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December 06, 2009



What about The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams? I've read some of the others on this list, and I honestly think it's better than them.


I really liked Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. I don't think it was published this year, but it's the first time I've read it.... I also enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's books. Another new favorite of mine is The Legend of Thunderfoot by Bill Wallace. It was a cute little book for a younger audience.

L.T. Elliot

Excellent reccomends. Thanks, Shannon!

Je Reve

Other than yours, :), way to many to list. I've read so many this year.
Thanks for the post!!!

Maureen Hume

I loved 'When You Reach Me'. After reading so many good things about it I found it to be nothing like I expected. But when I closed the last page I flipped over the cover and started reading it all over again.
Maureen. www.thepizzagang.com


The illustrations in Lips Touch really are gorgeous and add so much to the experience of reading it! That may be my very favorite 2009 book. But the Guernsey Society is way up there for me, too. I had no idea what to expect either, but I loved it.

Laini Taylor

Hi Shannon! Thanks so much for adding Lips Touch to this wonderful list!!! Re: Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society -- I worked with the author at a Bay Area bookstore during college. The book had been out a while before I made the connection and I was so, so sad to learn she had passed away before the book came out. It's so wonderful (read it for the second time last month), and so was she.

I'm so curious about When You Reach Me. Will have to finally read it!


Ibbotson is one of my faves. She said she wanted to write romances for "the thinking woman" or something like that. :-) I love her books for younger readers, too.

Lips Touch was my favorite of the year.

This is a great list! I'm definitely making note of the ones I haven't read.


I loved Marcelo in the Real World.


My FAVORITE book of the year: The Actor and the Housewife. It was seriously the cutest/funniest book I've ever read. No matter how many times I re-read it, I always laugh.


Besides yours...
The Queen's Thief series by Meghan Whalen Turner. She creates a whole new world of Gods. And I can't help but love the main character, Eugenides.
Persephone by Sara M Eden. This is a great Jane Austinish book. I would say the man in the story rivels Mr.Darcy and all brooding men.
Catching Fire-
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Many others that I loved. I just love to read.
P.S- I loved A Company of Swans. It is probably my favorite of Ibbotsons. Thanks for the list I look forward to reading some of them.


I have read a few of these, but not most! My TBR list is now bursting!

Thanks for the list!


Oh yes, my list includes:

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Team GALE!)

Shiver by Maggie Steifvater

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Need by Carrie Jones

and of course your Actor and the Housewife!


I just finished The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams - awesome book!

Catching Fire is one of my favorites of the year, I have been lending it to all of my family and friends.

I need to get my hands on Lips Touch by Laini Taylor. I have heard a lot of good things about it.

Other good reads: Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork

Front and Center (last book in Dairy Queen series)
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Shannon Morris

I would highly recommend reading the Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold before seeing the movie. I read the book years ago and have thought of it many times since. Very touching and beautifully written.


My husband asked for something to read so I handed him "the Actor & the Housewife" I told him it was funny and he'd laugh.
It's caught his attention because now he reads it every night and makes comments like:
"Becky is so witty..."
"this book is really funny..."
"only a Mormon Mom would do something like that.."
"Becky reminds me of your aunt only smarter"

Miss Erin

I love Robot Dreams!

I'm reading Fire by Kristin Cashore right now and it's magnificent. Have you read any of hers? Pretty sure you'd like them.

Meredith B.

I love the way that Eva Ibbotson seems able to infuse even her non-fantastical books with an air of magic, mystery and romance (in the old fashioned sense of the word as well as the modern.) It's as though fairy dust were hanging in the air, although nothing that would classify the book as fantasy actually happens.

I, too was a little surprised to see some of her books in the teen section-- some of the things that happen in a couple of them would have made me uncomfortable when I was a teenager. It's probably the same old the-protagonist-is-a-teenager conundrum. But anyway, "A Countess Below Stairs" wouldn't have made me uncomfortable at all, and I think that's one of my very favorites. I also adore "Journey to the River Sea," and "The Dragonfly Pool" was my favorite new book for 2008. I think it is practically perfect in every way.


Thanks for the list! Here are my favorites of the year:
The Everafter War by Michael Buckley-- part of The Sisters Grimmm series, you really have to read the other six books before this one.
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier-- I think it came out last year.
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes-- 'course this is an old classic but I just read for the first this year and loved it:)
River Secrets by guess who! I was a little wary of Dasha at first but now I love her:D


A Company of Swans is probably Ibbotson's most genre-riffic novel, and I found some elements of it to be kind of cheesy for that reason. I second the motion on A Countess Below Stairs, however -- it's one of my all-time favorites, especially to read out loud.

Beth S.

Hi Shannon! I've been following your blog for a while now but this is the first time I've felt compelled to post.

One of the best books I read this year was Book of a Thousand Days. :o) I actually listened to the audiobook and I was so impressed with the audio presentation. The story was wonderful and the actors who read it brought the book to life more than any audiobook I've listened to this year.

