Sunday, January 03, 2010

2009 Literary wrap-up

No big pseudo-suspenseful countdown here. I'll just tell you right off the bat the best book I read in 2009 was "The Great Gatsby" by Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. But I may have to disqualify it -- because I've already read it several times, and technically I didn't read it this year; I had the audio-book read to me.
Other than that, 2009 held a lot of literary disappointments for me. Several books that I had been anxiously anticipating let me down, among them, "B is For Beer" and "Villa Incognita" by Tom Robbins, "Mr. Muo's Traveling Couch" by Dai Silje, "My Tango With Barbara Strozzi" by Russell Hoban and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home"by Joss Whedon. (That last one probably my fault, as I didn't do my homework.) It should also be noted that even though Tom Robbins struck out twice, I also read his "Skinny Legs and All" and if we disqualify Gatsby, that was probably the best book I read in 2009.
One author who didn't let me down was Nick Hornby. I loved "Slam" and "Juliet Naked."
I read three biographies this year. Craig Ferguson's was the best, Micky Dolenz's was the worst.
I discovered a couple of new authors that shot up to my list of favorites -- Jonathan Tropper and Paul Quarrington. Two graphic novel series that I was following -- "Astonishing X-Men" and "She-Hulk" -- either came to an end or got new creative teams that I have no interest in following, leaving the only series I currently follow "Fables" and its spin-off "Jack of Fables."
I also did an experiment in rereading, going back to "Old Glory and the Real-Time Freaks" for the first time in decades, and it was brought home to me once again that I have completely lost communication with my sixteen-year-old self, as I do not see the appeal of this book at all, even though I used to love it.

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