The best books of 2009…so far!

The BookDepository

I would like to ensure I’ve read all the best books published in 2009 before the year ends, so I thought this half way point would be a great point to compare notes and make sure all the best books are in my sights.

Here is the list of my favourite books from 2009 so far:

The Wilderness – Samantha Harvey

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

The Ghosts of Eden – Andrew Sharp

The Thing Around Your Neck – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas

I’d also like to remind you that my favourite book of 2008 was published for the first time in America this year. If you haven’t read it yet then you really should – it is one of the few books ever to make me cry.


Random Acts of Heroic Love – Danny Scheinmann


I’ve also had the following books recommended to me, and plan to read them before the end of the year:
The Help – Kathryn Stockett

The Island at the End of the World – Sam Taylor

Which has been your favourite book published in 2009?

Have you heard of any other ones which you are looking forward to reading?

Will any of my selections make it onto your list of 2009 favourites?

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  1. Caroline says:

    I’m reading The Ghosts of Eden at the moment and I’m mega-impressed – definitely a favourite of the year so far!

    I’ve got quite a few that I’m really looking forward to, including Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger, A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth and The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker.

  2. lizzysiddal says:

    The Wildnerness enters my top 5 of the year so far. Not sure if it will make it to the top ten of 2009 though. I have a loads of new novels to read in the second half of the year. Here’s a few from the top of my head:

    A S Byatt – The Children’s Book; Iain Pears – Stones Fall; Sarah Hall – How to paint a Dead Man; Simon Mawer – The Glass Room; Kazuo Ishiguro – Nocturnes; Colm Toibin – Brooklyn; Patrick Lane – Red Dog, Red Dog; Margaret Atwood – The Year of the Flood; Jude Morgan – Taste of Sorrow; Maggie Gee – My Driver

    I’m hoping some of the above will make it to the Booker lists. That way I know I’ll read them sooner rather than later.

  3. Jackie says:

    Caroline – I’m pleased you are enjoying The Ghosts of Eden too!

    I’m afraid I wasn’t that impressed with The Little Stranger. It was quite good, but won’t be making it into any of my favourite lists.

    I have heard The Little Giant of Aberdeen Country mentioned as being good, but I’m not sure it is going to be top of anyones list – please correct me if I’m wrong!!

    I have never heard of A Kind of Intimacy – I’ll have to look that up.

  4. Jackie says:

    Lizzy – I wasn’t a fan of The Children’s Book, but I think it may well be your book of the year.

    I’d forgotten about Stones Fall – I need to read that, as I have heard amazing things about it.

    Brooklyn and Taste of Sorrow are on my TBR list too. Nocturnes doesn’t appeal at all, but it will probably end up on the Booker list, so I’ll give it a try if it makes it! I haven’t heard of the others, so thank you for pointing them out.

  5. Beth F says:

    I have Hunger Games from the library and plan to read it this weekend. I also have The Help on audio. The others are on my radar. I need to find 4 extra hours a day….

  6. Nymeth says:

    I don’t often read books the year they’re published, but I did cave and buy The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness in hardcover. It’s hands down one of my favourites of the year so far. I am also really looking forward to reading The Children’s Book, and later this year, Unseen Academicals By Terry Pratchett and Her Fearful Symmetry.

    The Sam Taylor book sounds really good. I have his first novel on my tbr pile and I’m looking forward to it.

  7. raidergirl3 says:

    So far, the 2009 releases I liked were Beat the Reaper by Josh Brazell, and The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa.

    Publishing dates around the world are so wonky. Hunger Games was a 2008 this side of the pond, but I agree it was excellent.

    I’ve heard good things about The Slap and the Adichie, they would be the ones I might get to from your list.

  8. Claire says:

    I haven’t read many books published this year; I seldom do the year they are published but reading the Man Booker nominees this year should rectify that.

    I finished reading The Wilderness and that definitely make the top of my list so far. I am looking forward to reading The Thing Around Your Neck and Brooklyn and also waiting with anticipation (like Nymeth) for the publication of Her Fearful Symmetry and The Unseen Academicals.

  9. i’ve got ‘the help’ on my summer reading challenge but i’m #79 on the waiting list at the library! i might end up reading it at christmas!! :)

  10. Jackie says:

    Beth – I am going to try to get The Help on audio too, but haven’t found a copy in the UK yet – it looks as though I’m going to have to download it.

    I hope you enjoy The Hunger Games!

    Nymeth – I haven’t read anything by Patrick Ness – I’m going to have to look into that! I’m looking forward to reading Her Fearful Symmetry too!

    raidergirl3 – I forgot about The Housekeeper and the professor – I really want to read that too. I think it is released here in the UK now. It is a shame that publishing dates don’t match up, but they do seem to be getting closer than they used to be. At least Catching Fire is going to be released here at the same time as in the US.

