Meme: 2009 Books Overview

Posted 29 December, 2009 by Lianne in Meme / 0 Comments

Snagged off book_memes:

1. What was your favourite book of 2009? If this question seems too hard, feel free to list your three favourite books, or your five favourite, or ten….
LOL, this is too hard, I could only narrow it down to 14 😛

  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (totally forgot I read this book this year and not late last year)
  • A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  • Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda
  • The City of Thieves by David Benioff
  • Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva
  • Winter in Madrid by C.J. Samson
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • Sepulchre by Kate Mosse
  • The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax

2. Same as above, but your least favourite.
God’s Spy by Juan Gomez-Jurado. I found absolutely no character in this novel likeable and the plot was rather disappointing.

3. Was there a book that disappointed you, or that didn’t live up to your expectations?
David Rotenberg’s Shanghai comes to mind. It started off as pretty promising but the large cast of characters that come in and out seem to lack sufficient depth for you to feel with any of them. Plus, sometimes the scenes either dragged out for too long or you just don’t get a sense of connection between events.

4. Funniest book that you read in 2009? [You can expand any of these questions to include more than one.]
I sadly don’t read a lot of humourous fiction books but Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips sort of gave me the LOLs there xD

5. Scariest book that you read this year?
I’m going to say The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson because some of the stuff and the crimes that happens or are mentioned in that book is just too horrific and gruesome to even begin to comprehend =/

6. Most difficult book that you read and completed this year.
I’m going to say Captives: Britain, Empire and the World, 1600 – 1850 by Linda Colley only because I had to read it for a book review assignment so I had to comb through the book. It took me forever to figure out the gist of the book from a historiographical standpoint and to link the various chapters together in an argument =\

7. Any books on your list this year that you feel somewhat embarassed about admitting you’ve read? I know I do! Here’s your chance to share with other booklovers or just to ignore the question!
Nothing comes up on my list this year 🙂

8. Longest book you read this year [with page count, if possible].
Hmm, it depends because of the size of my books. At the trade paperback size, it has to be Charles Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend at 810 pages. At the mass bound paperback size, my copy of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters goes up to 915 pages and David Rotenberg’s Shanghai at some 1000+ pages.

9. Ditto for shortest.
I’m going to stick to fiction and say E.M. Forster’s Where Angels Fear to Tread.

10. Best non-fiction book you read this year.
Toss up between Orlando Figes’s Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia, Geoffrey Hoskings’s Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union and Linda Colley’s Britons: Forging the Nation 1707 – 1837. All excellent books 🙂

11. Best sci-fi book you read this year.
Bone Song by John Meaney (I think you’d consider it sci-fi)

12. Best fantasy.
Oooh, tough one…toss up between Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris and Carol Berg’s Breath and Bone

13. Best true crime.
n/a

14. Best classic literature.
Oooh, another toughie! Toss up between Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters and Charles Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend 😀

15. Best art book.
n/a

16. Best book of poetry.
Federico Garcia Lorca’s Selected Verse

17. Best mystery or thriller.
Anything by Daniel Silva, hands down 🙂

18. Best textbook [it is possible]!
A History of Ukraine by Robert Paul Magocsi; every time I read it I can hear his voice dictating the words out loud (he was my professor for Ukrainian history last school year) xD

19. Best travel/true-life adventure.
Giles Tremlett’s Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through a Country’s Hidden Past

20. Best war [fiction or non-fiction].
I’m trying to think of a good one from my list; a lot of the books I read this year were set at the backdrop of the early 20th century conflicts so I dunno if that’s what this question means.

21. Best auto/biography/memoir.
Gary R. Ryan’s Blessings in Disguise: A Tale of Redemption

22. Best science.
n/a

23. Best humour.
n/a

24. Best character(s) that you met this year.
– Fermín Romero de Torres from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
– Eugene Rayburn from Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
– Lev & Kolya from City of Thieves by David Benioff
– Gabriel Allon from the Gabriel Allons series by Daniel Silva

25. Characters who drove you absolutely mad this year.
– all the characters from Juan Gomez-Jurado’s God’s Spy
– Thomas Knight from On the Fifth Day by A.J. Hartley

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