Sunday, January 03, 2010

Best Books of 2009

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. Tomorrow life will start to get back to normal: kids back to school, no more short work weeks. We'll slide into the routine that will carry us through until spring. When I look back on 2009, I see that it's one I will remember for the bumps in the road and the heartache, but also for God's amazing grace that covered it all.

I have set a couple of New Year's resolutions- #1 to not say anything behind someone's back that I would not say to their face and #2 to stop twisting my hair. I can't tell you which of these habits will be harder to break. I've been wearing my hair in braids and ponytails so I'm not tempted to twist, but this is a habit I developed as soon as I had hair, around 33 years ago! Overall, I want to be a more grateful, positive person and pray that it spreads to the rest of my family.

I apologize for the lateness of these lists. I'm finally starting to feel like myself again, although I get exhausted easily and want to sleep all the time. Even so, I've read three books already (what else am I going to do?) and I know that at least two of them are going to make my best of 2010 list: The Ninth Daughter by Barbara Hamilton is a historical mystery set in 1774 Boston with Abigail Adams, wife of John, as the detective. Lots of convincing detail brings the city under siege to life, and the reader captures Abigail as I've often imagined her: intelligent, devoted to her family, curious, and fiercely loyal. Also The Last Founding Father: James Monroe by Harlow Giles Unger brings to life the fifth President along with his beautiful and often forgotten wife. It's a terrific biography that was desperately needed. A couple of years ago, I set a goal for myself to read a biography of every American president, but when I got to Monroe, I was stuck with an uninspired book written by Gary Hart (yes, the former presidential candidate) that focused only on Monroe's presidency and was a yawn to read.

A couple of notes, not all books were released in 2009. Not all books will suit readers searching only for Christian books; I read a wide variety of titles, and I wouldn't want anyone to be offended by a book they found on this list and expected it to portray a Christian worldview. Also, the books are not rated within their lists. The book numbered "one" does not necessarily mean it was my favorite within the list. With no further ado, here are my best books of 2009 lists.

Graphic Novels:
1. Ghost Stories by Jeff Lemire
2. Fables: The Good Prince by Bill Willingham
3. Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet
4. Locke & Key by Joe Hill
5. Me & the Devil Blues by Akira Hiramoto
6. The Burma Chronicles by Guy deLisle
7. The Photographer by Emanuelle Guibert
8. Dark Entries by Ian Rankin
9. Jack of Fables: Americana by Bill Willingham
10. Nat Turner by Kyle Baker

Children's Books:
1. No Flying in the House by Betty Brock
2. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
3. Little Plum by Rumer Godden
4. Bunnicula by James Howe
5. Too Tall Alice by Barbara Worton
6. Babymouse: Queen of the World by Jennifer Holm
7. The Princess and the Three Knights by Karen Kingsbury
8. God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren
9. Babymouse: Skater Girl by Jennifer Holm
10. Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary

Non-fiction:
1. Street Gang by Michael Davis
2. The Circus Fire by Stewart O'Nan
3. Columbine by Dave Cullen
4. A Little Bit Wicked by Kristen Chenoweth
5. The Student Loan Scam by Alan Michael Collinge
6. Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad
7. Firestorm at Peshtigo by Denise Gess & William Lutz
8. In Focus: The National Geographics Best Pictures
9. Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper
10. Samuel Adams by Ira Stoll

Christian non-fiction
1. Parting the Waters by Jeanne Damoff
2. For Couples Only by Shaunti Feldhahn
3. Love as a Way of Life by Gary Chapman
4. Fixing Abraham by Chris Tiegreen
5. Passionate Prayer by Catherine Martin
6. Walking Taylor Home by Brian Schrauger
7. Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge
8. Live Deeply by Lenya Heitzig & Penny Rose
9. When the Good News Gets Even Better by Neb Hayden
10. If God is Good by Randy Alcorn

Fiction:
1. Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors
2. U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
3. Drood by Dan Simmons
4. Hangman Blind by Cassandra Clark
5. City of Thieves by David Benioff
6. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
7. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
8. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
9. The Blue Notebook by James A Levine
10. 31 Hours by Masha Hamilton

Christian Fiction - contemporary
1. Deadly Charm by Claudia Mair Burney
2. Zora & Nicky by Claudia Mair Burney
3. The Stones Cry Out by Sibella Giorello
4. Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren
5. Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry
6. White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner
7. According to Their Deeds by Paul Robertson
8. Scared by Tom Davis
9. Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish
10. The Justice Game by Randy Singer

Christian Fiction - historical
1. Daisy Chain by Mary DeMuth
2. Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent
3. The Unquiet Bones by Mel R. Starr
4. A Flickering Light by Jane Kirkpatrick
5. Breathe by Lisa Tawn Bergren
6. The Captain's Bride by Lisa Tawn Bergren
7. The Believer by Ann Gabhart
8. Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin
9. Miss Fortune by Sara Mills
10. Michal by Jill Eileen Smith

And with that I bid adieu to 2009! Check out a few titles on my list to make 2010 a great year of reading for you!

2 comments:

fairchild said...

Cullen , who first reported on the story for the online magazine Salon, acknowledges in the book's source notes that thoughts he attributes to Klebold and Harris are conjecture gleaned from the record the pair left behind.

Jeff Kass takes a more straightforward approach in "Columbine: A True Crime Story," working backward from the events of the fateful day.
The Denver Post

Mr. Cullen insists that the killers enjoyed "far more friends than the average adolescent," with Harris in particular being a regular Casanova who "on the ultimate high school scorecard . . . outscored much of the football team." The author's footnotes do not reveal how he knows this; when I asked him about it while preparing this review, Mr. Cullen said he did not necessarily mean to imply that Harris was sexually active. But what else would such words mean?

"Eric and Dylan never had any girlfriends," the more sober Mr. Kass writes, and were "probably virgins upon death."
Wall Street Journal

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