It’s been a while, but I just came across Publisher’s Weekly’s Top 10 Titles of 2009. http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6704263.html
To say the least, it was a refreshing list. I’ve been worried that the only books that will be recognized or remembered from the time period will by YA novels with suspense and vampires but no real literary genius.
I looked over this list and I have not heard of a single one. I suppose I’ve stayed away from shiny chain bookstores lately to avoid the onslaught of commercial madness that comes with promoting badly written but profitable books. So for all I know, books on this list were probably on the tables in the front of every Barnes&Nobles in the city.
To convince myself that publishing houses are still publishing good literature, I think I’ll start reading from this list. Feel free to join me, and wish me luck.
1. The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science; by Richard Holmes
2. Await Your Reply; by Dan Chaon
3. Big Machine; by Victor Lavalle
4. Cheever: A Life; by Blake Bailey
5. A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon; by Neil Sheehan
6. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders; by Daniyal Mueenuddin
7. Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; by Geoff Dyer
8. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon; by David Grann
9. Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work; by Matthew B. Crawford (I think my dad would really like this one…)
10. Stitches; by David Small