Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Books Read in 2009

This is the list of the 112 books I read in 2009, in the order that I read them. For an explanation of my rating system, see here.

Water the Bamboo by Greg Bell (reviewed here; 4/5)

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (on the MLA's Top 30 list and the College Board's Top 101 list)

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey (4.5/5) (on the Top 20 Oregon books list)

Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger (reviewed here; 4/5)

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (reviewed here; 2.5/5)

Blackbird, Farewell by Robert Greer (reviewed here; 2/5)

Out of the Deep I Cry by Julia Spencer-Fleming (3.5/5)

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (2.5/5)

Entres Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl by Debra Ollivier (which inspired my French Connections list; reviewed here; 3.5/5)

Black Cherry Blues by James Lee Burke (3.5/5)

Native America, Discovered and Conquered by Robert Miller (reviewed here; 3.5/5)

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (3/5)

The Top 10 Myths of American Health Care by Sally Pipes (reviewed here; 4/5)

The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard (National Book Award winner; 3.5/5)

Prisoner of the Vatican by David Kertzer (2.5/5)

The River Why by David James Duncan (3/5)

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (4/5)

Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (3.5/5)

Crime and Punishment by Foyder Dostoevsky (on the Easton Press Top 100 list; 4.5/5)

Towers of Gold by Frances Dinkelspiel (reviewed here; 3.5/5)

The Innocent by Ian McEwan (reviewed here; 3.5/5)

The Letter from Death by Lillian Moats (reviewed here; 1.5/5)

The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler (3.5/5)

Basil's Dream by Christine Hale (reviewed here; 3.5/5)

The Stettheimer Dollhouse, edited by Sheila Clark (on my LibraryThing Early Reviewer list; reviewed here; 3.5/5)

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis (4/5)

Pagan Babies by Elmore Leonard (3/5)

Red Square by Martin Cruz Smith (reviewed here; 3.5/5)

The Mating Season by P. G. Wodehouse (3.5/5)

The Alteration by Kinglsey Amis (3.5/5)

Davita's Harp by Chiam Potok (3.5/5)

Skeletons on the Zahara by Dean King(discussed here; 3/5)

Saturday by Ian McEwan (James Tate Black winner; 3.5/5)

The Floating Opera by John Barth (reviewed here; 3.5/5)

Nell Hill's Style at Home by Mary Carol (3.5/5)

Inside the Red Mansion by Oliver August (reviewed here; 3/5)

March by Geraldine Brooks (Pulitzer Prize winner; reviewed here; 3/5)

Atget's Paris, published by Taschen (3/5)

Advise and Consent by Allen Drury (Pulitzer Prize winner; reviewed here; 4/5)

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (on the BBC's Big Read list, the Observer's Top 100 list, and the MLA's Top 30 list; reviewed here; 4/5)

My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl (reviewed here; 3/5)

Wall Street by Steve Fraser (reviewed here; 2.5/5)

A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris (reviewed here; 3/5)

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (reviewed here; 4/5)

Birds by Jeff Fisher (4/5)

The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket (3/5) 

The Beggar by Naguib Mafouz (Nobel Laureate; reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

Black Boy (American Hunger) by Richard Wright (reviewed here; 3/5) 

Changing Places by David Lodge (reviewed here; 4/5)

My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman (reviewed here; 3.5/5)

That's Amore! The Language of Love for Lovers of Language by Erin McKean (3/5)

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (4/5)

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (the All-TIME 100 list, the BBC Big Read, the MLA's Top 30 list, Radcliffe's Top 100 list, and the Observer's Top 100 list; 3/5)

After Dinner Speaking by Fawcett Boom (reviewed here; 3/5)

Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways: Big Ideas for Small Backyard Destinations by Debra Prinzing (reviewed here; 4/5) 

Super Sunday in Newport by Matt Love (2.5/5) 

Pegasus Descending by James Lee Burke (3.5/5)

Au Revoir to All That by Michael Steinberger (on my French Connection list; reviewed here; 3.5/5)

The Brothers K by David James Duncan (reviewed here; 3.5/5)

