Monday, November 2, 2009

PW's Best Books of 2009

(Please note: When I originally saw this list at PW, it stopped after True Compass. When I looked again at the source page on 11/3/09, the list had more titles on it. I have since added those titles.)

PW Top 10
  • Cheever: A Life by Blake Bailey
  • Await Your Reply: A Novel by Dan Chaon
  • A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon by Neil Sheehan
  • In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin
  • Big Machine by Victor LaValle
  • The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard HolmesStitches by David Small
  • Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford
  • Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer
  • The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
  • The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
  • The Fate of Katherine Carr by Thomas H. Cook
  • Spooner by Pete Dexter
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  • The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam
  • Ravens by George Dawes Green
  • Tinkers by Paul Harding
  • The Believers by Zoë Heller
  • The Vagrants by Yiyun Li
  • How to Sell by Clancy Martin
  • New World Monkeys by Nancy Mauro
  • The Last War by Ana Menendez
  • Nemesis by Jo Nesbø
  • Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips
  • The Cry of the Sloth by Sam Savage
  • Drood by Dan Simmons
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  • The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
  • Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead
  • Once the Shore by Paul Yoon


  • Chronic by D.A. Powell
  • Museum of Accidents by Rachel Zucker
  • The Bitter Withy by Donald Revell
  • The Collected Poems of C.P. Cavafy
  • Upgraded to Serious by Heather McHugh


  • Bryant and May on the Loose by Christopher Fowler
  • The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah
  • The Dark Horseby Craig Johnson
  • The Silent Hour by Michael Koryta
  • Londongrad by Reggie Nadelson
  • The Lord of Death by Eliot Pattison
  • The Cloud Pavilionby Laura Joh Rowland

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Lovecraft Unbound edited by Ellen Datlow
  • The Devil’s Alphabet by Daryl Gregory
  • The City & the City by China Miéville
  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Mass Market

  • Captive of Sin by Anna Campbell
  • Soulless by Gail Carriger
  • A Dark Love by Margaret Carroll
  • Child of Fire by Harry Connolly
  • Hunt at the Well of Eternity by Gabriel Hunt, as told to James Reasoner


  • Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke and Richard Stark
  • Driven by Lemons by Josh Cotter
  • Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou with art by Alecos Papdatos and Annie Di Donna
  • The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders by Emmanuel Guibert and Didier Lefèvre
  • Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe by Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco
  • A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
  • You’ll Never Know: A Good and Decent Man by Carol Tyler
  • Pluto by Naoki Urasawa


  • Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater by Frank Bruni
  • Land of the Lost Souls: My Life on the Streets by Cadillac Man
  • Columbine by Dave Cullen
  • Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • The Good Soldiers by David Finkel
  • Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti
  • Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin
  • Food for Thought, Thought for Food edited by Richard Hamilton and Vincente Todolo
  • Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
  • The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream by Patrick Radden Keefe
  • True Compass: A Memoir by Edward M. Kennedy
  • Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
  • Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer
  • Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Gabriel García Márquez by Gerald Martin
  • Green Metropolis by David Owen
  • Larry’s Kidney: Being the True Story of How I Found Myself in China with My Black Sheep Cousin and His Mail-Order Bride, Skirting the Law to Get Him a Transplant—and Save His Life by Daniel Asa Rose
  • Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith
  • Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U.S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan by Doug Stanton
  • Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue, 1957–1965 by Sam Stephenson
  • Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout
  • Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 by Gordon S. Wood


  • Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir by Susan E. Isaacs
  • The Case for God by Karen Armstrong
  • The End of Suffering: Finding Purpose in Our Pain by Scott Cairns
  • Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
  • The Future of Faith by Harvey Cox
  • Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
  • In Due Season: A Man’s Life by Paul Wilkes
  • Judas: A Biography by Susan Gubar
  • Muslims in America: A Short History by Edward E. Curtis IV
  • Rashi by Elie Wiesel


  • Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy by Lidia Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali
  • Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan
  • Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller
  • Child Care Today: Getting It Right for Everyone by Penelope Leach Gourmet Today by Ruth Reichl
Children's Fiction
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
  • Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
  • The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness.
  • A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
  • Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
  • Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor, illus. by Jim Di Bartolo
  • The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones

Source: Publishers Weekly


3m.michelle said...

The only one I've read from this list is The Little Stranger!

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

have read none of these books...hmmm!

Anonymous said...

But 2009's not over yet!

3m.michelle said...

I know! it used to bother me that these lists come out so early (even though I love them), but then I realized they get the ARCs months in advance and already are familiar with the Nov and Dec titles even though they aren't out yet.