Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Year In Books

I probably read more for pleasure this year than any other year of my life. I recommended a lot of books this year, so I won't re-recommend any of them here, but, if you have read any of these books, I would love to hear your thoughts on them.

The best of the best:

Fiction
Gilead, by Maryanne Robinson
Lush Life, by Richard Price
White Teeth, by Zadie Smith
American Pastoral, by Philip Roth
Dear American Airlines, by Jonathan Miles
Straight Man, by Richard Russo
How I Became A Famous Novelist, by Steve Hely

Non-Fiction
The Polysyllabic Spree, Housekeeping vs. The Dirt, and Shakespeare Wrote For Money, by Nick Hornby
Lost in the Meritocracy, by Walter Kirn
Born Standing Up, by Steve Martin
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan

The Best Books You've Probably Never Heard Of:
The Remainder, by Tom McCarthy
How I Became A Famous Novelist, by Steve Hely
The Tourists, by Jeffrey Hobbs

The complete list:
Gilead, by Maryanne Robinson
Lost and Found, by Carolyn Parkhurst
Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Areas of My Expertise, by John Hodgman
White Teeth, by Zadie Smith
American Pastoral, by Philip Roth
Chronicles: Volume 1, by Bob Dylan
The Tourists, by Jeffrey Hobbs
The Polysyllabic Spree, by Nick Hornby
Shakespeare Wrote For Money, by Nick Hornby
Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl
Housekeeping vs. The Dirt, by Nick Hornby
The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell
Buffalo Lockjaw, by Greg Ames
Novel About My Wife, by Emily Perkins
Maps and Legends, by Michael Chabon
Lush Life, by Richard Price
Wishful Drinking, by Carrie Fisher
Dear American Airlines, by Jonathan Miles
Clockers, by Richard Price
A Meaningful Life, by L.J. Davis
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning, by Jonathan Mahler
The Woman Chaser, by Charles Williford
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, by Vendela Vida
This Song Is You, by Arthur Phillips
Wild Sheep Chase, by Haruki Murakami
The Big Rewind, by Nathan Rabin
The Remainder, by Tom McCarthy
Old School, by Tobias Wolff
How I Became A Famous Novelist, by Steve Hely
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
My Custom Van, by Michael Ian Black
Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, by Michael Chabon
I Drink For A Reason, by David Cross
Straight Man, by Richard Russo
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
Prospect Park West, by Amy Sohn
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
The Book of Basketball, by Bill Simmons
Lost In the Meritocracy, by Walter Kirn
Born Standing Up, by Steve Martin
Chronic City, by Jonathan Lethem

5 comments:

Ellen said...

What did you think of A Meaningful Life? I saw the author read from it earlier this year and while he was very charming, the excerpt he read wasn't very intriguing.

Wade Garrett said...

I wasn't crazy about A Meaningful Life. Like Desperate Characters, it is considered a classic of the Brooklyn gentrification genre (if such a thing exists) but I found it to contain too much exposition for too little payoff. However, the description of Fort Greene in the 1970's is pretty harrowing, and corresponds to what the parents of friends of mine have said about it.

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