Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Top Five

Like the other girls, I also have that enormous pile of books on my nightstand. And the truth is, I’m usually so tired when I get into bed at night these days, I rarely ever do more with that pile than use it as a place to put my glasses and my iPod down. But, in 2009, I discovered the Kindle. (And I fell in love!) So I foresee a lessening of this pile in the near future. Just another reason why I love my Kindle – very compact!

Despite that massive pile, as I’m looking back now, I’m realizing I did actually read a wide variety of books (many of them on the Kindle, some from the library, very few from that pile on my night table.) But here are the ones that were most memorable to me (aside from the Novel Girls’ books, of course!):

1.) If I Stay by Gayle Forman: I read it all in one sitting. It’s just lovely and sad and compelling all at the same time. The characters have stuck with me long after.

2.) When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead: I put off reading this for a while, since it’s technically classified as a “middle grade” book. But I heard so many great things, that I finally broke down and checked it out. It’s a really interesting coming of age story with time travel and an ending that blew me away (I’m very particular about endings – so this doesn’t happen too much.) I could see why kids would enjoy this book, but it’s definitely for adults, too. I made my mom read it when I was finished!

3.) The Widow’s Season by Laura Brodie: This book is about a widow who finds her “dead” husband on her doorstep one night. Is he real? A ghost? A figment of her imagination? (He died in a boating accident, and his body was never discovered.) You don’t find out the truth until the very end, and I could not put this book down!

4.) Shelter Me by Juliette Fay: This book is also about a widow, but very different than The Widow’s Season, as it focuses more on a young mother’s journey back to life after being widowed. The characters and the world of the book were so real and absorbing, and I really thought it was one of the best love stories I’ve read in a long time.

5.) Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin: Just so you don't think I spent all year reading about widows and death, I'll end my list with this one! It wasn’t published in 2009, but I just finally read it near the end of the year. I knew it was a women’s fiction standard, and a bestseller so I felt like it was something I should have already read. This book is about a woman who falls in love with her best friend’s fiancée, but I loved the way Emily Giffin really made you root for the woman in spite of this (or maybe even because of it).

So there you have it! What are your top five reads from 2009?


Tracy Madison said...

Wow, Jillian, I think I'm going to have to pick up several of the books you've mentioned. I'm especially enthralled by your description of The Widow's Season.

sarah Pekkanen said...

I love Emily Giffin too! I think Something Blue was my favorite. I'm going to check out some of the others you mentioned.

Jillian Cantor said...

Tracy, yes, you definitely should read The Widow's Season. SO good!

Sarah, I read Something Blue right after (the next day!) because I had to see what happened next. I was sad when I finished both of those book so quickly. I'm excited to read her new book, too!! I previewed the first chapter on her website!

Maureen Lipinski said...

When You Reach Me is definitely on my TBR list!