Sunday, December 20, 2009

Top 10 Books of Years Gone By

I've been trying to finalize my Top 10 Books for 2009, but did not want to post the list prematurely.  There is always that chance that I might hit another home run in the next 10 days.  It did get me thinking about books that I enjoyed in previous years.  I've only been keeping records since 2001, so I thought that I would post what I considered to be the BEST books that I read in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. (It was interesting for me to take a look back, scratch my head, and wonder how a few of these books even made my list to read, never mind them ending up being favorites for that year??? Has your taste in books changed over the years like mine?

2008 - Top 10 Books out of 206 Read

  1. Tomato Girl; Jane Pupek
  2. The Art of Racing in the Rain; Garth Stein (audio)
  3. Molokai; Richard Brennert
  4. Every Last Cuckoo; Kate Maloy
  5. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle; David Wroblewski
  6. Purple Hibiscus; Adichie (audio)
  7. Testimony; Anita Shreve
  8. Skeletons at the Feast; Bohjalian
  9. Unaccustomed Earth; Lahari (audio)
  10. The Commoner; Schwartz (audio)
2007- Top 10 Books out of 187 Read

  1. Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name; Vida
  2. A Thousand Splendid Suns; Hosseini
  3. The Double Bind; Chris Bohjalian
  4. Summers at Blue Lake; Althouse
  5. The Book Thief; Zusak
  6. Night Fall; nelson DeMille
  7. Gold Coast; Nelson DeMille
  8. The Loop; Joe Coomer
  9. The Rest of Her Life; Moriarty
  10. Promise Not To Tell; Jennifer McMahon
2006 - Top 10 Books out of 187 Read

  1. Water For Elephants; Sarah Gruen
  2. The Crimes of Jordan Wise; Pronzini
  3. The Things They Carried; O'Brien
  4. The Road; Comac McCarthy
  5. Cage of Stars; Mitchard
  6. The Thirteenth Tale; Setterfield
  7. The Analyst; Jon Katzenbach
  8. Wild Fire; Nelson DeMille
  9. Slay Ride; Grabenstein
  10. Book of Lost Things; Connolly
2005 - Top 10 Books out of 190 Read

  1. Snow Flower & the Secret Fan; Lisa See
  2. Kite Runner; Hoseinni
  3. Bright Forever; Lee Martin
  4. Myth of You & Me; Stewart
  5. Half Broken Things; Morag Joss
  6. Red Leaves; Thomas Cook
  7. My Sister's Keeper; Jodi Picoult
  8. Writing on the Wall; Schwartz
  9. Rapture of Canaan; Reynolds
  10. Follow Your Heart; Tamaro
2004 - Top 10 Books out of 134 Read
  1. Middlesex; Jeffrey Eugendies
  2. Between Two Rivers; Daniel Rinaldi
  3. An Inconvenient Wife; Megan Chance
  4. Sudden Sea; Scotti (N/F)
  5. An Almost Perfect Moment; Kirshenbaum
  6. The Christmas Shoes; Donna Van Liere
  7. Joy Comes in the Morning; Rosen
  8. Island Walkers; Bemrose
  9. The Usual Rules; Joyce Maynard
  10. A Redbird Christmas; Fannie Flagg
2003 - Top 10 Fiction Books out of 118 Read

  1. Life of Pi; Martel
  2. Crow Lake; Maryann Lawson
  3. Second Glance; Jodi Picoult
  4. All He Ever Wanted; Anita Shreve
  5. Learning Joy From Dogs Without Collars; Lauralee Summer (N/F)
  6. Old School; Tobias Wolff
  7. Lake of Dead Languages; Carol Goodman
  8. Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time; Mark Haddon
  9. Beachcomber; Karen Robards
  10. The Center of Everything; Laura Moriarty
2002 - Top 10 Books out of 87 Read

