The Goldfinch, Diana Tartt
2) Sycamore Row, John Grisham
1) Johnny Carson, Henry Bushkin
Read in 2012:
27) Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn
26) Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
25) The Lady Elizabeth, Allison Weir
24) The Night Strangers, Chris Bohjalian
23) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Mindy Kaling
22) Shades of Grey, Jasper Fforde
21) My Life in France, Julia Child
20) Twenties Girl, Sophie Kinsella
19) Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
18) Wildflower Hill, Kimberly Freeman
17) The Great Santini, Pat Conroy
16) The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski
15) The Paris Wife, Paula McLain
14) The Rose Garden, Susanna Kearsley
13) The Winter Sea, Susanna Kearsley
12) Folly Beach LP, A Lowcountry Tale, Dorothea Benton Frank
11) South of Broad, Pat Conroy
10) The Virgin of Small Plains, Nancy Pickard
9) Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
8) A Secret Kept, Tatiana de Rosnay
7) The Lover's Dictionary: A Novel, David Levithan
6) The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
5) The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy
4) The American Heiress, Daisy Goodwin
3) The Lady of the Rivers, Philippa Gregory
2) The Book Thief, Marcus Zusak
1) The Distant Hours, Kate Morton
Read in 2011:
59) The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc, Kimberly Cutter
58) The Scent of Rain and Lightning, Nancy Pickard
57) The Masque of the Black Tulip, Lauren Willig
56) The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
55) The Road, Cormac McCarthy
54) Poison, Kathryn Harrison
53) The Year of Living Biblically, A.J. Jacobs
52) Budgeting for Infertility, Evelina W Sterling
51) The Couples Guide to In Vitro Fertilization, Liza Charlesworth
50) Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution, Michelle Moran
49) The Birth of Venus, Sarah Dunant
48) Return to Sullivan's Island, Dorothea Benton Frank
47) The Postmistress, Sarah Blake
46) Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife, Linda Berdoll
45) Alice Bliss, Laura Harrington
44) Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
43) The Trial, Franz Kafka
42) Beloved, Toni Morrison
41) Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
40) A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin
39) Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
38) The Master Butcher's Singing Club, Louise Erdrich
37) The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly
36) A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin
35) A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin
34) This Charming Man, Marian Keyes
33) The White Queen, Philippa Gregory
32) The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
31) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien
30) 13 Rue Therese, Elena Mauli Shapiro
29) Sarah's Key, Tatiana de Rosnay
28) Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane
27) Leonardo's Swans, Karen Essex
26) The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
25) The Dukan Diet, Pierre Dukan
24) Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood, Ellen F. Brown & John Wiley, Jr.
23) Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
22) A Discovery of Witches, Diana Harkness
21) The Stranger, Albert Camus
20) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, J.R.R. Tolkien
19) By the Time You Read This, Lola Jaye
18) Charleston, John Jakes
17) Sweet Valley Confidential, Francine Pascal
16) Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
15) Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
14) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien
13) The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
12) Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Gregory Maguire
11) Arcadia Falls, Carol Goodman
10) The Sonnet Lover, Carol Goodman
9) The Wild Blue, Walter J. Boyne & Steven L. Thompson
8) All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren
7) Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
6) How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas, Jeff Guinn
5) Grange House, Sarah Blake
4) Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Toni Weschler
3) The Autobiography of Santa Claus, Jeff Guinn
2) Fifty Shoes That Changed the World, Design Museum
1) The Swan Thieves, Elizabeth Kostova
Read in 2010:
34) The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
33) Fall of Giants, Ken Follett
32) The Alchemist's Daughter, Katharine McMahon
31) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Stieg Larsson
30) The Templar Legacy, Steve Berry
29) The School of Essential Ingredients, Erica Bauermeister
28) The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb
27) Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortensen
26) Dark Angels, Karleen Koen
25) Rich in Love, Josephine Humphreys
