On January 8, 2009, the Daily Genoshan put up its very first review. Exactly one year later, the Genoshan has 42 full book reviews under its belt, as well as 7 short story supplements, and 5 random updates. 54 posts in 52 weeks is not bad for the first year. (Of course, in 2010 we'll be shooting for the full 52 book reviews, but we can discuss that more a year from now.) I decided that a great way to celebrate the first anniversary of that first review, and also usher in the new year, would be to recap all the reviews of 2009, starting with the Top Ten.
The Daily Genoshan Top Ten isn't the best books that came out last year, but the best books that I read and reviewed. So yeah, it's a little subjective, and some of the books are a little old, but that's ok. After the Top Ten will be the recap—the review review—so all of you Genoshans out there can look at the books side-by-side and see if there are any that you missed by accident and might want to read. Enough out of me, though, let's get to the Top Ten!
The Daily Genoshan's Top Ten Books of 2009
10. Tie: John Dollar by Marianne Wiggins; and Candide by Voltaire—8.61
8. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters—8.89
7. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez—8.9
6. Tie: A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; and Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan—9
4. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith—9.22
3. The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—9.33
2. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—9.39
...and the #1 book of 2009...
1. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer—9.56
***Honorable mentions include Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard by Kiran Desai (8.59); The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams (8.44); Bone by Jeff Smith (8.28); The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (8.17); and White Oleander by Janet Fitch (8.04)***
It's interesting to note that, in the entire Top Ten, there are essentially only 6 authors (if you count both of Jane Austen's books as one author, I mean). It's also kinda interesting that the first and last reviews of the year—100 Years of Solitude and The Valley of Fear, respectively—both made the list. Hopefully 2010 will start and end with a bang as well!
Continuing with business, I thought it might also be fun to highlight the worst books of the year, though they were so painful to read that I can only bring myself to list to top (or bottom, actually) three.
The Daily Genoshan's Worst Three Books of 2009
3. The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs—4.89
2. Atonement by Ian McEwan—4.28
...and the absolute worst book of 2009...
1. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller—4.25
Those books sucked. It hurts to even think about them at this point.
Anyway, I know there are links to all of the posts over on the side bar, but they don't give you the ratings, so here for your convenience are links to all of the reviews of 2009, with their numerical ratings. The Top Ten and Bottom Three are listed here, too, in case you're super lazy and don't feel like scrolling back up.
100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez—8.9
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold—6.5
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan—9
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A Novel in Cartoons by Jeff Kinney—7
He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo—6.2
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling—7.9
The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs—4.89
Agents of Atlas by Jeff Parker—7.72
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers—7.57
Scud: The Disposable Assassin by Rob Schrab—7.72
Candide by Voltaire—8.61
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller—4.25
The New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis—7.67
The Hood: Blood From Stones by Brian K. Vaughan—7.19
Time and Materials by Robert Hass—Poetry not rated
Atonement by Ian McEwan—4.28
The Martian Tales Trilogy by Edgar Rice Burroughs—7.89
Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Petersen—7.5
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith—9.22
The Dead Guy Interviews by Michael A. Stusser—6.22
Bone by Jeff Smith—8.28
Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut—7 *2009's only guest post!*
X-Men: Mutant Massacre by Chris Claremont—6.17
White Oleander by Janet Fitch—8.04
The Next 100 Years by George Friedman—7.8
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley—7
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters—8.89
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown—7.11
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels—6.5
John Dollar by Marianne Wiggins—8.61
The Zahir by Paulo Coelho—7.34
Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard by Kiran Desai—8.59
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams—8.44
Peter & Max by Bill Willingham—7.57
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer—9.56
Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie—Porn not rated
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller—6.78
A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—9
The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—8.17
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—9.39
The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—9.33
And don't forget all the wonderful Sherlock Holmes short story reviews!
Phew, that was tough. I hope this guide to 2009 is helpful, Genoshans. Happy New Year, and, as always, keep reading!
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