Today with it being the last Sunday of the year, I am going to review both what books I’ve read this year and what movies I’ve watched this year, giving you my top five of each. So without further adieu, here are my top five books that I’ve read this year and my top five movies that I’ve watched this year.
Top 5 Books I’ve Read This Year
- 5. Maus by Art Spiegelman
- 4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- 3. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
- 2. Memory by Donald E. Westlake
- 1. Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese
Honorable mentions: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Drowned Hopes by Donald E. Westlake, Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross with Todd Klein, Purple Jesus by Ron Cooper, Charlie Chan novels by Earl Derr Biggers, Godric by Frederick Buechner, Brasyl by Ian McDonald.
Perhaps surprisingly for as many Agatha Christie novels as I read this year (7), none of her books appear on my list, but maybe just as unsurprisingly is the inclusion of two Donald E. Westlake since he is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. I’ve included three graphic novels: two less traditional in Maus and Persepolis in that the stories are based on true stories and one that is more traditional in that incorporates a wide variety of comic book characters. No. 4 and No. 3 are part of a series with No. 4, the first part of a series, which I thought started off with a bang, but then fizzled (if only slightly, it still fizzled, in my opinion). No. 3 was the second part of a series and was my favorite because it moved at such a rapid pace and truly was a page-turner. The first was a little too graphic for my tastes and the third didn’t move along as rapidly as the second one did for me.
As for Verghese’s novel, I have nothing to add to what I said in my original review…other than go read the book.
Top 5 movies I’ve watched This Year
Honorable mentions: The Queen, Maria Full of Grace, 12, Dial M For Murder, How To Train Your Dragon, Sullivan’s Travels, The Wrestler, Waltz with Bashir, Mongol, The Secret In Their Eyes, Winter’s Bone.
In my top five, I’ve include a couple of fun ones, a couple of serious ones and one that just breaks the boundaries of cinema (Inception). If ever there could be a perfect ending to an animated movies series, then TS3 is it. Also included in this list is another graphic novel style of movie in Waltz with Bashir. Let The Right One In, in my humble opinion, blows the Twilight movies out of the water in terms of vampire movies. Ones that might have missed your radar in the last few years include: The Queen, Maria Full of Grace, 12, The Wrestler and Winter’s Bone, all of which are intense drama at its best. Especially noteworthy are the performances of Helen Mirren in The Queen and Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler.
For a full list of books I’ve read so far this year, please click here, and for a full list of movies I’ve watched so far this year, please click here. With a few days left in the year, I might finish another book or two and probably will watch a movie or two, but I haven’t decided yet what they will be.
I’ll leave you with the trailer from my favorite movie of the year: