Archive for December 8th, 2009

December 8, 2009

Buy Books for Christmas

I’m a big fan of the “Give Everyone Books” plan for Christmas gift giving. You’d be surprised how many people don’t read just because they don’t have time to figure out what’s good, what they will like, or they don’t want to rack up fines at the library! So who better to solve all of those problems than you, careful and thoughtful family member and friend.

Those of you who have been around this here blog for awhile might know that I’ve been summing up my favorite yearly reads around the holiday time. Don’t worry – I’ve already tabulated a few of the top contenders for 2009. But by the time I get around to posting this (ETA: December 15) year’s favorites, allow me to draw your attention to favorites from years past. I have read all these books, so they are Jessica Approved – aka I made it to the end without hurling the book to the wall. There are a few lists I didn’t include, so if you browse my archives, you can find more reviews.

The book titles are all links to Amazon. I am an Amazon affliate, so if you would like to kick back a few pennies to your favorite blogger so she can buy more books, just throw anything that looks good into your cart now and go back and sort it all out later.

2007 Top 20 (+4)

24. Heavy Metal And You
by Chris Krovatin (YA)

23. Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos (YA memoir)

22. Twisted
by Laurie Hale Anderson (YA)

21. Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)

by Ann Brashares (YA)

20. The Boy Book (Readers Circle)
by E. Lockhart (YA)

19. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List

by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn (YA)

18. An Abundance of Katherines
by John Green (YA)

17. The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

by Curtis Sittenfeld (Adult)

16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
by J.K. Rowling (Middle Grade)

15. Diary: A Novel

by Chuck Palahniuk (Adult)

14. Stargirl/Love, Stargirl Boxed Set
by Jerry Spinelli (YA)

13. Sold
by Patricia McCormick (YA)

12. Are We There Yet?
by David Levithan (YA)

11. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
by Gabrielle Zevin (YA)

10. Boy Toy
by Barry Lyga (YA)

9. Slam
by Nick Hornby (YA)

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky (YA)

7. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party
by M.T. Anderson (YA)

6. Tyrell
by Coe Booth

5. Feed
by M.T. Anderson

4. Fourth Comings: A Jessica Darling Novel
by Megan McCafferty

3. I Am the Messenger
by Markus Zusak

2. Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, The
by E. Lockhart

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie

Favorite 2008 Reads

To read my reviews…. Start Here!

Best All-Around 2008 Reads

10. Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time
by Rob Sheffield (Adult Memoir)

9. The Awakening
by Kate Chopin (Adult Fiction)

8. The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak (YA Fiction)

7. Fat Kid Rules the World
by K.L. Going (YA Fiction)

6. The Year of Magical Thinking
by Joan Didion (Adult Memoir)

5. Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
by Jon Krakauer (Adult NonFiction)

4. Gingerbread
by Rachel Cohn (YA Fiction)

3. Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance
by Atul Gawande (Adult NonFiction)

2. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
by Elizabeth Gilbert (Adult Memoir)

1. Life As We Knew It
by Susan Beth Pfeffer (Young Adult Fiction)

Graphic Novels

1. Chiggers
by Hope Larsen (Middle Grade)

2. Blankets
by Craig Thompson (YA)

3. The Complete Persepolis
by Marjane Satrapi (YA/Adult)

4. Thoreau at Walden
by John Porcellino (Middle Grade/YA)

5. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
by Alison Bechdel (Adult)

Adult Fiction

1.Then We Came to the End: A Novel
by Joshua Ferris

2. Rise and Shine: A Novel
by Anna Quindlen

3. Choke
by Chuck Palahniuk

4. In Cold Blood
by Truman Capote

5. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz

Middle Grade Fiction

1. Edward’s Eyes
by Patricia MacLachlan

2. Chains
by Laurie Halse Anderson

3. Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller
by Sarah Miller

Page Turners

1. Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction
by David Sheff (Adult)

by Walter Dean Myers (YA)

3. An Inconvenient Book: Real Solutions to the World’s Biggest Problems
by Glenn Beck (Adult NonFiction)

4. the dead and the gone
by Susan Beth Pfeffer (YA)

5. Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science
by Atul Gawande (Adult NonFiction)

6. Lessons from a Dead Girl
by Jo Knowles (YA)

7. Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer (Adult/YA Nonfiction)


1. I Heart You, You Haunt Me
by Lisa Schroeder (YA Fiction)

2. A Wreath for Emmett Till
by Marilyn Nelson (YA NonFiction)

3. Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath
by Stephanie Hemphill (YA Fiction)


1. The Glass Castle: A Memoir

by Jeannette Walls

2. Escape
by Carolyn Jessop

3. Helping Me Help Myself: One Skeptic, Ten Self-Help Gurus, and a Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone
by Beth Lisick

4. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
by Barack Obama

5. The Tender Bar: A Memoir
by J.R. Moehringer

Young Adult Fiction

1. Suite Scarlett
by Maureen Johnson

2. Chasing Tail Lights
by Patrick Jones

3. Lock and Key
by Sarah Dessen

4. You Know Where to Find Me
by Rachel Cohn

5. Paper Towns
by John Green

Adult NonFiction

1. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
by Timothy Ferriss

2.Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality
by Donald Miller

3. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith
by Anne Lamott

4. The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
by Jeffrey Toobin

5. The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead
by David Shields