I’ve been thinking a lot about the last year and the craziness of it all. I think it will take a few posts to cover everything that happened in 2010, and since I am lazy, it will probably be in list form.
Today, we will start with the top five books I read in 2010 (although they were not necessarily published in 2010). Thanks to applications on Facebook like WeRead and sites like Goodreads, I can keep track of all of stuff I read and whether or not I liked it. This is awesome since I don’t particularly have a fantastic memory, and, honestly, January 2010 was a really long time ago. I barely remember what I read last week, let alone 12 months ago.
*Additionally, just to note, I am only including novels and not picture books. I don’t really keep track of the picture books I read (although I really should) so we’ll just ignore those.
Overall, in 2010, I read around 23 books. This may sound impressive, but the majority of them were children’s books, so, actually, you should be a little disappointed in me. You’d think I could read faster since I do have a graduate degree and I’m reading 4th grade level books. Let’s just say that I read them slowly so-as to intake as much as I possibly can of the text. Yeah, we’ll go with that and ignore the excessive amounts of TV and internet time I had in 2010.
1. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Published: 2008, 2009, 2010
I know, I know, I’m cheating by putting 3 in one, but I read them all this year, quickly, and in successive order, so to me, they are kind of 1 long book. I do think the best one was the first, and the worst was the last, but they go together so nicely I couldn’t choose one over the other. The story of Katniss Everdeen caputred my imagination like no book had in a long time and I found myself transported into Panem almost instantly. This book almost helped me get a job at Burbank Public Library since I gave an AMAZING book talk about it in my second interview. This book helped me connect with my sister in a new way, since she is currently obsessed with it and has read them all at least twice now. What makes me sad is how long it took me to read it! I could’ve been ahead of the curve! At ALA Annual 2008 in Anaheim, I acquired an ARC and just let it sit on my bookshelf for two years until finally deciding on a whim to see what all the hullabaloo was about and then getting sucked in. The one fault of the books though? The Epilogue at the end of Mockingjay. I don’t know why authors (like JK Rowling with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows also) feel it necessary to tell me what happens to the characters 10, 20 years into the future. Why can’t you just let me imagine it and leave it open ended? Because, I guarantee you, the ending for these characters in my head was 10 times better than the pretty little package ending they wrote for them.
2. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Okay, so I’m a bandwagon jumper. I’m okay with that in terms of books. I hate wasting my time on anything that’s not worth while, so I’ll wait until it receives some kind of nomination or acclaim to pick it up. When You Reach Me was the Newbery Award winner for last year and it was amazing. Having just re-read A Wrinkle In Time before reading this book (unknowing the connection), I time-traveled and got caught up in 1970s game shows like never before. The saddness and hope of this book was fantastic, even at an adult level, and I appreciated the author not sugar coating tragic events. Rarely do I agree with the Newbery committee, but this year they really hit it on the head.
3. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
Unlike Hunger Games, I have not liked all the books in this series equally. Plus, with 200 pages left in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, my book was due with holds so it couldn’t be renewed and I have yet to finish the series, so I don’t want to comment on the series as a whole. While I really enjoyed Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (obviously if I continued reading the series), I found The Girl Who Played With Fire to be infinitely better. The pace was quicker, there was less mumbo jumbo and minute details on matters I care nothing about. Also, Lisbeth was a lot more kick ass in this book which was pretty great.
4. Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee
I wish this book had been written when I was a child. While I was not a child-genius, I wanted to be. Desperately. I probably would’ve wanted to be Millicent Min and tried to act like her in every way possible, hoping that purely through actions someone would recognize my deep-seeded genius and put me into college at an early age (which, in fact, actually happened to a few of my middle school friends). Millicent Min, I ❤ You and I would’ve been your best friend if you had let me.
5. I Love Yous Are for White People by Lac Su
Publication Date: 2009
Sad and truthful, this book chronicled the immigration of a young boy from Vietnam to California in the 1970s and all the hard realities that come with such a thing. This book broke my heart and I saw much of many people I know’s lives in different parts. Thankfully, I don’t think that I know very many people who suffered the abuse that Lac suffered or the gang affiliations, but who knows, everyone has their secrets. The stories from this book will be with me always.
And, because I’m kind of a bitch, I give you my bottom books for 2010 (no pictures or authors because I do feel kind of bad):
1. Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Thanks a lot, Newbery Committee)
2. I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President (I wanted to strangle this little asshole and then stop watching the John Stewart Show, who this author writes for)
3. How I Survived Being a Girl (It wasn’t horrible, but it just didn’t capture my attention. Like at all. And the print was huge so it probably would’ve taken about 2 hours to read if it hadn’t felt so painful)
4. Criss Cross (Thanks again, Newbery Committee. You guys really know how to pick winners for your honorable mention – granted, I listened to it on audio, but I gave it to a girl who we usually share reading likes with, and she said she couldn’t get very far either).