Books read this year

  • Jul. 18th, 2010 at 1:37 AM
beth_shulman: (book: meg powers)
Organized very loosely by genre, alphabetically by author's last name


Westmark by Lloyd Alexander
The Kestrel by Lloyd Alexander
The Beggar Queen by Lloyd Alexander
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Fire by Kristin Cashore
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Mistwood by Leah Cypress
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
Archangel by Sharon Shinn
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkein

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
My Antonia by Willa Cather
A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
The Europeans by Henry James
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
A Severed Wasp by Madeleine L'Engle
Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund
Under the Rose by Diana Peterfreund
Rites of Spring (Break) by Diana Peterfreund
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn
Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Three Lives by Gertrude Stein
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Going Bovine by Libba Bray
The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Paper Towns by John Green
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
Dream Life by Lauren Mechling
Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Past Perfect, Present Tense by Richard Peck
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
Jackaroo by Cynthia Voigt
Friends for Life by Ellen Emerson White
Life Without Friends by Ellen Emerson White
The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Dear Brutus by J. M. Barrie
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Harry Potter, books 1-7, by J. K. Rowling
Holes by Louis Sachar
Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
The President's Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White
Sorcery and Cecelia by Wrede and Stevenmer
No Talking by Andrew Clements

Everything in Rereads, pretty much.
     I'm not sure why Dear Brutus isn't more well-known, or why my entire library system only has one copy (which is falling to pieces). Dear Brutus is an extremely lyrical, almost chilling play which looks at what people do with second chances.
     Ender's Game is a classic for a reason. And despite the cover, it isn't a children's book.
     Jellicoe Road is a masterpiece. It's a book that challenges its readers; its characters are imperfect, real people in an imperfect world; it has gorgeous, lyrical writing; its every detail ties into the story.
     Harry Potter speaks for itself. Our generation's fantasy classic. By now, it's a comfort read.
     Holes by Louis Sachar is one of the most unique books to ever win the Newbery. Structurally speaking, it's one of the best books I've ever read.
     The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner doesn't fall into any specific genre; I usually describe it as a strategic political drama. If you haven't read these yet, do so. Now.
     The President's Daughter series isn't very well known. The first two books are relatively light reading, entertaining and unique; the heart of the books is Meg's relationship with her mother. The third book is traumatizing: be prepared. The fourth book is the most realistic, meaningful, detailed recovery process of a character that would never let you that close if she existed, and if you knew her. It's the best book of the series, but it can only be best understood if you read the first three first.
     The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White did for the Vietnam War what The Grapes of Wrath did for the Dust Bowl. It makes it real. It makes it frightening. It makes you care.
     Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe - if only for the last two paragraphs, which are genius.
     I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak - you'll have to disregard the ending, but until then, this is a gorgeously written, fascinating book.
     Living Dead Girl comes with a warning: this is not typical Elizabeth Scott fare. This is a terrifying, frighteningly realistic book about horrific abuse.
     The Demon's Lexicon and Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan has strong, unique characters, creative circumstances, and clever twists. It reminds me of the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud - ithey're both slightly darker YA paranormal series set in London.

     For lighter reading, Ilona Andrews' books are endlessly entertaining with a great strong female protagonist. Lisa Mantchev's Eyes Like Stars is the most inventive, creative YA book I've read this year. The Secret Society Girl series by Diana Peterfreund is lively, entertaining fluff. Heist Society by Ally Carter is a book that I couldn't believe came from Ally Carter: it's more creative and mature than her Gallagher Girls series. And Andrew Clements is one of the best children's authors writing today.

The absolute must-reads:
The Great Gatsby
The Sound and the Fury
A Raisin in the Sun
Jellicoe Road

     If you haven't read these, I don't have anything to say beyond this: The Great Gatsby is possibly the best-written book I've ever read; The Sound and the Fury is possibly the most complex and rewarding book I've ever read (although it is a tragedy); A Raisin in the Sun is my favorite play (it beats Dear Brutus, that's really, really big); and Jellicoe Road is the best YA book out there today.

Which of these have you read?


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