3rd Annual book-a-rama Awards

Good-bye 2009! Hello 2010! Can you believe it? Another year, another decade. It's been a successful reading year for me. In total, I've reviewed 87 books. That's the most books in one year I've read since starting this blog. I was so close to 100 books this year. Maybe I can do it in 2010.

So like the last 2 years, I compiled my best and worst book list into the Book-a-rama Awards ©2009. Here it is!

The Best

Best Frightening Glimpse of the Future: It's back to the future with 1984. Scary totalitarianism government creates a brutal world. 1984 still hits a nerve today.

Best Protagonist: Eleven year old Flavia De Lucefrom The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Chemistry loving Flavia solves murders while plotting revenge on her sisters.

Best Non-Fiction: I read a lot of non-fiction this year. Biographies of authors and crooks, instructionals on how to save the planet and marketing your brand, coal miners and deadly plants. I learned a lot. But the one that inspired me the most as Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. This book had me growing my own vegetables and thinking more about how far my food has to travel to get to my plate.

Best New Series: This is a tie between The Flavia DeLuce series and the Tattoo Shop Mysteries by Karen E Olson. Both The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Missing Ink are the first books in the series with the second books due out sometime next year.

Best Epic: And I do mean epic... An Echo in the Bone is the 7th in the Outlander series and while this one dragged on forever, it deserves to be on this list for all the die hard fans that have waited patiently for this book to hit the shelves.

Best Animals in Peril Book: Bunnies and violence that's Watership Down. The only way these bunnies could get in any more hot water is if they knew Glenn Close.

Best Pleasant Surprise: Michelle Moran has been on my radar for awhile but I never took the plunge until Cleopatra's Daughter. Wowie!

The Best of 2009

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Is a book for book lovers. It's atmospheric and dark with high drama. Great writing and a great story. Just the kind of book I love.

The Not So Best

I won't say these are the worst, just not as good as some of the others I've read this year. First, let's take a look at the books I couldn't finish.

Don't Call Me a Crook (DNF): I couldn't read anymore of 'Bob's' terrible list of criminal activities. Enough was enough.

My Lord John (DNF): This was Georgette Heyer's lifelong work but since it was unfinished and unedited it was a hard go to read.

Now, onto the books I wasn't wild about:

Weirdest Ending: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. LeCarre's macho spy novel ends abruptly.... Just like that.

"I Guess It's Just Me" Book: The Disappeared by Kim Echlin was in the running for the Giller Prize but it just didn't do it for me.

WTF Book: A retelling of the Biblical tale of Noah and the Ark Not Wanted On the Voyage was a metaphorical nightmare which had me saying, "WTF??!"

Dashed Expectations: I wanted more from Haunting Bombay but in the end I didn't feel it.

So that's it in a nutshell. I hope 2010 brings me more great reads. Happy 2010!

BookBlips: vote it up!


  1. GREAT awards as always. I was especially fond of the Glenn Close comment. Made me LOL!

  2. Happy 2010! May you have a fantastic reading year!

  3. That's quite a nutshell, lol!
    I really have to read Sweetness at the bottom of the Pie.

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

  4. Great wrap-up post! I haven't read any of the books you listed, but I really want to read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

  5. Fabulous awards! An Echo in the Bone, definitely epic, and I really enjoyed Cleopatra's Daughter too. Haunting Bombay was disappointing for me also. Happy New Year!

  6. Well, after your description, I have to read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie! Happy New Year. :)

  7. It sounds like you had a wonderful reading year, Chris. I so enjoy your Book-a-rama Awards. :-) My favorite series this year was definitely Karen Olson's new one. I can't wait for book two to come out.

    I hope you have a great New Year!

  8. I love how you did this! Very cool. Happy New Year!

  9. Great list! I also didn't love Don't Call Me a Crook. Very hard to empathize with the writer. And I really MUST read Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

  10. I really enjoyed your list. Cleopatra's Daughter is my favorite for 2009.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  11. I feel so honored to be one of your best series, especially paired with Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, which was wonderful. Thanks so much! And you don't have much longer to wait for Book 2: Pretty in Ink is out March 2!

  12. I love your awards categories! I'm glad there were so many satisfying reads in there -- and too bad for the disappointing/weird did not finish books!

  13. Great Awards! I added the first two mysteries to my next Amazon order, thanks! :-)


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