Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Through the Years - Number Ones

I'm scheduling this post out for January 1, 2013. If it actually posts and there's anyone around to read it, that means we made it. There was no Mayan Apocalypse. The end of the Mayan calendar was just because the poor calendar maker had to stop somewhere. He was pretty tired.

Anyway, I started this blog in 2009 as an offshoot of my activity on Shelfari. But I'd joined Shelfari to save my sanity back in 2006, right after I'd graduated from college. I've been keeping track of my number one favorite reads from each year since then. Here they are:

2006 - Jude the Obscure (Signet Classics)

2007 - Jane Eyre (Dover Thrift Editions)
Jane Eyre is your first rate super heroine. I loved this book. It seems before its time in the way that Jane never compromises herself. She stays true to who she is and doesn't let circumstances, people, or religion, dictate her life. I definitely was not expecting this to be as good as it is, and breezed through it very quickly. 
2008 - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
I loved this book from beginning to end. I have so many things to say, but nothing quite grasps just how good this was. Kavalier & Clay will stay with me for a long time. Absolutely beautiful. Funny in a way that you must sometimes laugh in the hands that life deals you. True in spirit. Amazing.  
2009 - The Shining
Loved, loved, loved. I recently became obsessed with the movie, thinking it incredibly amazing. Beyond a horror story, the study of the human character. And the nature of evil. And god, Jack on that staircase and Wendy with the bat. I could watch that scene over and over. Anyway, I've never (except for when I was in middle school reading R.L. Stine and realize that his books were too juvenile for me) had the desire to read King, but the word from everyone was: If you liked the movie, you'll love the book.
The book was, as it often is, so much better. I've a respect for King I never thought I'd have. Though, you can't truly say that until you try. What a fantastic writer! This man knows where it's at. The book was absolutely amazing, much more than a horror story, with it's exploration of familial relationships and the essence of evil. 
2010 - Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People
Raven is the story of Jim Jones and the People's Temple - told by Tim Reiterman, a journalist who survived the massacre of the Ryan party in Guyana just hours before more than 900 People's Temple members committed "revolutionary" suicide with poisoned Grape-Aid. Reiterman begins at the beginning - the birth and early life of Jim Jones and moves carefully forward, in almost 600 pages, to chronicle the rise and fall of a people who put their lives in the hands of a sociopath. 
2011 - Geek Love: A Novel
Not at all what its title implies - even when you find out exactly what Katherine Dunn means by Geek. Should have been called Freak Love, but I think the mystery and the - "Oh my god, this isn't about two nerds falling in love?" is half the attraction.
Concerning a traveling carnival whose acts were bred instead of hired - the story is told by Olympia Binewski, a bald, albino, hunchback dwarf and the youngest daughter of Lil and Al Binewski. 

2012 - Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
Last Call is  intelligentthorough,and fun. The book had me researching and discussing a topic I hadn't given much thought of before. 

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