Saturday, January 2, 2010

394: a few best-loved lists for 2009

(image: mine, our last book club meeting where we read The Wild Trees,
which might have made the list, if I hadn't read so darn many books this year!)
(the "cupcake" is actually fruitcake made by Angie)

In the past, I've taken a moment at this time of year to make a "Top Nine of Two Thousand Nine" type list, but this year, I followed Eireann and Shari's lead and reflected a little in singular posts looking back on the momentum of the year. I couldn't leave it at that, though, not this list-maker.

I reduced it to reading and film watching, because I think of these lists as a giant string of recommendations; this year, after reading as much as I did, I opted to also break the favorite reads by genre, since I know so many of you have different readerly tastes.

Books, Fiction:
- The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
- Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
- Anagrams and Self-Help by Lorrie Moore
- Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
- Inventing the Abbots and Other Stories by Sue Miller
- Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
- A Mercy by Toni Morrison
- Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry

Books, Nonfiction:
- Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier
- The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
- Another Beauty by Adam Zagajewski
- The Wet Collection by Joni Tevis
- Having Faith by Sandra Steingraber
- Dog Years by Mark Doty
- A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
- The Geese of Beaver Bog by Heinrich Bernd
- The Blue Jay's Dance by Louise Erdrich

Books, Poetry:
- (several collections of poems) by Ellen Bryant Voigt
- Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop
- The Heat Bird by Mei-Mei Berssenbugge
- The Watercourse by Cynthia Zarin
- Still to Mow by Maxine Kumin
- Thomas and Beulah by Rita Dove
- Old Heart by Stanley Plumly
- The Cinnamon Peeler by Michael Ondaatje
- Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
- Filibuster to Delay a Kiss by Courtney Queeney
- The Museum of Clear Ideas by Donald Hall
- The Descent by Sophie Cabot Black
- Museum of Accidents by Rachel Zucker

(Link: my Good Reads profile.)

(Number of books read in 2009: 220)
(For the curious: 2002: 104; 2003: 146; 2004: 129; 2005: 83; 2006: 77; 2007: 81; 2008: 128. Can you guess which years I was teaching high school and which years I was in graduate school? And yes, this is my second time in graduate school.)

- The Beautiful Country
- Dancing in Lughnasa
- Rachel Getting Married
- Things We Lost in the Fire
- The Visitor
- Dear Frankie
- War Dance
- Food, Inc.
- Raising Victor Vargas
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
- Dan in Real Life
- Away We Go
- The World's Fastest Indian
Rudo y Cursi

Anything you see you loved (or hated)? I'd love recommendations, if you have any, for my 2010 list.

Happy new year: xo


allison said...

I love these lists - copying them down for reference! I always go to your goodreads page before I head to the library for a new stack as we seem to have very similar taste in books.

Ack! But you read 220 books this year? I can't even imagine how that was possible, but it sounds like time very well spent to me!

I think the History of Love would have to be at the top of my list for 2009 reads as well. And I am reading Woman by Angier right now and I can't hardly put it down - definitely going to be a 5 star read!

Happy New YEar!

uma said...

I also think The History of Love was the best book I read in 2009! And, like Allison, I think I will copy your lists for future reference. I want to choose good books for 2010...
Happy New Year for you too!

KeLL said...

I love that you beat your "books read" goal!
And Christian says: bvxxxxxxxxxxx xcvcv

Rachel said...

First, thank you so much, friend, for your kind comments on my giveaway posts--your words meant so much to me!

I've just spent the last half hour leisurely reading (and thoroughly enjoying) all your reflection posts for each month. I love how you approached that...I was able to revisit those things which I remembered from past posts as well as those details that I may have missed the first time around...all of it so lovely.

And for this post I say...I am so envious of the number of books you are reading. But thank you for the 'top' lists...many of the fiction I have read and loved, many are on my to read list, and I'll be checking out the others. And the same goes for the movies. Some suggestions (not all are recent): I've Loved You For So Long, The Lives of Others, The Cake Eaters, Son of Rambow, The Girl in the Cafe, name a few! :)

Looking forward to seeing what adventures you and Ryan and the pups share this new year!

Eireann said...

(500) Days of Summer
Away We Go
The Class
An Education


Happy New Year! Have you had any mail lately?

Molly said...

Hi Eireann:

Yes, loads of mail, but the last I got from you were those sweet hearts, which I've hung in the bathroom to cheer it up a bit! :)

Speaking of mail, did you get some from me at your parents' house?


oma said...

thanks for the book list! i've been reading while nursing the baby and have gotten through more books than i thought i'd be able to read with an infant. so recommendations are great to have.

the book i'd add to the list is Five Skies by ron carlson. so so good.

finally, a friend told me about and i thought it might be something you'd be interested in.

happy new year!