1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - my first foray into the listening world had me on the edge of my seat wondering how much more incredibly horrible these children's lives could get, how much more resiliant they could possibly be and hoping without much hope that somehow their lives would turn out ok. An incredible thought provoking and emotional memoir.
2. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - an addictive read...piles and piles of history to think through weaved into a story so rich in detail and relationships between characters that spans many generations. A vampire story yet not a vampire story. I will read this one again someday.
3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - I wish every American had to read this story. I consider myself a very open minded person...only to find out through this read that there is still so much about Afghan culture that I did and probably still do not know. More than just a father/son story...a story of life and family and traditions.
4. Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver - this book is so marked up I would have to buy someone else a clean copy if I recommended it to them...I read this as my daughters and I were preparing our summer garden and it really opened my eyes to what we put into our bodies. This is Kingsolver's story of her family's year long experiment with self sustainment and back to nature living.
5. Eat Pray Love - A grown woman's journey discovering all that she thought she wanted out of life was not exactly what she really wanted...and the realization that she didn't really know WHAT it was she wanted. A personal self discovery travel narrative...aggravates me to see reviews that say this story is self-absorbed...hello, "personal, self-discovery narrative"? duh? I haven't seen the movie and don't plan to. I'm weird that way.
6. Millineum Trilogy by Stieg Larsson - page turners, stay up laters, rubbing your eyes and don't want to stop reading. Lizbeth Salander, I dare anyone to say she's not one of the most interesting, tough, complicated, but likeable female protagonists to come along in a long, long time.
7. We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson - a short one I read for the RIP challenge this year...by the much unknown author of The Lottery who said very little in real life but so much through her writing. A story that forces the reader to read between the lines and think very deeply about societal expectations.
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - I just finished this one and was absolutely stunned at all that I've missed being satisfied with all the movie versions (which I love as well). The movies are just snippets...much more is included in the book. I bawled my eyes out during one specific chapter of this book...so much so that I couldn't see to read and the Head of My Household put down his Ipad, took off his reading glasses and asked in a worried tone, "What is it??" A classic.
9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - the only book so far to touch my reluctant reader middle child's heart...no matter how much I loved this story of Scout and Atticus, this book will forever remain on my lifelong top 10 list because of its effect on my teenage daughter.
10. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - This is another one I recently finished and my first Dickens. I feels as if I've been starved and have been missing out on so much literature. No matter how many movie versions of this one you've seen, take a few hours and read through 5 staves of the original...you won't be sorry!
I'm working on my challenge post for 2011...I'm going use challenges to better organize my reading so that it takes a more prioritized place in my life. Reading means so much to me, but it has taken a backseat for a long time...no more of that!
Bring on 2011!