  1. The Lovely Bones; Alice Sebold
  2. Eden Close; Anita Shreve
  3. Blindness; Jose Saramago
  4. Tuesdays With Morrie; Mitch Albom (N/F)
  5. Whispers & Lies; Joy Fielding
  6. Snow Island; Susan Towler
  7. Gold Coast; Nelson DeMille
  8. Salem Falls; Jodi Picoult
  9. All the Names; Jose Saramago
  10. Chasing the Dime; Michael Connelly
2001- Top 10 Books out of 66 Read
  1. The Bonesetter's Daughter; Amy Tan
  2. Strange Fits of Passion; Anita Shreve
  3. Resistance: ; Anita Shreve
  4. The Inn at Lake Devine; Elinor Lipman
  5. The Bluest Eye; Toni Morrison
  6. The Law of Similars; Chris Bohjalian
  7. I Know This Much Is True:; Wally Lamb
  8. Good Harbor: A Novel;Anita Diamant
  9. L.A. Dead (Stone Barrington Novels); Stuart Woods
  10. Angela's Ashes; Frank McCourt (N/F)
 Were any of these books, favorites of yours as well?  My 2009 list should be out in another (10) days or so.


  1. Life of Pi is one I enjoyed this year.

  2. I can't go back quite that far, I'm afraid. Though it is fun to go back over what I did keep track of and think on my favorites.

    I think my reading patterns have changed some over the years--and what I read to some degree. I still like many of the same types of books, I've just expanded my reading.

    You've got some of my favorites there: Moloka'i, The Kite Runner and The Thirteenth Tale. Quite a few too that I want to read. :-)

    I need to start thinking of my 2009 list. I'll be posting it next week most likely.

  3. I'm so impressed that you've kept track of what you've read for so long. I'm waiting to post my top 10 for 2009 as well for the same reason.

  4. Wow, top ten of the past ten years, huh? I wish I had tracked my books from before I started blogging and such. Would be nice to know what I read previously. Hopefully, I'll be all organized going forward, at least! I haven't read ANY of the books on your 2009 list. Yikes.

  5. Just added two of these (Water for Elephants and The Thirteenth Tale) to my TBR list. Thanks! :)


  6. What a wonderful List! Can't wait to see your 2009 list. I've only read 6 on this list, have another 10 on my TBR pile, and have started and abandoned a couple.

    I always find it fascinating when people have such divergent views on books. Life of Pi, My sister's Keeper, and Middlesex were all books I've started and gave up on in the last 2 years. And I'm sure that my 'best' list probably has a couple that some people couldn't do either.

    Look forward to your 2009 list.

  7. What a great list! I didn't keep track of my reading until I started my blog, which was only a little over a year ago so I have no record of my top 10. It's fun to look back on our reading isn't it? My taste has changed quite a bit over the years too.

  8. What a fantastic post! I also loved The Lovely Bones, Chasing the Dime, The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and Skeletons at the Feast. Blindness is in my TBR pile.

  9. I participated in an AOL message board and we have been voting for our favorites for 11 years! It is almost time to start the voting for 2009. If you are interesting in joining (or just lurking at) our re-formed group, we are now at GoodReads. We are a nice bunch of folks and the group is not huge like some of the GoodReads groups

  10. We have quite a few favorites in common:

    The Art of Racing in the Rain; Garth Stein

    The Commoner; Schwartz

    A Thousand Splendid Suns; Hosseini

    Water For Elephants; Sarah Gruen

    Kite Runner; Hoseinni

    Bright Forever; Lee Martin

    Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time; Mark Haddon

    The Lovely Bones; Alice Sebold

    Strange Fits of Passion; Anita Shreve

    Resistance: ; Anita Shreve

  11. What a fun look back! It's hard to believe some of the books we're still talking about go back 5 or 6 years!

  12. I loved Testimony and The Lovely Bones as well. I have a lot of these books in my TBR pile, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed them!

  13. I currently have Every Last Cuckoo on my TBR shelf. Do you still think it is a 5 star? I tend to be generous in my ratings, but a 5 star is a book that I can gush over and say "you've got to read this -- I loved it!"

