One thing I love about December are the "Best book of the year" lists. There are lists everywhere you look. From the National Book Award nominees to the New York Times Notable Books, to different blogs, websites and even Amazon's listmania. It seems everyone has an opinion. Every year I pour through the lists and place holds on the books that others think were great.
Last year everyone was talking about The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Loved It!) and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Hated it). I wouldn't have read these and many other books if others hadn't shared them on their lists.
This year I have decided to name the best new book I read this year. Now I didn't have any specific criteria or methodology. I just thought to myself, what was the best book I read this year, and one book came to mind. There were probably others that I read earlier in the year that are equally worthy, but they fall victim to my poor memory.
And the Winner is: A Quiet Belief in Angels by R.J. Ellory.
I have not read anything else by him. He had me at the author bio, which starts, "Orphaned at the age of seven and sent to prison for poaching when he was seventeen, R. J. Ellory...
A Quiet Belief in Angels is a haunting suspense novel. It is beautifully written, but it has a lot of brutality. Be forewarned. It is about a serial killer in Georgia who targets young girls. But it also more than that. It is about how those tragedies effect the individuals and the community.
What about you, what was the best new book you've read in 2009?