Kristen’s Favorite Books of 2009


It’s hard to believe that 2009 is coming to a close and we’re about to enter a new decade. As the end of the year approaches, I’ve been looking back at all the books I’ve read in 2009 and I made a list of a few that stood out from the rest. These might not be the best books of the year, but they are books that I had fun reading.


The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help is easily the best book I read all year (maybe even the past few years) and you can read my full review here. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars because it has a page turning plot and characters that are so real that they feel like old friends by the end of the novel. The Help became a sleeper hit over the summer thanks to word-of-mouth recommendations (I know I’ve told anyone who will listen that they MUST read this book) and it’s still holding steady on the NYT bestseller list. It’s set in the 1960’s but the story is timeless and I think it has a universal appeal that makes it an excellent choice for gift giving.



The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly

Newspaper crime reporter Jack McEvoy, last seen in The Poet, returns in The Scarecrow and gets tangled up with another serial killer. Through the old-school journalist, Connelly gives the reader a glimpse into the world of newspaper reporting and it’s state of decline. It’s a gripping and suspenseful novel that’s a step above most crime thrillers.




The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Dan Brown’s books get a lot of criticism and certain people like to claim that his blockbusters are killing the publishing industry. I say whatever gets people reading is a good thing and I thought The Lost Symbol was a highly entertaining read (full review). It presented interesting information about the founding fathers and the Freemasons in an accessible way. It also inspired me to read more about noetic science, a topic I had never heard of until this book. Any book that compels me to read more is definitely a success.



This Charming Man by Marian Keyes

This Charming Man is my favorite chick-lit book of 2009 (read full review here). Marian Keyes is one of my favorite authors because she writes about emotional issues, like depression, in such a real way since it’s something she’s dealt with in her own life. In This Charming Man, her characters face domestic abuse and alcoholism, and she explores the emotions that accompany these problems. It’s darker than her previous novels, but there are still plenty of funny moments where Keyes displays her great sense of humor.



The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner

The Neighbor is one of the best audiobooks I listened to this year (read full review here). It stands out because it’s spine-tingling suspense kept me up late for several nights listening to the book on my iPod. The story is read by three very talented narrators who delivered great performances. The Neighbor was the perfect thriller for me because it created a lot of tension but wasn’t so scary that it gave me nightmares.




Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin’s memoir is my favorite non-fiction book of the year (read full review here). I love how Kathy isn’t afraid to tell it like it is or call out hypocrisy when she sees it, no matter how many people she pisses off. Despite its hilarious title, Official Book Club Selection didn’t make in into Oprah’s book club, but who cares? Kathy’s the queen of the D-list and her devoted fans wouldn’t have it any other way.

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