Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Top Reads

Going back through my 2009 list of books read, I realized that I've read some excellent books this year. The tough part? Although I've certainly read plenty of new releases, I've also read my share of books released in previous years. My list of top reads doesn't necessarily reflect favorite books released in 2009, instead it's a list of my favorite books read in 2009. I decided to post my Top 10 Reads regardless of release date, as I think this will truly reflect my preferences. There are only a few books on my list released this year and I'll highlight them.

Also, while reviewing my list, I noticed that I read a lot of excellent books during the first half of the year before I began blogging, and realize I did not review quite a few of them. I've linked the titles of the books I've reviewed, but for some you'll not find links. Maybe at some point I'll re-read some of them and post my thoughts. :)

Top 10 reads:

1) Perdido Street Station by China Mieville (Fantasy)
2) Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale (M/M Fantasy) - 2009 Release
3) Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair (Science Fiction/Romance)
4) Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews (Urban Fantasy)
5) Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh (Paranormal Romance) - 2009 Release
6) Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (Historical Romance)
7) This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Contemporary Romance)
8) Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews (Sci-Fi/Romance Short Story) - 2009 Release
9) Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger (M/M Contemporary Romance)
10) The Edge of Impropriety by Pam Rosenthal (Historical Romance)

Honorable Mention: These are books that I loved and truly enjoyed this year as well. As a matter of fact I had a tough time choosing in some cases between my top 10 and these. So, I just had to mention them. They are not in any particular order, I've basically grouped them by genre. I really loved them all. :)

Hope's Folly by Linnea Sinclair (Sci/Fi Romance) - 2009 Release
The Mountains of Mourning by Lois McMaster Bujold (Sci-Fi/Short Story)
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews (Urban Fantasy) - 2009 Release
Deathwish by Rob Thurman (Urban Fantasy) - 2009 Release
Demon Night by Meljean Brook (Paranormal/Romance)
Virgin River by Robyn Carr (Contemporary Romance)
McKenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard (Contemporary Romance)
Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi (Historical Romance)
All the Windwracked Stars by Elizabeth Bear (Fantasy) - 2009 Release
Percy and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan -5 books (YA)*-2009 Release
Rough Cut: Vincent Diamond Collected by editor Richard Labonte and Vincent Diamond (M/M)
ePistols at Dawn by Z.A. Maxfield (M/M) - 2009 Release

Top Re-Read: Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale (Historical/Romance) - A book I read such a long time ago it was like reading it for the first time. One of the best historical romances I read this year (again) and for me an A+ read anytime, anywhere.

I noticed this year for the first time I didn't read enough romance/suspense, historical fiction or mysteries to choose at least two top reads -- something I mean to remedy in 2010. I must admit that previous to 2009, I read so much in those categories (specially romance/suspense and mysteries) that I needed to catch up on other genres.

*YA = Only books read in this category this year. But an A recommended 5 book series.


  1. Great list! I was thinking of my top reads... there are quite a few. Happy New Year!

  2. We have so many in common and still quite a few of yours I haven't read.

    Gabriel's Ghost reminds me that I need to catch up on Sinclair's books before her next one comes out. I really enjoyed her writing.

    And Flower's from the Storm - Oh my goodness, I haven't read that in years. I've got the one with the Fabio cover which cracks me up whenever I see it. I would imagine I would love it as much today as I did years ago. :)

  3. Mariana, it's not easy to choose, right? I always wind up choosing the ones that stay with me.

    Leslie: I know! We like & read some of the same authors & books, but still there's just so many out there. :)

    I hope you enjoy Hope's Folly. I liked it just a bit more than Shades of Dark & can't wait for the next in the Dock 5 series.

    Flowers in the Storm is such a well written book, IMO, that it definitely stood the test of time. I couldn't remember if I'd read it, but recognized it almost immediately after I started reading. Great book!

  4. *sigh* I bought Wicked Gentlemen, magic Burns, Magic Strikes, Lord of Scoundrels, Hope's Folly and Demon Night in 2009...and I haven't read any of them. I need to stop buying books until I've read a good chunk of my unread ones, but it had been my last New Year's resolution and it lasted three months, and this time I'm starting the new year with 150$ in gift certificates from both Chapters and Amazon... so I think taking that resolution again would be doomed to failure anyway :). I did read and like Branded by Fire, Flowers from the Storm and Almost Like Being in Love. The latter was actually the very first book I read in 2009 and it was a delightful read. Thinking about that now makes me want toread it again :). Happy new year Hils!

