The best of 2009

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve now, so I guess it’s time to do my final wrapping-up post and list my favorite reads of the year. As always, this list is not about books published in 2009, although one or two from this year may appear here, but it’s about what I liked best and what stands out most in everything I read regardless of when it was published. Links are to my post on the book.

First, the stand-out books in fiction, the absolutely top-notch, amazingly wonderful books:

  1. David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest.
  2. Nicholson Baker, The Anthologist.
  3. Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone.
  4. Dorothy Sayers, Gaudy Night.

Then other novels I really, really liked:

  1. Bernard Malamud, The Assistant.
  2. Ann Patchett, Bel Canto.
  3. Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.
  4. Patrick Hamilton, The Slaves of Solitude.

And now some great nonfiction:

  1. Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Early Visions.
  2. Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father.
  3. Anne Fadiman, At Large and at Small.

And one quirky, odd book I really liked: David Cecil, The Stricken Deer, a biography of William Cowper from 1930.

Happy New Year everyone!

15 Comments

Filed under Books, Lists, Reading

15 responses to “The best of 2009

  1. Happy New Year! And Happy Reading!!

  2. I really must reread The Moonstone and Gaudy Night–it’s nice to see them both at the top of your list. I really liked the Slaves of Solitude, too! Who knows maybe someday I’ll try Infinite Jest–I see it topping other readers’ lists, too! Have a Happy New Year, Dorothy!

  3. I’m glad to see that “Gaudy Night” made your list!

    I can’t believe that I didn’t manage to read Nicholson Baker’s “The Anthologist” despite having checked it out of the library twice. Oh well, there’s always next year!

  4. ted

    I can’t wait to tackle DFW. Impressed that you did!

  5. adevotedreader

    Best wishes for the new year!

    Im glad to see The Moonstone, Gaudy Night and At Large and At Small in your best of list as they’re all favourites of mine. I got The Anthologist for Christmas, and am now looking forward to it even more than I was.

  6. Didn’t you just get The Anthologist for Christmas? Wasted no time in reading it ;) Looking forward to hearing about it. Happy New Year!

  7. Lovely list as usual. The Anthologist and Gaudy night both appeal to me, and I hope to get to them soon. Along with quite a few other books I am afraid. :) Happy new year to you and yours!

  8. “Infinite Jest” was my favorite book of the year, too.

  9. Happy happy New Year, Dorothy! That’s a wonderful list, full of excellent books – I am making a note of several of the titles for myself for 2010!

  10. Happy New Year to you too! I hope to read the Moonstone this year so I’m excited to see it made it to your favorites list!

  11. Debby — Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to many bookish excursions and conversations this year!

    Danielle — Happy New Year to you! I hope you do get to reread the Collins and Sayers and that you pick up Wallace — I think you would enjoy his writing (actually, he writes some really great essays, so since you are reading essays this year, that might not be a bad way to start with him).

    Kate — I’m eager to read more Sayers when I can, definitely. And I hope you like The Anthologist when you get there. I have this suspicion you will … :)

    Ted — oh, it’s really wonderful. I hope you enjoy it!

    Lilian — Happy New Year to you!!

    Adevotedreader — I got the Baker for Christmas as well and couldn’t wait to dive in. I hope you enjoy it!

    Stefanie — I wasted no time indeed :) In fact, I’m rereading the book right now, since I enjoyed it so much. Why wait, right?

    Frances — happy new year! Enjoy all the reading you do, and I hope you like the Baker and Sayers books — they are both so wonderful.

    Brandon — I’m glad we agree. What an amazing book. I’m still in awe of it.

    Litlove — I’m glad you find the list useful! Happy new year!

    Iliana — oh, The Moonstone is absolutely wonderful, and I really hope you enjoy it.

  12. Happy New Year to you Dorothy.
    See, your list reminds me [even as I mentioned in my blog] that I MUST READ THAT WILKIE COLLINS BOOK.
    It is my [new] New Year’s Resolution!
    And — we line up with the Bel Canto book. I too, thoroughly enjoyed it as one of my favorite reads of the year.
    All the best to you.

  13. Interesting that Moonstone made your best of the best list–love Gaudy Night though. That’s needing a reread.

  14. Cipriano — I hope you enjoy the Collins when you get there! It’s just so fun. I love the humor. And I’m glad you enjoyed Bel Canto as well!

    JaneGS — I am definitely willing to reread Gaudy Night one of these years, but first I hope to get to more of Sayers’s novels. She’s so fun!

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