Best of ’09 — Books

Books are something that I love unconditionally. I have always been a reader, but since I started working at a bookstore, now I have more books than I have time to read. There were some amazing books that I read this year and this is just a few of the ones that rocked my world. They didn’t have to come out this year, but all of them I have read and loved in 2009.

Hunger Games 1 & 2– This teen series written by Suzanne Collins was something I had heard good things about and picked up on a whim. I have honestly never read anything like it before. It has violence, love, suspense and action. I was both disturbed and delighted. My entire family has read them and loved them. The third book is scheduled to be released summer of 2010.

Watchmen – My sister, her boyfriend and I wanted to see the movie, but first we had to read the book and I really enjoyed it. It was my first graphic novel (and will probably be my last) and though it was hard to get in to at first, I found that I couldn’t put it down. The ending shocked me and the characters seemed to jump off the page and terrify me. The movie was so wack in comparison.

Song Yet Sung – I gave this book as a gift for Christmas to two different people, it’s that good. I’m really in to slave narrative and I’m always looking for a new take on slavery. This book by James McBride is loosely about the life of Harriet Tubman and is an action packed, thrilling read. Highly, highly recommend this one.

Color of Water – Also by James McBride is his non fiction book about his white mother and what it was like growing up biracial. I was interested to read it because one of my characters in my book is biracial and I though it would be good research. It turned it to a book about a mother’s love and how important it is in people’s lives. By the end I was crying because I was so thankful for my mother and my grandmother for being so important in my life.

The Help – Currently the number one fiction book on Amazon.com, this book follows the lives of black maids working for white families in Mississippi in the 1960’s and the white woman who writes their stories. I was skeptical when I read this book but it pulled me in and had me crying through the last fifty pages. It was a beautiful novel.

Say You’re One of Them – If Oprah says I should read it, I listen. This is her newest book club pick written by first time Nigerian author Uwem Akpan. Five short stories told from the perspective of children take the reader all over Africa from Kenya, to Nigeria, to Rwanda. The stories were so raw and real, it felt like I was there. The last one, which focuses on the genocide in Rwanda had me it tears (like most of the books on this list!).

Perfect Chemistry – I mentioned this book in my romance novel post, so I won’t go in to too much detail but if you love cheesy, beautiful teen romance about star crossed lovers buy this book!! You will not be disappointed.

Sookie Stackhouse series – This summer my sister and I read all nine of the Sookie Stackhouse books and it was so much fun to read. I have never read fantasy before and these books were a great introduction. They were funny, sexy, scary and violent. It’s the kind of books you could lose yourself in.

Little Bee – The story of a Nigerian girl who escapes to the UK and is held in a prison for three years touched me. I still think about the characters. It was beautifully written and very honest and real. It didn’t have a fairy tale ending and even though some people didn’t like that about the book, I loved it because it made it even more authentic.

Those were just a few of my favorite books of 2009 (not counting the ones I’ve written this year, of course). My goal for 2010 is to read more non fiction, since I don’t read any of it and to continue searching for and reading quality black fiction. It’s a hunt that I’m proud to be on.

Thanks for following my best and worst of 2009 series. There will be more to come in 2010!

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