The Best Books of 2009
I feel like the month of December has been on fast-forward. Each time I blink a week has gone by. It is the time of the year where I need to start thinking (and stop growling about) the best of 2009 book lists.
Yes, growling. When a certain bookseller who shall not be named released their best books of 2009 list in October I maybe growled a lot. You see, I can't even begin to fathom such best of lists until at least December. I will not even begin to consider publishing my own personal list until after January 1. What if that book I finish reading at 10pm on December 31 is the best book I ever read? Thankfully plenty of other people do not suffer from that personal neurosis of mine.
Blogger's lists are always my favourites. Don't get me wrong, The New York Times best books of 2009, and others like it, have their place. While I do read books that are recent releases I read many that were not. Maybe the best book I read in 2009 was published two years ago, or two hundred years ago. Most book bloggers read like me and their lists are a mix of new and old. More often than not they remind me of books I really want to read but that have been set aside for various reasons.
Topping Miss Short Skirt's list is What is the What.
Dave Eggers crosses fiction with nonfiction when he recreates the life of Valentino Achak Deng in this book – Valentino is a real person, who told his life story, the story of his family, his village destroyed by civil war and family lost, and his subsequent childhood spent as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.
This is the kind of book that would completely heartbreaking if it weren’t for Eggers. He creates, for Valentino, a voice that can tell a traumatic story with full emotion but without sentimentality.
The First the Food book club's Liz lists her 2009 favourites. She reminds me that I really need to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell. Note to self: look for it in e-book format because it's huge and your wrists will not thank you if you read a physical copy of it.
The lists at Dewey Divas and the Dudes is doing horrible (read: wonderful) things to my 2010 TBR list. The Elegance of the Hedgehod, How I Became a Famous Novelist, Word Nerd, Serendipity...oh my. Yes, I see some good, good reading next year.
I love Tea and Cookies post about her best book of 2009. It may be my favourite "best of" post this year.
For me, personally, it was a return to appreciating the power of fiction, which I’ve wandered away from these past few years. It made me itch to get back to the novel I started writing in grad school, then pushed to the back burner of my life.
Books that make us feel that way, they are special. They don't need to be published in the past year.
What were the best books that you read (or read so far) in 2009?