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Friday, January 8, 2010

Joe Davich's favorite books of 2009

We asked our favorite Atlanta writers and readers to tell us their favorite books of 2009. Joe Davich is an assistant at the Georgia Center for the Book, where he helps coordinate author readings, book signings, and the Decatur Book Festival.

Joe’s Nine for ‘09

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This was the most amazing debut of 2009…it was lightning in a bottle: A sweet, southern belle of an Author, a great plot, writing so vivid that the pictures linger in your mind long after you have finished the book, and characters so real that you cry and cheer for these women.

2. Lark & Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips. Nominated for the National Book Award, Lark & Termite is a beautiful story about a family in small town West Virginia. Phillips is simply one of our best storytellers.

3. Pure by Terra McVoy. A stunning debut in Young Adult Fiction that proves great writing beats vampires and werewolves any day of the week. McVoy is brilliant and confident in her writing of the young character. Each character has its’ own voice and personality from word one until the final page.

4. The Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood by Maria Tatar. A wonderful history of the bedtime story from the oral tradition to the iPod. A great book for teachers, librarians, parents and those who are still enchanted by the stories of childhood!

5. Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. Heller. A fascinating biography of the controversial author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Heller’s book was so engrossing, it forced me to re-read The Fountainhead!

6. Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris. Sexy and Fun Vampire lit at its’ best! No glistening vamps, no maudlin high school longing, just pure, fun, sexy vamps tearing up Bon Temps, Louisiana. Vampire Bill and Erik have Edward and Jacob beat fangs down!

7. Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories by Kevin Wilson. A wonderful collection of stories from a gifted Southern writer.

8. Life is a Verb by Patti Digh. One of the most gifted speakers I have heard. This is not a self-help book, but a soul-help book. Patti will mesmerize with her stories and observations about life. This was a gem of a book to discover, and a wonderful author to meet. Thank You, Ryan!

9. 14 Cows for America by Carmen Deedy, illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez. These two talented Georgians joined forces to tell the tug-at-your-heart-strings tale of Maasai villagers who gave the gift of 14 cows to the widows of the 9-11 tragedy. Gonzalez’ art is luminous and brings to life the simple, but powerful story Deedy tells. She may have been Georgia’s favorite storyteller, but 14 cows, makes her America’s.

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