2006 has been a great year for reading for me. I didn’t get to everything I meant to read (Margaret Atwood for one, War and Peace for another) but I did get to a lot I did mean to read. I read my first graphic novels (Fables, Maus I and II, Marjane Satrapi) and fell hard for the genre. I read more classics than I have read since I graduated from college; over 6 years ago! And, as of this posting, I’ve read 63 books which exceeds my goal of 60 and is far more than I read last year, when I finished number 52 on the last day of the year.
And the best thing of this year? Last October, my grandmother passed away. I lost so many things that day. I lost my mother, my best friend, and, my reading partner. I’d already been blogging for about a year, but around February or so this year I discovered the world of lit bloggers. And in some ways, you all helped fill that void that was in my heart with your beautifully composed thoughts on books, words, literature, and life itself. You gave something back to me, friends who loved books as much as I did, who laughed and cried over the words and understood just what magic there was inside the covers of a book; and bought them as voraciously as I did as well. And you led me to grow and change as a reader, pushing me to try things I never had before and making me grow. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Now, as I look back over the year, there are several books that really stand out over the rest. So here, I give you the top ten books I read this past year, in no particular order, except for the first one.
Number one, by far, was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Moving, eloquent, and both heartbreakingly hopeful and disparaging at the same time, this book has stayed with me since the day I finished it. Liesel Meminger is an unforgettable character. As is Death. Unforgettable and definitely will be reread. Another favorite was another book my Zusak. I Am The Messenger, while totally different from The Book Thief, still had the beautiful prose and amazing storytelling of this amazing author. I’ll be looking for more by him this year. Along with these young adult novels I also enjoyed Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight (again) and New Moon. I still can’t put my finger on just what it is about these books that makes them so obsess-able, because I am obsessed with them. Can’t wait for the next in the series!
I received an advanced reader copy of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and was immediately in love with the cover. Once read, the story found a lasting place in my heart, which I shouted from the rooftops of my blog. Also a definite reread. Along the same lines, I found Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier to be an un-put-downable read that became an instant favorite. Will definitely reread this as well.
Thanks to the RIP Challenge I readThe Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. It was instant love affair. Will be reading more by Mr. Collins next year for sure.
I don’t know why I waited SO long, but I read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for the first time this year. Oh how I wish I had read this as a teenager! But I am so thankful that I finally did, as Austen proved to be a witty and amusing read. I will definitely be reading more by her this coming year as well, starting with Emma, probably next month!
And, thanks to my new found love of graphic novels I found Fables and Maus. Totally different comics, but both brilliant. Fables was as fascinating for it’s characters as Maus was for it’s heartbreaking story. The art work in Fables can be breathtaking. Maus’s art is completely different, but perfect for the story it is telling. Not a graphic novel to be missed.
So there you have it. My reading year in review. Soon, the year to come, and the list of books I got with that $100 gift certificate. And psst, I have $35 to spend at B&N soon!