(This post is a part of Gwen Bell's The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. Thanks for the great inspiration idea, Amy!)
My reading habits have really been unpredictable since graduating from college. I guess that's what happens when you are forced to read 1000 pages a week, which by the way is the best and worst part of being an English major. I am not a very fast reader, especially if I am reading non-fiction for comprehension, but being forced to read lots of different authors/genres/styles has definitely kept me "open" when it comes to picking out books -- I don't stick to one thing.
I read plenty of good books this year (and also stalled amidst some pretty terrible ones that eventually put down) but here are are few favorites:
1. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg
I mentioned this one over and over this year because the stories were so inspiring and the recipes were so delicious. And what a double whammy that Molly's blog continues to be a source of inspiration now that the book is over. Love that!
2. The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld
I loved this because Sittenfeld really has a knack for capturing the awkwardness of the teenage experience. With all of her books I've found that she can really describe a situation to make the reader feel like they are there -- and she does it concisely. Not an extra word. Just the right words.
3. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
This book just absolutely thrilled me because I didn't really anticipate enjoying it. It was such a moving book of short stories (especially the last three -- oh my god -- so good!) that I found myself totally bummed when it ended. That book will stay with me for a long time.
4. The United States of Arugula by David Kamp
David Kamp is a writer for Vanity Fair and that is exactly how this book reads -- like an extended juicy magazine article. Obviously I love cooking, but what is interesting in this book is sociological reasons behind the shift in perspective that Americans have gone through over the last 75 years. It also details a number of key players in the culinary industry, which for a Top Chef geek like me is kind of interesting. I loved the human interest pieces on those people and events that I have heard of but never really known the history of. All around good read.
What have you been reading this year. Are you on Goodreads? If so, um...hello...why are we not friends??? I love to see what others are reading. You can find me here.