Thursday, December 31, 2009

Books, books, books...everywhere I look there are books!

My husband definitely agrees with the above statement because he feels that I buy too many books!  I do buy a lot of new books in an average year...but today, I am ordering my nook from Barnes & Noble, which should help with this issue.  After all, instead of buying over fifty books in the upcoming year, I will instead download the majority of them to my electronic reader, which is not large or space-consuming at all.  However, the nook is not currently chipping until February 1, so he is going to have to put up with the book-buying for another month or so.  Also, I ordered five books in the past week from Amazon, so there is that.  How did I end up ordering five books, by the way?  I was supposed to be reading the books I already own instead!

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!

  1. Deep in the Valley by Robyn Carr
  2. Just Over the Mountain by Robyn Carr
  3. Down by the River by Robyn Carr
  4. A Woman's Place  by Barbara Delinsky
  5. Fireside by Susan Wiggs
  6. Second Chance Pass by Robyn Carr
  7. True Colors by Kristin Hannah
  8. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
  9. Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
  10. Temptation Ridge by Robyn Carr
  11. While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky
  12. A Month at the Shore by Antoinette Stockenberg
  13. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
  14. We're Just Like You, Only Prettier by Celia Rivenbark
  15. The Ringmaster's Secret by Caroline Keene (yes, it's a Nancy Drew book)
  16. The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal
  17. More Than This by Margo Candela
  18. Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassidy
  19. Love in Bloom by Sheila Roberts
  20. Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr
  21. Mary, Mary by James Patterson
  22. Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger
  23. Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch
  24. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
  25. Skyward by Mary Alice Monroe
  26. The Other Mother by Gwendolen Gross
  27. Swimming Lessons by Mary Alice Monroe
  28. Collateral Damage by John List and Austin Goodrich
  29. Murder in Coweta County by Margaret Anne Barnes
  30. Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons
  31. Chances Are by Barbara Bretton
  32. Vision in White by Nora Roberts
  33. The Richest Season by Maryann McFadden
  34. The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand
  35. Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand
  36. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  37. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
  38. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
  39. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
  40. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
  41. Time is a River by Mary Alice Monroe
  42. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
  43. Driftwood Summer by Patti Callahan Henry
  44. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich
  45. The Eighth Confession by James Patterson
  46. The Wildwater Walking Club by Claire Cook
  47. The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand
  48. Finger-Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich
  49. The Way Life Should Be by Christina Baker Kline
  50. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
  51. Almost Home by Christine Gleason, MD
  52. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
  53. A Good Woman by Danielle Steel
  54. Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
  55. Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
  56. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  57. The Carpenter's Lady by Barbara Delinsky
  58. 92 Pacific Boulevard by Debbie Macomber
  59. That Holiday Feeling by Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, and Robyn Carr
  60. Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs
  61. Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
  62. The Secret of Everything by Barbara O'Neal (ARC and Goodreads win)
  63. Tales from a Dog Catcher by Lisa Duffy-Korpics
  64. Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan
  65. Casting Off by Nicole R. Dickson
  66. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (ARC and GR win)
  67. Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel
  68. One Perfect Day by Lauraine Snelling
  69. The Last Time I Was Me by Cathy Lamb
  70. It Happened One Night by Lisa Dale (GR win)
  71. The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber
  72. The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans
  73. The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Myers (GR win)
  74. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (ARC and GR win)
  75. 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 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 no particular order:
  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. 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!

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