Monday, January 4, 2010

Best Books of 2009 (part one)

In 2008, my new year's resolution was to read a book per month. I know that doesn't sound like much, but at the time, I was reading about two books per year. To my surprise and delight, I actually kept that resolution. In 2009, I upped the ante to 24 books - and, on New Year's Eve, I finished book #25.

To keep it interesting,I follow a loose pattern of reading a fiction book, a non-fiction book and a "classic" - because I have multiple books going at once there is much overlap in the order as well as overlap in the genres (classic is usually fiction too), but it works to keep me from getting into a rut.

So without further ado, the (first part) of the Best Books of 2009.

The Best Non-Fiction Book
- Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan: A politically charged manifesto on how our food gets to our table. I seriously changed my eating/food purchasing habits after reading this book to include taking part in a CSA as well as stopping my consumption of commercially processed beef.

Honorable Mentions: A Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs and Elements of Cooking by the passionate Michael Ruhlmann (if you love from-scratch cooking, then Ruhlman's blog is a must)

Best Blog-to-Book
- The Daily Coyote: A Story of Love, Survival and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming by Shreve Stockton: A rare book from a blogger that isn't just a compilation of blog entries. Instead, the book is a full narrative of the story of a woman and her coyote - all against a blazingly beautiful Wyoming backdrop.

Honorable Mention: Rockabye: From Wild to Child by Rebecca Woolf. I think this may have been one of those blog-entry-compilations, but since I was a recent convert to her blog, it was all new to me.

Best Non-Fiction Subject Matter with the Worst Writing
- The End of a America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot by Naomi Wolf: The subject matter detailing steps from democracy to fascism is provocative, relevant and scary. Everyone should know what this book says. It's a shame that the writing presented only statements backed up by sources in a series of footnotes. I struggled to finish even though I was anxious to know the ending.

Funniest Book
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris: Simply the funniest book I'd read in a long time teaching me the valuable lesson that exercise and belly laughing don't necessarily work at the same time. The first part about Sedaris's youth and drug use is pretty raw, but second part describing Sedaris's adventures to learn French in France with his longtime partner is hilarious.

Next up...Most Disappointing, Best Classic, Best Series and Best Book of the Year!

No comments: