2009 has been an invigorating reading year. It was also a great year for new releases -- that have gone on my to-read list because my reading list is more inspired by silly whims and current obsessions rather than timeliness. Most of these came from the library - I can't say enough good about the library system around here, it's really stellar. So, here's my list of enjoyables and inspirions of 2009, in no particular order:
+ The Plague and I - Betty Smith
+ Foundling - D.M. Cornish
+ Juliet, Naked - Nick Hornby
+ We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
+ Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day - Winifred Watson
+ Drood - Dan Simmons
+ DC Showcase Presents Batlash - Aragones, O'Neil, and Cardy
+ A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
+ The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime: Con Artists, Burglars, Rogues, and Scoundrels from the Time of Sherlock Holmes - Michael Sims
+ Asterios Polyp - David Mazzucchelli
Drood, guys, Drood. That one was actually the end of last year, but it came out in February and I spent so much of this year thinking about how great it was and being dissatisfied with other historical fiction I read for not even coming close to matching it -- so on the list it goes. The Plague and I is still my favorite of the Betty Smith books, even though it turned out I never had TB. We Have Always Lived in the Castle was such a brilliant, deliciously creepy little gem, something it's crazy to think I never discovered before but am thankful to have read. My gaslight crime obsession continues, and Bill Bryson's charming, easy to listen to history got me through some soul-crushing hours at work. Asterios Polyp was a NOT AT ALL overrated example of what a graphic novel can be, and Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked proved it wasn't just High Fidelity, Grown Up.
It was a huge year for comics and graphic novels for me - they probably made up about 50% of my reading, and I didn't really want to count issues or ongoing non-collected volume things on this list. So, two of the things I've enjoyed reading the most this year, Tiny Titans and the Batwoman arcs going on in Detective Comics, aren't up there, but deserve a special mention for being completely awesome.