. Happy New Year to you and your readers!

DesLily 2:56 PM  

you are such an amazing reader! Not only "how many" but in the variety of books!

I hope you have a good a time with all your reads in 2010!

Happy New Year Becky..may it be your best year yet!

Bluestocking 3:51 PM  

Glory Hallelujah! I didn't even get close to that total. Here is mine

kikiv68 5:39 PM  

You are an inspiration for all of us. I can tell by your list you really like to read! Your taste is so eclectic. I was happy to see you had El Quijote there. Happy New Year! and I wish you an incredible and productive reading year in 2010.

Lenore 8:09 PM  

Lots of great choices. I thought Genesis was YA? That's where I have it down at least!

kay - Infinite Shelf 3:18 AM  

Wow, you did a lot of reading! This is such a great list, I recognize many titles I still have to read. Looks like you had an amazing year with reading. Hopefully 2010 will bring you an even better one! :D

Elizabeth 11:15 AM  

The breadth of your reading is amazing, Becky!Have a fabulous 2010!

readerbuzz 12:57 PM  

Lots of great reads for you this year, Becky. I happily read 72 wonderful nonfiction picture books for the Cybils. If you liked Creature ABC, I challenge you to see what you think of Life-Size Zoo. And Down, Down, Down. And Bumpy Ride. I could not believe how excellent these books were in 2009.

MarceJ 1:57 PM  

OMG you are a fantastic reader and so varied. WOW

I love how you categorised all.

Here is mine

Amused 4:15 PM  

Great list! I loved Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie too!

hopeinbrazil 10:33 PM  

I hope to read Maus this year.

Kailana 2:31 PM  

620? That's crazy!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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