At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to read 25 books by the end of the year. Yesterday, I started book #24. Full disclosure - one of the 24 books was a re-read, but since I hadn't read it since college, I'm including it.
Among the 24 were a couple of non-fiction books like Super Freakonomics and Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles P. Pierce, although I guess some would argue that last one is fiction :)
I also read some good mindless books like Books 9 and 10 in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I can't help it - I love those books. I've never seen the True Blood series, but I wonder if it would somehow ruin the books for me.
Both of the books of essays that I read this year were good. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris was hilarious, as always. That guy cracks me up. Jeff and I saw him do a reading one time and it was awesome. I also read Things I Learned About My Dad by various authors. I usually don't go in for sappy stuff, but it was a fun read that wasn't too heart wrenching.
I read a few books by some of my favorite authors like Fool and Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore and Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. Fool was great - it's loosely based on King Lear as told from the court jester's point of view. So clever.
From the age of 13, I read Stephen King religiously. I finally lost interest many years later, but this year I picked up Under the Dome and I'm glad I did. At 1100 pages, I wondered if I was crazy for reading something so long when I still had so many books to read (or if maybe I could include it as 2!), but I got through it pretty quickly since the story really held my attention.
I love Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. I only read one this year - Going Postal - but it was a great read. I also read the book he wrote with Neil Gaiman (who wrote Coraline) called Good Omens. It's a fantastic yarn about the anti-christ being switched at birth and the hilarity that ensues as a result during the end of days. I think it was my favorite book of the year. I can't recommend it enough, particularly if you can appreciate English humor and aren't easily offended.
Another book that ranked high on my favorites list this year is The Passage by Justin Cronin. I had never read any of his books. From what I understand, his other books aren't anything like The Passage. It's a vampire story but not your usual vampire story. It's different from anything I've read and, again, although it was long (in the 1000 page vicinity), it was worth it. The characters were good, the story was good, the dialogue was good. Overall, I give it an A.
I read a couple of classics as well, including my one re-read which was Brave New World. I also read Fahrenheit 451 which I've been meaning to read forever. Can you tell that I like storylines based in the future? It's great to consider all the possibilities of what the future has to hold, good or bad.
Most recently, I've been reading the Stieg Larsson trilogy. The third one is Book No. 24 that I just started yesterday. I read Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in two days. Most of it was the second day because, believe it or not, it actually took me a little while to get into it! But then once I did, I couldn't put it down. The second book, Girl Who Played With Fire, in my opinion, was better than the first. That's unusual in a trilogy, since it seems the second work just exists to prolong the overall story. I have high hopes for Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest; hope it doesn't disappoint. If you want to read stories about computer hacking and sex crimes in Sweden that DON'T involve Julian Assange, these are the books for you :)
By my count, I also started five books this year that I never finished. I have a bad habit of starting two or three books around the same time and ultimately putting one down and never getting back to it. All five were non-fiction. It's not that they weren't good, but, for instance Team of Rivals is about a gazillion pages long and each page has a gazillion tiny words! Ditto for A History of the US People.
So, that, for the most part, was my reading list this year. There were a couple I left out because they weren't worth mentioning at the risk of making this post even longer than it is.
Wish me luck on finishing two more books in the next 20 days!
What were your favorite reads this year? Please share - I'm always looking for authors I've never read before.