The Best of Books 2009

These books are listed in alphabetical order by title. This is not an order of preference. They may be the paperback version or a reprint: if they were published in 2009, and we read them and loved them, they’re here.

This feature was compiled, edited and produced by Chris Barsanti, Rodger Jacobs, Nikki Tranter and Karen Zarker, with contributions from many PopMatters staff throughout the magazine.


If the 24 works of fiction contained in this annual list are examined for their reflection of the modern and postmodern human and social realm, the face in the mirror is one that is perplexed and intrigued by the spiritual and moral failings of mankind, from the very first serious lapse of judgment at the Garden of Eden (as illustrated by the father of underground comics) to all manner of ill and unforgivable sins in between, including the 1989 massacre at China’s Tianenmen Square student uprising (Beijing Coma), a most regrettable chapter in human history. READ MORE

Rodger Jacobs


It’s a fool’s errand, this sort of task, summing up a year’s worth of creative output, but nevertheless, we try. In a time when we’re being told that the printed book could well enter the dumpster of obsolescence – right between a stack of vinyl LPs and a few reams of carbon paper – it seemed that bookstores in 2009 were as full of fat new titles as they have ever been. Certainly there were differences, what with the armies of zombie and vampire cross-genre teen-friendly mashups now crowding the front-store table displays, but in some ways it was same as it ever was, particularly in non-fiction. READ MORE

Chris Barsanti