BEST BOOKS OF 2009


Guerrilla Girls On Tour breaks from our policy to not comment on living artists in light of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2009 Top Ten List that contained ZERO books by women and an almost total absence of books by people of color. HERE, for the first time, is GUERRILLA GIRLS ON TOUR’s BEST BOOKS OF 2009. Except for plays and some non-fiction entries, this list is courtesy of the WILLA list compiled by women working together to chronicle Great Books by women 2009. If you have a book to add or to view the complete WILLA list go to http://willalist.wikia.com/wiki/The_WILLA_List_Wiki. Thanks to all who wrote to us re the great work WILLA has done in capturing and maintaining this vital list. Drum roll please….

PLAYS
Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo
Blasted by Sarah Kane
God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza
The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson
Ruined by Lynn Nottage
Or by Liz Duffy
This by Melissa James Gibson
Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker
Killers and Other Family by Lucy Thurber
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Rebeccca Gilman
In the Next Room the Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl
Let me Down Easy by Anna Deavere Smith
After Miss Julie by Sienna Miller
The Wonder by Susanna Centlivre
A Lifetime Burning by Cusi Cram
The Night Watcher by Charlayne Woodard
Happy Now by Lucinda Coxon
FICTION
Megan Abbott, Bury Me Deep
Marguerite Abouet, Aya: The Secrets Come Out (Graphic Novel)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck
Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood
Margo Berdeshevsky, Beautiful Soon Enough
A.S. Byatt, The Children’s Book
Amina Cain, I Go To Some Hollow
Chelsea Cain, Evil At Heart
Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage
Mary Caponegro, All Fall Down
Emily Chenoweth, Hello Goodbye
Farai Chideya, Kiss the Sky
Inger Christensen, Azorno
Jennine Capó Crucet, How to Leave Hialeah
Randy Sue Coburn, A Better View of Paradise
Lydia Davis, The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
Rachel DeWoskin, Repeat After Me
Elissa Elliot, Eve: A Novel of the First Woman
Erdrich, Louise, The Red Convertible
Janet Evanovich, Finger Lickin’ Fifteen
Gillian Flynn, Dark Places
Ru Freeman, A Disobedient Girl
Amanda C. Gable, The Confederate General Rides North
Diana Gabaldon, An Echo in the Bone
Mary Gaitskill, Don’t Cry
Mavis Gallant, The Cost of Living: New and Uncollected Stories
Meg Gardiner, The Memory Collector
Kate George, Moonlighting in Vermont
Amelia Gray, AM/PM
Lauren Groff, Delicate Edible Birds: And Other Stories
Tina May Hall, All the Day’s Sad Stories
Masha Hamilton, 31 Hours
Samantha Harvey, The Wilderness
Elina Hirvonen, When I Forgot
Joanna Howard, On the Winding Stair
Michelle Huneven, Blame
Tania James, The Atlas of Unknowns
Holly Goddard Jones, Girl Trouble
Toni Jordan, Addition
Stephanie Kallos, Sing Them Home
Laura Kasischke, In a Perfect World
Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna
Deidre Knight, Butterfly Tattoo
Laila Lalami, Secret Son
Dylan Landis, Normal People Don’t Live Like This
Glenda Larke, The Last Stormlord
Stacey Levine, The Girl With Brown Fur: Tales and Stories
Laura Lippman, Life Sentences
Sophie Littlefield, A BAD DAY FOR SORRY
Sheila Lowe, Dead Write
Li Yiyun, The Vagrants
Lisa Lutz, Revenge of the Spellmans
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
Juliet Marillier, Heart’s Blood
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
Jill McCorkle, Going Away Shoes
Jen Cullerton Johnson, Seeds of Change
Maile Meloy, Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It
Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault
Marie Mutsuki, Mockett Picking Bones from Ash
Lorrie Moore, A Gate at the Stairs
Nami Mun, Miles From Nowhere
Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness: Stories
Antonya Nelson, Nothing Right
Bich Minh Nguyen, Short Girls
Audrey Niffenegger, Her Fearful Symmetry
Sara Paretsky, Hardball
Ann Parker, Leaden Skies
Gaile Parkin, Baking Cakes In Kigali
Victoria Patterson, Drift
Samantha Peale, The American Painter Emma Dial
Lydia Peelle, Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing: Stories
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, There Once Was a Woman Who Tried to Kill
Gin Phillips, The Well and the Mine
Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite
Naomi Pringle, Ginga’ Root Tea
Amy Reed, Beautiful
Sarah Rosenthal, Manhatten
Joanna Ruocco, The Mothering Coven
Preeta Samarasan, Evening is the Whole Day
Lisa See, Shanghai Girls
Nicole Seitz, A Hundred Years of Happiness
Heather Sharfeddin, Windless Summer
Brooks Sigler, Five Finger Fiction
Emily St. John Mandel, Last Night in Montreal
Kathryn Stockett, The Help
Jean Thompson, Do Not Deny Me
Laura Van den Berg, What The World Will Look Like When
Kate Walbert, A Short History of Women: A Novel
Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger
Jennifer Weiner, Best Friends Forever
Tracy Winn, Mrs. Somebody Somebody
POETRY
Carrie Olivia Adams, Intervening Absence
Kim Addonizio, Lucifer at the Starlite
Deborah Ager, Midnight Voices
Rae Armantrout, Versed
Jessica Bozek, The Bodyfeel Lexicon
Ana Bozicevic, Stars of the Night Commute
Brigitte Byrd, Song of a Living Room
