Sunday, January 17, 2010

2009 in Review: Words

So when I started this blog, I had an idea that it would be about words (books, mostly) and stitches (knitting, mostly). The stitches part worked out, but I rarely write about books. So when I thought about doing a bit of a review of 2009, one of the first things I wanted to talk about was books. I love reading, but I have a terrible memory for what I have read (particularly the name & author - I can remember the content pretty well), so hopefully this will serve as a reminder for me. And maybe suggest some new reads for you.
2009 was the year I really got into using the library. Brilliant. This means it was the first year of my life where I didn't do very much re-reading. Anyway, here are some of my favourite books that I read in 2009:

The Children's Book, A S Byatt: brilliant. Didn't want it to ever finish. A wonderful examination of the artifice that adults impose on children, and of a strange period of time. Includes very interesting discussions about the Arts and Crafts movement.

Outlander, Gil Adamson: Easy to read, great tale with a wonderful sense of place. Beautifully written.

Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley: My number one book of 2009. A re-telling of King Lear, set in modern rural America. She writes beautifully, and there was that great Shakespearean sense of dread as all inevitably collapses. I'm now reading Horse Heaven, another of hers, and while the topic is not something I'm especially interested in, she is a master of words.

Secret River, Kate Grenville: So close for number one - I can't stop thinking about this, even nearly a year on. Haunting, a brilliant portrayal of early Australian life.

Yummy Yucky, Leslie Patricelli: Fun book about all the things that are yummy and yucky. I love it as much as B does :)

Forty Signs of Rain; Fifty Degrees Below; Sixty Days and Counting, Kim Stanley Robinson: Nerdy trilogy about climate change and the impact on our way of life. As usual with KSR, the writing and characterisation are flimsy at times, but the ideas are great. I keep thinking 'why can't we just do that'....full of good, big ideas and a bit of hope.

so there are some of my top picks for 2009. I'd love to hear any of your top books that I could add to the list for 2010!

1 comment:

colleen said...

I've just come to your blog via Lara. I so admire Jane Smiley's writing and you are the first person I have ever come across who has read Horse Heaven. I just loved this book. I would never have thought to read it if I hadn't read One Thousan Acres - I mean who ido I know who is interested in horse breeding and racing...nobody. But the strength of her style and intelligence just carries you along.

Keep up with the reading!