Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 5 fiction books I read this year

These books didn't necessarily come out in 2009, but I read them this year (not necessarily for the first time).

1. The Rum Diary - Hunter S. Thompson

One of my all-time favorite books and the only pure fiction work by Thompson. Almost a perfect novel in my opinion. Entertaining, exciting and engrossing. I can usually read it in one or two sittings at this point.

2. The Carpet Makers - Andreas Eschbach

Someone needs to translate more of this man's work! Eschbach is a German sci-fi writer who has won numerous awards in Europe, but thus far, only one book has been translated to English. My wife bought this book for me last Christmas and I got around to reading it again this year. I'm so impressed with the pacing and scope of this book. One part Sci-fi, one part perplexing mystery.

3. Tortilla Flat - John Steinbeck

Tortilla Flat blew me away. Steinbeck describes it as his version of a "Knights of the Round Table" story. Great storytelling as hilarious escapades come one after another over an underlying sadness.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson's posthumous books are great examples of slow burning mystery. Both books take 250 pages to build and then rush through to the end. Reading them is like riding a roller coaster, sometimes the best part is the anticipation leading up to the climax.

5. Under the Dome - Stephen King

I'm not ashamed to like Stephen King. It and The Stand were fantastic, and Under the Dome belongs right there with them. The ending left something to be desired, but the examination of neo-conservative thought and politics is worth reading especially now.

Runners Up:

Fool - Christopher Moore
Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk
When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead

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