Talk about just getting it in under the wire! I'm sorry to just do a top five, but honestly I wrote so much this year, that reading took a bit of a backseat and a lot of what I did read were writing books. One of my goals for 2010 is to read a lot more!
Without further ado and in no particular order, my favorite books of 2009 were:
1) Columbine - Dave Cullen
Not for the faint of heart, this book is a gripping page turner, and also sets right everything that was gotten wrong in the media about the Columbine school shooting. It also explores why the boys did what they did. I couldn't put it down, but also kind of twitched while reading it. *Parent Advisory*
2) Cracked Up To Be - Courtney Summers
Courtney Summers so perfectly shows a girl losing it in this edgy, contemporary YA. I recommend her to everyone who wants to know how to show, not tell, because you get that she's losing it (or has lost it) before the character ever admits it. There's also something of a mystery involved as you find out why. There are sexual situations, though not a traditional sex scene like a romance novel would have.
3) What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew - Daniel Pool
This is a fabulously detailed look at Regency and Victorian England - all the little details you've been curious about if you read that sort of historical fiction. It explains how workhouses functioned and why they were so terrible, what consumption and gout really were, and why children might scavenge dead bodies out the Themes.
4) The House at Riverton - Kate Morton
I can say without question that this is my favorite sort of book: mysterious without being genre mystery, a story that flits back and forth between present day and some gothic and terrible past, and full of family secrets. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you loved Rebecca and Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion, you'll be thrilled to read this.
5) Echo Burning - Lee Child
I love thrillers, but I've lost my edge - I can't read anything to icky anymore. I know that some of his books can be violent, but I think the violence was very tolerable in this book, the pacing fast, and the lead character incredible. Even Janet Reid is in love with Jack Reacher. :)