Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Tuesday, March 5

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Andrew Huff / December 9, 2009 11:16 AM

You have two possible answers for this one: Best book published in 2009, or best book you read in 2009.

Lisa Katzenberger / December 9, 2009 11:22 AM

Janet Burroway's Bridge of Sand. I read it in very early 2009, although it might have been released in 2008. Quiet and moving and lyrical.

melissa / December 9, 2009 11:23 AM

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Laura / December 9, 2009 11:36 AM

Best book read in 2009: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Best book published (and read) in 2009: Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing by Lydia Peele

joshua / December 9, 2009 12:05 PM

I really enjoyed Maile Meloy's book of short stories: "Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It."

I also liked Nicole Krauss' "Man Walks Into a Room." Unusual premise and a well-told story.

Veronica / December 9, 2009 12:41 PM

I don't read many books the year that they're published and with school I don't get to do much pleasure reading, so I'd have to say my favorite read of the year was a re-read: Pride & Prejudice. I read it several years ago but managed to remember nothing about it. The second reading was highly enjoyable. I could say the same for The Corrections, our current Book Club read. I read that years ago and remembered nothing except that I really liked it. After my recent second reading I can affirm that, holy cow, that book is amazing.

printdude / December 9, 2009 1:46 PM

Super Freakonomics.

CVAL / December 9, 2009 4:22 PM

Walter Mosley's The Long Fall . A fabulous read for Mosley's newest detective: Leonid McGill

Leelah / December 9, 2009 6:32 PM

Kurt Vonnegut's "Look at the Birdie"

mike / December 9, 2009 8:12 PM

2666 by Roberto Bolano.

The best book I have ever read.

BG / December 9, 2009 9:15 PM

I really enjoyed a book of photographs called Light: On the South Side by Michael Abramson. Give me a minute to think of my favorite texty book.

mary / December 10, 2009 6:47 AM

'story of edgar sawtelle' perhaps.

Greg / December 10, 2009 8:41 AM

Best read: Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome.

Donny B / December 10, 2009 9:40 AM

Best book I read published in 2009? Probably "This is Where I Leave You" by Jonathan Tropper (it does get repetitive in the last fourth of the book, but overall really good).

Best book I read in 2009? Probably "This Book Will Save Your Life" by A.M. Homes.

Spook / December 10, 2009 11:47 AM

The best book I read in 2009?

Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow


At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America by Philip Dray

spook / December 10, 2009 11:48 AM

In justice I could not just mention one!

jz / December 10, 2009 3:11 PM

I really enjoyed The Snakehead. There's nothing quite like reading a book about human smuggling while your family argues all around you during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Denise / December 10, 2009 4:22 PM

Best read- Three Cups of Tea

SR / December 11, 2009 10:35 AM

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers was great (& published this year)

Jen / December 11, 2009 10:41 AM

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. May have been published i 08, but read this fall and loved it.

kvg / December 11, 2009 11:15 AM

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. Nothing else came close for stark beauty, great writing and gut-searing emotion. Would be in my top 10 of the decade, too.

Jeremy Kitchen / December 11, 2009 12:47 PM



mmmmarshall / December 13, 2009 6:34 AM

I'm reading it now: "Pops", a biography of Louis Armstrong, by Terry Teachout. It's got me listening to and once again appreciating Armstrong's early recordings.

Sara Paretsky / December 15, 2009 10:45 PM

I loved The Gate at the Stairs, Lorrie Moore's new novel; Homecoming by Robinson, and, although it was a 2008 book, I just re-read Margot Livesey's House on Fortune Street--such luminous writing, such an extraordinary weaving of story

Milosz / December 22, 2009 7:49 PM

The best new books I read this year all seemed to be in translation. I'd call it a toss up between Merce Rodoreda's "Death in Spring" -- in Catalan it's "La Mort i la primavera" -- finally translated into English this past year by Open Letter Press, Marian Schwartz' new translation of Mikhail Bulgakov's "White Guard," S.Y. Agnon's "To This Day," Vasily Grossman's "Everything Flows," and for something on the lighter side, Amelie Nothumb's charming "Tokyo Fiancee."

Also of note, after being somewhat underwhelmed by Phillip Roth's "Exit Ghost" I re-read "The Ghostwriter" for the first time in almost 20 years and was reminded how he can be a totally brilliant and scathing storyteller.

Looking forward to reading Bolano's "2666," enormously enjoyed both his "Savage Detectives" and "Distant Star" this past year.

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15