Wuthering Expectations and Litlove over at Tales from the Reading Room have reminded me that it’s time to round up a few of the very best things I read this year. I have to say that 2009 has been one of my very best reading years since I started keeping track, along with the golden aura that surrounds 2002. I discovered many wonderful new authors, and read works I loved by authors I already knew. I got to participate in the Classics Circuit and do a few posts in conversation with Teresa about books we both loved. In making a list like this, I feel as if I’m taking my jewels out of my box and spreading them on black velvet. Look, my preciousssss.
Best literary fiction: Home, Marilynne Robinson; The Puttermesser Papers, Cynthia Ozick; The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters; The Solitudes, John Crowley.
Best book in translation: All the Names, Jose Saramago; The Story of the Stone, Cao Xuequin; War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy; The Pillow Book, Sei Shonagon.
Best crime novel: When Will There Be Good News?, Kate Atkinson; The Language of Bees, Laurie R. King.
Best 19th century novel: Bleak House, Charles Dickens; War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy (sorry, but I had to mention this at least twice!); North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell.
Best children’s or young adult novel: Surrender, Sonya Hartnett.
Best speculative fiction: Fledgling, Octavia Butler.
Best book that made me laugh: The Writing Class, Jincy Willett; Alphabet Juice, Roy Blount, Jr.; Remake, Connie Willis.
Best travel or exploration memoir: The Lost City of Z, David Grann; Travels in Alaska, John Muir.
Most appalling and yet extremely popular hegemonic disaster of a book: Bel Canto, Ann Patchett.
Weirdest children: A High Wind in Jamaica, Richard Hughes.
Worst sex: Rabbit, Run, John Updike.
Please link in the comments if you have your own list. I love reading them!