Saturday, December 26, 2009

Top Ten of 2009

This is a list of my favorite things from 2009. I'm trying to keep this list limited to new stuff as compared to stuff I discovered in 2009 but it is difficult. I know it's shocking but this list is mostly made of books *gasp* but since most of the movies that came out this year were lame what do you expect? This list is also in no special order...

I loved this movie. I have always been a fan of Star Trek since my grandma introduced me to Captain Kirk as soon as she bought her first vcr. I grew up watching TNG but the original series motion pictures were among my favorites. When I heard about the casting for this reboot I was scared. Who was Chris Pine and why did J.J. Abrams think he could be Kirk? Winona Ryder is Spock's mom? No freaking way. But you know, it worked. The opening still makes me cry. Damn you J.J. Abrams! I still want to watch it. My husband is all "Star Trek again?" Heck yeah.

This was my first Nalini Singh book and once I read it, I was completely hooked and eagerly worked my way through her Psy-Changeling series (Caressed by Ice may be my favorite). Angels and demons are one of my favorite topics and I loved the romance between Elena and Raphael. The ending was so very cool too. I made a big mistake when I read this though - I should have waited awhile longer to read it since I had to wait another year until the next one. Archangel's Kiss, book two in Singh's Guild Hunter series, is out on February 2nd. Come on Groundhog Day!

I'd use the pic for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo here but it was published here in 2008. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson is the second part of this trilogy with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest out next May and I can't wait to see how Lisbeth kicks some more ass. This series is so compelling and just sucks you right in and won't let go until you finish reading the last page. The only downside of this second book is that Mikael and Lisbeth hardly interact until that last page so we're reduced to clinging on to those moments when they do communicate, via the computer. We also are still wondering what the hell happened to Lisbeth when she was a teenager that made her who she is, other than setting her father on fire. That would definitely stay with you throughout your whole life. Out May 25.

Oh man. I couldn't wait to get this book and when I did, I finished it in a few hours. The plan was to leave it for awhile; I knew it would be a long time before there was another Lady Julia book but I just had to find out what happened between her and Brisbane. My willpower lasted all of one hour maybe. I was not disappointed. I just love the wit and dialogue in Deanna Raybourn's books and I am eagerly anticipating The Dead Travel Fast, an unrelated new book that involves vampires (I think). It's scheduled to be released on March 1st but hopefully it will be out a few weeks early as Moor was.

I bought this book new because I am a big fan of Karen Chance's Cassie Palmer series. I was sure I wouldn't like it as much as Cassie's books since Mircea isn't one of my favorite characters in Chance's books and is certainly not my first choice for Cassie (I much prefer Pritkin) and I didn't think a new series based on his daughter, Dorina Basarab, would satisfy me.Well, I was right...I didn't like Dorina as much as Cassie. I liked her more. Dorina is a dhampir, half human/half vampire, and not just a little crazy. She's a loner but she's coerced into working with Louis-Cesare, a master vampire that is pledged to Mircea, to hunt down her famous uncle Dracula. The next book in this series, Death's Mistress, is out in just a few weeks, on January 5th.

Just as with The Girl Who Played With Fire, Catching Fire is the second book in The Hunger Games series with the first book published in 2008. That's OK, this one will do nicely. It's hard to believe that this series is considered YA since the premise is so violent and heartbreaking. After I finished reading The Hunger Games I thought I had figured out how the plot for Catching Fire would go but I was way off base. Last night I read Angieville's post on The Book Smugglers about her awards for the Best of '09:

Best Performance by a Villain: President Snow for Catching Fire

The dude smells like blood and roses and I can’t read a scene he’s in without gagging. Seriously. What is wrong with him?

She's absolutely right: that guy made my skin crawl. Rarely do I come across a villain in a book that is so effectual in scaring the reader like President Snow did. What kind of person persecutes children like that? Truly, he's a monster but Katniss has been through worse and is up to the challenge. The still untitled third book in this series is scheduled for August 24. Update: title may be The Victors. Hope they didn't all change their name to Victor :)

This was Seanan McGuire's debut book. I loved it for many reasons but mainly for the fish thing. Having your main character, who has a spouse/partner/mate/whatever and a child, go missing for 14 years because she was turned into a fish? That took balls. Watching Toby drag herself out of the hole she buried herself in after the fish curse expired was some good reading. I've read some reviews that were pretty critical of Toby and why didn't she try to insinuate herself back into her child's life? That's not that simple but maybe she can make some progress in the coming chapters of Toby Daye. A Local Habitation, the second Toby book, is out on March 2nd.

This was one of those books you read and you just go "WOW." I have never read anything about werewolves that was close to the ones in Shiver. Making them turn into actual wolves with finite lifespans instead of the super longevity of the typical werewolf. I also wanted to smack Grace's parents and maybe slip some parental sense into their vacuous heads. Sam's and Grace's romance was one of my favorites for the year. Maggie Stiefvater totally got me at the end of this book - I actually thought she would let Sam die. (I'm such a dope.) I can not wait until Linger, the sequel, comes out on July 20th.

This is the most recent read for me on this list. Juliet Marillier is a name I've encountered often on the web and I finally read this book. Ms. Marillier writes beautifully; the setting, the characters, the plot - everything just flows. It was almost more like music, the way it washes over you. Caitrin, a young woman who has escaped her abusive relatives who moved into her father's home when he died, arrives at Whistling Tor serendipitously to find that the chieftain of the village, Anluan, requires a scribe to translate some documents of his ancestors'. Anluan is disfigured from what appeared to be a stroke and Caitrin finds herself drawn to Anluan while becoming enthralled by the documents and the tales they tell. First thing Monday morning I'll be at my local library to start with Marillier's Sevenwaters series.

We're not big holiday fiends here in our house so we went to the movies today. I guess lots of people get bored on Christmas because the movie theater is always jammed on this date every year and lots of bored people going to the movies means that you better get there super early or you end up sitting in the second row with your neck stuck at a 45 degree angle for two hours. We saw Sherlock Holmes today and it was so very good. All those adjectives that are synonymous with 'good' apply here. Can't wait to see it again :)

There were so many possibilities for this list and so many books from 2009 that I haven't read yet: this year's new Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Kim Harrison, and many others. I definitely need to get my act together. Possible New Year's Resolution: get caught up with TBR pile :)

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