02 January 2010

2009 Book List

I had a really great year of reading...way better than last year, both in quantity and quality. Here's the best and worst of the pages I turned these last 12 months. "Best to worst" is too difficult, so I just split them into three groups:

Past lists: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004.


  1. Great lists! But let the record show that I will NOT be clicking on the links...I'm no fool!

  2. Well, I have been waiting for the list to come out-here's mine, some I forgot to write down, but whatever:
    1. All Creatures Great and Small series, bought these from Amazon in beautiful paperback artwork. Loved them all.
    2. The Promise-Joe Biden, good. I like Joe, I laugh at him sometimes, but I like him, Good bio
    3. The Shaman's Apprentice-Mark Plotkin, good. something very different for me.
    4. John Paul the Great-Peggy Noonan-good. great stories, too much Peggy at some points.
    5. All the President's Pastries-Roland Mesnier. Great. The stories are wonderful and those desserts sound fantastic, 25 years at the White House.
    5. My Father's Paradise-Ariel Sabar. Son's quest for the past in the Mideast. Good.
    6. The Horse Boy-Rupert Isaccson. Really interesting, this man's son has autism and he takes him to around Mongolia for tribal treatments and it has a great ending.
    7. Brothers, Hidden History of Kennedy Years, great. One of my Kennedy books for the year.
    8. Cooking for Madam- Marta Sgubin Recipes from the Home of Jackie O. Great stories too. I reread this after the above pastry book.
    9. Little Chapel on the River-Gwendolyn Bounds, could have been better, too many family problems to be enjoyable. Pub family looks for what matters most, I'm not sure they found it.

    10. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. Great details and history, misery is hard to fathom when one country is so cruel to another.
    I will start a new post so I don't lose this .

  3. Still with me?
    11. Converstions with Kennedy, Benj. Bradlee. Not great and this guy is kinda a slime ball.

    12. Sharper the Knife the Less You Cry, same as Jake's , it actually is Connie's, she's a great sharer--:) I loved it, great story.

    13. Might as Well Laugh About it Now, Marie Osmond. well, I love the Omsonds, but this story? not so much.

    14. Rebel Hearts, Kevin Toolis. Journeys Within the IRA's soul . This author investigated the IRA for 10 years. very good to explain the mentality of Irish people but .. violence is never a pretty picture.

    15. Thirteen Days, RFK Loved this and then watched the DVD and loved it.

    16. Rex-Cathleen Lewis, autistic son who is a music savant.

    17. My Life with the Saints, James Martin SJ. I have read some other books by this Jesuit. Good read, I enjoyed it.

    18. The Only Dance in Iowa-Max McElwin, girls' basketball. Loved it too, of course Farragut was int here. GO ADMIRALETTS. Now, just ADS. :)

    19. Wins, Losses and Lessons- Lou HOltz's autobiol This guy is amazing, comes from nothing and has a great foundation he and his children run and... has a lot of fun and laughs in the book.

    20. Circle of Friends-Maeve Benchy. one of the few fiction book this year. I thought the book kinda silly.

    21. Water for Elephants-no, I didn't like it.

    22. STones into Schools-GReg Mortenson, also author of 3Cups of Tea. I loved it. He is still running CAI to build girls' schools in Afghan. and Pakistan. This guy has a heart that knows no boundaries, he just loves all people, all cultures, all kids. His book 3 cups of Tea is required reading for the Armed Forces going there.

    23. The Spy Who Came for Christmas, David Morrell, Iowa Writers' Workshop grad and my former instuctor at Iowa City. A great mystery and fun read.

    24. True Compass, Ted Kennedy, wonderfully written. I think you get a picture of what it was like to be the youngest in this family.

    25. Gertruda's Oath Ram Oren. Great story of a Catholic nanny who promises to care for 3 year old Jewish child during WWII.

    And that's all folks!!

  4. FOrgot one,
    26. Moon River and Me, Andy Williams, I enjoyed this autobio. good read, I have seen this man at the Moon River Theatre in Branson, MO. Just go to the Theatre, then go to the Osmonds show, then leave town. Can't stand the Ozarks.

  5. Nic, you are a fast learner. :) The links are just to the amazon page in case you want to read more about the book.

    homebase - that's a great list! some good variety. there's a bunch on there i'd like to read. i loved Water for Elephants, sorry to see that you did not.
    i can have you do a guest post next year so you don't have to split it up into 3 comments. ;)

  6. Yes I am wanted now as a guest columnist on my blogs--:)

  7. Quite a varied and interesting list. "Born to Run" makes your list and mine. "Moneyball" made my list last year. Frankl's book I read many years ago. It's one of the most cited books I come across. An amazing and thought-provoking account. Stephen Colbert in book form? I had my doubts, although I love his show (if only it weren't on so late). I could imagine the shtick wearing thin in book form. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Homebase,
    You have quite a varied list, too. Some comments:
    1. I like Joe, too. Comes across as a regular guy, but bright, too, I think, behind all of the volubility.
    2. Didn't you read Teddy's autobiography? An intention omission. Your sister certainly enjoyed it a great deal.
    3. "Thirteen Days" We (friend F & I) this summer as we marked the passing of Robert McNamara. I highly recommend "The Fog of War: 11 Lessons from the Life of Robert McNamara" by Errol Morris. A great documentary. NB: "Thirteen Days" is pretty solid history.
    4. I didn't know our old prof Dave Morrell ("ol' First Blood") had a new one out. Good? I've never read one?
    Thanks for sharing!

  9. #24--True Compass, Ted Kennedy's autobiography. A fantastic read.

  10. this post makes me jealous every year. so I decided to keep my own list too!... but forgot to tally anything after about february.

    From what I recall;

    Stranger in a Strange Land (Heinlein)
    Speaker for the Dead (Card)
    Dirty Dishes (Luongo)
    Memo the President Elect (Albright)
    My Year in Iraq (Bremer)
    Career Diplomacy
    Garlic & Sapphires -- also Comfort Me with apples (reichl)
    The Sharper your knife..
    See No Evil (Baer)
    Cuba (Sweig)
    Born to Run
    50 in 50
    Warrior Soul (Pfarrer)

    Books I fully intended to read/reread but somehow did not:

    The Blind Watchmaker (Dawkins)
    End of Povery (Sachs)
    6 Easy Pieces (Feynman)
    Brisinger (Paolini)

  11. loved the sharper your knife. very fun read, with many recipes I told myself I would love to try and probably never will.
    I will start my list beginning this year and let you know at the end of it...but most likely it will be full of Harry Potter and Twilight rereads...sigh.