Best Reads of 2009

>> Dec 30, 2009

Being some what out of the media loop, not reading magazines or newspapers, nor having book shops to browse through, my book selection is often somewhat hit and miss. Browsing through this years reads on the bookshelf I can come up with only a handful I would recommend out of the hundred or so I have read, here are my top three.

In first place.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This exceptional first novel is the story of Henry and Clare, who have known each other since Clare was 6 and Henry was 36, and were married when Clare was 20 and Henry 28. This is possible only because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he flashes to other points in time, usually moments of emotional gravity for him. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing. 

A book that not only made me laugh, cry and not want to put it down, but made me think and imagine as well and scenarios form the book stayed in my mind for weeks afterwards making me think and imagine some more. A damn fine read and well worth picking up.

In second place.

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Child 44 is a thriller set in the terror of 1950s Stalinist Russia, a brutal regime that executed anyone who disagreed with its dogma. It proclaimed to be a perfect society. So, when a series of brutal murders take place, no one is permitted to say that these are the work of a serial killer. In a perfect society there can be no crime.
One man, Leo Demidov, a State security agent, a man who has spent his entire career arresting innocent men and women, decides to redeem himself by catching this killer. To do so, he must buck the system, risking his life and the life of everyone he loves. 

A gripping page turner of a book that transports you to a place of secret police, fear and paranoia. A fabulous insight in to post second world-war Russia and a country run on bureaucracy gone mad. Comes with two thumbs up and a whole hearted recommendation from myself.

And last but not least, in third place.

The Milenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
A locked island mystery in which journalist Mikael Blomkvist delves deep into the Vangers' past to uncover the truth behind a family murder with the help of an enigmatic, delinquent and dangerous security specialist and hacker, Lisbeth Salander.

The Girl Who Played With Fire
When collogues of journalist Mikael Blomkvist  who were working on a sex industry expose are killed, the murder weapon is left at the scene with Lisbeth Salander fingers prints all over it.  Her history of unpredictable, vengeful behavious makes her an official danger to society -but no-one can find her.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest
Lisbeth Salander, outsider and apparent enemy of the state is charged with murder.  In addition, the state has determined she is mentally unstable and should be locked away in an institution once again.  Only with Blomkvist's help can she avoid the fate they have decided for her and expose the secrets they are protecting.

A fascinating and complex plot spread over three novels.  I spent the time between each one being released waiting for my next instalment with excitement.  The first book, The girl With The Dragon Tattoo took a few chapters to really get into but once there I was hooked.   All three come with a thorough recommendation from yours truly.

Now help out a girl without access to a bookshop to browse, what would you recommend for my 2010 reading list?

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