Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Books in 2009

Ninety five, that's the grand total of books I've read in 2009. As for audio books, that number is 48.

My top 5 books of 2009...

1. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Book #1: "The Hunger Games"
Book #2: "Catching Fire"
Book #3: To be released August 2010 :)
I know, I can't shut up about these books – but that's because they are amazing. It's about the US in the future, only it's no longer the US – it's 13 districts surrounding the Capital in the middle and resources are slim. After District 13 rebels and the Capital destroys them, as a reminder for the other districts to behave – the Capital holds a yearly event called The Hunger Games. A "lottery" is held in every district, and one boy and girl between the ages of 12-18 are selected in a fight to the death.

I was hesitant to read the first book because I’m not one for violence, but after hearing nonstop amazing reviews, I decided to suck it up. While the book has many deaths in it, this book isn’t gory or graphically violent. It’s mainly a young-adult book about Big Brother and slowly fighting the system.

2. “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield
Vida Winter is a mega-famous romance writer, who does interview after interview – although she’s never told the truth about her past. Margaret Lea, is an antique bookshop employee who receives this confession from Vida Winter with the request for her to come to Vida Winter’s house and write the truth. This book deals with 2 big questions – what is Vida Winter’s past and why did she pick Margaret Lea to write about it.

3. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Everyone knows what these books are about, so no description is necessary. I will say it takes until book #3 for all the background details to wrap up and the plot to thicken – so don’t give up so quickly.

4. “Columbine” by Dave Cullen

I always feel weird saying a true-crime book is a favorite, because it feels a little on the morbid side, but this book is amazing. "Columbine" was released for the 10th-year anniversary of Columbine shooting, so more details are in the book. Dave Cullen was also a reporter who covered everything Columbine, so his experiences definitely contribute to the book. This book rotates between various narrators, including one on the shooters and the teacher who died.

5. “
The Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova
I must admit, I was rather not excited to read this book – it was huge and the title sounded boring. Then I read the description and found out it's about the search for Dracula, and I got intrigued. I thought this book was awesome – it was so interesting all the places the characters go for this search. I must admit though, I'm a wuss and the first 100 pages or so scared the crap out of me and I was scared Dracula would come kidnap me as well.


  1. Love The Hunger Games! I can't wait until the last one comes out!

  2. I'm going to have to check out the Hunger Games and the 13th Tale. Sounds good.

  3. I'm so glad you liked the HIstorian! I bought it when it first came out and FLEW through it. Happy reading in 2010!

  4. Thanks, Ashley. Very nice of you to include my book, Columbine. I loved your write-up.

  5. Ashley,

    I also thought "Columbine" was a great book until I started reading some of the negative reviews of it, including one written by Randy Brown, father of Brooks Brown who was a classmate and friend of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Brown says that the author Cullen got a lot of things wrong in his book and all but calls the book "Columbine" a 'work of fiction'. If you haven't read his review yet I recommend it. You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3AJEK6T7746K6/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

    I also recommend reading (again, if you haven't already) "Comprehending Columbine" by Ralph Larkin. Larkin's book is markedly different from Cullen's; it's not a perfect book either as it too has some errors but I feel that overall it takes a much more accurate look into why Columbine happened and does a great job of analyzing what some considered a "toxic" atmosphere at Columbine High School.