Best books of 2009: my own favorites

December 20, 2009 at 2:50 am (Best of 2009, books, Mystery fiction)

This is the day to  work on this, for sure. We are completely snowed in – socked in, and immobilized. I always love a day like this,  although tomorrow, when we start shoveling out our fifty-plus foot long driveway, my sentiments will be of a somewhat different cast. Nevertheless:

“Ah, fill the Cup:—what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn TOMORROW, and dead YESTERDAY,
Why fret about them if TODAY be sweet!”

(Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam of Naishapur, Verse 37)

So here they are:

Roberta’s Choice for Best Books Read in 2009


Wolf Hall by HilaryMantel
Love and Summer by William Trevor
To Heaven by Water by Justin Cartwright
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin
It’s Beginning To Hurt by James Lasdun
Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine
The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher
Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro


Piper on the Mountain by Ellis Peters
The Water’s Edge by Karin Fossum
Skeleton Hill by Peter Lovesey
Pix by Bill James
All My Enemies by Barry Maitland
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Turning Point by Peter Turnbull
White Nights by Ann Cleeves
A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
Bleeding Heart Square by Andrew Taylor
About Face by Donna Leon
August Heat by Andrea Camilleri
The Price of Malice by Archer Mayor
Caravaggio’s Angel by Ruth Brandon
The Listening Walls by Margaret Millar
The Private Patient by P.D. James
Blackout by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza
Wycliffe and the Tangled Web by W.J.  Burley
The Professional by Robert B. Parker
Hit and Run by Lawrence Block
Fell Purpose by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles


The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, by Richard Holmes
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft, by Ulrich Boser


I’ll have more to say on this by and by, but first and foremost I wanted to get the basic list posted.


  1. Susan said,

    I bought Wolf Hall to go under my tree! My husband gets to give it to me 🙂 I’m so eager to read it! I’m thrilled to see you liked it so much to put it top of your list. Your mystery list looks very good too, I have earlier ones by Ann CLeeves and Louise Penny on my TBR shelf – I was hoping by Christmas, but unless we get snowed in too, it’s not going to happen by then! How much snow did you end up getting?

    • Roberta Rood said,

      Hi, Susan,

      First – thanks so much for your note. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance – and to discover your excellent blog! (To see Susan’s blog, just click on her name, above.)

      The day has dawned beautiful – sunlit & cold. My guess: we’ve gotten about 20 inches of snow. Moving it out of the driveway is going to be a huge chore. Ah well – better get to it!

      Thanks again.

  2. Sherry said,

    I’m looking forward to reading Wolf Hall, too. But I’ve read that Thomas More is the villain of the piece, or is it Cranmer? And I’m not sure I want to go that route

  3. Kerrie said,

    Roberta, probably an impossible task, but over on my blog I’m collecting best 10 crime fiction reads, if you’d like to contribute a list. You’ll see a link at the top of the blog page – I just need title and author for 10 or so 🙂

  4. More best mysteries of 2009 « Books to the Ceiling said,

    […] January 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm (Best of 2009, Mystery fiction, books) On her blog Mysteries in Paradise, Kerrie is asking people to contribute lists of ten favorite reads to the comment section. So far, she’s got over forty comments! I’m number forty-one. Naturally, I had trouble whittling my list down, so it consists of twelve titles rather then ten. (It also differs in some particulars from the list I posted on December 20.) […]

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