Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My 2009 Favorites

If there's one thing that remains a constant in my life, it's an enormous TBR pile on my nightstand. I'm not kidding, there's eight books currently sitting in a stack, patiently awaiting their turn. And Christmas didn't help any, as I got six new books to add to the pile. 2009 was truly the year of the self-regenerating TBR pile.

Let me start off with saying that I loved, loved, loved each and every Novel Girl book this year. I think it's really neat how we all share this common bond, yet each of our books and, thus, our writing styles are so different. But I truly enjoyed them all, so Thank You!

As for non-Novel Girl books that I loved in 2009, there have also been a few. Here's just a sampling:

1. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. I know I've mentioned this one before, but I was astounded by this book. It's about a woman who moves into her grandmother's home to help clear it out for sale, and finds an ancient key in an old Bible with a piece of paper stuck to it, bearing the words Deliverance Dane. This book combines tons of historical information about the Salem Witch trials, told in such an interesting way, along with a fun narrative.

2. Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch. This book is about Jillian, a discontented wife and mother, who one day wakes up seven years in her past and gets to make all of her important life choices over again--getting married, leaving her job, moving out of the city. It's sort of Peggy Sue Gets Married meets Family Man, if that makes any sense. I loved that it combined a commercial, high-concept with truly beautiful writing. (And I think Allison is just one of the nicest people ever!)

3. Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella. I've been a fan of Sophie Kinsella since the first Shopaholic book--which I just found out there will be another one releasing later this year (Squee!). This book is about a woman who wakes up one day to find that she not only has amnesia, but that her life is...better. She's married to a man with movie-star looks, has the perfect body, lives in a mansion and has a closetful of designer clothes. A fun beach read, I breezed right through it and laughed a bunch of times along the way.

4. Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink. This was my favorite YA book in 2009. I don't want to give too much away, but it's a haunting, creepy Gothic historical about twin sisters and an ancient prophecy that is awakened on the night their father passes away. I cannot wait for the second book.

5. The Pat Conroy Cookbook by Pat Conroy. This isn't a new book, but I've been a huge Pat Conroy fan for nearly ten years. I've had this book for awhile, but never cracked it open. When I did, I fell in love. The book intertwines Pat's life stories with some of his favorite recipes, many French-inspired. As a writer, I loved the sections where Pat talked about how he broke in to publishing. Here's a quick one: apparently, when Pat received his first-ever offer on a book, he countered that he could have the book printed for much less than the sum mentioned by the publisher. As in, he thought that amount was what he had to pay the publisher to put his book out.

Happy reading!


Tracy Madison said...

Ah, Maureen, I've so been meaning to buy a copy of Time of My Life. I'm really going to have to do that soon. Great Post!

Jillian Cantor said...

I've got The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane next on my list!