- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – This is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. I read it in two days, reaching for a box of tissues at least twice. If you have not read is yet, do not miss it.
- The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel – Amazingly, I’d never even heard of the Earth’s Children series until I stumbled across a review on a website I have since forgotten (lol, sorry). This one was an all-nighter, I don’t think I went to bed until after dawn, it was that absorbing. I quickly obtained, and read, the other books in the series, but they aren’t as good as The Clan of the Cave Bear.
- The Cleft by Doris Lessing – I read The Cleft in one sitting. I opened it up while the kids were getting ready for school, and finished just after noon. It is an unusual book, and not something I would normally read, but it was wonderful and disturbing all at once. A truly wonderful reading experience.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling – Until I read this, Goblet of Fire was my favorite Harry Potter novel, but it has been replaced. There are parts of this book that are wonderfully subtle, and I’m sure I’ll notice things when I get around to re-reading it that I didn’t catch the first time around.
- She Who Remembers by Linda Lay Shuler – A powerful read about an Anasazi woman cast out of her village and her struggle to survive, with the help of the Shes Who Remember before her. The She Who Remembers is the woman who learns all of the women’s tales, histories, mysteries, and legends, and imparts them to young girls.
- Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford – I don’t generally like Far Eastern history, but I loved this book. I even found myself reading parts of it aloud to my family. All of the little tidbits of information about culture fascinated me, and enhanced the history. Genghis Khan is a very readable history.
- Sense of Evil by Kay Hooper – I love the whole series, but this is the best of them published so far. The whodunit never even occurred to me! I also loved the characters, who had lots of depths and layers. Character development means a lot to me. I can read a novel that totally sucks, and still enjoy it if the characters are done well. Fortunately, Sense of Evil doesn’t totally suck, and has excellent characters as well.
- The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory – History geek alert. Especially English royal history (from Elizabeth I on back, anyway). I loved this book. Jane Parker Boleyn was rather creepy with her powers of self-delusion. If you like Tudor history, don’t miss this.
- The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow – A very bizarre trip down memory lane by a book. Yes, a book. That’s what got my attention. The language is a bit grand, but, what do expect from a novel written by Newton’s Principia Mathematica, and taking place in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries?
- Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes by Cathy Holton – Because it is fun! Why read if you can’t have fun with a book once in while? Revenge is laugh out loud funny at times.
The most disappointing book of the year was Everlasting by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. On the one hand, I know she was sick, and I wanted her to put all of her efforts into getting better, but, on the other, I wanted her last book to be her best.
McKettrick’s Luck by Linda Lael Miller was the worst book of the year for me. Yawn!
The award for Weirdest Read of the Year goes to: Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams. I got this from the library for my nephew, but it sounded so odd that I had to read it myself. In it, you take a look at the world through the eyes of cats. Cat traditions, cat gods, cat myths. I read it over the summer, and there are still times I wonder when my cat looks at me a certain way!