2009 book list

Here’s the list of books I read in 2009.  Last year I only read three books published in 2008:  this year I’ve got seven 2009 pubs on the list, plus two late-2008 books I read early in the year.  So I’m getting up to date.

Best of the year:  the obvious choice, 2666, is the right one.

Book I should have blogged:  No One Belongs Here More Than You. I hate twee little stories with quirky yet meaningful dialogue.  Or I think I do!  But I was crazy for this book, especially the unassumingly heartbreaking “This Person.”

Also, Rads: not actually a great piece of writing, but extremely informative about the utter alienness of the world of 40 years ago. 

What is the What:  possesses the simple novelistic virtues and is about virtue.  Why didn’t people like it?  Maybe because it was “based on a true story.”  But it never occurred to me while reading this that there was a real Valentino Achak Deng, and in my interior universe there still isn’t.

Worst of the year:  I keep trying to read contemporary SF people tell me is good, and it keeps on being a few interesting conceits wrapped around dudes hatching plans to save the world by shooting other dudes in a daring fashion, as in Glasshouse.

Here’s the list:  things I blogged about are linked.

31 Dec 2009:Chronic City, by Jonathan Lethem.
22 Dec 2009:Funny Peculiar: Gershon Legman and the Psychopathology of Humor, by Mikita Brottman.
28 Nov 2009:The Will to Whatevs, by Eugene Mirman.
24 Nov 2009:Rads, by Tom Bates.
18 Oct 2009:Brothers, by Yu Hua.
22 Sep 2009:The Stardust Lounge, by Deborah Digges.
15 Sep 2009:The Duplicate, by William Sleator.
12 Sep 2009:Granta 71.
28 Aug 2009:War Trash, by Ha Jin.
24 Aug 2009:The White Mountains, by John Christopher.
17 Aug 2009:Don’t Cry, by Mary Gaitskill.
31 Jul 2009:Lives of Girls and Women, by Alice Munro.
16 Jul 2009:The Dwarf, by Pär Lagerkvist (tr. Alexandra Dick).
11 Jul 2009:Transition 101.
10 Jul 2009:Mathematicians, by Mariana Cook.
5 Jul 2009:In the Land of Invented Languages, by Arika Okrent.
2 Jul 2009:End of I., by Stephen Dixon.
25 Jun 2009:The Magicians, by Lev Grossman.
20 Jun 2009:Oscar and Lucinda, by Peter Carey.
25 May 2009:Seventy Times Seven, by John Sanford.
23 May 2009:Drop City, by T. Coraghessan Boyle.
30 Apr 2009:Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks.
26 Apr 2009:No One Belongs Here More Than You, by Miranda July.
22 Apr 2009:The Size of Thoughts, by Nicholson Baker.
18 Apr 2009:Green-Eyed Thieves, by Imraan Coovadia.
10 Apr 2009:Ms. Hempel Chronicles, by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum.
25 Feb 2009:Glasshouse, by Charles Stross.
20 Feb 2009:The Believer 60.
11 Feb 2009:What is the What? by Dave Eggers.
16 Jan 2009:2666, by Roberto Bolano.

One thought on “2009 book list

  1. Em says:

    Cary started the Ms. Hempel Chronicles and hated it. It has since been donated to the library. BUT I remember thinking it had a very well designed cover featuring dresses that would appeal to Dr. Mrs. Q.

    I’m considering listening to 2666, but that’s as close as I have gotten to actually reading anything on your list ; ) I will probably read the Jonathan Lethem book at some point since I generally enjoy his work, though nothing as much as Motherless Brooklyn.

    I’m currently reading the new Thomas Pynchon book, but man, is it a struggle.

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