    Claire – I never used to read many books the year they were published, but blogging has changed that!
    I’m so pleased that you liked The Wilderness as much as me.

    Nat – I really hope all those people read it quickly! I’m sure it will make a good Christmas read too though!

  11. Frances says:

    The Thing Around Your Neck will definitely be on my list. I am going to see the author tonight here in DC and am so excited! Am giving away a signed copy of the book right now for BAFAB week.

  12. JoAnn says:

    I haven’t read any of the books on your list – yet. The Help is my favorite audiobook of the year so far. This is the first time I’ve seen the cover you posted.

  13. I haven’t read any of the above. I did almost pick up Hunger Games the other day, but ended up going for Virgin Suicides instead.

    I don’t end up reading too many books from the year…. just books that have been around for ages and tried and tested. How boring is that?

  14. jo says:

    I really want to read the Wildernes, and I wll get to that before th end of the year.
    The Island at The end of the World is really good, if a little strange. Ihope you enjoy that one.

  15. Carrie K. says:

    The only title on your list that I’ve read is The Hunger Games – and it is definitely on my favorites of 2009 so far list.

  16. CarolineC says:

    I havn’t read any of your favourites for 2009, Jackie, All of them sound very good though and have some of them on my increasing wishlist. My favourites include The Lost Child by Julie Myerson, The Personal History of Rachel Dupree ( can’t remember the authors name), If I Stay by Gayle Foreman and a stunning read called Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell. It’s not due out until August though.
    I’m looking forward to reading The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters(on my pile) and also looking forward to finding out what’s on ther Booker Longlist.

  17. Jackie says:

    Frances – I’d love to hear Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talk. I’ve heard she is an amazing public speaker. I hope you had a great time. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading the book too!

    JoAnn – I think that is the UK version of the cover. It has only just been released here, although I know it has been out for a while in the US. I’m going to the library today to see if they’ll get me a copy of the audio version – wish me luck!

    uncertainprinciples – I want to read the Virgin Suicides too. I have a copy here, so I don’t know why I don’t just read it! I loved Middlesex. That plan doesn’t sound boring at all – I should probably do the same.

    Jo – I don’t know how I missed your review – I’ve just found it and it is even more appealing now – thank you!

    Carrie – I wonder is Catching Fire will be top of our lists by the end of the year?

    CarolineC – Great list! I’ll make sure I keep an eye out for This Unbroken Sky. I’m looking forward to seeing the Booker longlist too. I think I have a good idea of what will be on it, but I’m really hoping there are some good surprises on there too.

  18. Violet says:

    I saw the Hunger Games in the bookstore the other day and I almost picked it up. But it was ahrdcover, hence expensive. I thought why not wait till Catching Fire is released, so that I don’t have to wait to read the next book. Hopefully Hunger Games would be available in paperback by then :)

    This reminds me I have to buy the new Adichie book. It really doesn’t matter that I’ve read most of the stories online already :)

  19. Dot says:

    Random Acts of Heroic Love has been sitting on my shelf for nearly a year now, I don’t know why I keep putting it off. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it, maybe I will give it a try soon!

  20. Jackie says:

    Violet – I’m sure you’ll love The Hunger Games. It should be out in paperback now, so hopefully you’ll find a cheaper copy soon, although it might be a good idea to wait until the whole trilogy is released – that way you won’t have to wait at all.

    Dot – I loved random Acts of Heroic Love – it is so emotional. It is easy to read too – the pages just fly by! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  21. Kathy says:

    I bought The Hunger Games in May and haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I’m dying to get to it!

  22. megan says:

    The Slap and The Hunger Games are firmly on my TBR list!

    Of books due to be published this year, I’m most looking forward to Margaret Atwood’s new one, coming out sometime in August, I think. I’m also really looking forward to reading MJ Hyland’s new novel, having loved both her previous ones.

    I haven’t read too many books that were published this year yet – I’m usually about a year or six months behind :) The Little Stranger is probably my favourite so far – but it wasn’t quite what I expected!

  23. Trish says:

    I think I am officially the last person on the blogosphere who hasn’t read Hunger Games. Seriously–it’s got to be on everyone’s list for the year! But now I’m a little scared that everyone has loved it so much that my expectations will be too high. Guess I just need to read it an find out. Hope the next six months brings you even more great books.

  24. Diane says:

    Jackie…I need to pay better attention to what you read. I just came across this post as I was thinking about doing something on this topic for my Sunday Salon, and I found a whole list of newbie titles for me…thanks a lot :)

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