It’s done! After counting the votes from 140 different authoritative sources, the Best of 2009 Aggregated Megalist is complete, and it’s bigger and better than ever. This is THE final word on the best books published last year.
- The full Megalist, which shows every source and every vote in a spreadsheet that you can sort as you need.
The final list includes nearly 1700 works published in the United States in 2009:
- 221 works of general fiction
- 210 mysteries and thrillers
- 282 works of speculative fiction
- 86 works of historical fiction
- 98 romances
- 130 young adult novels
- 66 books of poetry
- 88 graphic works
- 434 works of narrative nonfiction
- 253 biographies and memoirs
- 205 how-to, cookbooks, and art books
My goal in compiling the Megalist is not to be reductive. I hope you’ll look through the big spreadsheet for all those gems that somebody out there loved—and that might be the best book of the year for you too. I hope you’ll think about the many reasons—quality, politics, publicity and bias for certain kinds of works over others—that certain works get mentioned again and again while others are lucky to be mentioned once. I hope you’ll continue to think about your own favorite books of the year, whether they received one vote or dozens. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the big, beautiful, diverse collection of books that gets published in any given year.
That said, I can’t help but point out a few of the big winners. The runaway overall winner was Hilary Mantel’s Tudor historical fiction Wolf Hall. It racked up 64 votes as a best book of the year, 24 more than the nearest competitor, Lorrie Moore’s novel A Gate at the Stairs, which received 40 votes.
The top nonfiction work was Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, the tale of one Syrian immigrant’s experience of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. It beat three other works by one slim vote: The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes, Lit: A Memoir by Mary Karr, and Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder.
That’s just six books out of almost 1700. Download the lists above so you can explore further. I’ll be back tomorrow with one last post on this topic: a list of all of the books that received more than ten votes with links to our catalog.