According to my library record and some fuzzy recollections (I really should keep track of this more systematically), I read 58 books during 2007. I'll highlight my favorites, and then just slap a big old list up here, commenting sparingly, for you to comb through the rest.
My Favorite 12 Books of 2007 (in no particular order, because that would just be too hard):
1. The Book Thief (Markus Zusak). If you read this book, give it the benefit of the doubt for the first 50 pages or so. You won't be sorry you stuck with it.
2. The complete novels of Jane Austen, except Lady Susan (I don’t do epistolary novels). I know it's cheating to count this as one, except that in my copy, they are all bound into one book. Among them, I would choose Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion as my favorites, though Northanger Abbey got an unexpected reprieve on a second reading.
3. Blood & Sand (Frank Gardner). I enjoyed this book so much that I actually did something as nerdy as write the author an email telling him so.
5. A Pair of Blue Eyes (Thomas Hardy). Another one of my all-time favorites. I'm telling you, if all you've read of Thomas Hardy is Jude the Obscure, you're missing out big time.
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling). Also cheating, since I mean for this book to represent the whole series. I just love it. Attached to Book 7 are interesting memories of going to great lengths to acquire an English copy in Amman, Jordan.
7. Birth: the surprising history of how we are born (Tina Cassidy). You already know how I feel about this one.
8. Vanity Fair (William Makepeace Thackeray). Yet another all-time favorite. And the movies (both the British miniseries and the Hollywood version) are very good, too.
9. In Plain Sight: the startling truth behind the Elizabeth Smart investigation (Tom Smart). This book was fascinating all the way through, very suspenseful, and made me cry at the end, even though I already knew what was going to happen.
10. Taken on Trust (Terry Waite). It really got me thinking and caused me to write what was probably my most boring blog post ever (besides this one).
11. Eclipse (Stephenie Meyer). Again, I mean for this book to stand for the whole series. I know not everyone loves these books, but I do.
12. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte). Fantastic book. And the newest Masterpiece Theater adaptation is sumptuous.
And now, the rest:
Young Adult or Juvenile Literature
Twilight (Stephenie Meyer)
New Moon (Stephenie Meyer)
Enthusiasm (Polly Shulman)
Fairest (Gail Carson Levine). Not nearly as enjoyable as her other books, which are not nearly as enjoyable as Shannon Hale's books.
Pretties (Scott Westerfield)
Specials (Scott Westerfield)
Enna Burning (Shannon Hale)
River Secrets (Shannon Hale)
The Princess Academy (Shanon Hale). Don't be fooled by the title. This is a good book.
The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield)
Pemberly (Emma Tennant)
Special Topics in Calamity Physics (Marisha Pessl). This was a mystery book, which made the fact that I had to quit reading it about halfway through due to the introduction of a character who favored the f-bomb even more depressing than it would have been otherwise.
The Boleyn Inheritance (Philippa Gregory). Meh. I read one more of her books after this one but they are nothing special.
Mr. Darcy’s Daughters (Elizabeth Aston)
A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Husseini). Very good in a depressingly uplifting kind of way.
The Constant Princess (Philippa Gregory)
The Painted Veil (
Atonement (Ian McEwan). Again, meh. I don't see the genius here.
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (Gregory Maguire). Crystal, thanks for the recommendation, but this book kind of freaked me out.
The Guardian (Nicholas Sparks). I hated the movie of The Notebook, but this was the perfect book to read in the car on a long trip.
NPR-type books (Either I actually heard about them on NPR, or I could have)
The Price of Admission: how
The Great Influenza (John M. Barry)
Thunderstruck (Erik Larson)
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything your
The Fight for
Fear less: real truth about risk, safety, and security in a time of terrorism (Gavin De Becker)
Protecting the Gift: keeping children and teenagers safe (Gavin De Becker)
The Gift of Fear: survival signals that protect us from violence (Gavin De Becker)
The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
Moonstone (Wilkie Collins)
Some Oscar Wilde plays
Wives & Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell)
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (Laura Schlessinger)
Brainiac (Ken Jennings)Confessions of a Slacker Mom (Muffy Mead-Ferro)
Married to a Bedouin (Marguerite Van Geldermalsen)
The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri (Hugh Nibley). Well, I read parts of it anyway (have you seen how big it is?)
The Happiest Toddler on the Block (Harvey Karp)
Excuse me, but I was next: how to handle 100 modern-day manners dilemmas (Peggy Post)
In the Presence of My Enemies (Gracia Burnham)