Monday November 23rd, 2009

Avalanche of Year-End Polls, Ctd.

laura-cummingThe Guardian asked a fairly long list of people for their favorite books of 2009. There were some votes for Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín, The Glass Room by Simon Mawer, and A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore. And this, from Nick Hornby:

Wells Tower’s superb collection of short stories, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, is dark and funny, and in Tower’s case, the former quality does not negate the latter. When, in one of the stories, a woman finds out that her husband is having an affair because the footprint on the car windscreen does not match her own, you know you’re reading somebody who doesn’t come along very often. My favorite work of non-fiction this year was written by the Observer’s art critic – I’m sorry, but there we are. Laura Cumming’s brilliant book about self-portraits, A Face to the World, positively fizzes with ideas; just about every single paragraph contains a fresh observation, not just about art but about human nature. The author has got me running around galleries I haven’t been to in years.