December 11, 2009

5 Favorite Books of 2009

I started keeping track of everything I have read in August or September and since my memory is horrible this list is really “5 favorite books of the latter half of 2009”.

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A Place of My Own::Michael Pollan

Best architecture reading. Pollan, known more for his non-fiction on food, wrote this book describing the building of his writing retreat. He really delves into all that goes into making a building from architectural theories to sanding window sills.

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American Gods::Neil Gaiman

Best Neil Gaiman. I read (or listen to) a lot of Gaiman this year so he gets his own category. Sandman was a close contender as was Stardust. The use of setting, finding all the unusual but forgotten places in America, was especially impressive for someone who was born across the pond.

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Planetary::Warren Ellis

Best comic book series I read this year. About a group of “archeologists of the secret history of the twentieth century” whose job is to save the world by unearthing the weird stuff that normal people won’t acknowledge or comprehend. Great concept, great art, great characters. Runners up: Fables, Mouse Guard Winter , Persepolis, Maus, and Sandman.

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Jungle Book::Rudyard Kipling

Best classic fiction. The story of Mowgli really shines when compared to the overly polished Disney rendition. The man/nature dichotomy is used to full effect as a twelve year old boy without fear or hesitation pwns Shere Kahn in the wolf council.

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Life of Pi::Yann Mantel

Best unexpected reading. We picked this up on a whim and it turned out to be really interesting. For a work of fiction that does a stellar job at playing itself off as non-fiction, it does a remarkable job at allegory. The island chapters recall Lewis’ brilliant sci-fi trilogy and the end twist is heart wrenching. Add to that a great character in Pi, a lot of interesting thoughts on zoos and religion, and some great survival writing..

2 comments:

corey said...

I read Life of Pi in high school and had to write a huge paper over it. I loved the floating island thingy. creeeepy

Pyrrhadox said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed American Gods. Gaiman isn't always consistent, but that one was a great read. I've been meaning to read Life of Pi for years now; maybe I should go to Recycled this weekend.

Also, you shouldn't buy any more Sherman Alexie anytime soon. No particular reason. Just sayin, is all. *whistles innocently*