  5. Mary my friend, just think of this way... you have some GREAT reads ahead of you and they're all in your TBR pile already. :P

    Happy New Year, Mary! I hope you find some wonderful new reads with your GC!! I wish you all the best... good travels. :)

  6. Great list, Hils :D

    It always becomes an issue for me at the end of the year - books read and books released. It's so much more work to put the books released in 2009 aside LOL :)

    I need to go and do my list, but I'm too lazy :) and I definitively need to read Silent Blade. Do you know if the authors plan to write more on the book? :)

  7. Great list Hilcia! Am very intrigued by Perdido Street Station! I just adore Mackenzie's Mountain. The Mackenzie's are... *SIGH*

    And while I know most people love Lord of Scoundrels, Knave's Wager will always be my favourite Loretta Chase novel :)

  8. Nath, I tend not to think of my reads in terms of release dates when it comes to best reads, so that part was tough. I read a lot of new releases, but as you can see only 3 of them made it to my top 10. I HOPE the authors write more in the Silent Blade world, but I'm not sure... it's a great one & it sure is a fascinating world. I would love to see a full-length novel set in that world.

    Orannia, thanks! I loooved Mackenzie's Mountain and I still have the other books in my TBR. I can't wait to read them, but I'm saving them... I'm reading them slowwwly. LoS by Chase is a book I put off reading forever & didn't think I would enjoy it at all... I was surprised when I liked it as much as I did. I love it when an author surprises me that way. :)

  9. I know you reviewed them, but do you think I should pick up the Rick Riordan books series... did you really enjoy them? :P

  10. Nath, I really, really enjoyed the Percy & the Olympians series. It's for 9 to 12 yr olds & above. (A bit like the Harry Potter books in that respect.) I loved the way Riordan uses Greek Mythology & the god's powers/magic to build the world in these books, the adventures are non-stop & I fell in love with Percy. The series gets better as it goes along.

    I believe there's a movie coming out for The Lightning Thief (Book 1) in March of this year. I hope that helps you decide... :)

  11. I remember you reviewing them and lately, Isabel has been reading them as well and it sounds good. Hmmm, I think a trip to the bookstore is in order soon :D

  12. Oh, great! I hope you enjoy them Nath. I can tell you that my friends and family have loved them. I gave my personal copies to my nephew (12) & then my niece (20) read them & they both loved these books!

  13. I bought the first book. I was going to buy books 1 to 3, but my sister convinced me to take my time :D and anyway, there were tons of copies at the bookstore.

  14. Oh, yes! Those books are very popular and there are plenty of them. I got the first 3 because they were being offered for $11.00 at the time. I thought it was a good buy and I wanted to read them to see if they were good for the young ones in the family. Buying the 1st one to see if you like it is a good idea. :)

  15. Great list, Hilcia! I still haven't read any of Linnea Sinclair's books!! I think I even have one or two on my shelf. Maybe I'll make that a reading challenge for 2011 if I don't get to them again this year.

    I also fell behind in Meljean Brook's series which is inexcusable because I LOVE her writing. I have DEMON NIGHT and DEMON FORGED on the ole TBR pile.

    Also, I've wanted to pick up Percy and the Olympians series for at least a year now. I'm going to borrow the first one from the library next week. I gotta get reading before the movie comes out! I'm going to also try to get my 10 year old to read it with me, but aside from Harry Potter, she's a straight contemporary chick lit kind of girl. For her age group, of course! ;)

    I also added Laura Kinsale's FLOWERS FROM THE STORM to my Library Loot list. :)

    Here's to many more great reads in 2010!

  16. Thanks Christine. If you enjoy Scifi/Rom, you'll love Sinclair. I hope you give her a shot.

    LOL on Percy. One of the interesting things about that series is that it's set in NYC, it's contemporary in culture & language, but Riordan uses Greek mythology to build his world. Very appealing for young adults. There's also a little romance going on in there... lots of empowering for both the males and the females. ;P

    Oooh, hope to hear what you think of Flowers from the Storm.

    To great reads!

  17. Thanks Hils..."good travels" is actually a great wish for me :-D


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