Monday, January 07, 2008

2007 Books Read, Finished, and often Enjoyed

Number of books read in 2007: 131

Lowest number read in one month: 6 (February)

Highest number read in one month: 17 (June)

Number of mysteries read: 60

Number of YA books read: 19

Number of non-fiction books read: 31

I'm not quite sure what category the other 21 books were in. I know there were fantasy, and some short story collections, and a horror book or two. I'm just going to assume they fit my numbers.

Best books of the year for me?

The hands-down best single book that wasn't Harry Potter: THE WELL OF SHADES by Juliet Marillier. The third in the Bridei Chronicles, my husband got me this for Christmas last year, four months before it was released in the U.S. He has a work friend in Australia who bought it and shipped it to him for my gift. It was well worth the effort.

The hands-down best new series which I devoured in just a few weeks: The 6-book LYMOND CHRONICLES by Dorothy Dunnett. Set in the mid-16th century, before Elizabeth I came to the throne, these books ranged from England to France to Tripoli to Constantinople to Russia to Scotland. Francis Crawford of Lymond is an enigmatic, fascinating, frustrating character that I never got tired of reading about. A must read for fans of historical fiction.

Best new author: Stephenie Meyer and her TWILIGHT series. Though the later two books aren't quite as tightly written as the first, this is an author who grabbed me from page one and didn't let go until I was finished.

Best mystery: THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield. A wonderfully gothic contemporary novel about a dying novelist and the young woman she chooses to write her biography.

Best literary fiction: THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini. Covers politics, revolution, love and marriage, friendship and betrayal, secrets and lies. Stunningly powerful story.

Best non-fiction: HONEYMOON IN PURDAH by Alison Wearing. A female journalist takes her gay roommate and a fake marriage certificate and tours Iran by bus for weeks. Funny and moving, it gives a voice to the people of Iran and reminds the reader how complicated history and politics are.

And, of course, the Hands Down Best Series-Ending Book Ever Written In The History Of The World: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by JK Rowling. I'm aware that I never posted my reactions to this novel. Let this suffice: although I guessed correctly on the essentials, she surprised me a dozen times over. For the most-anticipated novel ever, I give her full credit for those surprises. It might not have been exactly the book I would have written, but I was fully and completely satisfied.

And I've just realized that I never posted my December reads. Guess I'll go do that now.

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