I'm proud as punch!
I did fall down on the job of providing any sort of a review of the books, so let me recap my favorites from this year.
1. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle--this makes my list of the best books I've ever read!
2. Autobiography of a Face--this story is a work of art crafted by a young author who had jaw cancer as a kid. Despite the obviously sad theme, I found this book surprisingly uplifting.
3. The Safe Keeper's Secret--I have long been a fan of Sharon Shinn.
4. Outliers: A Story of Success--I loved this book. Even though it's non-fiction, it read like a novel and I have found myself quoting it more than any other book I've read this year. I really think every teacher and principal ought to read it.
5. For One More Day--I'm a huge fan of all of Mitch Albom's non-sports books.
6. Finding Your Own North Star--this is written by Martha Beck, who is the late Hugh Nibley's apostate daughter. Knowing this going in can make this book a more enjoyable read for an LDS reader. Still, I loved it. She doesn't say anything disparaging about the LDS church and, in fact, uses many examples in her book from years that she was a member.
If you're looking for a good read and not necessarily a literary masterpiece, I'd also recommend The Year of Magical Thinking, Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World and The Wednesday Letters.
I thought Running Out of Time and Ella Enchanted were very well written children's books.
Just so you know, some of these books I hated.
1. The Secret--way, way too new-agey and weird.
2. Cinderella (as if you didn't already know the story)--this maybe the lamest book I've ever read. It's even too lame for children.
3. Trolley Car Family--my children forced me to keep reading this one aloud but it was terrible.
4. Life by Design--the beginning of this book isn't bad, so that fooled me into thinking that if I could just get through the slow middle that it would redeem itself in the end. No such luck. The ending was worse than the middle. The authors, I kid you not, spout entire paragraphs of cliches. Seriously. They might say: Let's talk about time, then spend 3 paragraphs quoting every single dopey saying about time ever said. AHHHHH! It was torture, but I finished it.
5. The Joy Diet--also a book of Martha Beck's but in this one, she lambasts the church more than once. But I also thought the whole premise of the Joy Diet was weak.
Also I wouldn't recommend Rich Dad, Poor Dad or Letter to My Daughter, although to say that I hated them would be a stretch.
Now to find another achievable goal for 2010...
Update: On Dec 31st I finished one more, Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. Fabulous book, hard to put down and my total book count for 2009 was 24!