I like to go back and look over past journals this time of year, remembering what my favorite books were in years past. I have never been good at selecting just one favorite for any given year--so many touch me, reach me, fill a need in me, each in their own way.
In 2003, Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and As Always, Jack by Emma Sweeney won my heart. Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner stole the year in 2004, although I was really impressed with the witty The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Both novels are among my all time favorites to this day.
Two thousand five proved to be a terrific year for me in books. I am hardpressed to name one favorite among so many great novels. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was a reread for me--a book that I found even more rewarding the second time around. Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock was a heartwrenching novel that stayed with me long after. And then there was Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex for which I most loved the history woven into the main plot. Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated made me laugh as well as cry. Empire Falls by Richard Russo and The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar moved me, the characters lives becoming a part of me as I lost myself in the stories. I loved the intensity and darkness of Christopher Rice's A Density of Souls. It was a wonderful year in books.
This year I read more books than I imagined possible. Perhaps it was the type of books I read or the amount of time I was able to dedicate to reading, much more than I had in the past. And like in years past, I read some marvelous books that took me outside of my own world and opened doors into the unfamilar. Some were comforting and others thought provoking. There were many in between. Most of all, I had fun on my reading adventures.
Stay tuned for my Top Ten List for the year.