Teresa Cader, A History of Hurricanes
Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Apocalyptic Swing
Kara Candito, Taste of Cherry
Andrea Cohen, Long Divison
Norma Cole, Where Shadows Will
Gillian Conoley, The Plot Genie
Rita Dove ,Sonata Mulattica
Kate Durbin, The Ravenous Audience
Robin Ekiss, The Mansion of Happiness
Sarah Gambito, Delivered
Amy Gerstler, Dearest Creature
Kate Greenstreet,The Last 4 Things
Marilyn Hacker, Names
Leslie Harrison, Displacement
Brenda Hillman, Practical Water
Janet Holmes, The ms of m y kin
Julie Kane, Jazz Funeral
Bhanu Kapil, Humanimal
Jesse Lee Kercheval, Cinema Muto
Myung Mi Kim, Penury
Amy King, Slaves to do These Things
Ish Klein, Union!
Noelle Kocot, Sunny Wednesday
Jennifer Kronovet, Awayward
Rachel Levitsky, Neighbor
Rachel Loden, Dick of the Dead
Dana Teen Lomax, Disclosure
Barbara Maloutas, The Whole Marie
Sabrina Orah Mark, Tsim Tsum
Jen McCreary, :ab ovo:
Karyna McGlynn, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl
Nicole Mauro, The Contortions
Helena Mesa, Horse Dance Underwater
Chelsey Minnis, Poemland
Mel Nichols, Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon
Hoa Nguyen, Hecate Lochia
Lisa Olstein, Lost Alphabet
Alicia Ostriker, The Book of Seventy
Gaile Parkin, Baking Cakes In Kigali
Carol Peters, Sixty Some
Kiki Petrosino, Fort Red Border
Marie Ponsot, Easy
Lisa Robertson, Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip
Sophie Robinson, a
Kim Rosenfield, re: evolution
Lee Ann Roripaugh, On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year
Lisa Samuels, Tomorrowland
Laurie Sandell, The Impostor’s Daughter (Graphic Novel)
Sarah Sarai, The Future is Happy
Sandra Simonds, Warsaw Bikini
Carmen Gimenez Smith, Odalisqued in Pieces
Pamela Sneed, KONG
Alison Stine, Ohio Violence
Terese Svoboda ,Weapons Grade
Stacy Szymaszek, Hyperglossia
Michelle Taransky, Barn Burned, Then
Eleanor Ross Taylor, Captive Voices
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Open Interval
Catherine Wagner, My New Job
Anne Waldman, Manatee/Humanity
Liz Waldner, Trust
Susan Wheeler, Assorted Poems
Dara Wier, Selected Poems
Allison Benis White, Self-Portrait with Crayon
Rebecca Wolff, The King
Karena Youtz, The Shape is Space
Rachel Zucker, Museum of Accidents
NONFICTION
Julie Abraham, Metropolitan Lovers: The Homosexuality of Cities
Diana Athill, Somewhere Towards the End
Nancy Balbirer,Take Your Shirt Off And Cry: A Memoir
Carlene Bauer, Not That Kind of Girl
Helen Benedict, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq
Eula Biss, Notes From No Man’s Land
Rebecca Brown, American Romances: Essays
Lily Burana, I Love a Man in Uniform
Ashley Butler, Dear Sound of Footstep
Gwen Cooper, Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale
Mary Cappello, Called Back: My Reply to Cancer, My Return to Life
Staceyann Chin, The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir
Jennifer Culkin, A Final Arc of Sky: A Memoir of Critical Care
Jenny Diski , The Sixties
Hope Edelman, The Possibility of Everything
Lise Eliot, Pink Brain, Blue Brain
Barbara Ehrenreich, Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive
Terry Galloway, Mean Little Deaf Queer
Michelle Goldberg, The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future
Temple Grandin, Animals Make Us Human
Debra Gwartney, Live Through This
Duchess Harris, Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Clinton
Lyanda Lynn Haupt,Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness
Jane Jeong Trenka, Fugitive Visions: An Adoptee’s Return to Korea
Diana Joseph, I’m Sorry You Feel That Way: The Astonishing but True Story
Mary Karr, Lit
Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor,Traveling with Pomegranates
Hermione Lee, Biography: A Very Short Introduction
Sara Maitland,A Book of Silence
Brenda Miller, Blessing of the Animals
Eileen Myles, The Importance of Being Iceland
Maggie Nelson, Bluets
Rebecca K. O’Connor, Lift
Lilian Pizzichini, The Blue Hour: A Life of Jean Rhys
Dawn Potter, Tracing Paradise: Two Years in Harmony with John Milton
Ruth Reichl, Not Becoming My Mother: And Other Things She Taught Me
Harriet Reisen, Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women
Robin Romm, The Mercy Papers
Rebecca Solnit, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities
Helen Thorpe, Just Like Us
Spring Ulmer, The Age of Virtual Reproduction
Andrea Tone, The Age of Anxiety: A History of America’s Turbulent Affair
Rebecca Walker, One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Polyamory
Lauren Weber, In Cheap We Trust: The story of a misunderstood American
Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti, Yes Means Yes
Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decition
Susan Strange, States and Markets
Martha Finnemore, The Purpose of Intervention
Frances FitxGerald, Fire in the Lake
Kathryn Sikkink and Margeret Keck, Activists Beyond Border
Samatha Power, A Problem from Hell
Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons
Theda Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions
Beth Simmons, Who Adjusts? Domestic Sources of Foreigh Policy
Valerie Hudson and Andrea Den Boer, Bare Branches
Kim Neilsen, The Teacher and the Student
Margeret Randall, To Change The World
Kirstin Downey, The Revolutionist
Jennifer Ring, Baseball is War

