Friday, November 13, 2009

Best Books of the Year?

Tina Jordan over at Entertainment Weekly has proposed the question - what's the best book you read this year?

"It’s getting to be that time of year—the time for Best and Worst lists—and as I mull over EW’s, I’m thinking back over everything I’ve read since January.

It’s going to be a tough year to pick. On the nonfiction side, I loved Blake Bailey’s wonderful Cheever book, which, as I’ve said before, redefined biography for me. I could not get enough of the essays in A New Literary History of America. Almost a year after I read it, The Mercy Papers—Robin Romm’s searing account of her mother’s final three weeks—remains imprinted on my brain. There was the Dave Eggers book, Zeitoun; Andre Agassi’s memoir, Open; Dave Cullen’s Columbine; and the third volume of Mary Karr’s memoirs, Lit. Oh, and Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided: How The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America.

In fiction, I loved Daniyeel Mueenuddin’s exquisite Pakistan-centered short stories, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders and the latest Pete Dexter novel, Spooner. I could not put down Alice Munro’s latest book of short stories, Too Much Happiness. I bought a dozen copies of Jonathan Tropper’s dysfunctional family drama This Is Where I Leave You to give to friends and family. I was mesmerized by David Small’s graphic novel Stitches. And I still think about Stephanie Kallos’ Sing Them Home, Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin, J. Courtney Sullivan’s Commencement and Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie."

Reading articles like this does two things: (a) reminds of books that have been read and enjoyed/hated, (b) reminds of books still needing to be read. In spirit of Jordan's question, here are some of the books considered as being most enjoyable here at Let It Read:

Stieg Larsson, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Lisa Genova, Still Alice
Jennifer Weiner, Certain Girls
Wally Lamb, The Hour I First Believed

Jen Lancaster, Such A Pretty Fat
Raj Patel, Stuffed and Starved
Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

There were numerous others, of course; some of which have been mentioned on the site already. It is just too hard to judge a book based on "goodness".

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