Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Year In Review- Fiction and Nonfiction

I realize that these year end reflections are more for my own sake, but if you have read any of the books below, and haven't read my review, it might be fun to compare thoughts. All in all, I was pleased with my choices this year. I certainly didn't break any records (a chunkster by Kenneth J Harvey really slowed me down), but there's a lot more children's novels added into the mix, I finally revisited Atwood and King after a long hiatus, and thanks to a reviewing gig at the local newspaper, I was able to read a few more Northern themed books.

The Fiction
1. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter- Carson McCullers
2. Galore- Michael Crummey
3. The Book of Negroes- Lawrence Hill
4. War of the Worlds- H.G. Wells
5. Anne of Green Gables- Lucy Maud Montgomery
6. Cat's Eye- Margaret Atwood
7. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz- Mordecai Richler
8. James and the Giant Peach- Roald Dahl
9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone- J.K. Rowling
10. A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Bad Beginning- Lemony Snicket
11. Having Faith in the Polar Girls' Prison- Cathleen With
12. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao- Junot Diaz
13. The Retreat- David Bergen
14. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets- J.K. Rowling
15. The Joy Luck Club- Amy Tan
16. The Ugly Truck and Dog Contest (Short stories)- Cathy Jewison
17. Through the Looking Glass- Lewis Carroll
18. Just Before Sunset (Short stories)- Stephen King
19. The Terror- Dan Simmons
20. Darkness at the Stroke of Noon- Dennis Richard Murphy
21. Jack London's Dog- Dirk Wales
22. Blackstrap Hawco- Kenneth J Harvey
23. The Mysterious Mummer- L.M. Falcone
24. My Sister's Keeper- Jodi Picoult
25. White Bird, Black Bird- Val Wake
26. The Clockmaker- Thomas Chandler Haliburton
27. Stuart Little- E.B. White

The Non-Fiction
1. A Short History of Nearly Everything- Bill Bryson
2. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou
3. Fifteen Days- Christie Blatchford
4. Granny Made Me An Anarchist- Stuart Christie
5. The Lost Patrol- Dick North
6. What Became of Sigvald, Anyway?- Mark Fremmerlid
7. The Trouble With Music- Mat Callahan
8. Big Rig 2- Don McTavish
9. The Dog Who Wouldn't Be- Farley Mowat
10. Somebody to Love- Grace Slick

The Graphic Novels- Thanks to the 2009 Graphic Novels Challenge, I read my very first graphic novel this year. And then another, and another and... I'm officially hooked. I'm proof that you didn't need to be into comics as a kid to enjoy this genre. I got a Chapters gift card for Christmas and spent the bulk of it on new graphic novels. Hopefully next year's list will be much longer!

1. Jeff Lemire- Tales From The Farm
2. Chester Brown- Louis Riel
3. Marjane Satrapi- Persepolis
4. Seth- It's A Good Life, If You Don't Weaken
5. David B- Epileptic
6. Jeff Smith- Bone: Out From Boneville
7. Neil Gaiman- The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1
8. Jeff Lemire- The Nobody
9. Joe Sacco- War's End
10. Chester Brown- The Little Man
11. Ruth Modan- Exit Wounds

I also read a couple handfuls of poetry books, a handful of plays and books from the Bible, a few picture books, two magazines, and a bus schedule. But who has time to reflect on all that? It was a good year for the reading. Nuff said.


Wanda said...

Haven't read a bus schedule in nearly twenty years, can't say I miss it. Books however, are another story...

I also became a big Jeff Lemire fan this year! Though I haven't read 'The Nobody' yet, I did enjoy all three from the Essex County trilogy.

A productive reading year for you, John. I look forward to reading your reviews in the coming year as well!

Unknown said...

Oh wow, what a great list. I haven't read anything on your nonfic list (not even the Farley Mowat, and I have read a lot of his, and that's one of the more famous ones), but I'll see if I can remedy that in the new year. Of all of those nonfics, which do you recommend most?

Gavin said...

Damn, I have got to find a copy of Galore! Thanks for this wonderful list, John.

John Mutford said...

Wanda: Me neither actually. That was my attempt at a joke. So glad Lemire turned you on to the graphic novel.

Kiirstin: Well, I've ranked the nonfics in order of my preference, so I'd definitely recommend the Bryson. Clearly I wasn't a fan of the Mowat book.

Gavin: Yes, I thought it was wonderful!