PW gets ahead of the pack by choosing its best books of 2009 before Halloween. I bet they put up Christmas decorations next week, too.
The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, Richard Holmes
Await Your Reply, Dan Chaon
Big Machine, Victor LaValle
Cheever: A Life, Blake Bailey
A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon, Neil Sheehan
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, Daniel Mueenuddin
Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, Geoff Dyer
Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew B. Crawford
Stitches, David Small
I can't help but notice there isn't one female name on there. Really, PW? No women wrote great books in 2009? Not Margaret Atwood, not A.S. Byatt? Hmmmm. Makes me skeptical.
In a press release, PW halfheartedly tackles this question. “We wanted to pick the best 10 and we came ready to mix it up, and although we were surprised that, when the dust settled, it wasn’t the most politically correct list—there are no women authors, for example—the balance of our top 100 reflects a remarkable diversity,” says Louisa Ermelino, reviews director. PW's full list comes out Nov. 2In any case, you can see two of these authors at Miami Book Fair International: Dan Chaon and David Small will both appear.