Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cindy Snow's Best Books of 2009

Cindy Snow is in the enviable position of knowing about “hot” books before most people.

For the past few years, Snow has worked at A Great Good Place for Books in the Montclair section of Oakland, not really for the money, but for the access to all the galleys and ARCs sent by publishers. The backroom of the bookstore is jammed with stacks of books, and Snow and the other employees can pick whatever they choose to read.

For her list of the best books she read in 2009, Snow, an Oakland resident, mostly stuck to fiction, although she threw in one non-fiction book on South Africa.

The Unit by Ninni Holmquist (I had never heard of this dystopian novel by this Swedish novelist, but the trailer looks intriguing.)

Let the Great World Spin  by Colum McCann (This winner of the National Book Award seems to be stacked on the counter of every bookstore I have gone into these last few days. I think the publisher made the right decision to rush this out in paperback. I have bought tw0 copies myself for gifts.)

Olive Kittredge by Elizabeth Strout

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie  by Alan Bradley

Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson

Gate at the Stairs  by Lorrie Moore

Brooklyn  by Colm Toiben

Under the Dome  by Stephen King

Alive in Necropois   by Doug Dorst

Little Bee  by Clive Cleve

If you like these “best of”  lists, the blog Largehearted Boy has very conveniently aggregated dozens of Best of 2009 lists, ranging from Amazon and Barnes and Noble to a large collection of litblogs.


Lance said...

I like the tradition some British papers have of asking literary and other figures to choose their favorite books of the year. Here are the choices from The Observer.

Meg Waite Clayton said...

Great looking list. I haven't heard of The Unit, either, but will have to take a look.