Other books I read this year that I loved:

Columbine by Dave Cullen
Finn by Jon Clinch
My Life in France by Julia Child
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Farwell My Subaru by Doug Fine
Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
French Milk by Lucy Knisley
Paper Towns by John Green
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher
Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande


Nation and Catching Fire were both really great. I've read some of Eva Ibbotson's other books (was very taken with The Dragonfly Pool), so I'll have to check out A Company of Swans. However, my personal favorite book of the year was The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Sci-fi, but more focused on people and how they interact with and treat each other. I was blown away. I also enjoyed The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Nancy Farmer's Trolls trilogy. Also, there was this one book called Forest Born which was excellent.


I just finished reading Fire and it was amazing. I liked it even better than its predecessor, Graceling. I love how Fire grows throughout the novel, and Brigan is adorable. There are some mature themes, though, so I'd only recommend it for ages 15/16 and up.

Forest Born was one of my favorites too. I loved all your imagery dealing with trees and roots and growing. And Rin is an amazing girl.

For older teens and adults who are fans of the fairy-tale/fantasy genre, which I'm sure the ones on here are, since they obviously love you, I would recommend Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier (the author of Wildwood Dancing). It too is mature, but only in a couple of parts. It was outstanding; I think I liked it better than both Wildwood Dancing and its sequel, Cybele's Secret.

Now I'm definitely going to have to check out Persephone and A Company of Swans. You should do this "best book of the year" thing every year, Shannon.


I loved A Company of Swans too, though it was a little, shall we say, interesting toward the end. I'm glad I didn't read it as a teen or I don't think I would have appreciated it. I also really enjoyed Rosanne Parry's Heart of a Shepherd, which is realistic middle grade.

Oh, and Guernsey was quite possibly the best book I've ever read...period.


Great list! Very helpful. I have Catching Fire sitting on my bookshelf right now but I've been way too busy to even think about picking up book for about two weeks. I read The Hunger Games a while ago so I guess I've kind of forgotten how amazing it was and how much I desperately want to read Catching Fire. Thanks for reminding me!
Anyway, this year some of my favorites were:
Forest Born (of course!)

The Sweet Far Thing, by Libba Bray ( In the Gemma Doyle Trilogy which begins with A Great and Terrible Beauty)

The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, which I read for the first time this year and loved to death.

Hero's Song, by Edith Pattou, which was written several years ago. She also wrote East, which is a more popular book, but this one was awesome as well

The Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan- this whole series, beginning with The Lightning Thief, are great books

The Stravaganza Trilogy, beginning with City of Masks, by Mary Hoffman. My favorite was the second one, City of Stars.

Soul Eater, by Michelle Paver. Despite the depressing title, this is one of my fave books ever. It's the third book in the series that begins with Wolf Brother, but this one is my personal favorite

The Underneath, by Kathi Appelt. Amazing book, enough said.

Bloody Jack, by L.A. Meyer. One of the best all-around books ever! It's a little disturbing at times, but I personally don't believe in putting age restrictions on books, so go ahead and read it if you're twelve or thirty and just know that the creepy parts do come to an end.


Oh gosh Catching Fire Catching Fire Cathcing Fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Totally favorite of the year. Others that I liked too
-North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
-Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
So many but those are what come to mind. Lots of great ones up there too!:D


Well, this isn't FROM this year, but I read it this year and it was awesome: These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner.


My favorite books were The Last Olympian, The Giver, and They Loved to Laugh.


Oh, The Giver! i love that too!

Laura Z M

Must. Go. Shopping.


I loved reading the comments and seeing all the comments for the books i've read!
And Brokke I was going to reccomend Countess Below Stairs as well! so i'm going to double reccomend it! I also saw Wildwood Dancing which i though was amazing as well!


Forest Born, of course.
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
Maze Runner by James Dashner (anyone who loves the Hunger Games books will love this)
and as a "just for fun" book, Meg Cabot's new series, Airhead.


Hey! If you're interested in crafts, recipies, and more, check out out Blogspot at-
We're huge fans Shannon!

-The Lovely Times Crew


Thanks for the recommendations, Shannon! Considering I've read Nation, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, A Company of Swans and Hunger Games/Catching Fire and loved them all, seems like I should probably take up your other suggestions- I haven't bought a book in a few months because I just can't find anything I want to read...

You should read A Countess Below Stairs and Journey to the River Sea, they're Ibbotson's best, in my opinion- though all her "adult" ones (ie. not Journey to the River Sea and Star of Kazan) are basically the same story repackaged over and over. Ah well. They're still awesome!


Loved these suggestions! I liked Tanglewreck, Found by Margerat Peterson Haddix, and Shakespeare


Loved Hunger Games - I have Catching Fire - I still haven't read it cause I know once I start I won't stop and so I need a free weekend or at least a free 24 hours so I won't have to put the book down!


Loved Keturah and Lord Death! My DD13, who dislikes reading, also LOVED this book.

Thanks to everyone for all the great suggestions! My TBR has grown.


I love the book list that has cumulated here. Quite a few of my favourite books are here, and I was about to mention the Giver, but it's already here! Two other wonderful books are A Handful of Time and Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson. Both are young adult novels, but are enjoyable reads about growing-up, and families. Both are from the child's (ages 10 and 12) point of view but many delicate nuances bring the novels to life. They bring elements of fantasy into the real world. Overall, great, short, reads.

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