Ten of my favorite reads in 2009

I thought it would be appropriate to look back over the books I read in 2009 and pick out a few of my favorites.  Keep in mind what follows is my list of favorite reads in 2009 not books published in 2009. And the list is not in particular order or rank.

1) John the Baptizer by Brooks Hansen:

No matter your faith background, or lack of it, or your knowledge of the Bible, or lack of it, I highly recommend John The Baptizer.  Its blends the historical and the literary in ways that defy genre and subject matter to create a powerful story.

2) Right Time, Right Place by Richard Brookhiser

For anyone wanting to understand the conservative movement, and its flagship magazine, Right Time, Right Place is a must read.  And anyone interested in becoming a journalist/writer would do well to read it. But at its heart is a more humane vision: that being true to your ideals and friends is what’s important.

3) The Everafter War by Michael Buckley

With the Everafter War Michael Buckley again shows why this series has won the acclaim and popularity it has.  Each book has just the right amount of humor and seriousness; of plot and character development mixed with satire and slapstick.  He keeps the reader guessing – although both the traitor and the master are pretty easy to spot – and despite all the silliness (and the YA audience) the characters are surprisingly well developed. It is just an ideal light read for me and for kids of all ages.

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The Children of Odin – The Book of Northern Myths

As regular readers of this blog will know, I have developed a keen interest in myths and fairy tales.  Natural I suppose with my history background as myths are the past handed down in storytelling form; not in the modern sense of history but as art with seeds of the past embedded.

I have explored myths in non-fiction and fiction and have dipped into some young adult versions as well.  When I was looking into Odd and the Frost Giants I stumbled upon The Children of Odin by Padraic Colum.  There was a practically free Kindle edition so I quickly added it to the collection (you can read it for free online).

Here is the publishers description of a recent version (the original was published in 1920:

Before time as we know it began, gods and goddesses lived in the city of Asgard. Odin All Father crossed the Rainbow Bridge to walk among men in Midgard. Thor defended Asgard with his mighty hammer. Mischievous Loki was constantly getting into trouble with the other gods, and dragons and giants walked free. This collection of Norse sagas retold by author Padraic Colum gives us a sense of that magical time when the world was filled with powers and wonders we can hardly imagine.

Unknown to me until I found this book, the author Padraic Colum (1881-1972) was a poet, a playwright, and a leader of the Irish Renaissance, but he is best known for his works for children, including The Children of Odin and The Golden Fleece (a newbery honor book).

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