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Year In Review – 2009

It’s such a cliche to talk about how fast the year went, how weird it is to be starting a new year when it seems like we only just started 2009, and yet I can’t help myself. I’ve become that person. And the weird thing? I’ve become that person because it’s true. The year did go fast, and it feels like we did just start 2009. I’m sure with each year that passes, those things will become more and more true. Time stops for no one, and it laughs at us as it flies by.

For this Year In Review, I’m going to share some things I’ve learned over this year, both in my personal life and in blogging. To wrap everything up, I’ll talk about the best and worst books (for me) of 2009.

The one thing I’ve left out of this post is goals/resolutions, because goals are something that I form, tweak, and work on throughout the year, not something that I’m spurred to create because of a new year. So I could tell you what ongoing goals I have right now, but that’s not nearly as interesting as what my least favorite books were. In my opinion. The only goal I have at the beginning of 2010 is the same goal I had at the beginning of 2009: to read 100 books this coming year. I didn’t make that goal in 2009, but I’m hopeful I can do it in 2010!

What I’ve Learned (personal):

  • As nice as it is to have a clean house before I leave for a vacation, it won’t kill me if this doesn’t happen.
  • My dog Samson will never cease to have health problems.
  • Dave is a great nurse.
  • I still hate change.
  • Taking the bus to work instead of driving my care gives me more reading time and helps keep me sane.
  • Even someone who seems nice can send a hateful, vicious email.
  • Also? Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true.
  • A wedding dress waiting to be cleaned that hangs from a hook on the ceiling can be ignored — for a whole year.
  • Peeing is a big milestone for someone who just had surgery.

What I’ve Learned (blogging):

  • Bloggers really are as fabulous in person as you imagine they’ll be.
  • Also, you never run out of things to talk about.
  • As important as my blog is to me, sometimes it has to take a back seat to other things in life.
  • The world won’t end if I’m not on Twitter.
  • But the world is a lot more fun when I AM on Twitter!
  • I can get rid of 100 books and still have a house full of books.
  • Getting books in the mail never gets old.
  • I will always be jealous of how fast some people can read.

My Favorite Books of 2009

These books are in no particular order.

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
  • The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
  • The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • The Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch
  • The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
  • Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire by Margot Berwin
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Good People by Marcus Sakey
  • Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

My Least Favorite Books of 2009

These books are in no particular order.

  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
  • Water Ghosts by Shawna Yang Ryan
  • Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy
  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Books I’m looking forward to in 2010

  • The Victors by Suzanne Collins, the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy
  • Tana Fench’s new book

Reading stats

  • I read 72 books in 2009.
  • Of those books, there were 27 male authors and 45 female authors, for a total of 72 books.
  • 62%Β  of the books I read in 2009 were written by females, and 38% were written by males.
  • 37 books I read this year were fantastic.
  • Out of those 37 fantastic books, 14 were written by males and 23 were written by females, which exactly follows my overall reading habits: 38% of my favorites written by males, and 62% were written by females.

What were some of your favorite and least favorite books this year? Do you make goals for yourself at the beginning of the year? Did you read more or less than you’d hoped to?

| Tags: , 35 comments »

35 Responses to “Year In Review – 2009”

  1. Lisa

    My daughter has The Adoration of Jenna Fox from the school library. Maybe I’ll have to read it quickly before she takes it back. I loved The English Patient, but I do recommend seeing the movie first so you can keep track of what’s going on.


  2. Kathy

    That’s the first time I’ve seen the title of the new Hunger Games book! 2009 was a great year for you!


  3. Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog

    Oh THAT’S what the hook is for! When we moved into our house, we noticed a hook hanging from the ceiling in the guest room. Being the dirty-minded ones that we are, we figured it was for something more sordid than keeping a wedding dress. Hmmm…

    I’m so with you on wanting to come home to a clean house after travel, but it doesn’t always happen.

    And I’m glad I’m not the only one who isn’t going to make the goal of 100 for the year. I’m solidly in the middle of #99 (yes, it hurts to be thisclose), and there’s no way I’m finishing it and reading another one before the end of the day tomorrow.

    Here’s to a fantastic 2010 and more in-person quality time!


  4. Nan

    Great list of books. Hunger Games is on my list too. I have to read The Help. I think everyone has it on their list of favorite books for the year.

