Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top Ten 2009

The year is over, the votes are in! Here, for your perusal, are the ten best books that I read in 2009, explained for you in easy-to-read, under-140 character Twitter style:

1.) A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul -- This bk abt Indians in Trinidad traces the story of 1 man from birth 2 death, struggling to escape his father’s accidental death and his domineering in-laws. Hefty.

9.) Silence by Shusaku Endo -- Endo’s bk of Christian missionaries in Japan is incredibly bleak, but not w/o glimmers of hope. Scorcese to direct.

8.) Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake -- 2nd bk in trilogy outpaces the 1st in sheer weirdness. Kind of like a cracked-out, sadistic Harry Potter w/ no magic but w/ maneating owls.

7.) Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury -- Sets the bar for creepy circus stories v. high. Bradbury’s contrast of the giddiness of youth and anxiety of age is incredible.

6.) Ubik by Philip K. Dick -- Ubik keeps you from deteriorating backward in time, in handy spray can form. Some space intrigue, frozen talking corpses. Standard PKD.

5.) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton -- Boy meets girl, girl is fiancee’s cousin and not liked by high society. Boy lives sadly in loveless marriage. Gossip Girl?!

4.) Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier -- Girls meets boy, is overshadowed by the greatness of boy’s dead ex, lives in giant castle. Things are not as they seem. Oh shit!

3.) Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction by JD Salinger -- More overshadowing dead folks. B. Glass wants you 2 kno that his bro was totally the shit. So why can’t he show up to his own wedding?

2.) Voss by Patrick White -- Boy meets girl, but they don’t fall in love until he journeys into the Australian outback. Boy and girl develop creepy psychic bond.

1.) The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark-- Ms. Brodie controls her pupils like Calvinist God. Under 200 pp, but Spark doesn't waste words. V. small, but powerful.

Honorable Mentions:

Count Belisarius by Robert Graves
The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene

Dishonorable mentions:

The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster
Ludmila's Broken English by DBC Pierre
The Tattooed Girl by Joyce Carol Oates

Congratulations to everyone for reading so many books this year! Wherever you are, raise a glass this New Year's Eve for Fifty Books 2010: 2 Fifty 2 Books.


Carlton Farmer said...

Good reading, buddy!

I am desperately trying to hit 40. Top Ten is nearly set.

Nihil Novum said...

Good list.

Jim said...

Scorcese to direct, DDL to star. I didn't care for the book but I'm out of my mind excited to see those two work together. A director who makes great character driven film, and the great living actor. Zoinks.

List and 2 final 2009 reviews this week.

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