Friday, January 1, 2010

Alex's Best of 2009

I'm still surprised how fast this year went by... I have to confess that I'm feeling a little frustrated after seeing that many of my reading resolutions from last year weren't accomplished. My TBR pile is pretty much the same size and I didn't step out of my comfort zone as I intended.
Among my reads, there were some disappointments but also some amazing surprises. These were the books who left me completely flabbergasted:

Sophia's Secret (aka Winter Sea) by Susanna Kearsley

My greatest find this year! Maybe the fact that I read it while spending some days in Scotland enhanced even more my feelings about this book. Everything was absolutely perfect. I still can't believe it took me so long to finally pick it up from my TBR. I'm still in awe after Kearsley's storytelling talent. She seems to effortlessly bring her characters alive! A auto-buy author for now on.

The Wild Hunt by Elizabeth Chadwick

Elizabeth Chadwick is one of my favourite authors and this was one of the first books I read by her. This year, I decided to reread the new edition and this second time this story completely blow me away.

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

Another Chadwick and another fantastic story, as I expected. It also became one of my favourite historical fiction books. William Marshal is a fascinating character and I can't wait to continue his adventures in The Scarlet Lion.

Sasmira: L'Appel by Laurent Vicomte

A historical comic that rocked my world about 10 years ago and continued to do so this year. A spellbinding story with mystery, romance, intrigue and adventure. The drawings are mesmerizing with many details that will certainly capture the attention of any costume history fan.

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

Another new author and another great find. A sort of sequel of The Last of Mohicans, we follow here the story of the son of Hawkeye and Cora, Nathaniel and a young English woman newly arrived to the New World, Elizabeth Middleton.

Olivia and Jai by Rebecca Ryman

An intense love story between two strong characters set in India during the 19th century. A book who was already on my favourite list several years ago but this year I reread it in English. It was even better!

Honorable mentions:

The Queen's Dollmaker by Christine Trent

The Mistress of the Arth of Death by Ariana Franklin


  1. Nice choices! A few more books to go on my wishlist! :)

  2. Squee! I am so glad that you loved Sophia's Secret! And you know that I am right there with you in terms of Elizabeth Chadwick fandom!

    I really, really, have to read Olivia and Jai. I have heard so many great things about it.

    Good list!

  3. Another EC fan here! Don't feel bad that you didn't leave your comfort zone. It might not have been the right year for that. Sometimes books are there to provide a comfort zone!

  4. Those look like some great books! I am going to read some of them soon.

  5. I must get to reading some Chadwick. I think I'm really missing out.