Ben’s Top Ten Books of 2009

This year I read twenty books that earned my coveted 5-star rating. Here, in no particular order, are?the ten I feel were the best of those twenty.

1. In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and The Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build A Perfect Language: Arika Okrent [review]

2. Neither Wolf Nor Dog: Kent Nerburn [review]

3. What Does Justice Look Like?: The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland: Waziyatawin [review]

4. The First and Last Freedom: Jiddu Krishnamurti [review]

5. The Partly Cloudy Patriot: Sarah Vowell [review]

6. Take the Cannoli: Stories from the New World: Sarah Vowell [review]

7. The Power of Myth: Joseph Campbell [review]

8. One River, Many Wells: Matthew Fox [review]

9. The Gargoyle: Andrew Davidson [review]

10. Buddhism Plain and Simple: Steve Hagen [review]

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  1. LeAnn Suchy 30.Dec.09 at 10:12 am

    That’s two of you now saying that The Gargoyle was in your top favs of the year. I stopped reading The Gargoyle. The car accident and description of his burnt flesh was amazing, and then it started to go down this weird path for me that I didn’t want it to go so I stopped reading. Maybe I should start it over again? Hmmm…

  2. Ben Kimball 30.Dec.09 at 12:36 pm

    @LeAnn Suchy
    The accident and burnt flesh parts were so graphic that I wanted to stop reading. It was the spiritual themes that kept me reading.

  3. christa 30.Dec.09 at 4:20 pm

    The accident and the burnt flesh are exactly what I look for in a novel. It was so amazing that my legs went numb reading it.

  4. LeAnn Suchy 30.Dec.09 at 4:34 pm

    Yes, the descriptions of burnt flesh were written so well I could feel it and it gave me chills. And then I stopped reading when the woman came and it started turning into a weird, spiritual romance of sorts

    Since you and I liked the burnt flesh part, should I go back and keep reading or does it really turn into a cross-generational romance?

  5. Jodi Chromey 30.Dec.09 at 9:19 pm

    @LeAnn Suchy
    The Gargoyle was on my Top 10 list last year. I loved it. It is a cross-generational romance but the imagery and the storytelling are so magical and masterful that I didn’t even care that it was a romance novel wrapped in a clever concept (much like The Time Traveler’s Wife.

  6. Christa 01.Jan.10 at 9:54 pm

    @LeAnn Suchy If someone were to describe The Gargoyle to me, I’d never have read it. I hate period pieces, and this one definitely pulls some Quantum Leaps. But truly, it knocked my socks off.


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