CHILDREN/YOUNG ADULT
Katie Alender, Bad Girls Don’t Die
R.J. Anderson, Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter
Pam Bachorz, Candor
Cyn Balog, Fairy Tale
Eileen Beha, Tango – The Tale of an Island Dog
Lauren Bjorkman, My Invented Life
Molly Breen, Darkwood
Sarah Rees Brennan, The Demon’s Lexicon
Leigh Brescia, One Wish
Jennifer Brown, Hate List
Ann E. Burg, All the Broken Pieces
Megan Crewe, Give up the Ghost
Kirstin Cronn-Mills, The Sky Always Hears Me (and the Hills Don’t Mind)
Sarah Cross, Dull Boy
Kate di Goldi, The 10 PM Question
Erin Dionne, Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies
Deva Fagan, Fortune’s Folly
Megan Frazer, Secrets of Truth & Beauty
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creatures
Matthea Harvey, The Little General and the Giant Snowflake
Cheryl Renee Herbsman, Breathing
Kerry Cohen Hoffman ,It’s Not You, It’s Me
Deborah Hopkinson, Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson
Mandy Hubbard, Prada & Prejudice
Jennifer Jabaley, Lipstick Apology
Stacey Jay, You Are So Undead to Me
Danielle Joseph, Shrinking Violet
Suzanne LaFleur, Love, Aubrey
Cynthea Liu, Paris Pan Takes the Dare
Malinda Lo, Ash
C. Lee MacKenzie, Sliding on the Edge
Sarah MacLean, The Season
J.E. MacLeod, Waiting to Score
L.K. Madigan, Flash Burnout
Lisa Mantchev, Eyes Like Stars
Nan Marino, Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man
Neesha Meminger, Shine Coconut Moon
Kate Messner, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z
Saundra Mitchell, Shadowed Summer
Jenny Moss, Winnie’s War
Sarah Ockler, Twenty Boy Summer
Rosanne Parry, Heart of a Shepherd
Jackson Pearce, As You Wish
Diana Peterfreund, Rampant
Shani Petroff, Bedeviled
Aprilynne Pike, Wings
Cindy Pon, Silver Phoenix
Sarah Quigley, TMI
Amy Reed, Beautiful
Carrie Ryan, The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Sydney Salter, My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters
Fran Slayaton, When the Whistle Blows
Kristina Springer, The Espressologist
Jen Cullerton Johnson, SEEDS OF CHANGE: The Wangari Maathai Story”
Rhonda Stapleton, Stupid Cupid
Heather Duffy Stone, This Is What I Want to Tell You
Charity Tahmaseb & Darcy Vance, The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading
Jessica Verday, The Hollow
Lara Zielin, Donut Days
Michelle Zink, Prophecy of the Sisters

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24 thoughts on “BEST BOOKS OF 2009

  1. Megan Frazer

    I am so excited to be on this list! I've loved the Guerilla Girls since one my friends introduced me to them in high school. The book I'm working on draws some inspiration from them, actually, so it's really amazing to be included in a list by this offshoot.

  2. Laurie Sandell

    Thrilled to be included on your list–thank you! But please move my book to the "Nonfiction" list, as it is a memoir. Best, Laurie Sandell

  3. Anonymous

    Awesome! FYI, The Alison Stine book is actually titled OHIO VIOLENCE. Looks like your comma is in the wrong place? Thought you'd want to know.

    Rock on.

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