Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A Decade of Favorite Books Read - 2010 - 2019

A Summary of a Decade of Favorite Books Read and Loved - 10 years and 1,326 books read (122/books a year average)

TOP 10 Favorites of 2019 
(no particular order)
  1. The Dutch House; Ann Patchett (audio)
  2. Ask Again, Yes; Mary Beth Keane (audio)
  3. A Stone for Danny Fisher; Harold Robbins (audio)
  4. Chances Are; Richard Russo (audio)
  5. Summer of 69; Elin Hilderbrand (audio)
  6. The Wartime Sisters; Lynda Cohen Loigman (print)
  7. Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: (NF) memoir; T. Kira Madden (print)
  8. Morningstar: Growing Up With Books (NF); Ann Hood (print)
  9. As We Are Now; May Sarton (print)
  10. An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good; Helene Tursten (print)
TOP 10 Favorites of 2018 
(no particular order)

Sunburn; Laura Lippman - eGalley 5/5 - (April)
A Noise Downstairs; Linwood Barclay (eGalley) - 5/5 - (April)
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership; James Comey (audio) - 5/5 - (July)
84, Charing Cross Road; Helene Hanff (library) - 5/5 - (July)
Calypso; David Seders (audio) - 5/5 - (August)
Where the Crawdads Sing; Delia Owens (eGalley) - 5/5 - (October)
Strike Your Heart; Amelie Nothomb  (library) - 5/5 (November)
Red & Lulu; Matt Taveres - personal copy 5/5 (November)
Becoming; Michelle Obama - audio - 5/5 (December)


FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2017
(in no particular order )











Favorite Books of 2016
(in no particular order)






















  1. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things; Bryn Greenwood
  2. My Name is Lucy Barton; Elizabeth Strout
  3. Under the Influence; Joyce Maynard 
  4. Looking Back: A Chronicle of Growing Up Old in the Sixties; Joyce Maynard  (nonfiction)
  5. The Heavens May Fall; Allen Eskens
  6. Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady (NF); Susan Quinn (nonfiction)
  7. When Breath Becomes Air; Paul Kalanithi (nonfiction)
  8. Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter; Kate Clifford Larson (nonfiction)
  9. The Notorious RBG; Cameron & Knizhnik (nonfiction)
  10. My Sunshine Away; M.O. Walsh

Favorite Reads for 2015

A Little Life
it was amazing
When I first decided to read this book, I thought that the cover image was a terrible choice, however, after finishing this 700+ pp book over the course of a few weeks, I now think the image is perfect. It so accurately depicts the emot...
Aquarium
it was amazing
Aquarium is an addictive read that hooked me early on, shocked me as the story progressed and made me wonder whether emotionally wounded individuals can ever truly heal. The story opens in 1990's Seattle, where 12-year-old Caitlin live...
The Beautiful Bureaucrat
it was amazing
When I saw that readers who enjoy Murakami and Atwood would likely enjoy this book, I knew I had to give it a try. It's a great choice for book groups with plenty to discuss. After being out of work for way too long Joseph and Josephine...
Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories
it was amazing
Ghostly, was a pleasant surprise, an awesome collection of short ghost stories. Each story can be completed in a short sitting, preferably by a nice warm fire or glowing candle with something warm to drink. Each story begins with a sma...
Eileen
it was amazing
Just who is Eileen? In a town only referred to as X-ville in Massachusetts lived 24 year old Eileen Dunlop. Some might see her simply as a lonely young woman with low self esteem who cares for her alcoholic ex-cop father. To me, Eileen w...
What I Remember Most
it was amazing
What I Remember Most was a terrific story and one that kept me wondering as I eagerly turned each page. Part mystery, part contemporary fiction, the only thing that the reader knows for sure is that the protagonist, Grenadine Scotch Wild...
Our Souls at Night
it was amazing
I loved this audiobook narrated by Mark Bramhall. The story left me feeling a bit sad, and with a thought that I often ask myself these days -- "Why can't people just live and let live?" The story is a pretty simple one and involves two...
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
it was amazing
It took me a while to write this review because it covered so much important information, I wasn't sure possibly write a review that would it all the credit it deserved, as I'm sure I will have glossed over lots of important information....
This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!
it was amazing
This is Your Life, Harriet Chance is a wonderful story told through the POV of Harriet, a 78 year old widow who had been married for 55 years. After her husband Bernard passes away, Harriet learns he had planned an Alaskan cruise for ...
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
it was amazing
While many people choose not to think about death and dying, 20-something author Caitlin Doughty was obsessed by it at an early age. At the age of eight she performed a ritual the she believed would help keep death at bay. After growing ...

