With the holidays now arrived, so ends our Year in Reading series. We at The Millions would like to thank all of those who contributed to the series as well as all the helpful folks who assisted us in putting together such a great group of participants.
Though we are undoubtedly biased, we think this series, in its simple celebration of books and reading, strikes just the right combination of joyous and thoughtful and is thus a fitting year-end valedictory.
This year, we found coincidental consensus in Jonathan Lethem and Rick Moody’s praise of Padgett Powell. Likewise, both Nick Flynn and Cristina Henríquez endorsed Eula Biss. And everyone loved Stoner.
But the considerations, reflections, and recommendations weren’t limited to recently published books, we also saw our contributors rediscovering (or discovering for the first time) weighty names like Charles Dickens, Lord Byron, and Saul Bellow.
Perhaps the month’s greatest treat was the variation on offer, from the poingent squib offered by Diane Williams to Stephen Dodson’s generous recounting. Meanwhile, the eclecticism of Jesse Ball and David Shields was like a look down the rabbit hole into ever unfurling worlds of more and more and more books.
If you enjoyed reading our series as much as we enjoyed putting it together (and indeed if you’ve enjoyed The Millions all year), we ask that you support the site (there are five cheap, free, and easy ways to do so on our Support page) and help us prove that smart cultural coverage is viable online.
And as we enjoy the last few days of 2009, we invite all of you to take part in A Year in Reading by finishing this sentence in the comments or on your own blog: “The best book I read all year was…”