24) The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson
23) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
22) Mud & Gold, Shayne Parkinson
21) House Rules, Jodi Picoult
20) Teaching and Learning with Technology, Julia Lever-Duffy
19) The Heretic's Daughter, Kathleen Kent
18) The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton
17) Sentence of Marriage, Shayne Parkinson
16) Frommer's Japan
15) Secrets of Eden, Chris Bohjalian
14) Elementary and Middle School Mathematics, John Van de Walle
13) Top 10 Tokyo, D.K. Publishing
12) The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Katherine Howe
11) The Help, Kathryn Stockett
10) The Little Friend, Donna Tartt
9) The Last Summer (of You and Me), Anne Brashares
8) Science Stories, Janice Koch
7) A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
6) Colony, Anne Rivers Siddons
5) The Rebels of Ireland, Edward Rutherfurd
4) The Eleventh Plague, John S. Marr
3) The Princes of Ireland, Edward Rutherfurd
2) Stealing Athena, Karen Essex
1) Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger
Read in 2009:
50) Running with Scissors, Augusten Burroughs
49) Along Came A Spider, James Patterson
48) Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey
47) Innocent Traitor: An Novel of Lady Jane Grey, Allison Weir
46) The Crimson Petal and The White, Michael Faber
45) London: The Novel, Edward Rutherfurd
44) The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown
43) Sarum: The Novel of England, Edward Rutherfurd
42) Taking Liberties, Diana Norman
41) A Concise History of the Hawaiian Islands, Phil Barnes
40) Social Studies for the Elementary and Middle Grades, Cynthia Sunal
39) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shafer
38) A Cup of Tea: A Novel of 1917, Amy Ephron
37) Assessing English Language Learners, Margo Gottlieb
36) 99 Ideas and Activities for Teaching English Learners with the SIOP Model, MaryEllen Vogt
35) The Glassblower of Murano, Marina Fiorato
34) Gap Creek, Robert Morgan
33) Midwives, Chris Bohjalian
32) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J. K. Rowling
Loved it just as much this time as I did the first time through!
31) Pack Up the Moon, Anna McPartlin
30) Drowning Ruth, Christina Schwarz
29) The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barber
I wanted to like this more than I did. Certain sentences and thoughts were absolutely electifying in their insightfulness. Was a bit bored throughout and then the ending was incredibly jarring. Strange little book.
28) The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follet
Yeah, I read these two out of order. Yes, there are a lot of similarities between them. Still, both were very enjoyable reads.
27) World Without End, Ken Follett
26) Emma Brown, Clare Boylan
25) Literacy for the 21st Century, Gail E. Tompkins
24) Classroom Reading Inventory, Wheelock, W.H., Campbell, C.J., and Silvaroli, N.J.
23) Understanding Reading Problems: Assessment and Instruction, Gillet, J., Temple, C., & Crawford, A.
22) Wise Children, Angela Carter
21) A Lion Among Men, Gregory Maguire
Not as good as Wicked, better than Son of A Witch.
20) The Mechanics of Falling, Catherine Brady
19) The Dante Club, Matthew Pearl
Creepy. Haunting. Disturbing. Awesome.
18) The House at Riverton, Kate Morton
17) The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
Who knew that a retelling of a Bible story from a woman's perspective could be so fascinating! They should have read us this at our youth group...
16) The Secret History, Donna Tartt
Follows the lives of five deeply twisted classics students at a small college in the Northeast and the outsider who befriends them and is sucked into their mysterious world. Absolutely loved this, but I would recommend at least a basic knowledge of mythology to get the most out of it.
15) The Savage Garden, Mark Mills
An unmotivated English student in the 50s gets the chance to travel to Tuscany to write his thesis on the garden of a wealthy estate owner. While he's there he uncovers centuries of family secrets, including--MURDER! This was a quick read, and while some of the twists were a little easy to see coming, I still enjoyed the unraveling of the plot.
14) The Painted Kiss, Elizabeth Hickey
This follows the relationship of Emilie Floge and Gustav Klimt (most famous for his painting, The Kiss) from her childhood through his death and into her old age. A very intriguing look at a man I knew little about and woman I'd never heard of before.
13) Bilingual & ESL Classrooms, Carlos Ovando, et al
So boring, I seriously contemplated gouging my eyes out, just so I'd have an excuse not to read it.
12) Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners: The SIOP Model, Jana Echevarria, et al
Um, you'd probably like this if you're planning to teach English Second Language students!