  14. Great lists! I've only read 11 and a few are also favourites (e.g. Life of Pi and The Road). Some are on my tbr. You know, you're the only one I know who's also read (and also loved) Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name. I thought that was so disquieting but beautiful.

  15. Fantastic lists! I wish I was able to look at my favourites from previous years.

    You have a lot of my favourites there (blindness, Life of Pi especially), but also a few I haven't heard of (Skeletons at the Feast, Summers at Blue Lake) I'll have to take a look at some of them.

    I look forward to seeing what makes it onto this years list.

  16. Kim, I did love Every Last Cuckoo and think I would still love the story today if I read it again now. I loved the all the characters.

  17. Very fun post! We overlap in a lot of places. Three of yours from last year, I just got to this year.

  18. Joanne, thanks I will check out the Good Reads group since I am a member!

    Thank you ALL/EVERYONE for your comments, I am so THRILLED to see that some of my favorites were also favorites of some of you :)

  19. I'd be really interested in knowing which books that made your old favorite lists wouldn't make your list now. :)

  20. A lot of the books on your list were favorites of mine as well. A handful of them are on my shelves, but as of now, unread. Good to know I have some great books coming up in my future! Great lists!

  21. Middlesex and The Art of RAcing in the Rain are two of my favorite books from past years.

    Great lists!

  22. Here's my list:

    Unaccustomed Earth
    A Thousand Splendid Suns
    The Book Thief
    The Road
    Book of Lost Things
    Kite Runner
    The Lovely Bones
    The Bonesetter's Daughter
    I Know This Much Is True
    Angela's Ashes (Audio, read by McCourt)

    Only 10 out of ??? I have a feeling that I've missed out on a few dozen.

    I'm putting my 2009 list together and The Book Thief will be my best read of 2009.

  23. Alyce,

    As I look at my list of Top 10 Books in this post, the authors that I doubt would probably not make my Top 10 list EVER again would be:

    Nelson DeMille, Michael Connelly, Joe Coomer, Laura Moriarty, Fannie Flagg or Stuart Woods

    My taste in books has changed, and although I still like thrillers etc, it's hard me to see one now making my Top 10 list.

  24. I love this post ... I love that you have this information. I love a lot of the books you listed ... I guess that is why I enjoy reading your blog ... we have similar tastes. Now I wasn't quite clear ... were these lists your lists at the time or did you "update" them? I would love to see ones you didn't like as much now that you look back on them.

    And I need to do a top list for this year too ... I love posts like that! Can't wait to see yours.

  25. Jenners.....Yes, I kept a Top 10 list each year since 2001 even though I've only been blogging just over one year.

    As I mentioned in a post to answer Alyce's question, since my reading taste has changed some in the last (8) years, certain authors probably would not make my Top 10 list EVER again:

    Nelson DeMille, Michael Connelly, Joe Coomer, Laura Moriarty, Fannie Flagg or Stuart Woods

    I still like the type of books they write but, I'm a tougher critic now so, it's hard for me to see one of these now making my Top 10 list, unless their writing improves dramatically.

  26. Awesome top ten lists. I loved scanning through them. We share a lot of the same likes.
    I only have 2008 since like many others I only kept written record since I began my blog. That is one reason I love my blog.
    I have my top ten for 2010 in mind and will be posting it in January.
    Thanks for sharing your history.

  27. OK, first, WOW! you read a lot!

    I see quite a few of my favorites on your lists. I haven't made my 2009 list yet (like you, I'm waiting to see if there are any last minute contenders) but I do know that The Art of Racing in the Rain will be on there - I loved that book!

  28. So many books here I haven't read! Many I've read but I'm so far behind you on them!

  29. Water For Elephants was one of my favourite reads of 2008 (especially loved Walter!).

    I see you are also an Anita Shreve fan. Eden Close and Resistance were excellent page-turners! The Weight of Water also tops my favourite Shreve books, have you read that one?

  30. Wanda...Weight of Water was also a good one by Shreve (not my favorite but very good. Thanks 4 stopping by!


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