goodreads.com

2012 Favorite Books Read

Top 10 Fiction
  1. East of Eden; John Steinbeck
  2. A Sense of an Ending; Julian Barnes
  3. The Beginner's Goodbye; Anne Tyler
  4. The Spectator Bird; Wallace Stegnar
  5. Tell the Wolves I'm Home; Carla Rifkin Brunt
  6. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry; Rachel Joyce
  7. A Grown Up Kind of Pretty; Joshilyn Jackson
  8. The Bartender's Tale; Ivan Doig
  9. Translation of the Bones; Francesca Kay
  10. Heft; Liz Moore
Top Non Fiction
  1. Lot's of Candle's Plenty of Cake ; Anna Quindlen
  2. A Moveable Feast; Ernest Hemingway
  3. No Buddy Left Behind; Terry Crisp
  4. Quiet; Susan Cain
  5. Say You're One of Them; Akpan
Top Audio Books
  1. The End of Your Life Book; Will Schwalbe
  2. Defending Jacob; William Landay
  3. Live By Night; Dennis Lehane
  4. Winter of the World; Ken Follett
  5. Canada; Richard Ford
Top Kids Picture Books
  1. The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye; Jane Yalon
  2.  A House in the Woods; Inga Moore
  3. If You Spent a day With Thoreau at Walden Pond; Burleigh and Minor
  4. It's Okay to Be Different; Todd Parr
  5. How to Babysit a Grandpa; Jean Reagan

Favorite Books of 2011

Favorite Fiction
  1. A Kind of Intimacy; Jenn Ashworth - Annie is a whacky gal, who I found endearing in a bizarre sort of way. At times I pitied her, and her desperate attempts for love and acceptance. The story is dark and addictive. An unforgettable birds-eye view of the dark side of a fractured mind.
  2. A Good Hard Look; Ann Napolitano -  a fictionalized version of the life of the late author Flannery O'Connor. An at times heart-wrenching story, which changes everyone, as they quickly understand what the author meant when she said, "the truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  This book made my go out and purchase all of Flannery O'Connor's books. Loved it.
  3. The Homecoming of Samuel Lake; Jenny Wingfield -  A richly detailed account of good and evil in 1950s Arkansas. It's both heart-breaking and uplifting; simple wonderful.
  4. 11/22/63; Stephen King - Having been born in the early 50's, reading this novel was like a blast  from the past. Whether it was the music references, the vehicles, or the laughable price of gasoline, every detail from that period seemed authentic. It's one of those books that if you allow yourself to suspend belief and just go along for the ride, I think you'll agree it was worth your time. 
  5. Of Mice and Men; John Steinbeck -  The story of two drifters, Lennie, a mentally challenged, gentle giant, and George, the man who looks after Lennie. Heart-breaking but wonderful.
  6.  Sing You Home; Jodi Picoult - Having read all of Picoult's novels, this one --her 18th, is probably her most controversial yet. A powerful story about what constitutes a family, and why committed gay couples should be seen no differently from straight couples when it comes to marriage and raising a family.
  7. The Elegance of the Hedgehog; Muriel Barbery -  The Elegance of the Hedgehog is truly a beautiful novel about life, and about looking for the beauty in every person you meet. It gave me so much to think about. It's not the type of story with lots of action, it more philosophical, but don't let that scare you. It's a wonderful character study that examines not only what makes the main characters tick, but it is also a deep exploration of all that surrounds us in the world we live in. 
  8. State of Wonder; Ann Patchett -  Pharmaceutical researcher Dr. Marina Singh sets off into the Amazon jungle to find the remains and effects of a colleague who recently died under somewhat mysterious circumstances.Beautiful writing, page turning plot.
  9. How to Read the Air; Dinaw Mengestu -  A wonderful story about the immigrant experience. The writing is beautiful and detailed and the story intimate. If you love introspective stories,  this one gets high marks in that area. 
  10.  The Easter Parade; Richard Yates - This book too deals with the disenchantment of everyday life, and the longing for something more....the illusive butterfly, that if found, would make our life just perfect. The people in this novel drink too much, make bad choices in relationships and live their lives afraid to share how they really feel. It's wonderful.
 Other Favorites (non fiction and childrens)
Top Picks for 2010

