I don’t read books like I watch movies. Most of the books I read in a year didn’t come out that year. I will rarely read a brand new book the year it is released. Part of that is because I don’t like reading hardback books. I prefer sitting down with a nice paperback. It just feels right. Are there exceptions? Of course there are. Harry Potter. Dan Brown. Larry Bird. All of these will get me to buy a hardback book and read it the moment it is released. As a matter of fact, two of those three authors released hardback books this year that I got and read (Dan Brown and Larry Bird). Did they make my favorites list? Wait and see.
I’ve never really done a book list for this blog and that’s mainly because I’ve never kept a good, consistent log of what I read in a given year. This past year, however, I did start keeping a detailed log of books I read. I kept a log in previous years, but it includes only about half the books I read and very little detail about the book. In Jan 2009 I started keeping track of more data and I did it with consistency (which is key). I keep it in a spreadsheet on Google. Well, it started in a book journal called Book Lust (which Steph gave me for Xmas 2008), but then, when I completed the journal on New Year’s Eve I moved it to Google Spreadsheet.
The first tab on the left is all the data for every year in the spreadsheet. Then the tabs moving to the right are each year broken out by itself. 2009 has the most data, 2008 is fairly complete, but 2007 is almost bare.
Perusing my book log I see I finished 52 books last year. That’s a book a week. Not bad. It’s almost exactly the number of 2009 movies I saw last year (53). Eerie. Anyway, like I said, most of the books I read were not released in 2009. The only books actually released in 2009 that I read were Star Wars: Death Troopers, The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
So, without further ado, here are my five favorite books I read in 2009 (in no particular order).
When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson – Okay, I know I just said these books were in no particular order, but I lied. Every book but this one is in no particular order. This book was my favorite book I read last year, and I didn’t even get it until Christmas day and then I read it in 3 days. Fantastic, fantastic book. A great look back at one of the greatest times in NBA history, the razzle, dazzle 1980s, by two of the game’s greatest stars, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. I can’t even begin to describe how great this book is. If you are a fan of basketball, especially back in the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, then you owe it to yourself to READ THIS BOOK. Hell, I’ve followed Larry Bird since the ’80s, I read his autobiography, Drive (TWICE!), as well has his book on coaching, Bird Watching, and I STILL came out with information I’ve never known before. Larry and Magic discuss in frank detail what it was like to be them and playing each other. AWESOME.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Books 1 -5) by Rick Riordan – I’m counting these as one. I read Books 1-4 in 2009. I started Book 5 on Jan 1, 2010. But, the series, I think, should be judged as a whole. This is one fantastic series. For those lamenting the ending of Harry Potter, this is a great series to read to fill that gap. Of the five books, four of them easily belong on this list. EASILY. Book 2, while good, is not great. Almost a little boring. But Books 3-5 are so unbelievably fantastic that I can easily give Book 2 a pass. I hear Riordan may be retiring Percy Jackson after Book 5, but the world he’s created with the Greek/Roman gods and demigods will continue on in another series. I can’t wait to start those too because the world Riordan created is fascinating and fun. If you love Harry Potter and/or Greek/Roman mythology, you will LOVE this series. I can’t wait for the movie of Book 1 in February.