It looks like I read a lot of non-fiction this year, which I don't think is accurate; it's just that it turns out I liked the non-fiction better than the fiction this year. Go figure.
(Books with the star are fiction.)
- McCarthy's Bar by Pete McCarthy. I re-read this one right after Christmas, and loved it all over again. The author took a tour of Western Ireland with the one rule that "you should never pass a pub with your name on it". Sadly, McCarthy passed away a few years ago, and only has one or two other books out.
- *The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. Thing 2 and I read this for our "Mother/Daughter Book Club", and we both liked it very much. It's the story of a young girl in present day Afghanistan who can pass herself off as a boy in order to make a living for the family. A great reminder of what other people have to do to survive.
- The Worst Hard Time by Tim Egan. An account of the Dust Bowl of the Dirty Thirties, this book was really great. From telling you how it happened, to the way people coped to the aftermath and today, this book enthralled me.
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. How did a nice, educated, middle-class kid with every advantage end up dying alone in the Alaska wilderness? Even when you know how it ends, it was still compelling and interesting.
- *Nineteen Minutes by Jodie Picoult. I don't know that I would have picked this one up except that I had to read it for book club, mostly because I have a kid in high school and school shootings are something I shouldn't think about too much. But this was about much more than the actual event; what led up to it, what happened afterwards and there was a twist at the end that I really didn't see coming.
- *This Charming Man by Marian Keyes. My very favorite author. She makes me laugh out loud, and well up, all on the same page. I'd read her grocery list, if she'd let me.
- The Know It All, and The Year Of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. In the first book, the guy takes on the task of reading the entire Encycopedia Brittanca, and in the second, he decides to live for one year according to the rules in the Bible. Both were hilariously funny and thoroughly enjoyable.
- Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose. Lewis and Clarke undertook an amazing journey in 1814 to cross the continental US to the Pacific on the behest of Thomas Jefferson. A wonderful account of that trip and the men involved.
- *Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. One of the reasons I like being in a book club is that it makes me read things I don't think I would otherwise read. This was one of those books. The subject matter didn't really interest me, and I thought I'd be slogging through it, but once I gave it a shot, I couldn't put this one down. The story is set in a travelling circus in the 30's, and I was thinking about this one long after I had finished.
- *Twilight by Stephenie Meyers. Teenage vampires and forbidden love. The 14 year old girl in me was totally hooked, and the 46 year old in me was happy to let it happen.