I am notoriously hard on fiction books. I find most of them pretentious, like the authors spent too much time learning tricks in writing class rather than just writing what they feel. Because of this, I mostly read books in the chick-lit fiction genre. Which are, you know, not exactly works of art, but they make me feel good.
So here are my top 5. I would highly recommend that anyone read all of these books:
5. The American Plague by Molly Caldwell.
About the little-known yellow fever epidemics in the U.S. and the men who discovered how the disease was spread and how to cure it.
4. The Ridiculous Race by Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran
Written by two men who raced each other around the world without the use of airplanes. Both laugh-out-loud funny and touching.
3. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Cheesy, I know, but I do love this book about a man who reconnects with an old friend during the last few months of his life. Very inspiring for me.
2. A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz
A history of the men who explored the Americas prior to the arrival of the Puritans, coupled with a travelogue of the places those men visited. Very fun and interesting.
1. Columbine by Dave Cullen
Topic self explanatory; this book is both gripping and devastating. I don't have enough words to express how moved I was by it. Simply one of the best books I've read EVER.
And if I absolutely had to pick one fiction book that I read that topped all the others this year, I'd have to go with The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark, a clever and engaging book about a young chef's apprentice in 14th century Venice.
Happy reading, everyone! I'm looking forward to more great books in 2010.