Sunday, January 2, 2011

wrapping it up part 2

didn't mean for part 2 to take so long, but it turns out you can't blog very well with no internet. here's my favorite books of 2010*, by month.

january: the salem witch trials are a fascinating subject for me, so naturally i gravitated towards this book. i loved the contrast of 1690s salem and modern times and getting a glimpse of what salem might have been like during the trials.

february: i'm not much for jumping on bandwagons, but i wanted to see why such a great book was being redone--and i'm glad i did. while nothing can take the place of austen's masterpiece, this is definitely a great companion piece. it managed to keep the heart of the original while infusing some silly fun. elizabeth bennet as a zombie hunter? yes please.

march: read this for book club and i was so moved by the stories of the people living in the leper colony on moloka'i in the 20th century. you'll fall in love with the characters and wish the book came with a airline ticket to see the beautiful scenery.

april: beautiful creatures was my attempt to find an alternative to twilight. this one is about a teenage boy who meets and falls in love with a girl with magical powers. i loved the southern setting, the civil war history and the fresh voice of ethan wate. the sequel, beautiful darkness, is next on my list.

i also read a thousand splendid suns for my book club and i'm glad i did, because it was not one i would have ordinarily chosen for myself. it was so interesting to read about another culture, especially one that is so different from my own. it was also a great way to learn about afghanistan history but also understand the human aspect of those events.

may: the nanny diaries is a favorite of mine so i was over-the-moon when i heard there was a sequel. nanny returns was just as great and earned itself a spot on my bookshelf for many rereads.

june: my second try at the millenium trilogy was better than the first. i just couldn't get into it last year and i don't know what was different this time around, but i was hooked. yes, the beginning was slow and i stumbled over the swedish names, but gosh i enjoyed this book. someone described it to me like an episode of law and order: special victims unit and since i love that show, i knew what to expect. it's definitely graphic in parts but the story and characters make it great. i'm now on the last book and taking my time so it lasts a while. also, is anyone else dying to go to sweden now?

another great book club choice, although i didn't understand the secrecy surrounding the book. what was so spectacularly shocking that we couldn't talk to other people about? not sure. i did love this book, even if it made me so sad and wish that everyone could just live where they wanted and not be afraid. this was also one of a few books this year that i actually wrote in and highlighted parts that were just so beautifully written.

august: i listened to the first half of this on a road trip and read the rest. i highly recommend the audiobook because there are a lot of characters and hearing their voices really brings the story to life. i of course loved the WWII setting and the endearing characters. i was truly sad when the book was done and kind of wanted to start over again. that says a lot, yeah?

september: i continued on with the WWII theme with this book club pick and sobbed my way through it. i have read several holocaust-set books and even been to the holocaust memorial museum in washington, d.c. but the reality of the atrocities really hit me when reading this book. i think because it was told through the eyes of a child, the ignorance and hatred seemed even more shocking and horrible. i rented the movie and renewed it three times but i just could not watch it. i know i'm making this sound like a horrible experience, but it really is a beautiful little book that will make you think about life and how we treat each other.

october: busy in grad school and reading teacher education books and not much else.

november: my pick for book club since it had been sitting on my shelf for a year or two and i had never opened it. it was the perfect book for fall and i loved getting into this gothic literary mystery. it has great twists and turns and was so fun to try and figure out. the writing is also so poetic and i underlined the heck out of it.

december: making my way through five different books from the library, including another young adult supernatural romance, the last stieg larsson book, the hunger games [am i the last person on earth to read this? yes.] and my first read on my kindle (!), one day by david nicholls. come see what i thought of them and everything else i read this year and tell me what you read on

* read in 2010, not necessarily published in 2010


Amanda Evans said...

I have been DYING for new book recommendations - thanks a TON for the post. I only read the Hunger Games a month ago (you'll finish so quickly!!) so you're in good company in the back of the bandwagon! My sister-in-law recommended a book called "The Help" that I'm going to try and heck out soon. I've read the Kite Runner, but not A Thousand Splendid Suns - have you read both?

Amanda Evans said...

*check out

Whitney Johnson said...

oh my gosh you read A TON!!!! reading more is on my resolutions list, so maybe i'll have to check out a couple of these. you've read Jane Eyre, right? [it's my fave.] and i commented on your other post too :)

Jeff and Whitney said...

Loved this post, Britt!! I am always looking for great new book to read. I adore Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and felt the exact same way. Thanks for the new ideas!

jb said...

Um, you should join our RS book club!!! I'm hosting this month; continue your WWII theme and read The Book Thief, it's SO GOOD. Boy in the Striped Pajamas is on my shelf waiting to be read right now...I watched the movie and bawled at the end.

Sarah S said...

I loved Little Bee - I read it while lounging on a chair by the pool in Mexico and it was kind of a strange experience. I was happy to be vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, not in Nigeria. I thought it was well written and such a sad story. I loved Guernsey and listened to the audiobook. I saw Amanda's comment about The Help - if you haven't read it already, definitely listen to the audiobook for that one. The Southern accents are the BEST!! I loved that book so much. I really enjoyed Hunger Games and saw the movie for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - it was really, really hard to watch the end.

Brittany said...

Amanda- the Help is so good! I also heard that the audiobook was wonderful. I have not read the Kite Runner.

Whit-Jane Eyre is a personal favorite.

Jessi- I wish I could come to book club but that's my first night of class! I'm still reading Book Thief anyways.

Katie Curtis said...

Love book recommendations...looks like we have similar tastes!