FICTION - Top 10

  1. The Bells; Richard Harvell
  2. The Wayward Bus; John Steinbeck
  3. The Solitude of Prime Numbers; Paolo Giaordano
  4. The Handmaid's Tale; Margaret Atwood
  5. How High the Moon; Sandra Kring
  6. Strangers at the Feast; Jennifer Vanderbes
  7. The Good Daughters; Joyce Maynard
  8. Blue Nude; Elisabeth Rosner
  9. Noah's Compass; Anne Tyler
  10. The Wife's Tale; Lori Lansens
Top 10 Non Fiction

  1. Unbroken; Laura Hillenbrand
  2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; Rebecca Skloot
  3. Frida Kahlo: The Still Lifes; Salomon Grimberg
  4. Making the Rounds with Oscar; Dr David Dosa
  5. Slow Death By Rubber Duck; Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie
  6. The Genius in All of Us; David Shenk
  7. Gilded: How Newport Became America's Richest Resort; Deborah Davis
  8. Making Toast; Roger Rosenblatt
  9. You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know; Heather Sellers
  10. Stitches: A Memoir; David Small  (graphic novel - memoir)
Top 10 Audio Books

  1. I Thought You Were Dead; Pete Nelson
  2. The Poisonwood Bible; Barbara Kingsolver
  3. Shantaram; Gregory David Roberts
  4. Pillars of the Earth; Ken Follett
  5. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; Haruki Murakami
  6. Girl in Translation; Jean Kwok
  7. The Lonely Polygamist; Brady Udall 
  8. Freedom; Jonathan Franzen
  9. The Murderer's Daughters; Randy Sue Meyer
  10. The Forty Rules of Love; Elif Shafak
Top 10 Kids Books

  1. The Last Train; Gordon Titcomb
  2. Llama, Llama Misses Mama; Anna Dewdney
  3. Night Tree; Eve Bunting
  4. Interrupting Chicken; David Ezra Stein
  5. Fred Stays with Me; Nancy Coffelt
  6. Owen and Mzee; Hatkoff
  7. Biblioburro; Jeanette Winter
  8. Molly's Pilgrim; Barbara Cohen
  9. Christian the Hugging Lion; Richardson and Parnell
  10. Fancy Nancy: Heart to Heart; O'Connor and Glasser

19 comments:

  1. I love this trip down memory lane! So many great books that I have read and so, so many more that you have listed that are on my TBR list. I need to remember to update my Top Ten lists in my sidebar. Here's to another great year of reading!!

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    1. Thanks Les. It is fun looking back and, although I'll rarely reread something, so many on my list tempt me to repeat.

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  2. What a great summation of the whole decade. Your lists and cover pictures brought back some great memories - and reminded me that at least half a dozen of these are still on my TBR list.

    Happy New Year. Let's do another decade or two...

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    1. I hope we both have at least 10 more years of perfectly enjoyable reading picks.

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  3. Such great lists of books! I loved A Little Life and Eleanor Oliphant! Happy New Year!

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    1. Both great books for sure; here's to happy reading in 2020.

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  4. I have Becoming so I really must get around to it. Also must get a copy of The Dutch House as so many people who blog seem to love it. Great post!

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  5. That's most impressive! The Dad, I don't think, has read 133 books ever. Well, maybe, he tries but his dyslexia challenges him sometimes. Happy New Year from all of us!

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    1. Your dad is not alone; I know a few who struggle with reading for pleasure - perhaps some audio books in 2020.

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  6. I'm going to be bookmarking this post for a while so that I can keep picking off a book from here to read for some time. And am I glad you mentioned Becoming - I've been trying to decide which book to read and that one just sounds right to me.

    Oh, and hi Diane! I'm just getting back from my longest absence from books and reading, and am super glad to be back. :-)

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    1. So happy you commented. I have missed your blogging insights. Happy New Year!

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  7. Congrats on your decade of reading achievements, and thanks for sharing your recommendations

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and wishing you a Happy New Year!

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  8. Diane thank you for sharing your decade of reading lists! I see a lot of my favorites here too! Of course I see a lot more books to add to my reading list.

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  9. You have read some wonderful books this last decade. Wow.

    Here's to a marvelous new decade!

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  10. Thank you for sharing your favourites lists! Like Iliana, I found several of my favourites and I need to check out the others, too.

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  11. I'm glad in 2019 you liked Chances Are by Russo .... I still want to get to it. Nice list of your decade reads!

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  12. Love this!! I read 20 of these and know many more are on my TBR list.

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