I don't usually bother with past year reviews and new year resolutions, but I thought it'd be a good idea to put together a list of the books I've read and films I've watched over a certain period (in this case, 2009) for future reminiscing.
So, here are the books I've read between January and December 2009, grouped in three categories depending on the impression they made on me. Movies to follow.
Books I enjoyed very much and might read again sometime:
The Twilight Saga: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn and Midnight Sun - Stephenie Meyer
Chasing Daisy - Paige Toon
Millennium Trilogy: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire - Stieg Larsson
The Godmother - Carrie Adams
The Reader - Bernhard Schlink
Stephenie Plum series: Fearless Fourteen - Janet Evanovich
The Room of Lost Things - Stella Duffy
Books that I liked, but reading them once was enough:
Rumour Has It - Jill Mansell
In Death Series: Naked in Death and Glory in Death - Nora Roberts
This Charming Man - Marian Keyes
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
The Associate - John Grisham
Shame and Daughters of Shame - Jasvinder Sanghera
Books that I didn't like much or left unfinished:
One Hundred Strokes of the Brush Before Bed - Melissa Parente
Q & A - Vikas Swarup
The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder
Shame on You - Clara Salaman
True Blood Series: Dead Until Dark and Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris
Do you ever wonder what it is that makes you like a book? Is it the quality of the writing, the believability of the characters, the excitement of the story, a combination of all three or something else entirely? If a book is part of a longer or ongoing story, does this make you more or less likely to want to read it?
Looking back at the books in my top list, I can remember the characters in each book very vividly, not just the main ones but the secondary ones too. I can remember what they looked like, what they behaved like and even some of their names, which is surprising as my memory for names is sieve-like at best. The storylines are an eclectic mix - romance, crime/thriller, chick-lit, literary fiction, comedy and mystery are all represented, so obviously I'm not loyal to one genre. The literary quality of the writing doesn't seem to be important either, otherwise Twilight wouldn't be in my top group, and Sophie's World wouldn't be in the bottom.
Interestingly enough, I seem to have got acquainted with a number of series for the first time this year - Twilight, Millennium, True Blood and In Death. Up until last year, the only series I was into were Stephanie Plum and Harry Potter. I guess my reading habits must be changing.
As for what 2010 might have in store, I'm looking forward to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (part 3 of the Millennium Trilogy coming out in paperback in April and not a day too soon), more books from the In Death series and last but by no means least, Finger Lickin' Fifteen, the next episode in the Stephanie Plum series. Roll on, 2010!