The top five books I read in 2009.

I was inspired by the excellent book column on JJust Kidding, and I have decided to write about more books on Wellington Road.

Last year, I only read a few books. My theme was (sort of) Books That Inspired Movies. Here are the top five books I read in 2009:

PersuasionMy Life in FranceBrokeback MountainThe Lovely BonesThe Talented Mr. Ripley

Persuasion. I really liked Emily Blunt’s performance in "The Jane Austen Book Club". In the movie, Blunt's character reads Jane Austen’s Persuasion. This is an unusual Austen novel, as it explores the protagonist’s inner life. If you have ever thought about “the one who got away”, this is a book worth reading.

My Life in France. I’m looking forward to watching "Julie & Julia". My Life in France is a memoir that gives us an inside look at how Julia Child got her start. It was reassuring to find out that Julia Child was a late bloomer.

Brokeback Mountain. I loved the movie, but I wasn’t a fan of E. Annie Proulx until I read this short story/novella. It is perfection. The prose reminds me of Cormac McCarthy or Ernest Hemingway, but Proulx still makes it all her own. Now I am giving The Shipping News another chance.

The Lovely Bones. Even though I am a fan of Peter Jackson, I don’t know if I will be able to watch the movie version of this book. It might be too scary for me. (I have an active imagination.) The book has been haunting me. It is beautifully written, and it has made me think about mortality in a different way. (I am not referring to religion.)

The Talented Mr Ripley. Some years ago, I saw the movie, and it got under my skin. Last year, I finally got around to reading Patricia Highsmith’s book. What a page-turner. Recommended.

Honourable mention: Twilight. I watched the movie first, and then I read the book. Say what you will about author Stephenie Meyer. She has written a bestselling series and created a franchise.

What was the best book you read in 2009?


Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I agree that Lovely Bones was haunting. It depressed me. I know the Twilight series are not the best written books but I loved them.

injaynesworld said...

Without question, the best book I read in 2009, and maybe ever was The Help. It takes place in the south during the civil rights era and is the story of black nanny/maids and their relationships with their white mistresses. It's a novel told in the voices of three different black maids and one white wanna-be journalist who gets them to tell their stories. Funny, moving, so very well-written. Can't recommend it more.

Unknown said...

I read a lot of books last year, but I think that the best was The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It was amazing. It takes place in Barcelona of the forties and fifties. It all starts when a book dealer takes his son to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and allows him to rescue one novel. We are soon led into a labyrinthine tale of murder, doomed love, dark secrets, madness, and dreams.

Suzy said...

Don't worry about the movie version of the Lovely Bones. He left out the gory bits and the pov of Susie from Heaven. My sister liked it.

Caffeinated Weka said...

I read The Lovely Bones several years ago and found it to be a fascinating read. I haven't yet seen the movie (I might wait for it to come out on DVD) but am curious about the interpretation based on reviews and other opinions.

Unknown said...

Oh, yay! Thanks for the shout out.

I feel the same way about Lovely Bones, except that I haven't been able to muster the courage to read the novel either. I couldn't handle it when the book came out and I was childless, and I certainly can't cope now that I have a daughter. I think it's a pity that I can't work up the courage, but I'm still recovering from Bastard Out of Carolina, both book and movie.

And speaking of horrific and upsetting books, i think the best novel I read last year was Last Exit To Brooklyn. It was very upsetting. I think about it almost every day and kind of wish I hadn't read it.

elizabeth vb said...

This is a great list - made me think of how I felt the first time I read some of these. For me, The Alienist by Caleb Carr was my 2009 book. Outside of my typical read. It was absolutley fascinating. Could not put it down for food or sleep.

Niki said...

I just read The Lovely Bones recently. Though it made me cry a few times, I really liked it. Great book.

My favorite books of last year were Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, The Kommandant's Girl and The Diplomat's Wife.

The complete list of what I read last year is at my blog.

Chris Mancini said...

I have rediscovered pulp fiction author Robert E. Howard who created Conan the Barbarian and other heroes back in the 1930s. The original stories are brutal and viceral, and the author wrote many, many short stories for the pulps and then blew his brains out at age 30. He was brilliant, and such a waste.