best reads of 2009


i’ve had a deep love of books since i was a kid. not only the story telling aspect of books but the way some of life’s biggest questions seemed to be answered by a single story, sometimes a single sentence. when i was in college in the early eighties i had no idea what i wanted to do, only that i wished to god it could be something creative (that came much later). i think i knew my talents in art or music were pretty limited so i signed on to study english without much regret. i can’t say that degree opened a single door but those years of reading, writing and analysis were well spent. if one of my kids want to study english, or better, art or music i will be behind them 100%. although i love sewing and designing clothes i don’t actually follow fashion much. i spend what little free time i have these days reading as usual, well aware that at 45 i don’t have as much time as i wished to read everything i’d like to digest in one liftetime.

that said, i wanted share a few writers i really loved this year. a few are well published and others should be.

david sedaris’ “when you are engulfed in flames” is a compilation of short stories. he is incredibly funny and dark, telling stories about his family and his partner hugh. he’s lived in nyc as well as a crumbling house they bought in normandie. any of his books are great but i think i love this latest the best.

one of my favorite writers is jonathan lethem. he has a new book which i haven’t picked up yet but just previous to it came, “you don’t love me yet”. it’s just bizarre and wonderful, mostly about love and that crazy passion you feel for music and boys in your 20′s. the story takes place in the 80′s and if that was “your time” you’ll dig it even more. all of his books are brilliant, some very odd but always compelling and passionate. and he is super cute that jonathan. i totally regret not going to his book signing a few years ago!

flux capacitator is a blog i’ve been reading for only a few months now but maggie is in short my absolute favorite poet. i saw she’d left a comment in another blog i read daily, lucy and i and clicked on it only because i thought she was so pretty! turns out she’s a totally captivating writer (and mother of 3). i think she’s working on a novel (or two) but seems most prolific on her blog. go there and you’ll be spellbound. i was as i read many of her old entries and couldn’t get any work done at modaspia for a few days. she’s amazing. i’m so glad she’s in this world.

sweet juniper
was another important discovery, again thanks to a daily visit to lucy and i. dutch, like me is an ex-pat of san francisco having ditched it for his native detroit. he was a lawyer, like his wife, but quit to stay home with their daughter juniper. i love SF but there is a lot to whine about and if you’ve spent your savings trying to live their with kids you’ll understand. dutch and his family now live in a mies vander rohe townhouse in a sketchy detroit neighborhood. i find him completely fascinating and i know this sounds girly but i’m kind of in love with him. he’s just funny, adventurous, insightful and it all translates beautifully through his writing and photos.

there are my four favorite reads from 2009 and i’m in love with each of them!


Leave a Comment