Thursday, December 31, 2009

My best fiction reads for 2009

btt button

It’s the last day of the year, and you know what that means … nostalgia and looking back.

What were your favorite books of the year? (Books that were new to you in 2009, if not necessarily published this year.)

It just so happens that BTT's question corresponds with the post I was planning to write today. I read 52 books this year (see my reading stats for 2009 here) and have divided my favorites into subcategories which I have posted over the past week. Here are the links:

my favorite non-fiction of 2009
my favorite fiction written for young readers of 2009
my favorite mystery or thriller of 2009
my favorite science fiction or fantasy of 2009

and now... drum roll favorite all around fiction of 2009

This last category was the subject for my planned post today and it's a toughie. I read some mighty strong novels this year. Listing the strongest that do not fit the above categories in the order in which I read them:

The Witches of Eastwick - Updike
The Imposter - Galgut
Little Boy Lost - Laski
An Equal Stillness - Kay
The Puttermesser Papers - Ozick
I Haven't Dreamed of Flying for a While - Yamada
Molly Fox's Birthday - Madden
One by One in the Darkness - Madden
The Children's Book - Byatt
Pictures at an Exhibition - Houghteling
A Gate at the Stairs - Moore
Forgetfulness - Just
The Needle's Eye - Drabble
Generosity - Powers
The Translator - Just
Remembering Light and Stone - Madden

That's a good reading year and offers me some tough choices. Here's how I am going to call it (my original posts for these books are linked to the titles):

Pictures at an Exhibition
by Sara Houghteling is the most promising novel by a newcomer I read in 2009

The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick was the most eruditely entertaining novel I read in 2009

Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski is a beautifully written and compassionate book written by an unjustly forgotten and prolific novelist of the mid 1900s

And finally, Molly Fox's Birthday by Deirdre Madden and Forgetfulness by Ward Just are tied for the best novels I read in 2009.

May your 2010 be filled with great reading and lots of other great things too.


Susan said...

Great list! I finished The Witches of Eastwick just yesterday - my last book of the year - and I really enjoyed it :)

Happy New Year!

Danielle said...

I'd like to try ward Just sometime--I have one of his books, though not this one. And The Children's Book is definitely on my list to read next year. (And Deirdre Madden!). Happy New Year!

SFP said...

I'm happy to see a Margaret Drabble on your list. Have you ever read The Realms of Gold, Ted? I know you read The Peppered Moth, which had bits that reminded me quite a bit of Realms, my favorite Drabble.

And I'm adding your top two to my wish list. :)

Ted said...

Susan - It's a lot of fun, isn't it? I started 2009 with it and you ended it!

Danielle - Do try Ward Just - a wonderful discovery for me this year.

SFP - I don't know that Margaret Drabble book at all. I will add it to the list!

Amused said...

Great list! Molly Fox's Birthday and The Children's Book are on my TBR list for next year so I am so excited you liked them so much! Happy New Year!

Rebecca H. said...

That sounds like a great reading year! I haven't read any of the books you list, but many of them I would like to, so I'm glad you hear you enjoyed them so much. Have a wonderful 2010!