FAVORITES for 2009

Previous Years:
2011201020092008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998

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Favorite Reads in 2009

Our Top Picks are based on the books that we READ this year. It is not limited to those that we reviewed or those published in 2009. This makes the list broader than the few books we were able to review this year and also keeps within our philosphy that a good book never goes out of style. The MostlyFiction  team always likes to review the new books as they come out — it is exciting to see what our favorite authors are up to and to discover new ones– but we never want to pass up a good read, no matter when it was written!

(Note: Go here to see ALL the books we reviewed in 2009.)

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MARY WHIPPLE:

  1. LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN by Colum McCann
  2. CENSORING AN IRANIAN LOVE STORY by Shahriar Mandanipour
  3. ALL THE LIVING by C. E. Morgan
  4. THE WINTER VAULT by Anne Michaels
  5. THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING by Alaa Al Aswany
  6. AMERICAN VISA by Juan de Recacoechea (see Mary’s review here)
  7. THE ANTHOLOGIST by Nicholson Baker
  8. LONG DIVISION by Andrea Cohen (see Mary’s review here)
  9. GENEROSITY by Richard Powers
  10. THE ACCORDIONIST’S SON by Bernardo Atxaga
  11. TWISTED TREE by Kent Meyers
  12. FLY BY WIRE by Kent Meyers (nonfiction pick)
  13. THE SIEGE by Stephen White (Mystery pick)

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POORNIMA APTE:

  1. LOWBOY by John Wray
  2. WHEN EVERYTHING CHANGED by Gail Collins
  3. LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN by Colum McCann
  4. SELLING YOUR FATHER’S BONES: Manifest Destiny and the American West by Brian Schofield
  5. WATER DOGS by Lewis Robinson
  6. GENEROSITY by Richard Powers
  7. URANIUM: War, Energy and the Rock that Shaped the World by Tom Zoellner (amazon )
  8. BLAME by Michelle Huneven
  9. A GATE AT THE STAIRS by Lorrie Moore
  10. THE MUSEUM OF INNOCENCE by Orham Pamuk

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KIRSTIN MERRIHEW:

  1. ALL THE LIVING by C. E. Morgan
  2. THE ANTHOLOGIST by Nicholson Baker
  3. THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE by Alan Bradley
  4. GIFTS OF WAR by Mackenzie Ford (amazon )
  5. SUM: FORTY TALES FROM THE AFTERLIVES by David Eagleman
  6. THE BROKEN TEAGLASS by Emily Arsenault
  7. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE by Stieg Larsson
  8. THE CONVICT’S SWORD by I. J. Parker
  9. GENESIS by Bernard Beckett
  10. SPADE & ARCHER: The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett’ The Maltese Falcon by Joe Gores

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ELEANOR BUKOWSKY
(Alphabetical order):

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ANN WILKES
(Alphabetical by Title)

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DOUG BRUNS:

  1. 2666 by Roberto Bolano
  2. UNDER THIS UNBROKEN SKY by Shandi Mitchell
  3. JEFF IN VENICE, DEATH IN VARNASI by Geoff Dyer
  4. HEROIC MEASURES by Jill Ciment
  5. THE READER by Bernhard Schlink
  6. THIS IS WATER by David Foster Wallace
  7. NOTHING TO BE FRIGHTENED OF by Julian Barnes (amazon)
  8. REVOLUTIONARY ROAD by Richard Yates
  9. DIGGING TO AMERICA by Anne Tyler
  10. ATMOSPHERIC DISTURBANCES by Rivka Galchecn (amazon)
  11. THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG by Muriel Barbery

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GUY SAVAGE

  1. SOMEBODY OWES ME MONEY by Donald E. Westlake
  2. VANILLA RIDE by Joe R. Lansdale
  3. MUCHO MOJO by Joe R. Lansdale
  4. THE ISLE OF DOGS by Daniel Davies
  5. EXIT MUSIC by Ian Rankin
  6. DEAD I MAY WILL BE by Adrian McGinty
  7. BURIED STRANGERS by Leighton Gage
  8. MANY AND A MANY YEAR AGO by Selcuk Altun
  9. INVISIBLE by Paul Auster
  10. THE SEMANTICS OF MURDER by Aifric Campbell

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BONNIE BRODY

  1. LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN by Colum McCann
  2. LOWBOY by John Wray
  3. OLIVE KITTERIDGE by Elizabeth Strout
  4. NIGHT NAVIGATION by Ginnah Howard
  5. BLOOD SAFARI by Deon Meyer
  6. LITTLE BEE by Chris Cleave (amazon )
  7. THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU by Jonathan Tropper
  8. HEROIC MEASURES by Jill Ciment
  9. AFTER THE FIRE, A STILL A SMALL VOICE by Evie Wyld
  10. SOME THINGS THAT MEANT THE WORLD TO ME by Joshua Mohr
  11. TOO MUCH HAPPINESS by Alice Munro
  12. THE LAST SECRET by Mary McGarry Morris
  13. THE BELIEVERS by Zoe Heller
  14. MUDBOUND by Hillary Jordan
  15. THE  GARGOYLE by Andrew Davidson

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LYNN HARNETT:

  1. WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel
  2. BROOKLYN by Colm Toibin
  3. SUNNYSIDE by Glen David Gold
  4. GO WITH ME by Castle Freeman, Jr.
  5. THE ANTHOLOGIST by Nicholson Baker
  6. THE YEAR OF THE FLOOD by Margaret Atwood
  7. HAUNTING BOMBAY by Shilpa Agarwal
  8. THE SEANCE by John Harwood

