Friday, January 1, 2010

Lizzie's 2009 - Literary Edition

So I'll admit it. I'm a learned English major type but do you know how many books I read on my "reading level" this year?

The big bagel - 0

I have found that when under duress reading is an escape to me. 2009, for the most part, = duress. Hence I have not been too interested in most grown up books.

I've got my daily blogs I read and stuff. I keep up with my Economist etc so I'm still reading grown up stuff per say - I'm staying informed. But in terms of the time I've taken to cuddle up with some glue, binding and black print I've been picky and I'll be honest... most of my reading has involved multicolored covered books that are found in the Adolescent Reading section of my B&N. They're simply the best kind of books. They're fantastic story telling, amazing characters, and pertinent plots but without all the angst and bawdiness that is so prevalent in most (grown up) fiction.

So I'm not sure how valuable a 2009 favorites list of mine would be to my faithful 7 readers but I think the books merit recognition anyway.

They're both series and they're both wonderful.

One is The Old Kingdom Books (ie Abhorsen Chronicles) by Garth Nix.
I've mentioned these previously on here when I was in the midst of them. They're just beautiful. Until my friend E recommended them to me, it had been a long time since I had come across a book that was original and written so gently and so brilliantly. Its a fantasy-genre book about a few magical girls named Sabriel and another named Lirael. Sabriel has grown up "across the wall" in a non-magical world but is a part of an intricate and beautiful magical civilization on the other side of the wall and its a story of their brilliant journeys. Its everything I love in books; strong but feminine female characters, humble Christian undertones, a good dose of fantasy and the impossible, music, a clear Good vs Evil story, and a beautiful love story.

The other series are The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Books by Rick Riordan.
I'm not sure if there is something else that has given me more giggles and absolute pleasure than these books this year, with the exception of my friends. Rick is another amazing writer that I kicked myself repeatedly for not discovering earlier. I love Greek Mythology and I love smart, character driven writing and I have a huge soft spot for scruffy, frustrated, brilliant kid types. I worked in a day care center my freshman year of college and I was routinely given the 4 year old A.D.D. kids (mostly boys) that always had dirt on their faces and ripped clothes and were constantly bored, and therefor rambunctious because they were so smart. Pipe-cleaners and circles didn't interest them, taking things apart to see how they worked and bugs did. They were my specialty. I somehow got them to focus and cooperate, or wash their faces and not destroy things for a prolonged period of time. I think its because I just loved them and in turn I LOVE Percy. He is one of those kids, my kids, and now I know why my kids were so squirrely and obstinate. I won't ruin the charm of these books by summarizing but I will say this; the Greek gods are still alive, they're still in charge, they're still moody, they're still having kids, they live in New York (Olympus is on the 800th floor of the Empire State Building), they're still fighting with each other and mortals are still in the middle of it all. There's a movie coming out soon but there's nothing better than those books. My children will have them and love them and be the heroes of their own lives.

So yeah - that's about it for my literary pursuits this year. I'll try harder next year. I promise.


Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Tammy said...

Liz it is amazing that I was looking at your blog today because guess what book I just finished reading last night? Yup I feel in love with Percy Jackson too! We should totally see the movie together :)