Hemingway and Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers by Edward Hemingway and Mark Bailey (3/5)

The Fixer by Bernard Malamud (National Book Award winner; Pulitzer Prize winner; reviewed here; 4/5) 

Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille (3/5) 

Forbidden Bread by Erica Johnson-Debeljak (on my LibraryThing Early Reviewer list; reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

To Darkness and to Death by Julia Spencer-Fleming (reviewed here; 3/5) 

Doctor Sally by P. G. Wodehouse (3/5) 

Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth (National Book Award winner; reviewed here; 4/5) 

Blue Planet in Green Shackles by Vaclav Klaus (reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

Underworld by Don DeLillo (reviewed here; 2.5/5) 

Dreams by Sigmund Freud (2.5/5) 

Paul Newman: A Life by Shaun Levy (reviewed here; 4/5)

Shalimar the Clown by Salomon Rushdie (3/5) 

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke (reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones (reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audry Niffinger (2.5/5) 

Plainsong by Ken Haruf (3/5) 

All Mortal Flesh by  Julia Spencer-Fleming (reviewed here; 3.5/5)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (on the BBC's Big Read list, the College Board list, and the Easton Press Top 100 list; 3.5/5) 

Brick Lane by Monica Ali (3/5) 

American Rust by Philip Meyer (on my LibraryThing Early Reviewer list; reviewed here; 2.5/5) 

The Plague by Albert Camus (Nobel Laureate; on the Observer's Top 100 list; 3/5) 

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell (reviewed here; 2.5/5) 

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson (Costa Book Award winner; reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

Ice Chorus by Susan Stonich (reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin (4/5) 

The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julie Russo (reviewed here; 4/5) 

Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith (3.5/5) 

Laughing Gas by P. G. Wodehouse (3/5) 

Joker One by Donovan Campbell (on my LibraryThing Early Reviewer list; reviewed here; 4/5) 

Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin (reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

The Man Who Loved China by Simon Winchester (reviewed here; 4/5) 

The Family Man by Elinor Lipman (3/5) 

The Age of Reagan, Vol. 2 by Steven Hayward (reviewed here; 4/5) 

Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington (Pulitzer Prize winner; reviewed here; 2.5/5) 

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (2.5/5)

The Complete Short Stories* by Ernest Hemingway (Nobel Laureate; reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney (Costa Book Award winner; reviewed here; 4/5) 

The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton (3/5) 

Incidents in the Rue Laguier by Anita Brookner (reviewed here; 3/5) 

Massacred for Gold by Gregory Nokes (reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

A Century of November by W. D. Wetherell (reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

Good for the Jews by Debra Spark (reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon (3/5) 

The Tricking of Freya by Christina Sunley (on my LibraryThing Early Reviewer list; reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

The Italian Lover by Robert Hellinga (reviewed here; 2.5/5) 

The Fire by Katherine Neville (on my LibraryThing Early Reviewer list; reviewed here; 2/5) 

How to Save Your Own Life by Erica Jong (reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham (reviewed here; 3.5/5) 

The Inn at Lake Divine by Elinor Lipman (3.5)

Blue River by Ethan Canin (reviewed here; 2/5)

Betrayal by John Lescroart (3/5)

* The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway includes all the stories published in several separate volumes, plus additional others. I counted this as one book, but the separate volumes subsumed by this omnibus are: In Our Time (on the Radcliffe Top 100 list), Men Without Women (on the Observer's Top 100 list), The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber and Other Stories, The Nick Adams Stories, and maybe others.


  1. Wow, that's a lot of books! It looks like you had a great year of reading.

  2. yowzer! You did great. I hope 2010 gives you a lot of books you enjoy.

  3. Gosh, this makes my list of books read look like a Post-It note with a few scribbled words.


  4. Thanks for the comments.

    111 in 2009, which is about average for me. But then, I have no kids and no tv. :) And I read many books with my ears -- I am always listening to an audiobook in the car, at the gym, while making dinner, etc. It adds up.

  5. Congratulations on a job well done. There will be a giveaway for the participants of this reading challenge at the end of the month. Come by and enter if you'd like.


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