I read 43 books last year. Here are my 10 fiction and 3 non-fiction favorites, which I recommend you read as well (listed in the order I read them).
Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor - young vs. old, tradition vs. progress, all the old battles fought in a collection of crazy, unique, graphic short stories
Sweetie by Kathryn Magendie
reviewed here on January 10th
The Help by Kathryn Stockett - feminism, racism, and friendship in 1960s Mississippi
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall - maybe my favorite book I read last year...a Navajo boy gets run over by the mailman and struggles from there. Funny, moving, and touching. I cried at the end. Twice.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
reviewed here on June 30th
Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King - Dolores Claiborne has a very bad husband who needs to be punished. I read this in 3 days because it was so awesome.
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier - historical fiction story based on Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, two fossil hunting women. Not only was their interest in fossils uncommon for a lady in the early 1800s, but it was also frowned upon by upstanding members of society. Feminism, friendship, and bucking religion all rolled into one by one of my favorite authors.
Homer and Langley by E. L. Doctorow
reviewed here on November 18th
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson - an old man covets his dead brother's gun...just read it!
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - lives up to the hype! Super mystery, very twisted indeed.
Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
wished for here on February 18, 2009
The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson
reviewed here on May 18th
Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper
reviewed here on November 22nd