The good thing about the books I buy is that they will be a nice donation to the book sale that an area branch of the AAUW does every year. I have five large Rubbermaid containers in the basement, full of books that I will be passing on to them. It gets the books out of my house, and it benefits an organization that does a lot of good in the area, so I like supporting them!
I mentioned in my last post that I read 75 books this year, which was my goal. I had read 69 last year, so I was happy to set that goal of 75 and surpass last year's total. I was a little worried when December started that I wouldn't make it to 75 because I had to read nine books in December to do so. However, I buckled down and got it done! I am thinking of aiming for 100 next year, with the idea that I can always cut back to 75 later in the year if I have to. I am thinking having the nook will be a help, as I will have multiple books at my fingertips, no matter where I go.
And without further ado, here is the complete list of books that I read this year. At the end of the list, I will name my top ten for the year, which will be difficult because I read a lot of GREAT books this year!
- Deep in the Valley by Robyn Carr
- Just Over the Mountain by Robyn Carr
- Down by the River by Robyn Carr
- A Woman's Place by Barbara Delinsky
- Fireside by Susan Wiggs
- Second Chance Pass by Robyn Carr
- True Colors by Kristin Hannah
- The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
- Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
- Temptation Ridge by Robyn Carr
- While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky
- A Month at the Shore by Antoinette Stockenberg
- The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
- We're Just Like You, Only Prettier by Celia Rivenbark
- The Ringmaster's Secret by Caroline Keene (yes, it's a Nancy Drew book)
- The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal
- More Than This by Margo Candela
- Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassidy
- Love in Bloom by Sheila Roberts
- Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr
- Mary, Mary by James Patterson
- Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger
- Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch
- This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
- Skyward by Mary Alice Monroe
- The Other Mother by Gwendolen Gross
- Swimming Lessons by Mary Alice Monroe
- Collateral Damage by John List and Austin Goodrich
- Murder in Coweta County by Margaret Anne Barnes
- Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons
- Chances Are by Barbara Bretton
- Vision in White by Nora Roberts
- The Richest Season by Maryann McFadden
- The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand
- Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand
- Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
- New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
- Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
- Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
- Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
- Time is a River by Mary Alice Monroe
- Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
- Driftwood Summer by Patti Callahan Henry
- Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich
- The Eighth Confession by James Patterson
- The Wildwater Walking Club by Claire Cook
- The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand
- Finger-Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich
- The Way Life Should Be by Christina Baker Kline
- Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
- Almost Home by Christine Gleason, MD
- The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
- A Good Woman by Danielle Steel
- Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
- Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
- The Carpenter's Lady by Barbara Delinsky
- 92 Pacific Boulevard by Debbie Macomber
- That Holiday Feeling by Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, and Robyn Carr
- Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs
- Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
- The Secret of Everything by Barbara O'Neal (ARC and Goodreads win)
- Tales from a Dog Catcher by Lisa Duffy-Korpics
- Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan
- Casting Off by Nicole R. Dickson
- Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (ARC and GR win)
- Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel
- One Perfect Day by Lauraine Snelling
- The Last Time I Was Me by Cathy Lamb
- It Happened One Night by Lisa Dale (GR win)
- The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber
- The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans
- The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Myers (GR win)
- Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (ARC and GR win)
- Mistletoe Courtship by Janet Tronstad and Sara Mitchell (GR win)
I also read Penny's Christmas Miracle by Jason F. Wright, which was another GR win, but since it is a children's book, I didn't count it in my total books read.
Looking at this list, it is apparent that I am a fan of Robyn Carr! She has two series that I love, the Grace Valley trilogy and the Virgin River series. In fact, three additional Virgin River books are coming out in 2010, and I can't wait to read them! However, I don't want to include one of her books in my top ten books for the year. In fact, I am going to avoid series in that top ten list, I think. Instead, I will talk about other series I am reading before unveling the list. And I think I will cut the list back to a top five list because this post is getting long enough already!
I read the Twilight series this year, as did most of the nurses I work with, and I really did enjoy it. I agree with those that say that the writing itself wasn't the best ever, but the story was very compelling, almost to the point of being addicting. My favorite of the series was the final book, Breaking Dawn. In the world of Twilight, readers have either loved the last book or hated it. I loved it...it was, for me, the perfect end to a great series.
I also read and loved the first two books in Nora Roberts's Bride Quartet series, which is to be expected, as I love most of the trilogies and series that Nora Roberts writes. I can't wait for the other two books to come out so I can read the story of the remaining two members of the Vows family.
So that leaves my top five stand-alone books of 2009...in no particular order:
- Driftwood Summer by Patti Callahan Henry - I discovered this author because Amazon recommended one of her books to me after noticing that I read a lot of Dorothea Benton Frank, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Pat Conroy books. I have read every book she has published, and this one was my favorite! The story was amazing, and it took place in the Lowcountry with a book store as the main location. I loved it!
- Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen - I was introduced to Sarah Dessen's books by the members of the Nest Book Club, and I have to say that I have loved all the books of hers that I have read. She writes young adult novels, but they are enjoyable for adult readers as well. Lock and Key was my favorite of her books that I read this year.
- The Secret of Everything by Barbara O'Neal - This was the first book I won this year from Goodreads. I had read The Lost Recipe for Happiness earlier this year by the same author and LOVED it. And I loved this one too, so much that I friended the author on Facebook and gushed to her about it, possibly almost in a stalker-like way. I liked both of these books very much, just about equally. They both had restaurants/cooking and dogs in them, which are surefire wins for me!
- Casting Off by Nicole R. Dickson - I bought this book because there was a quote from Susan Wiggs on the cover, stating how much she liked the book. I read all of Susan Wiggs' books, follow her on Twitter, and have her blog posts sent to my Google Reader, and she is among my favorite authors. If she has good things to say about a book, that is a book I want to read! I loved the setting of a small village in Ireland, and I loved the subject of knitting that was a major part of the book. And the male main character made me SWOOOOOON. I really recommend this book!
- The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans - I love the books by Richard Paul Evans. They are so warm and touching, and they really are meaningful. This was no different. I loved the story of the main character realizing what it was that really mattered in his life...and I am sucker for second chances!
I have over 130 books on my to-read shelf on Goodreads, and I am very, very excited about many of them. It's funny to think it will probably take me two or three years to get through them all! But here's to many more great books in 2010...and a healthy, happy, prosperous year for you and your loved ones!