This year I read almost 300 books. I haven’t recorded most of the graphic novels or comics this time around (and I know there were quite a few Fables and other stuff as well). 150 of the books were for the WA Premier’s Book Awards judging. About 50 were bought books and about the same number were review copies. The rest were mostly borrowed (and there were a few more judging books for Aurealis Judging). So, in all those books, what were my top picks? Those that scored 4.5 or 5 out of 5 are listed below (in no particular order).
The Time Traveller’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger - Almost impossible to put down – extremely clever, well-written and a wonderful if sad story.
Batman: Hush, Loeb, Lee, Williams (graphic novel) – This was BRILLIANT – absolutely loved it, read in one sitting – it’s great writing, great art, great colour. Favourite Batman EVA (could have something to do with showings by Huntress, Catwoman and Poison Ivy).
Liar, Justine Larbalestier (actually I read this last year, but again this year for the WAPBA judging)
Pearl Verses the World, Sally Murphy
Zombies vs Unicorns, Justine Larbalestier & Holly Black (eds) – one of the highest quality anthos I’ve read for ages.
Power and Majesty, Tansy Rayner Roberts - Absolutely adored this. I’ve never read anything by Tansy that I didn’t like. Can’t wait for the next volume!
Soulless, Changless and Blameless, Gail Carriger - Love these!
Because Liar is officially a 2009 read, I can unequivocally say that my favourite book of the year was…
Feed, Mira Grant - totally compelling after only a few chapters. Thought provoking and fascinating, loved the characters and story both! Left me pondering it in between chapters and long after I finished it.
Of course, I loved the books I published this year, and the ones I worked on for Twelfth Planet Press, but I won’t name them in my Top Reads :) In general, I’ve enjoyed most of my reading – had a couple of books I simply couldn’t be bothered finishing, which happens more than it used to because I just have too many to read! Not sure if it’s also a sign of publishers publishing more crappy books though – all the books I did not finish were of the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genre, which is interesting. Am I glutted, or is it that the publishers will publish anything to ride the popular wave?
I don’t feel I read as much as usual this year, despite the stats to the contrary. New baby, publishing two books, plus social networking and so on has put a drain on my reading time I think. Am aiming higher for next year, particularly I get any of the judging jobs I’ve applied for!!
So, bring on 2011!