    Happy new year!


  5. Jen Forbus

    Happy New Year, Trish! I read less than I’d hoped to…less than last year, but did a lot more “other” blog-related things. I guess there has to be a balance. I, like you, envy those who can read fast. I’m pokey.

    I’m so thrilled to see you enjoyed Marcus’ GOOD PEOPLE! I, too, loved THE HELP. Other books that ranked among my favorites this year were Gregg Hurwitz’s TRUST NO ONE, Michael Koryta’s THE SILENT HOUR, Louise Penny’s THE BRUTAL TELLING, and Ken Bruen/Reed Coleman’s THE TOWER. Crime fiction just overflowed with fantastic books this year.

    Here’s to 2010 and hopefully getting the chance to finally meet in person! πŸ™‚ Oh, and to many more Scramble games! πŸ˜‰


  6. Beth F

    You had a fabulous year and learned some important things.

    I’m laughing at where our book club books fell (best, worst)!


  7. Michelle

    So I’m thinking of theiving this post. Let the cliches roll. Just sayin’!

    It cracks me up that peeing made your list this year, but, have to say any time your body acts the way you want it to its a good thing right? Agreed on all accounts about Twitter, book receipts and fast reading. I’d love to be able to blaze through many books a week but like Jen I’m quite pokey and can do maybe one a week. Two if I’m really lucky and trying hard. Kudos to those who are speedier though! I ooze jealousy.

    Adore the variety on your best of list lots of great YA there. Like you I’m totally excited for “The Victors” (though Tyler says that isn’t the name I’m not entirely convinced and I’m sticking with it) it’s gonna rock!

    Wishing you a wonderful holiday and best in 2010!


  8. Jenn (Bibliolatrist)

    Great post, but I came in to say one of my dogs is a Samson too. If yours is anything like mine, we have our hands full πŸ™‚


  9. Darlene

    Great post. I feel your pain with the health issues of your dog. My year has been full of them with Buddy as well. I have yet to read The Help – I may be one of the last people to do so but I’m starting it now. I hope you have a happy & healthy New Year Trish!


  10. softdrink

    I just checked Never Let Me Go out from the library. It’s in contention for the first book of 2010.


  11. Literary Feline

    What a beautiful post, Trish. Looking back, I can say I learned quite a bit on both the personal and blogging fronts. It’s been a challenging year to say the least.

    I enjoyed reading your best of and least favorite lists. I am glad to hear that Tana French has a new book coming out this coming year. I’d better hurry up and read The Likeness.

    I’m not making any goals for myself this next year. Just gonna play it by ear. Or, at least, mostly.

    have a great 2010, Trish.


  12. Lu

    Happy New Year!!! I know what you mean about it being a cliche to say the time moved so fast, but DANG did it ever. I still can’t get over it. Some really great books this year, but I hope 2010 is even better πŸ˜€


  13. Tonya

    I’ve noticed that almost everyone has Hunger Games on their list. This must be a fairly amazing book! Of course, I really enjoyed My Sister’s Keeper but I read it long before the movie was made. Not sure if that made a difference.

    I’m starting a Short Story Challenge:

    If you’re interested , great! If not, that’s ok too!


  14. Susan B. Evans

    Getting books in the mail REALLY never gets old πŸ™‚ I’ve tried to explain this concept to my hubby to no avail πŸ™‚

    Great lists! The Lace Reader is definitely going on my tbr list for 2010.

    Happy New Year!


  15. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)

    I know that my favorites list…when I actually have time to post it…will include some of the books you have on your list.

    Have a great New Year and more books.


  16. Trisha

    How wonderful that 37 books of the year were fantastic! That is a great stat to have on your wrap up post!


  17. diane

    Some great reads there Trish – The Help was also #1 for me this year. Funny though, 3 of your LEAST favorites have been so favs of mine in past years…LOL –My Sister’s Keeper, Every Last Cuckoo, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

    Have a Happy and Health 2010 and may all your reads be great ones too!


  18. Stacy

    I will always be jealous of how fast some people read too πŸ™‚ I have a few of your favorites checked out of the library right now. Guess I need to get reading!


