Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Top Ten of 2007

This weekend is one of reflection and thinking about the year past while making plans for the year to come. This year I've read 248 books (I'll finish another today and possibly one tomorrow, but that's the total as of now). I do enjoy the majority of the books I read, otherwise what is the point in reading them? In making my total books read, I took a look at all of the books I've read throughout the year and made up a couple of lists of the books I most enjoyed reading. Not all of them were published in 2007, but they kept me up at night, haunted my dreams, made me laugh and cry. They aren't in any particular order.

1. Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon. I finished this one at 2:30 this morning, not one to read when you're alone in the house.
2. T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton, another stand out in one of the all time best mystery series.
3. Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear. The most recent Maisie Dobbs mystery doesn't fail to thrill while engaging the brain. The next one comes out in February; I can't wait!
4. Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard. Haunting, thrilling, shocking; Bayard doesn't fail to entertain.
5. Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell. One of the best of the new genre of lost manuscript/secret societies.
6. Savage Garden by Mark Mills. Deep mystery about family secrets: delicious.
7. Mistress of the Art of Death by Arianna Franklin. Medieval England, despicable murders that can only be solved by a Jewess forensics expert. The next book comes out next month, another on my wish list.
8. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder didn't come out in 2007, but the paperback version did. Great suspenseful fantasty with a dash of romance.
9. A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander is the second book in the Emily Ashton series. I believe that Alexander is an author to watch; she's going places.
10. We Shall Not Sleep by Anne Perry is the last book in her World War I series. I've never read a more stark and poignant view of war and all of its actors: the soldiers on the field and the politicians behind the scenes.

Other fiction
1. Lottery by Patricia Wood. I've been gushing about this book to everyone since I read it.
2. Charity Girl by Michael Lowenthal. I love books about small, forgotten events in history that changed people's lives.
3. The Betrayed by Lisa Tawn Bergren. Engrossing story about some of God's chosen ones in Renaissance Italy, impossible to put down.
4. Feeling for Bones by Bethany Pierce. Devastating story about a young girl's struggle with bulimia and to retain her soul.
5. Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson. A woman's search for meaning in her life brings about change for everyone around her, including the reader. Lisa is the only author on my list twice.
6. Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer. A macho man becomes stay at home dad and learns what really matters, with lots of hilarity and a dash of grace. The passage about Disneyland is fantastic!
7. Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson. This story of a young woman's quest for herself will please both older and younger readers.
8. Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney. Although written for the YA audience, the messages in this book are universal.
9. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. Ok, so technically it isn't out until Feb 2008, but I read it this year. Put it on your wish list now!
10. If the Shoe Fits by Marilyn Griffith. Fun Christian chick-lit, one of the best I read all year.

1. Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. I love books that entertain while educating.
2. Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart. Ditto.
3. Golden Legacy by Leonard S. Marcus. Beautiful, fun to read, great memories.
4. One Drop by Bliss Broyard. A book that makes you rethink stereotypes while touching your heart.
5. Cross X by Joe Miller. What should be the simple story of a high school debate team instead becomes a story about quotas, segregation, race, and empowerment.
6. Power of a Woman's Words by Sharon Jaynes. A way to change your interactions with everyone: husband, children, friends, and God.
7. Cinderella Meets the Caveman by Dr. David E. Clarke. If you only ever read one marriage manual, this is the one to read.
8. Mosaic by Amy Grant. Surprisingly honest and moving.
9. Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This by Jenn Doucette. Thank God for this book that reminds moms to laugh.
10. Christmas Around the World by Chuck Fischer. Beautiful pop-up book will be a keepsake in my family.

Graphic Novels
1. Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham. The first in the series is one of the best. Fairy tales in Manhattan.
2. Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham. Breathtaking art with terrific writing. This is a perfect graphic novel.
3. Fables: Arabian Nights (and Days) by Bill Willingham. Another great entry in the series.
4. We Are On Our Own by Miriam Katin. Haunting story of a girls and her mother's fight for survival in World War II.
5. Postcards: True Stories that Never Happened by Jason Rodriguez. Intriguing concept: write a story about a few enigmatic words written on an antique postcard. Rodriguez makes it shine.
6. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. The movie based on this graphic novel has just been released; I can't wait to see it.
7. Epileptic by David B. The author tells the story of his family's struggle with his brother's epilepsy: haunting and unforgettable.
8. Castaways by Rob Vollmar. The artwork in this Depression era tale is pitch perfect.
9. Blankets by Craig Thompson. Thompson's story of his teen years and long distance love is melancholy and lyrical.
10. Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes & Nick Bertozzi. Great artwork along with a fun story.

So those are my picks for 2007. Pick one up and let me know what you think.


Anonymous said...

Just a note to let you know I love your blog and I always check it before I'm off to the library or bookstore. I'm excited to see that Kristen Hannah has a new one coming out!

Jenn Doucette said...

Hey Christy,

My "Jenn Doucette" google alert directed me towards your blog this morning - I am humbled and honored to have made your top 10 nonfiction list, especially after learning you've read 248 books in 2007! Girlfriend, we are book sistas. (I was reading a book the other night at my daughter's basketball game during all the time outs :-) ).

Bless you again,

Christy Lockstein said...

Thanks for the kind words Anonymous! And Jenn, you rock! Happy New Year to all!