Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top Books of the Year

I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of my top five books that I read this year. I was not entirely surprised to find that all of my top five are non-fiction books, even though I read far more fiction books this year than non.

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.

1 comment:

Patricia said...

Look at that! I went to put some of the books you recommended on my Goodreads queue and they were already there.

You and I are opposite in our reading habits. I'm notoriously uncritical of fiction. I mostly just consume it like food.

I entered Steve Duin's reading contest for the first time this year. I read 71 books and just over 21,000 pages. Sadly, this doesn't even get me close to placing. There are retired ladies who read all day and night, I think.

Anyway, Duin asked in the entry to pick your favorite book for 2009, and I think I ended up mentioning five: four fiction and one non. One book for the whole year? How many real book readers could do that.

I really have to put that Columbine book on hold. I bet it has an unholy number of holds.