  19. Helen

    Great way to do the end of the year; I may steal it if it’s ok (with credit given, of course!). I’ve never had a goal of how many books to read, just to read a bunch!


  20. Patty

    My problem is I work at a bookstore and by talking to the patrons, my list – and stack – of books keeps growing! My new favorite author: Jasper Fforde and his Thursday Next series. A fun romp of a read.


  21. Steph

    I have Geek Love sitting on my shelf and whenever I see it I remember how much you love it and tell myself that I really need to read it soon. 2010 will be its year!

    I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to make it to 100 books in a single year… 2 books/ week doesn’t really sound all that unreasonable, but then life always seems to get in the way. Sigh. I say 72 books is nothing to scoff at!


  22. Frankie

    I liked ,The Help, not loved it. My favorite read for 2009 was Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese. I started, In The Woods by T. French inorder to read , The Likeness. So far so good. I’m just glad to have found this blog. Happy New Year and here’s to 2010 and good leads to good reads:)


  23. Marg

    Uh-oh. I am supposed to be reading one of your least favourite reads for a blog tour soon. Glad to see the Cashores and Suzanne Collins books on your best of lists!


  24. Jen - Devourer of Books

    Tyler told us on Twitter that the name of Hunger Games 3 hasn’t been released yet, so I’m not sure if The Victors is a leak or misinformation.

    Great reading year!


  25. Elizabeth

    I agree, getting books in the mail, especially if they’re free, never gets old! I read 94 books in 2009,but I know it would be less if I was working.


  26. Pam

    The Help was one of my favorite books of 2009 as well. But so was The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Go figure! I also really liked The Time Traveler’s Wife (though I didn’t read it in 2009). Here’s my post of The Best Books of 2009


  27. gentle reader

    Love your wrap-up! Great list of books you enjoyed from 2009. I loved The Help, too, and really did not like The Time Traveler’s Wife, either πŸ™‚
    Happy reading in 2010, hope you make it to 100!


  28. Michelle

    Hi Trish,
    Great post! I enjoyed reading about what you learned this year, and especially seeing your best/worst books of the year. I’ll be printing out the list (of the best), so I can be sure to check them all out. Happy New Year!


  29. Kari

    Love your book list! I have often felt like the only person on the planet who didn’t like The Time Traveler’s Wife. I read it right after it came out and it just didn’t do it for me, but I have some friends who consider it a favorite.

    We also had some of the same favorites for this year (The Help, The Hunger Games) and I’m on hold for Graceling at the library.

    You asked on my blog about The Patron Saint of Liars – I enjoyed it, even though the ending was very different than I expected. I am still thinking about it, whether the Patron Saint of Liars was looking after Son and Cecilia and Thomas in the wake of Rose’s actions, whether what happened ended up being the best for all of them.


  30. Hazra

    Hey, Happy New Year! I’m so jealous of how fast some people can read too! I wish I could, there are so many great books to read.


  31. zibilee

    I am so thrilled to see that Geek Love and Never Let Me Go have a place on your best list this year!! I am a HUGE advocate of Geek Love and think that everyone should read it, at least once. I am also really glad to have gotten to know you this year, and to have been able to find your blog, it’s a really fun place to be. I am also itching to read faster, but I can’t help it, I love to savor and pour over a good book like nobody’s business! I wish you a great year in reading and hope that you are able to hit that 100 mark this time around.


  32. Dominique

    Great list! The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins made my best of 2009 list this year too. Also I loved Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I agree with you about The English Patient, I didn’t like it much when I read it either and much prefer the film. 72 books is a great reading effort, well done!


  33. Sandra

    Glad you enjoyed The Help, it’s on my tbr list. I liked The Lace reader and Never Let Me Go too. Sorry to hear about Hotel on the Corner…I won a copy and though it sounded great. I’ll still read it, but perhaps with a more critical eye. I laughed about your last entry on the personal list. I’ve have kidney and bladder problems (and surgeries) my whole life- peeing can be a really big issue sometimes. Happy reading in 2010.


  34. Sandra

    My Year in Review post with books read and the best list is here:


  35. Kelly

    Jenna Fox made my top 10 list too!

    Bummer you didn’t like Jellicoe Road, that’s one of my faves. I must have missed your review of that, so I’m off to check it out…


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