Tuesday, December 22, 2009

best books consumed in 09

my continuous, fragmented professional reading, a requirement of my day job, leaves me with an insatiable appetite for fiction...mostly fiction involving anit-heroes and that ever-gnawing hole in the character's (our) gut that pokes the question, "can one be virtuous and flawed at the same time?"  these books were not all published in 09, yet they have impacted me during this amazing year.

#10) Sway: A Novel -  Zachary Lazar
a fresh (historic fiction) take on a band and era that has been analyzed ad nauseam.

#9) Daemon - Daniel Suarez
a scientific look at what may happen in the future when our emotions become just as blurred as the line between technological advancement and mass control. think plausible Matrix.

#8) Goodnight Nebraska - Tom McNeal
a heartbreaking look at small-town life and the choices that eventually end up defining a person.

#7) The Scarecrow - Michael Connelly
connelly's best book since echo park examines the death of newspapers and the roles race still play in our justice system.

#6) The Night of the Gun - David Carr
a memoir that stemmed from countless hours of research including interviews with former dealers, junkies, hanger-ons, and his family of the past and present. this book makes you think about all those glorious, blurry nights and how others may have perceived them differently.

#5) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larson
a stunning "locked door" mystery that burns to the very end.  just the beginning.

#4) The Girl Who Played with Fire - Stieg Larson
luckily for us, stieg larson completed his 'millennium trilogy' before his untimely death.  with backstories firmly in place from the dragon tattoo, we follow lisbeth salander into many engrossing situations which no reader could have envisioned.

#3) The Killing Circle - Andrew Pyper
"what all of us share, is our wishing for more, but wishing has a dark side. it can turn those who were once merely strangers into the competition."  pyper's  book does not reveal the true purpose and/or its genius until the last sentence. caution: sleep with your lights on.

#2) The Magicians - Lev Grossman
billed as 'an adult harry potter,' lev grossman delves into his character's abyss much further than this generic description may potrary.

imagine what happens when the novelty of magic, drugs, and sex wears off.  what would you do then?

#1) Beat the Reaper - Josh Bazell
with some of my favorite books being the contortionist handbook, fight club, and kiss me judas, it did not surprise me that i fell for this book instantly. however, rooting for an anti-hero with this much vigor was indeed my guilty pleasure of the year.   an ex-mafia hit-man, currently in a witness protection program and employed as a doctor, leads to many fast-paced conundrums--every single one of them enjoyable.

side note: the rights to this book were just bought and leonardo dicaprio will produce and star in the movie. follow the link for more. more details below.


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