Recommended Reading

My 2009 book list is longer than the lists from the past few years; to my disappointment, it is still shorter than the lists I kept in high school and college.  However, here are my favorites that I read (or reread) this year:

Art Specific

Drawing From Life: The Journal as Art, Jennifer New

The Penland Book of Handmade Books

Book + Art:  Handcrafting Artists’ Books, Dorothy Simpson Krause

The Book as Art:  Artists’ Books from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, compiled by Krystyna Wasserman

(Can you tell what I am fascinated by?!)


The Center of Winter, Marya Hornbacher

Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver

The Wild Things, Dave Eggers

The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffeneger

Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffeneger

The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb

What We Won’t Do:  Stories, Brock Clark

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  note:  the following are ones I am currently reading that are pretty good thus far…

The Arsonist’s Guide to Writer’s Homes in New England, Brock Clark

Hopin’ and Wishin’, Wally Lamb

Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009, edited by Dave Eggers  (hysterically funny, read the Craigs List ads if nothing else)

Memoir and Essay

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers

Madness:  A Bipolar Life, Marya Hornbacher


So those are the ones I think everyone should read.  My favorite authors this year were hands down Dave Eggers of McSweeney’s fame (check out McSweeney’s Internet Tendency for hours of entertainment) and Audrey Niffeneger, whose first novel was written with such deft, poetic handling of language and story that I was surprised that it was her first.  And although Wally Lamb’s third novel wasn’t quite up to the standard of I Know This Much is True, it was still a heartbreaking and wonderful read that Anna unfortunately ripped the entire first chapter out of; his short Christmas book is funny as hell and reminds me a little of reading Stephen King’s childhood stories in his memoir On Writing. 

So read up, my friends, and post a comment to let me know what I missed out on while I was wasting my time with the Twilight Saga…


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