Favourite Books of 2009

December 30th, 2009 • Posted in Random Stuff, Recommendations |

I really don’t read as much as I’d like to, nor as much as I should.  Before I started writing in earnest fifteen years ago, I’d read maybe 200 books in a year, now it’s more like 30 or 40 (if I’m lucky).  But for years I’ve kept note of all the books I’ve read, and at the end of every year I pick out my top three for the year (and they certainly don’t have to be published in that year … I’m decades behind in a lot of my reading, and I pick up more old books than new).

So, in 2009 I read 31 books, and these are the three I liked best:

Islington Crocodiles by Paul Meloy – a wonderful collection from this brilliant short story writer, questions should be asked in Parliament as to why it didn’t win awards. Really, if you’ve not read any Meloy, put that right.  He should be major.

World War Z by Max Brooks – eye-witness accounts of the zombie war, this is a book that I found genuinely unsettling and disturbing.  So well written that it reads like an historical account, not a novel, it’s intelligent, insightful, and provocative.

The Twelve by Stuart Neville – a shattering novel set in modern-day Northern Ireland, in which a former killer tries to make amends and escape the ghosts of those whose lives he took.  Brutal, hard-hitting, beautiful, a wonderful debut novel.

I’ll should also mention stephen King’s Under the Dome, which I’m still reading.  It’s one of his best books in years, I think, and it’s riveting stuff.

I’m hoping to read a lot more next year.  I can glance quickly around my library right now and see 100 books I want to snap up and read, and if I really think about how many books I’ve got that I’ve never read … it all gets a little depressing.  So, my aim next year is to read a book per week.  I’ll let you know how long I stick to it!

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