Here we go again … didn’t 2009 just fly by?
In total I read 95 books plus a couple of dozen short stories and essays, from which the following stand out reads.
1. Funniest read: No Word from Gurb – Eduardo Mendoza
2. Saddest read: This was the most closely contested race. Neck and neck between Michael Kimball’s Dear Everyone and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge (review to follow). The latter snatches it simply because I relate more closely to Olive’s sadnesses.
3. Best crime: The Bethlehem Murders – Matt Rees
4. Best Novella: The Death of the Author – Gilbert Adair
5. Best Short Story: Another hotly contested category, particularly in the year when I really started to appreciate the short story format. Finally plumped for Vladimir Kaminer’s Russians in Berlin which is included in Berlin Tales, published by Oxford University Press.
6. Best new UK Novel: Grace – Alex Pheby
7. Marmite novel of the year: Some love it, others hate it. I adored it. Home – Marilynne Robinson
8. Best non-fiction: Shakespeare on Toast – Ben Crystal
9. Most entertaining yarn: Carter Beats the Devil – Glen David Gold
10. Biggest Surprise: The Sufferings of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
From which I need to pick my read of the year. Looking back over my reviews, I see there is only one book that I described as flawless. So I’m going to use that as the differentiating factor in what is a very strong list. Ladies and gentlemen, I have great pleasure in awarding Lizzy’s Read of 2009 to: