Best Book of 2009

December 4, 2009

Not my bookshelf, but isn’t it pretty?

You might have heard that Gwen Bell is hosting a “Best of 2009 blog challenge” in which anyone can share their bests of the year on a different topic every day of December. Since I’m just coming off a month straight of posting, I’m definitely not participating in the entire challenge, although I think it’s a great idea. But today’s prompt is best book, and since books are something I’m passionate about I figured I’d jump in.

Reading is my favorite hobby, even more so than blogging. So far this year I’ve read 27 books, and I should finish up at least a couple more by the end of the year. That’s actually a lot more than I thought I had read this year. I have a busy schedule and rarely get to sit down and just read for hours. But I am always, always reading, and I am not ashamed to pull out my book in the line at the grocery store or at a stoplight. That adds up. Next year I’d like to make it to 40, maybe even 50 books. I want to make it more of a priority.

Anyway, I was looking over these 27 books and was pleasantly surprised at how many good ones there were. The Pillars of the Earth. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. The Complete Sherlock Holmes Volume 2. America America. Searching For God Knows What. All wonderful books that I would recommend in a heartbeat. In the end I chose two favorites, a fiction and a nonfiction.

As for fiction, the winner goes to Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. Since I just reviewed it recently, I don’t need to say much more. This book moved my soul. I laughed and I cried. It made me desire and appreciate life, from the smallest detail to the largest event. It made the love I have for others grow even more.

I relish a good nonfiction book from time to time, and this year my favorite was the classic The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Do you want to be inspired? Do you want to be horrified? Do you need some perspective? Do you want to see the amazing things God can do through the people who love and obey Him? Read this book. It’s the story of a Christian family during the Holocaust who help hide Jews, and what happens to them when they are discovered. It’s definitely one I’ll be rereading through the years.

What was the best book you read this year?

Posted in: books & reading

Comments on Best Book of 2009

  1. 1

    From Chelsea:

    Redeeming Love. I just now read it and I LOVED it.

  2. 2

    From Maria:

    I cannot recommend The Help highly enough. It is a fabulous read, an intriguing story, and one that I have recommended to others and bought hardbacks as a gift (which I rarely do!). If you haven’t read it yet, please do. You won’t regret it!

  3. 3

    From Megan:

    Oh, Kat, I LOVE “The Hiding Place.” It’s one of my top five. I’m so glad you read it and enjoyed it.

    2009 has been my Year-of-Traveling, so my favorite books this year have been travel guides (lame!). I recommend Rick Steves over all others. I heart that man.

  4. 4

    From Scott:

    Now this is a post I can get behind! I probably won’t do my own top books of 2009 until January, but here’s a sneak peek so far:

    Fiction: John Steinbeck’s East of Eden

    Nonfiction: Edward Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

    Juvenile Fiction: Nancy Farmer’s House of the Scorpion

  5. 5

    From nic:

    I second East of Eden! Best book I read this year, and it’s now in my top 5 books of all time.

  6. 6

    From Scott:

    I had not thought about it, but it might be in my top 5 of all time as well. I should give that some thought…

  7. 7

    From Erin:

    I’ve been such a bad reader this year! Usually I’m close to the 40 book mark by this point in the year, but I’m more at the 15 books mark. I adored reading “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”, though.

  8. 8

    From dad:

    I highly recommend “Suttree” by Cormac McCarthy. Yes he won the Pulitzer Prize for The Road and “No Country for Old Men” won and Oscar, but this is his best novel imho. (although “blood meridian” which is on the New York Times 100 best english novels published between 1923 and 2005 is right there also). It’s the story of one man (Suttree) who abandons his rich family to live on the river. There is no plot. It’s strictly character and time and place. Knoxville, Tenn. in 1951 along the Mississippi River. If you want to be transported to another world where the dialog is perfect and the characters are drawn sharply then treat yourself to this one. If you decide you like Cormac McCarthy be warned that some of his other novels are much different and not for the squeamish.

  9. 9

    From DeMo:

    I agree with you, and will say that The Hiding Place is the best book of my year. Definitely gave perspective, and it was amazing how God used Corrie and her family during the Holocaust. I have Olive Kitteridge on my list of must-reads.

  10. 10

    From Nora:

    I’m ashamed to say I don’t know many of the books that you’ve mentioned here!

    I recently finished the Lovely Bones and while it’s not the best book I’ve ever read, I thoroughly enjoyed it and was intrigued by the author’s ideas of heaven and death.

    I read Interview with a Vampire earlier this year and really liked it, along with The Sicilian by Mario Puzo and a few other enjoyable books.

    I wish I had bookshelf that looked like that!

  11. 11

    From Emily:

    Best ficiton this year: Anna Karenina
    Best Non-fiction: The Death and Life of Sylvia Plath

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