The Broke and the Bookish. This week we're taking a look at the top ten books we've read in the past year. Here are mine:
1. Diamond Willow by Helen Frost. This is probably one of the best books I've read in the past few years. You can read my review here, but all I'll say is that this book was just so good on so many levels. It's a verse novel, but the formatting is incredible. And I had the good fortune to meet Helen Frost this summer, which was amazing.
2. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. Another one that really was incredible. It's a children's book, probably around middle-school level, but it goes so far beyond most children's books I've read. My review is here.
3. Dairy Queen, The Off-Season and Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. I'm putting this trilogy down as one, despite the very different natures of all three books. I loved D.J. Schwenk and her family, and I loved the way she told her story. Plus I listened to this on audio, and Natalie Moore was perfect to narrate.
4. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. I loved this book. I loved that it focused on the Black Panthers, and that the narrator was this no-nonsense girl who had to deal with a reluctant mother. I loved the summer setting. Pretty much everything. My review is here.
5. Paper Towns by John Green. Okay, so this might be cheating since this was a reread. But really, this book. Is. Just. Awesome. My review can be found here.
6. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. This one won the Newbery Award a couple of years ago, and it was very deserving of the honor. I love Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, and this book references it a lot. This is another children's book that transcends age. Again, here's my review.
7. The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. A hilarious and incredibly rich story of the alien invasion of Earth. I listened to the Odyssey Award–winning audiobook, and I'm about to do so again for a middle school book club I'm helping to run at the library. Seriously, this book is fantastic. My review is here.
8. Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol. This graphic novel is just fantastic. The art coupled with the creepy story make this a quick but absorbing read. I started this one again immediately after finishing it. Here's my review.
9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This was one of the few nonfiction books for adults I read this year, but it was definitely a good one. I listened to the audio (it's easier for me to finish nonfiction that way). This is such an incredible story, and I recommend it to anyone interested in science, race relations, or the history of medicine. Or people who like good stories.
10. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. This is one of the few books I actually raced through, and the only one I stayed up all night to finish. Johnson is a master at blending suspense and humor. Plus, it's a ghost story. So, that's awesome. My review, ladies and gentlemen.
That's it for me! Lots of great audiobooks this year. Let's hope 2012 will be just as great!