Books I Read in 2009

During the year I was asked several times about my choice of reading.material.  Not all these questioners  were hostile, as in “The hell do you read all day that makes you so goddam misinformed about EVERYthing?” — some were genuinely  curious.


I keep a list of books I’ve read, as well as those I haven’t got to yet, and an “eyeout” list for books and authors I want to check out.   I’m always reading something; at no time in the course of the year could I truthfully answer “Nothing” to the question “What are you reading now?”   I almost always know before I finish the one I’m reading what I’ll pick up next.

This year I finished 44 books, which is ‘way down from the 75 – 80 I used to go through before I started working longer hours, and had stronger eyes.  Not to mention all the time wasted on blogging.

Most of the books I read this year were quite good, but as always, some were rather a waste of paper and time.  That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Tucker Max’s semi-pornographic memoir, but it is to deny its status as literature.

Besides, any year that I read something from both David Foster Wallace and John Irving is a good one, at least for reading.


Ray Davies

Magnus Mills

Garth Stein

Jonathan Coe

Brock Clarke

Pete Dexter



Explorers of the New Century

How Evan Broke His Head….

The Winshaw Legacy

Arsonist’s Guide … New England



Valerie Martin

Oakley Hall

Martin Amis

Chuck Palahniuk


Italian Fever

The War in Quotes

Ambrose Bierce …Trey of Pearls

The War Against Cliche



Bruce Duffy

Charles Bukowski


The World as I Found It

Pleasures of the Damned


Thomas Berger

Steven Sherrill



Visits from the Drowned Girl


Peter Carey

Dave Walter (ed)



Speaking Ill of the Dead


David Foster Wallace

Steve Lopez

Frederick Reus

Robert Olen Butler

Jonathan Coe


Consider the Lobster

The Soloist

The Wasties


The Closed Circle


Jay McInerney

Dan Fante

James Hamilton-Paterson

Jim Lewis

Robert Sproat


The Good Life

Kissed by a Fat Waitress

Coooking with Fernet Branca


Stunning the Punters


Irvin Yalom

Chuck Palahniuk

Charles Bukowski

Nick Hornby


The Schopenhauer Cure


Portions…..Wine Stained Notebook



Chuck Rosenthal

Chuck Rosenthal

Chuck Rosenthal

Tucker Max


Loop’s Progress

Experiments in Life and Deaf

Loop‘s End

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell


Oakley Hall

Toni Morrison

Ben Hamper


Ambrose Bierce & the Ace of Shoots

A Mercy



James Hamilton-Paterson

Dan Fante

Geoffrey Wolff

William Boyd

Robert Olen Butler

John Irving


Amazing Disgrace

Chump Change

The Age of Consent


On Distant Ground

Last Night in Twisted River


Elio Vittorini

Steven Sherrill

Frederick Busch

Tom Robbins


In Sicily

The Locktender’s House

Closing Arguments

Wild Ducks Flying Backwards

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6 Responses to Books I Read in 2009

  1. Sarah Palin says:

    Books. Readin. What a complete waste of time and energy. Betcha your a liberal.

  2. That’s a great list. What’s planned for the New Year?

    • squathole says:

      More of the same — mostly contemporary British and American fiction. My tendency is to read an author’s entire oeuvre, and I still have volumes by Busch, Butler, Fante, Hamilton-Paterson, and Amis to read. But as I say, I’m always on the lookout. A few I’ve never tried: Rebecca Barry, J. Robert Lennon, Brenda Peterson, Daniel Ray Pollock, Jess Walter. And Bukowski, dead 10 years now, still publishes from the grave, even after the “definitive collection” came out stating that the supply had finally been exhausted.

      I did some freelance reviewing for the Sun/Sentinel in 1992-94, when it was a only a lame newspaper instead of the farcical fish-wrap it’s become. Got paid about $35 each — wow! — but I got to keep the books!

  3. Ghost of J.Edgar Hoover says:

    We have your list and are carefully combing through it.

  4. Mr Magoo says:

    I’d like to read more . . .

  5. Ms South Carolina says:

    so would I . . . I wish all of the world such as Asia and South Africa can read and then we can all live together such as America… uhm and such . . .

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