2010 book challenge, books

2009 Book Reviews!

My final list of 100 books are up! I’m so happy I reached this goal. Thanks to such a large reading challenge I read more books than I ever would have and I know my life enriched from the experience. This year my goal is back down to 50 books for a few reasons but most importantly, I found myself not reading certain books simply because they were too long and hopefully with half the books I won’t have to do that.

In any event, here are some highlights from my readings in 2009. Each link takes you to my review of the book. I hope some of these are of interest to you!

Favorite Fiction: The Shadow of The Wind
Favorite YA Fiction: The Blue Notebook and Confetti Girl
Favorite Chick Lit: How to be Single
Favorite Classic: Revolutionary Road
Favorite Non-Fiction: Ornament of the World
Favorite Spiritual book: The Garden of Truth
Favorite book on writing: 78 reasons your book will never be published
Book that made me think: Life of Pi

I am slowly compiling my list of books to read for 2010. I know many of you kindly gave me suggestions several months ago and I’m looking forward to including those in my list of readings this year. BUT- can you please share your favorite books with me again and why you liked it? Your input much appreciated!

12 thoughts on “2009 Book Reviews!”

  1. The Ornament of the World was one of my favorite books. These days I just read whatever I find, and sometimes just a few page or chapters of a bunch of books at a time. But I will remember these book suggestions, like The Garden of Truth. 🙂


  2. Congratulations insha'Allah! Loved your list of baby books. We've read those! We also enjoyed Super Baby Foods and Solve Your Child's Sleep Problem by Ferber (which is very pro being kind and allots for cosleeping despite the bad rap–we cosleep).

    Other books: Danit Browns Ask for a Convertible, which I've rec'd here before. Hmm. My little guy #1 is kicking me out of the office. Such is life.

    I'll be back insha'ALlah!


  3. Thanks Rasha and Shawna, any books on parenting/pregnancy much appreciated!!! 🙂 Ask for a Convertible, my library doesn't have that. Do you think its worth a purchase?

    Also Ferber, I've heard he's very anti-cosleeping and Dr. sears and other say that the sleep training can traumatize a baby. What is your own personal experience?


  4. Hmmm. I see you've added my last suggestions (“The Hours”–will be interested in your thoughts on it), so that's taken care of. Additional books I would recommend, if they sound the least bit intriguing to you: “Devil in the White City”, by Erik Larson–it's a nonfiction account of the Chicago World's Fair (turn of the 20th century), and weaves together the story of the visionary architect of the fair and one of the nation's first known serial killers. Sounds strange, but it works, and is a really fascinating read if you're into non-fiction at all. Transports you back to a transformative time in America, for better and worse. Other suggestion would be “Lilith's Brood” by Octavia Butler. It's nominally science fiction, but Butler isn't heavy on the “science” part of the genre. She's an important feminist writer who explored ideas of identity (particularly minority identity), gender, and humanity throughout all of her written works. What I like about Lilith's Brood (which is actually a repackaging of one of her trilogies into one volume) is that she manages to explore these important, yet potentially abstract ideas, within the framework of a very compelling story. Which is hard to do and doesn't always happen. It's thought provoking yet entertaining all at the same time, as is all the best science fiction.


  5. Congratulations on reaching the 100 book goal! I am still trying to figure out how to read more, but I like your list of tips from earlier this year. I think I have to get myself to a library — haven't had a steady relationship with one in years. =-)


  6. Hi Aysha, I love your blog. For your book list, if it's not too late, I want to recommend two books by Leila Aboulela, a Sudanese author.

    “Coloured Lights” is a collection of short stories, each one better than the last. She doesn't waste a single word. Full of little insights, with flawed and nuanced characters, Muslims and non-Muslims, who meet and circle each other warily, not sure of what they'll find. Aboulela has a unique voice, a lovely non-Western way of looking at the West. “The Translator”, her first novel, is also wonderful. I don't want to give anything away about the plot but I was so delighted to find a “halal” novel in English — and a beautiful story about realistic characters who are neither devils nor saints.

    Right now I'm reading “Mornings in Jenin”, about four generations of a Palestinian family starting with the Israeli occupation in 1948, and it is breaking my heart to pieces. I am seeing into the bottomless depths of the Palestinian soul — full of hate and love in equal measure — and I am crying every step of the way.

    Also, I'm glad to see you read “Life of Pi” last year — SO great. I did, too, and I'm still thinking about it. 😉


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