11) The Drowning Tree, Carol Goodman
I picked this one up in the morning and couldn't put it down until I'd read it all the way through. The plot twists and turns throughout the novel and the descriptions of paintings and stained glass windows made me feel as though it was part story and part museum. It kept me guessing until the end, and I'm sorry that I only have one Carol Goodman novel left unread.
10) The Seduction of Water, Carol Goodman
This is another book that incorporates fairy tales and gives them a darker, more morbid twist. One of my favorites of Goodman's books, I liked the depiction of a mysterious, but beloved mother and the search through the past her daughter goes on in hopes of finding answers. Again, one of the plot twists was a wee bit transparent, but overall, a beautifully told story.
9) The Gravedigger's Daughter, Joyce Carol Oates
Gritty, raw, violent, funny, disturbing, touching, heartbreaking. I can't say that I loved reading this book, but it enthralled me, fascinated me, and wouldn't let go when I finished it. The novel follows the life of a young girl born on a refugee ship from Germany just prior to the start of WWII, and the secrets that she and her family harbor that threaten to destroy them all.
8) The Lake of Dead Languages, Carol Goodman
This was the third Goodman that I've read in the past few months and I'm already working on a fourth, so on the one hand, obviously I enjoy her method of storytelling and writing, but on the other hand, this was my least favorite of her offerings that I've read thusfar. Although there was still a little interplay between past and present, I had a difficult time finding any of the characters particularly relatable or sympathetic and I knew how the book was going to end by the time I was about 1/5 of the way through. I do think this was her debut novel, though, so I'm guessing she was still working on developing her voice and style.
7) The Ghost Orchid, Carol Goodman
I discovered Carol Goodman when I read The Night Villa last year, and totally fell for the way that she intertwines the past and the present. The Ghost Orchid follows a group of modern-day artists at an artists residency program who become involved in the history of the mansion where they are staying. The novel is intercut with the story of the past owners mysterious circumstances and the readers discover the secrets of the past along with the main character. I loved the spooky atmosphere of the writing, and the constantly twisting and turning narrative that kept me guessing up until the end of the book.
6) Change of Heart, Jodi Picoult
I tore through this 400+ page book in three days, and was completely riveted and intrigued from the first page on. I'm a girl who struggles with religion on a near daily basis, and the way Picoult weaves together faith, morality, and how you let those factors guide your life struck a chord in me. I can't stop thinking about this book--not necessarily the capital punishment aspect but certainly the religious. The one downfall is that I had the "twist" figured out about a quarter of the way through the book, but it didn't ruin the story for me.
5) The Street of A Thousand Blossoms, Gail Tsukiyama
Beautiful story of a Japanese family spanning the 3 decades before, during, and after WWII. One of those stories where every time something good happens to someone, something heartbreaking happens shortly after, but the characters are fascinating, the prose is the perfect combination of imagery and plot, and it ends on a hopeful note. Give it the first 100 pages to really suck you in. Reminded me a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha.
4) The Other Queen, Phillippa Gregory
I love historical fiction. I am fascinated by Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I. I adore Phillippa Gregory. Imagine my excitement when I was wandering through the airport and this wondrous book caught my eye. It should have joined the ranks of my favorite books EVER. Sadly, it was incredibly disappointing. I really disliked the way Mary was portrayed. Elizabeth was hardly in the book at all. And really, in over 400 pages it feels like hardly anything happens. I wanted so badly to give this one 5 stars, but sadly, it's lucky to get 2.
3) The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter
I love how macabre and creepy many of our favorite fairy tales are in their original tellings, and these even more haunting and spooky retellings were absolutely fascinating. Carter includes her versions of Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Red Riding Hood, and Blue Beard just to name a few, and her stories are beautifully eerie and remarkably fresh.
2) Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates
Fantastic book that I probably never would have read based on the blurb on the back of the book. It's the story of the perfect couple, living the American Dream and hiding their utterly miserable existence behind the perfect 1950s facade. But somehow the characters manage to be both insufferable and sympathetic, and while there's no big twist at the end I still stayed hooked all the way through, laughing on one page, then finding myself squirming uncomfortably on the next. Great book, that I don't think I'd have read if the movie trailer hadn't intrigued me!
1) The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling
Short, quick read. The stories were cute, but the highlights were the notes written by Dumbledore at the close of each tale. Mostly though, this just made me want to read Harry Potter for the frillionth time.