Books Read in 2009: Year In Review

Another year, another giant stack of books. Here's how it all boiled down in ought-nine.

  • Total books read: 66
  • Adult Novels: 16, of which six mysteries, and six for the book club.
  • Young Adult Novels: 4, two of which by Kit Pearson
  • Non-Fiction: 42, of which:
    • 9 books about writing;
    • 6 books about parenting;
    • 16 how-to and self-help (or psychology) books;
    • leaving 11 others.
  • Memoir: 5, three by Bill Bryson
  • CanCon: 12

I felt like I wasn't reading much this year, and I was right. Further, it wasn't my most profoundly intellectual of reading years. I only read four adult non-mystery novels of my own accord (the rest were for the book club). I read a bunch of non-fiction books, but plenty of them were "how to decorate" or "how to garden"-type books.

Interesting that I read three more books about writing than I did about parenting. I guess I'm getting pretty confident about the latter, but still petrified to take the plunge into the former.

Here are some standout books, in no particular order:

  • Pictures of Perfection by Reginald Hill is a beautifully written mystery.
  • A Handful of Time and A Perfect, Gentle Knight by Kit Pearson both made me cry, as did
  • Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy and Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn pushed me to raise my parenting game
  • Dead Men Do Tell Tales by William R. Maples and Michael Browning was surprisingly profound and yet also provided me with lots of gross anecdotes for cocktail parties.
  • I called Everyday Survival by Laurence Gonzales as one the best of the year back in January when I read it, and I was right. It's astonishing in its depth and breadth, and the way Gonzales brings it all together is breathtaking. In fact, I can hardly believe it was so good—I'm going to have to read it again and see.
  • And a special mention to Getting Started As A Freelance Writer by Robert Bly for planting the seed of the idea that I might be able to earn a living at this thing I do for fun.

Next year I'm going to try and clear out at least half of the two feet of my to-be-read shelf before the end of May. I'm going to try and read more novels, and I'm going to strive, as always, to be a more attentive and thoughtful reader.


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