Monday, December 14, 2009

Just the Bookstore's Top Ten Staff Picks for 2009

Our Top Shared Staff Picks for 2009:

As our loyal customers know, these books have been front and center on our Staff Pick Shelf at The Bookstore ever since their release. The staff doesn't always agree, but on these four picks we do. Chances are if you've been to the store you've heard at least one of us sing the praises of these books.

To celebrate the New Year we've put together a list of our Top Ten Staff Picks for 2009, and starting in January, we'll be asking our customers to vote for their top ten as well. And then, because we're just a little wacked out on lists, we thought we'd take a customer poll on The Bookstore's Book of The Decade. Details will be in our January newsletter.

You might notice we didn't limit ourselves to just 10. Whether it's indecision or a common rebellious streak, we each have at least 11. You might also notice how much our lists overlap. Part of this is because of the way we share our favorite reads (passing from hand to hand: "You HAVE to read this!") Another reason? They're just great reads - stop in with your Christmas gift certificates and pick some up!

Margie (
1. Little Bee/Chris Cleave
2. The Gate at The Stairs/Lorrie Moore
3. Let the Great World Spin/Colum McCann
4. Homer & Langley/E. L. Doctorow
5. Wolf Hall/Hilary Mantel
6. The Anthologist/Nicholson Baker
7. A Short History of Women/Kate Walbert
8. 31 Hours/Masha Hamilton
9. Delicate Edible Birds/Lauren Groff
10. Generosity/Richard Powers
11. Manhood for Amateurs/Michael Chabon
(Can I just keep going? How can I possibly say that one book is #10 but another isn't? How can you make a finite list out of something as magical as a good read? I also loved Family Album/Penelope Lively, Home/Marilynne Robinson, Zeitoun/Dave Eggers, Last Night in Montreal/Emily St. John Mandel, Love and Obstacles/Aleksandar Hemon, Strength in What Remains/Tracy Kidder, and about 90% of what Sue's putting on her list.)

Sue (
1. Little Bee/Chris Cleve
2. The Gate at the Stairs/Lorrie Moore
3. Let the Great World Spin/Colum McCann
4. A Short History of Women/Kate Walbert
5. Last Night in Twisted River/John Irving
6. The Wilderness/Samantha Harvey
7. Waiting for Columbus/Thomas Trofimuk
8. 31 Hours/Masha Hamilton
9. The Song is You/Arthur Philips
10. The Believers/Zoe Heller
11. Delicate Edible Birds/Lauren Groff
Tied: The Housekeeper and the Professor/Yoko Agawa

Jenny (despite our efforts, Jenny's a Twitter hold-out)
1. Little Bee/Chris Cleave
2. Labor Day/Joyce Maynard
3. Under the Dome/Stephen King
4. The Crying Tree/Naseem Rakha
5. 31 Hours/Masha Hamilton
6. The Gate at the Stairs/Lorrie Moore
7. Delicate Edible Birds/Lauren Groff
8. Under This Unbroken Sky/Shandi Mitchell
9. Strength in What Remains/Tracy Kidder
10. That Old Cape Magic/Richard Russo
11. Say You're One of Them/Ukem Akpan

And to all you naysayers who don't like lists, or who can't believe what idiots we are to have missed your favorite book (fill in the blank), please leave a comment. And stay tuned for the poll results in January, when our customers will get the last word. As they always do!


  1. Wonderful lists, all of them!
    Oh, and for Jenny: Tweet, Jenny, Tweet! Your staff picks are too great not to share with the Twitterverse!

  2. Margie, Jenny and Sue,
    BEFORE I consulted your list, I had selected LITTLE BEE for my book group this month. Imagine my delight to learn that 3 admired literary opinions concur!


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