Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009's Best Books

It's the most wonderful time of the year: that's right, time for year-end best-of lists. Here are a few titles that appeared on multiple "Best Books of the Year" lists. Links to the full lists are at the bottom of this post:
  • The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann. Publishers Weekly says: "In this classic adventure tale, New Yorker writer Grann—who gets winded climbing the stairs of his New York City walkup—follows in the footsteps of early–20th-century Amazon jungle explorer Percy Fawcett, who disappeared along with his son on a 1925 expedition. Grann expertly and energetically weaves the story of Fawcett's explorations with that of his own."

  • Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. The New York Times says: "In her luminous memoir, “The Glass Castle,” Walls told of being raised by eccentric and unfit parents. Now, in a novel based on family lore, she has adopted the voice of her maternal grandmother, Lily Casey Smith — mustang breaker, schoolteacher, ranch wife, bootlegger, poker player, racehorse rider and bush pilot. The result re­animates a chapter of America’s frontier past."

  • The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson. Amazon editors said: "The Girl Who Played with Fire is a break-out-in-a-cold-sweat thriller that crackles with stunning twists and dismisses any talk of a sophomore slump. Fans of Larsson's prior work will find even more to love here, and readers who do not find their hearts racing within the first five pages may want to confirm they still have a pulse. Expect healthy doses of murder, betrayal, and deceit, as well as enough espresso drinks to fuel downtown Seattle for months."
Full lists:
NPR (a slew of lists, including best memoirs, best book club books, best mysteries and more)
Amazon's Editors' Picks and Customer Favorites

What about you? If you've read anything new this year that you think stands above the rest, leave a note in the comments section.


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