Some suggest this was caused by the Global Financial Crisis which sent us scurrying off to the safety of our beds and the reliability of a good book.
Others suggest that in the face of our present technology overload – the three remotes needed to turn on a TV, the home computer with the brain the size of a universe which can barely contain its contempt as you persist in using it only for email and net surfing, something it can do in sleep mode, cars that talk, the phone that has more friends than you do – in the face of such impertinent technologies, picking up a low-tech paperback novel is a silent act of rebellion and self-empowerment.
Of course, authors will tell us that the boom is due to the brilliance of their prose which lit up an otherwise gloomy world.
I tend to agree with them.
It was a good year for readers – writers were in good form.
Booktopia has put together The Best of 2009 as voted by Australian consumers.
To see this list of the TOP 100 Books of 2009 – Click here!
Some of my favourites made the list, others didn’t…
Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize Winning Wolf Hall would have to be my Top Pick for the year.
‘From one of our finest living writers, Wolf Hall that very rare thing: a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.’
But there was so much good fiction in 2009…
There was the return to form for one of America’s most popular authors, Stephen King, with his epic Under the Dome, which gained an old hand a legion of new fans.
Another old hand, Michael Connelly, released the fifteenth Harry Bosch novel – Nine Dragons:
‘Bosch drops everything to journey across the Pacific to Hong Kong to find his daughter. Could her disappearance and the case be connected? With the stakes of the investigation so high and so personal, Bosch is up against the clock in a new city, where nothing is at it seems.’
‘And the verdict?’ asks Booktopia’s Sci-fi/Fantasy expert Richard Bilkey, ‘Well, the combination of Sanderson and Jordan’s detailed notes has turned out to be an extremely good one. More loose threads have been tied up and the pace has definitely quickened now that we’ve hit the final straight and the end is in sight. Sanderson has a great feel for the characters and it feels very much like he has stuck closely to the script provided by Jordan. If he has struck out on his own in some areas, he has done so very convincingly and (unlike some previous Wheel of Time volumes) every page seems essential to the story.’
Australian writers did well this year, too.
As the Harry Potter generation grows up their enormous reading habit moves with them. The young adult market was the big mover in 2009.
More authors were needed to quench this unhealthy thirst – and they came in force…
Richelle Mead with Blood Promise volume four of her Vampire Academy Series, Lauren Kate’s Fallen, Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush Hush and more from Charlaine Harris’ quirky, gorgeous Sookie Stackhouse with the release of Dead and Gone.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection.