The Best Books of 2009 and the Decade

It is that time of the year when the book lists come out. The best in non fiction, the best in fiction and more….

designboom has a list of the top book cover designs of 2009.

The Afterword shares a list compiled by Indigo Books & Music Inc.

Ami McKay’s The Birth House and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road were among the top 11 works in fiction; Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father were included in the 12 best biographies; Margaret Atwood’s Payback and John Grogan’s Marley and Me were among Indigo’s top 33 non-fiction works; while Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes by and Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner were named in the “booklovers’ top 10 ‘life-changing’ books.”

What books do publishers, agents and translators consider as the decade’s best unread books?

Black Juice by Margo Lanagan, published in 2006: Yes, it was a collection of short stories and yes, the industry wisdom is that it’s hellishly difficult to sell short story collections but what a collection this was. It was like having a new Angela Carter on your list. Margo is an award-winning author of fantasy stories of haunting power and beauty which seemed to speak to genre fan and non-genre fan alike courtesy of strikingly beautiful prose and an unflinching eye for truth. Black Juice contained Singing My Sister Down. When this story was circulated in-house it had an unprecedented impact – countless people admitted to being brought to tears by it. We sent that story out to the trade and the response was the same. We had a stunning cover for the book, we published it as a hardback for the price of the paperback, the trade supported us to the hilt, we got a decent number out, got rave reviews … and 60% of them came back. Crushed. And utterly mystified.

The Guardian also has a list of the best books of 2009.

Children’s fiction had a good year. The second part of Patrick Ness’s trilogy, which he began with the award-winning The Knife of Never Letting Go, continued strongly with The Ask and The Answer.

Other lists you can check out are…

The 10 Best Books of 2009 – The New York Times

Best Books of 2009 – Publishers Weekly

Washington Post critics pick their favorite novels, biographies, mysteries, memoirs and more.

Publishers Weekly picks out the best children’s books of 2009.

npr has many many many lists to choose from – best airplane reads, best books for a book club, best debut fiction, best foreign fiction, the best books to share with your friends, etc. The lists can be accessed here.

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