(Though truthfully I hope I win, because I’ve been wanting to read these and hey, free books!)
Can you hear that sound? The death knell of 2009? Strange year, this year of 2k plus 9. I know a lot of people had worse years than I did but it was still an odd sort of year and I’m not entirely sure I liked it.
What I did like, however, were a great deal of the books I read this year. “Best” is probably not exactly what I mean, “Favorite” would likely be more apt. But regardless, here is a year-end list-esque thing:
The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I know, I’m the last person in the world to read it but I loved it and I think I appreciated it more now than I might have had I found it years ago.
The Hunger Games & Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. It takes a lot for a book series to turn me into a flailing fangirl. I flail for this series. I have already reserved August 24th 2010 for reading book 3.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl. I am an atmosphere junkie but I very rarely find a modern-set fictional world that I want to live in. This one is an exception.
The to-read pile for 2010 is already building up, and I’m going to attempt to read more next year than I managed this year.
Did I babble here about how The Hunger Games is one of the best books I’ve read in ages and I loved it to little bits? I can’t remember. I babbled about it a lot, though, and forced it upon a great many people. Have you read it? Get off the internet and go read it if you haven’t yet. Seriously. Go. Now. Shoo.
Back? Wasn’t it good? Book two, Catching Fire, came out yesterday and I ran out to get it at the bookstore, something I haven’t done with a book on its release day since the last Harry Potter came out.
I am trying to pace myself. I’m about a third of the way through right now and I’m going to try to get to the halfway point before the husband gets home and I have to hand it over. We’re sharing, and being pretty good at it. He started it last night, I started it today.
It’s actually very good timing, since I figured out the last of my revisions yesterday and wanted to take a break before tackling the actual writing. I’ve still been jotting down notes and such but mostly I’ve just been curled up reading with pushy kittens who want to sit in my lap.
I am trying not to think about how long I’ll have to wait for the third book. Once, probably post-Harry Potter, I considered having a rule about not reading series until all the volumes were published.
That hasn’t really worked. Excuse me, I have to go read more now.
I just got a box of books from Amazon, most of what I bought with my birthday Amazon certificates, though a couple more are arriving separately. Amazon is tricksy like that. And one can never have too many books.
But yay, books! I decided to stack up most of my to-read pile, consisting of this order, my last Amazon order, and another birthday book.
Mmm… books. This is probably pretty indicative of my taste in books, too. And it pleases me that this pile is oddly color-coordinated. Not sure what order to tackle them in, though. I’ve started Tam Lin but haven’t gotten very far, and I’ve wanted to read Graceling & The Hunger Games for ages. I might make tea later and read the first few pages of things and see if anything refuses to be put down.
(Also in this photo: several Nick Bantock postcards, Little Miss Sunshine, a Treasury of Victorian Designs & Emblems, the Tarot of the Magical Forest & a stack of happy-face Post-its. Cause this is the kind of stuff that collects on top of my printer. Except the postcards, the wall is their natural habitat.)
And of course, since I have a now-bookless Amazon box, it is currently full of cat:
Though since I took that photo Tessa has curled up to the point where her head is no longer visable and it looks like a box full of fur.
I have been trying to distract myself this week. I managed to do a rather impressive job of it by perusing my to-read shelf and choosing The Secret History by Donna Tartt for no particular reason beyond the fact that it was on the top of the pile.
I fell into this book hard and did not want to come out of it. Spent the better part of the last two days curled up reading, letting cups of tea go cold nearby.
I’m not sure why I hadn’t read it before. I’ve been aware of it for years, I think I even flipped through it in a bookstore more than five years ago. I bought a copy a couple of months back and added it to the to-read shelf. Maybe it was waiting around for me to be able to give it my full and rapt attention.
I loved it, really. For two main reasons.
One: I’m a sucker for a good, interesting mystery that isn’t self-conscious about being mysterious. That likely makes no sense but just the idea of a murder mystery where you know the victim and the murderer from page one makes me happy, where the mystery is in the details and not the broad strokes of the crime.
And two: I went to a small, New England college. Certain sequences and details reminded me very much of Smith. Even the weather was beautifully familiar. Memories of classes studying Greek theatre I’d all but forgotten brimmed to the surface of my oft-senile brain. In a way, it’s evocative of my own collegiate experience, but pushed to extremes and placed in a blender with a Greek tragedy. Whipped up on high volume to a frothy Bacchanalian frenzy.
I can see how this can be a mixed-reaction book. I’m still not entirely sure I found the epilogue satisfying, but then I’m not entirely sure it was meant to be satisfying at all, really.
It earned a spot on my tier of most favoritest books quicker than anything I’ve read in quite awhile, that’s for sure.