I guess I'll have to try my best to chose out of sixty pretty much all great books to come up with the top ten. I'll have you know though it's torture! To ease the torture I'm grouping some of them by author. I also didn't include any re-reads in this list though I did re-read some spectacular books this year. Links will take you to my review of the book, if I wrote one. However, basically I loved all of these books and would highly recommend them to all. :)
- The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien- As you probably know I love Tolkien and especially LOTR. While Silmarillion was good, I didn't enjoy it as much. The Children of Húrin though was an amazing in-between. It mixed the mythology of the Silmarillion with the faster paced LOTR to produce another great Tolkien work. If you're a Tolkien fan I highly recommend it... if you aren't... uh... get on to that now! ;)
- Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card- Some of my first science fiction reading and I really enjoyed these two. The plots were exciting and surprising the whole way through and even though Ender's Shadow was a parallel novel it still continued to put in twists you didn't see coming. Overall I enjoyed it more but they were both great.
- Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara - I've been a big fan of Killer Angels since I read it back in high school and I loved Gods and Generals almost as much. This historical novel covering the War between the States really brings to life the men and the events surrounding the war and what lead up to it. It is a heartbreaking book as you see men making decisions that they never thought they would have to make and choosing sides apart from their friends. If you love history, you'll love this book.
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell- I've watched the mini-series multiple times and the book is just as great. There are subtle differences that I think make the book better but they're both great. This book has similar themes to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, though of course not topping that masterpiece.
- Little Dorritt and Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens- I loved both of these books so much that I couldn't chose a favorite out of the two. Dickens always creates such memorable characters and stories and these two books are no exception. There's a great mini-series made in 2008 that I've watched of Little Dorrit that I would highly recommend. There's also a mini-series made of Our Mutual Friend (1998) that has come highly recommended but I haven't seen it yet (hopefully soon now that I have time over the break!).
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett- The character and injustice are what makes this story so amazing and memorable. I was very pleasantly surprised by this story. The movie is good too.
- The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde- I didn't know what to expect going into this story but it definitely caught me off my guard. The story is dark and different, especially for the time period it was written in.
- The Lord of the Flies by William Golding- Apparently I was the only one who didn't know the plot line going into this story. By the time I was halfway through though I was figuring it out. This story depicts the depravity of man in a very real, harsh and unexpected way. Great book!
- Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz- My Dad and Mom have talked about their love of Dean Koontz's books and especially this series for a long time and after reading a couple others of his books I took the plunge and read this one. I loved it! This book was continually surprising with fun and interesting characters. Koontz's writing is witty and kept me engaged the whole way through. I know there is a movie and I just haven't gotten around to watching it yet but my Dad recommended it so I'm sure it's good. :)
- Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen- One of the non-fiction books I read this year. It was written over 90 years ago but is still incredibly relevant to this day. It gave me a much better basis for understanding Christianity and politics. I would highly, HIGHLY recommend this book. It made me think probably a lot more than I wanted too.
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