Friday, January 22, 2010

Read in 2009

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!


Gena @ Thinking Aloud said...

Hi Tinsie! love your list ... I see you are reading Shadow of the Wind - how are you enjoying it!? It 's definitely ony of my all time great reads!! I see he has another book out, have copy, but no time to read it at present!!!
have a great weekend!
Gena @ Thinking Aloud
a photoblog
South Africa

Tinsie said...

I'm finding it quite hard-going. It's certainly beautifully written, but I find this has an undesirable side effect: it distracts me too much from the story! I have to keep going over paragraphs I've just read in order to take in what was said, as opposed to how it was said.

I think it'll be easier once I'm into the story proper (I'm only on page 30 at the moment).

RennyBA's Terella said...

Woow, you're really a book warm! :-)

Happy Weekend!

Karen said...

How do you remember this? I don't think I could manufacture my 2009 reading list, Tinsie. Even with, I'm not faithful enough about adding books to get it all down.

I think I will keep a list going for 2010. Just for fun. Thanks to you, Stephanie Plum will play a large part of it.

Trotter said...

I wonder why I read only the ones you don't like... ;)
Have a great weekend!!

Tinsie said...

@ Renny: I try ;-)

@ Karen: I set myself up on LibraryThing earlier this year, and have kept my account more or less updated since then. I may have read a couple more books that I didn't record, but I had most of them listed already, all I had to do was copy them over.

Movies are trickier as I try to jot them down in my notebook ("try" being the operative word) but more often than not I forget to do it. Ahem.

How are you liking Stephanie Plum? I've noticed that you're reading the books in succession and meant to ask you about them on your blog, but never got round to it.

@ Trotter: Different tastes, I guess! Which one of my least favourite did you like best?

Loops said...

Ooh I quite liked Sophie's World but it took me a while to get into it and I think it left me a little disappointed at the end.

Tinsie said...

I lasted about 20 pages before giving up. I just couldn't get into it. I'd have been cross if I'd forced myself to read it only to find that the ending was disappointing.

BTW do we find out who's sending the letters?

Karen said...

I love her, actually. I'm going back to Four to Score, but otherwise am on Six or Seven..I eat them up in about a day and a half. Such fun!

Tinsie said...

I'm so glad you like the Stephanie Plum books! Now for the all-important question: are you rooting for Morelli or Ranger?

Karen said...

My immediate response was "Morelli!"

Now that I think about it, though...

Tinsie said...

I'm a Ranger fan. Every time he says "babe" I melt ;-)

Loops said...

I can't spoil the book! It's a very clever plot with a really good twist at the end, it's just that the twist wasn't what I was expecting :)

It's a great introduction to philosophy.

Tinsie said...

Go on, spill the beans! How else am I going to find out what happens? I've already donated my copy to the charity shop, so I can't look it up.

As for philosophy, I did it at school, and also at uni (3 semesters). It's a bit late for an introduction ;-)

Susan Mo said...

It is so cool to read your lists of movies and books. I am a big fan on the In Death series - read them all. I am still trying to get through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I started it, but rans out of time before I had to return it to the library. I also disliked the Sookie Stackhouse series (stopped after book 3). Since we have such similar book taste, I am going to get the film The Reader. If it was your favorite, I will likely enjoy it too!

Tinsie said...

The Reader was a revelation for me. I expected it to be average at best, but I was totally blown over by it. This is the post I did at the time I watched the film, and this is the post that mentions the book. I'm giving both the film and the book the thumbs up.

As for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it's quite heavy-going at times because it contains far too much financial detail, which (it turns out) doesn't serve any significant purpose in the story, other than slowing it down. If you have another go at it, try skim reading the financial scandal bits, you'll have a much better reading experience :-)

Loops said...

I can lend you my copy of Sophie's World :)

Tinsie said...

Thanks for the kind offer. I think I'll look it up on Wikipedia :-p