Greville St Bookstore


Rata’s top 10 of 2009!
January 3, 2010, 6:22 am
Filed under: Literature

I seriously wonder whether my ‘star’ system is actually working when I think of some of the books I’ve had to leave off this list because they only scored a 3 instead of 3 and 1/2! It really does depend on “where your mind is at” at the time… That said, Anne Michaels was the only one to score 4 and 1/2 out of a list of extraordinary novels, several of which I could say I adored, not least of which is Peter Carey’s Parrot and Oliver in America. The other odd thing you may not notice is the 50/50 breakdown in the top 10 between male and female authors. Purely coincidental I do assure you! And, how the majority of male authors are Australian, but none of the females… Does any of this mean anything? Probably not.

Rata’s Top 10 in not too particular an order:


The Winter Vault
by Anne Michaels
pb $32.99

Oh to inhabit a world of such acute memory, beauty and erudition!


Parrot and Olivier in America
by Peter Carey
hb $49.95

Two great characters; two great voices; fabulous setting; brilliant!


Ransom
by David Malouf
hb $29.95

Superb evocation of the strictures men impose on themselves and what happens when the masks are lifted.


Olive Kitteridge
by Elizabeth Strout
pb $22.99

A Pulitzer Prize winning portrayal of an irascible ageing woman and her small-town life. We all cried buckets at the end!


The Lost Life
by Steven Carroll
pb $29.99

Rhythmic and poetic portrayal of youth, first love, lost opportunities, memory, peace and moving on.


The Lacuna
by Barbara Kingsolver
pb $35

A moving and spirited story about living a life: passion, revolution and righteous action!


The Song Is You
by Arthur Phillips
pb $32.95

Beautiful meditation on the conjunction between grieving and music: the crazy things we do to cope.


The Tricking of Freya
by Christina Sunley
pb $32.99

The only debut novel in this list provides an awesome combination of Icelandic folklore, Canadian history and the tragedy of families secrets.


Blood’s A Rover
by James Ellroy
pb $32.95

Brilliant and tragic indictment of both right-wing and left-wing violence and all the damaged crusaders. A wild wild ride!


American Wife
by Curtis Sittenfeld
pb $24.95

An insight into the workings of a liberal conscience, the American political system and the reasons a woman might choose a man who is so clearly her intellectual inferior.

PS Writing up this list I’ve just realised how romantic all these novels are, even the Ellroy(!), and how nostalgic, for moments and people lost and for opportunities missed. Makes you wonder what was going on with me last year… LOL Rata x

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Doh! Not read a one of them! But will, soon, I promise.
For interest’s sake, what were the books with 3.5 stars that didn’t quite get there? And are there any nil-point’s that I should avoid? D x

Comment by Dean Cass

This is truly inspiring. Barbara Kingsolver will be presenting writers’ workshops at the San Miguel Writers Conference in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico February 19-23 2010. I just signed up. It looks like a rare opportunity to meet her. Are you going?

Comment by brook

Gosh, that sounds fantastic! I would LOVE to be in San Miguel in February. Sadly I live in Melbourne, Australia, and travel is out of the question at the moment. But do give Barbara my greetings and thanks for her beautiful and moving work.

Comment by grevillestbookstore




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