Suspense (no particular order):

  1. A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO DIE by Malla Nunn
  2. STARVATION LAKE by Bryan Gruley
  3. FATAL LIES by Frank Tallis
  4. THE DEVIL’S COMPANY by David Liss
  5. BRUNO, CHIEF OF POLICE by Martin Walker

Nonfiction:

  1. DON’T SLEEP, THERE ARE SNAKES by Daniel L. Everett
  2. MENNONITE IN A LITTLE BLACK DRESS by Rhoda Janzen
  3. AN EDIBLE HISTORY OF HUMANITY by Tom Standage (amazon )
  4. DREAMING IN HINDI by Katherine Russell Rich (amazon )

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DANIELLE BULLEN

  1. THE GODMOTHER by Carrie Adams (amazon )
  2. MARCH by Geraldine Brooks
  3. THE RAIN BEFORE IT FALLS by Jonathan Coe
  4. EAT PRAY LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert
  5. SAMMY’S HILL by Kristen Gore (amazon )
  6. LOOKING AFTER PIGEON by Maud Carol Markson
  7. THE GOOD LIFE by Jay McInerney (amazon )
  8. THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON by Kate Morton
  9. OUTER BANKS by Anne Rivers Siddons (amazon )
  10. REVOLUTIONARY ROAD by Richard Yates

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CHUCK BARKSDALE

  1. THE FIFTH FLOOR by Michael Harvey
  2. LONG LOST by Harlan Coben
  3. THE GUARDS by Ken Bruen
  4. TRIPLE CROSS by Mark T. Sullivan
  5. THE FORGOTTEN MAN by Robert Crais
  6. THE TURNAROUND by George Pelecanos

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DEBBIE LEE WESSELMANN

  1. CENSORING AN IRANIAN LOVE STORY by Shahriar Mandanipour
  2. BORDER SONGS by Jim Lynch
  3. IN HOVERING FLIGHT by Joyce Hinnefeld
  4. THE WHITE TIGER by Aravind Adiga
  5. A GATE AT THE STAIRS by Lorrie Moore
  6. A DISOBEDIENT GIRL by Ru Freeman

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JANA L. PERSKIE

  1. AND ONLY TO DECEIVE by Tasha Alexander
  2. THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY by Karleen Koen
  3. THE CAVEMAN’S VALENTINE by George Dawes Green
  4. A DUTY TO THE DEAD by Charles Todd
  5. THE ANGEL’S GAME by Carlos Ruiz Zafo
  6. THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak
  7. THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS by John Boyne
  8. PEOPLE OF THE BOOK by Geraldine Brooks
  9. THE BLUE NOTEBOOK by James A Levine
  10. RAVENS by George Dawes Green
  11. SHOULDER THE SKY (and the entire WWI series) by Anne Perry
  12. THE FIRST QUARRY by Max Allan Collins
  13. LAND OF MARVELS by Barry Unsworth
  14. SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN by Lisa See
  15. A GRAVE IN GAZA by Matt Benyon Rees

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TEREZ ROSE:

  1. AWAY by Amy Bloom
  2. THE ROSE VARIATIONS by Marisha Chamberlain
  3. AMY & ISABELLE by Elizabeth Strout (amazon )
  4. CROW LAKE by Mary Lawson (amazon )
  5. THE TEN YEAR NAP by Meg Wolitzer (amazon )
  6. BECAUSE FIRE WAS IN MY HEAD by Lynn Stegner (amazon )
  7. LOVING FRANK by Nancy Horan
  8. THE RED CONVERTIBLE by Louise Erdrich
  9. RUN by Ann Patchett (amazon )
  10. THE WIFE by Meg Wolitzer (amazon )
  11. THE DANISH GIRL by David Ebershoff (amazon )
  12. THE SONG IS YOU by Arthur Phillips

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MIKE FRECHETTE:

  1. AMATEUR BARBARIANS by Robert Cohen
  2. THE ENGLISH MAJOR by Jim Harrison (read Mike’s review at Contrary)
  3. PYGMY by Chuck Palahniuk
  4. THE PIG COMES TO DINNER by Joseph Caldwell

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JUDI CLARK

  1. THE FINANCIAL LIVES OF THE POETS by Jesse Walter
  2. LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN by Colum McCann
  3. CENSORING AN IRANIAN LOVE STORY by Shahriar Mandanipour
  4. LOWBOY by John Wray
  5. OLIVE KITTERIDGE by Elizabeth Strout
  6. HUMAN CAPITAL by Steve Amidon
  7. BLAME by Michelle Huneven
  8. THE BLUE NOTEBOOK by James A Levine
  9. THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy
  10. BIMBOS OF THE DEATH SUN by Sharyn McCrumb (most fun!)
  11. GIRL WITH SKIRT OF STARS by Jennifer Kitchell

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HONORABLE MENTIONS:

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TOP PICKS by year:

201120102009200820072006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998

2 Responses

  1. argie5 - September 25, 2009

    I must leave a comment about the best book I read this year. I love to share this title with anybody that reads fiction. The name of the book is THE HELP written by Kathryn Stockett! Great writing, great story. A must read!

    argie5

  2. Mary Whipple - September 28, 2009

    Hi, Argie. This is a book that has been under the radar for me, but one of my friends and her husband have said it is fantastic, their favorite book of the year. I just looked it up on Amazon, and with 916 reviews (a huge number in and of itself!), it has 793 five-star ratings out of 916, total! I’ve never seen numbers like those before on Amazon! Thanks for adding to the discussion. Best, Mary

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