I went through the list of books I read in 2007 (yes, I'm a nerd and have been keeping track of my reading material for the past couple of years) and luckily the books I marked as my favorite ended up totaling ten to make a perfect top ten list. Note my list for 2007 only means that I read the books in 2007, not that they were necessarily published in 2007. I also didn't include two of my all-time favorite books (Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding) that I reread this year for book clubs. I was reading them for the third time each I believe so it's obvious I like them!
Here are the top ten books I read this year in no particular order than maybe in what sequence through the year I read them:
1. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. The haunting novel told the story of a doctor who delivers his own twin children in a snow storm and gives away one who is born mentally disabled. He tells his wife the disabled child died and his nurse runs off with the daughter and raises her on her own. While the doctor's life falls apart over the years, the nurse leads a tough life, but finds love in raising her daughter. It stuck with me because of the moral dilemas faced by the protagonists and the riveting story telling through the years of the main characters' lives.
2. Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. I read this for my Kewaunee book club and was surprised to discover that a famous murderer came from my home county in Michigan - not something they told me growing up. While I liked Larson's Devil in the White City more than this book, it was still a riveting piece of non-fiction that detailed the invention of the wireless telegraph set against the use of this device to capture a fleeing murderer. Larson writes non-fiction so well that it reads like fiction. I highly recommend this book.
3. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. This book was a fantastic book about the friendship between two girls of different circumstances in life from youth through adulthood in rural China of centuries past. Trials affect their friendship in terrible and gripping ways. It was interesting learning about the different culture in China, although the foot binding scense may have made me quesy!
4. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. This novel is ripped from the headlines and presents a very interesting moral dilemma - is it morally acceptable to have a child to use as a "donor" for another child? And when do the "donations" stop? Anna the donor child decides at 13 to sue her parents in order to stop the donations to her sister Kate who suffers from a rare form of leukemia. It presents tough questions and is interesting to think about and discuss. I'm actually going to pick this for our March book club pick for Mom's Club. The book also had fantastic secondary characters.
5. Death in a Prairie House: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Talesin Murders by William R. Drennan. This was another Kewaunee book club pick and I'm glad it was picked as I probably never would have found it on my own. This non-fiction book is riveting and provided me all sorts of detail about Frank Lloyd Wright that I didn't know. I know he designed beautiful houses, but didn't know he was not the nicest of men in real life to his family. The Talesin Murders were a tragedy that provided a turning point in his life. This book is also an interesting topic of conversation to have with people!
6. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I loved this novel and it's story of friendship between two Afghani women who happened to be married to the same not so nice man. It gives great detail on the terrible plight of women in Afghanistan and is a must read in my book!
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter series are among some of the best books I've read in my entire life and Rowling does not disappoint with this spectacular series finale. I'm going to miss reading new adventures of Harry, but the books are sure to delight me for the rest of my life!
8. The Road by Cormac McCarthy. This post-apocolyptic novel has stayed with me all year. It's a book I think and ponder on. A book that I think about for a long time is a good book! It is a father/son road trip story at the end of the world. It's sparse, scary at times, but with a glimmer of hope. I really need to read more McCarthy as this was an excellent novel. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it although it is not for the faint of heart!
9. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. This is actually a nomination for the entire Stephanie Plum series although I've only read through number six so far. This books are the light hearted tales of Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey. They make me laugh out loud and are good escapism reading.
10. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. I just read this massive book last month and LOVED it. It is a historical fiction novel detailing the building of a cathedral in medieval England and the lives of the people who built it. It was a very interesting read and kept me riveted for the entire 900 plus pages. It's a book not to miss is you like historical fiction!
Did you read a book in 2007 that was great and you feel it's one that shouldn't be missed? Add a comment to my post and give me ideas for what to read in 2008!