Best Books of 2009: Literature & Fiction

Below, are presented the best ten books of 2009 for literature and fiction. The ranking was made according to the customer orders on, only books published for the first time in 2009 being eligible. So, here they are:

Let the Great World Spin: A Novel by Colum McCann releassed on December 2, 2009. In the dawning light of a summer morning, a summer "hot and serious and full of death and betrayal", the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.

Wolf Hall: A Novel by Hilary Mantel releassed on October 13, 2009. No other character from the history has been writ larger than Henry VIII, but that didn't stop Hilary Mantel. She strides through centuries, past acres of novels, histories, biographies, and plays confident in the knowledge that to recast history's most mercurial sovereign. But, it's not the King she needs to see, and one of the King's most mysterious agents, Thomas Cromwell. A self-made man and remarkable polymath, he ascends to the King's right hand. Having little interest in what motivates his Majesty, and although he makes way for Henry's marriage to the infamous Anne Boleyn, Cromwell is honored and hopes to secure a free future to England.

Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin releassed on May 5, 2009. Committed to a quiet life in little Enniscorthy, Ireland, the industrious young Eilis Lacey finds herself swept up in an unplanned adventure to America, engineered by the family priest and her glamorous sister, Rose. Eilis's determination to embrace the spirit of the journey makes a bittersweet center for Brooklyn. The Author's spare portrayal of this contemplative girl is achingly lovely, and every sentence rings with truth. Readers will find themselves swept across the Atlantic with Eilis to a boarding house in Brooklyn where she painstakingly adapts to a new life, reinventing herself and her surroundings in the letters she writes home.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper releassed on August 6, 2009. This is a wonderful book and will make laugh out loud to everybody who will read it. Is a truly incandescent story about love of all kinds and forgiveness. Judd Foxman is separated and heading towards divorce, unemployed, and living in a basement apartment, all of which are directly related to the affair his wife Jen is having with Wade, Judd's boss. Then Foxman's father dies of cancer, leaving a final request that his entire family sit shiva seven days, and Judd and his siblings return to the suburban home where they grew up. This of course means seven days in his parent's house with his dysfunctional family, including his mom, a sexy, "I've-still-got-it" shrink fond of making horrifying TMI statements; his older sister, Wendy, and her distracted hubby and three kids; his older brother, Paul, and his wife; and his youngest brother, Phillip, the "Paul McCartney of our family: better-looking than the rest of us, always facing a different direction in pictures, and occasionally rumored to be dead."

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore releassed on September 1, 2009. After 11 years since Author’s last book and 15 since her last novel, Moore brings to the attention of the readers the portrait of a Midwest college town seen through the eyes of Tassie Keltjin, a student from the country whose mind has been lit up by learning but who spends nearly all this story out of class, as a nanny for a couple who have adopted a toddler. Tassie's a bit of a toddler herself, testing the world as if through her teeth, and she finds the world stranger and more deeply wounded the more she learns of it. Her investigations make A Gate at the Stairs sad, hilarious, and thrillingly necessary.

Tinkers by Paul Harding releassed on January 1, 2009. Harding's outstanding debut unfurls the history and final thoughts of a dying grandfather surrounded by his family in his New England home. George Washington Crosby repairs clocks for a living and on his deathbed revisits his turbulent childhood as the oldest son of an epileptic smalltime traveling salesman. The descriptions of the father's epilepsy and the cold halo of chemical electricity that encircled him immediately before he was struck by a full seizure are stunning, and the household's sadness permeates the narrative as George returns to more melancholy scenes.

Spooner by Pete Dexter releassed on September 24, 2009. This book is about Warren Spooner, a sad sack. His mother despises him as the surviving twin from a hideously painful delivery. He's not very smart, and his one redeeming talent (baseball) is nullified by catastrophic injury. He gets into trouble, a lot. Though he manages to organize his life through marriage and a job, the self-destructive behavior endures.

Sag Harbor: A Novel by Colson Whitehead releassed on April 28, 2009. The action of the books takes the readers to the year 1985. The 15-year-old Benji Cooper, one of the only black students at his elite Manhattan private school, leaves the city to spend three largely unsupervised months living with his younger brother Reggie in an enclave of Long Island's Sag Harbor, the summer home to many African American urban professionals. Benji's a Converse-wearing, Smiths-loving, Dungeons & Dragons-playing nerd whose favorite Star Wars character is the hapless bounty hunter Greedo. But Sag Harbor is a coming-of-age novel whose plot side-steps life-changing events writ large. The book's leisurely eight chapters mostly concern Benji's first kiss, the removal of braces, BB gun battles, slinging insults with his friends, and working his first summer job.

The Informers by Juan Gabriel Vásquez releassed on July 30, 2009. A virtuosic novel about family, history, memory, and betrayal from the brightest new Latin American literary talent working today. When Gabriel Santoro's biography is scathingly reviewed by his own father, a public intellectual and famous Bogotá rhetorician, Gabriel could not imagine what had pierced his icy exterior to provoke such a painful reaction. A volume that catalogues the life of Sara Guterman, a longtime family friend and Jewish immigrant, since her arrival in Colombia in the 1930s, A Life in Exile seemed a slim, innocent exercise in recording modern history.

Cutting for Stone: A novel by Abraham Verghese releassed on February 3, 2009. Lauded for his sensitive memoir about his time as a doctor in eastern Tennessee at the onset of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, Verghese turns his formidable talents to fiction, mining his own life and experiences in a magnificent, sweeping novel that moves from India to Ethiopia to an inner-city hospital in New York City over decades and generations. Sister Mary Joseph Praise, a devout young nun, leaves the south Indian state of Kerala in 1947 for a missionary post in Yemen. During the arduous sea voyage, she saves the life of an English doctor bound for Ethiopia, Thomas Stone, who becomes a key player in her destiny when they meet up again at Missing Hospital in Addis Ababa.

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