Top Tens 2009

These are annual Top Tens from discerning ANZLL readers.  NB Titles are not in any particular order, and the concept of ‘ten’ is flexible.  We all know how hard it is to choose…

2011     2010     2009    2008     2007    2006    2005    2004


I Haven’t Dreamed of Flying for a While – Taichi Yamada
After Dark – Haruki Murakami
Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Nguzi Adichie
The Boat  – Nam Le
Out Stealing Horses – Per Petterson
A Beautiful Place to Die  – Malla Nunn
Restless  – William Boyd
Child 44  – Tom Robb Smith
A Million Little Pieces  – James Frey
The Spy Game  – Georgina Harding

The Children’s Book – A S Byatt
Brooklyn – Colm Toibin
Love and Summer – William Trevor
Ransom – David Malouf
Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
Wanting – Richard Flanagan
Dreams for My Father – Barak Obama
The Virtuoso – Sonia Orchard
The Reader – Bernard Schlink
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

White Tiger – Aravind Adinga
One Good Turn – Kate Atkinson
People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
Secret Scripture – Sebastian Barry
The Boat – Nam Le
Ransom – David Malouf
Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne – Brian Moore
Sophie’s Choice – William Styron
Story of Lucy Gault – William Trevor
Scottsboro – Ellen Feldman

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Wanting by Richard Flanagan
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
The Earth Hums In B Flat by Mari Strachan
This is How by M J Hyland
Consequences by Penelope Lively

The Boat, Nam Le
Jasper Jones, Craig Silvey
The Selected Works of T S Spivet, Reif Larsen
Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
Monkey’s Mask, Dorothy Porter
Breath, Tim Winton
Tales of Despereaux, Kate di Camillo
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Steig Larssen
One Good Turn, Kate Atkinson
Addition, Toni Jordan

Moon Tiger – Penelope Lively
Someone Knows my Name – Lawrence Hill
Black Like Me – John Howard Griffin
The Zookeepers War – Stephen Conte
He’ll be Ok: Growing Gorgeous Boys into Good Men – Celia Lashlie
Dissection – Jacinta Halloran
The Spare Room – Helen Garner
Burning In – Mireille Juchau
The Boat – Nam Le
Cooee – Vivienne Kelly

Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Voss – Patrick White
The Twyborn Affair – Patrick White
Beloved – Toni Morrison
The Remains of the day – Kasuo Ishiguro
Death of a River Guide – Richard Flanagan
Rules for Old Men Waiting – Peter Pouncey
The Bath Fugues – Brian Castro
The World Beneath – Cate Kennedy

On The Black Hill – Bruce Chatwin
Famous Last Words – Timothy Findley
The Time We Have Taken – Stephen Carroll
Pietro’s Pilgimaage – Wilfred Blunt
War Babies a memoir – Robert Macklin
The White Tiger – Adiga Aravind
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Spiderweb – Penelope Lively
The Red Queen – Margaret Drabble

The Spare Room by Helen Garner
Breath by Tim Winton
The Road Home by Rose Tremain
Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson
I’m Not Scared by Niccolò Ammaniti
The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgeraeld
The Enchantress of Florence by Salmon Rushdie
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson
The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany

Gil Adamson – The Outlander
Joseph Boyden – Three Day Road
Steven Galloway – The Cellist of Sarajevo
Tim Gautreaux – The Missing
Chloe Hooper – The Tall Man
Eva Hornung – Dog Boy
Hilary Mantel – A Change of Climate
Philipp Meyer – American Rust
William Styron – Sophie’s Choice
Colm Toibin – Brooklyn

The Reader – Bernard Schlink
The Road – Cormac McCarthy
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Someone Knows my Name – Lawrence Hill
Jasper Jones – Craig Silvey
Lorna Doone – RD Blackmore
Addition – Toni Jordan
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Steig Larsson
Consequences – Penelope Lively
Brooklyn – Colm Toibin

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox (non-fiction) by Victoria Finlay
Border Crossing by Pat Barker
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
Ice by Louis Nowra
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie


Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
Ice, by Louis Nowra
Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen
Jasper Jones, by Craig Silvey
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, by Michael Chabon
What I Loved, by Siri Hustvedt
Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
The Slap, by Christos Tsiolkas
Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters


Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
The Master by Colm Toibin
The Ghost at the Wedding by Shirley Walker
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
The Children’s Book by  A.S. Byatt
Wanting by Richard Flanagan
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Boat by Nam Le
The Gift of Rain by Twan Tan Eng
Someone Knows My Name  by Lawrence Hill
The Good Parents by Joan London


The Old Wives’  Tale -Arnold Bennett
Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
The Makioka Sisters – Junicho Tanizaki
The Gift of Rain – Tan Twan Eng
The Tapestries – Lien Nguyen
The Earth Hums in B Flat – Mari Strachan
Sky Burial – Xinran
Three Day Road – Joseph Boyden
Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute


The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Solid Mandala by Patrick White
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville
Drop City by T.C. Boyle
The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt
The Blue Door by Andre Brink


To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas
Unaccustomed Earth – Jhumpa Lahiri
The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga
The Kite Runner – Khalid Hossein (audio)
Perfume – Patrick Suskind
The Runaway Quilt – Jennifer Chiaverini
Winter Garden – Beryl Bainbridge
Running with Scissors – Augusten Burroughs
A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby


The Devil’s Eye by Ian Townshend
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
The Devil’s Advocate by Morris West
This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Salt and Saffron by Kamila Shamsie
The Angel’s Cut by Elizabeth Knox
The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
The True Story of Butterfish by Nick Earls
The Zookeeper’s War by Steven Conte


  1. Am I too late?
    Not a year that I got too much read, so there weren’t too many to choose from, but here goes:

    1. The spare room by Helen Garner
    2. Breath by Tim Winton
    3. The road home by Rose Tremain
    4. Stone gods by Jeanette Winterson
    5. I’m not scared by Niccolò Ammaniti
    6. The bookshop by Penelope Fitzgeraeld
    7. The enchantress of Florence by Salmon Rushdie
    8. Someone knows my name by Lawrence Hill
    9. Human croquet by Kate Atkinson
    10. The Yacoubian building by Alaa Al Aswany

  2. Not too late at all, Rebecca, I happily add Top Tens until the end of the summer holidays:)
    I have copied them into the actual page.

  3. Hi Lisa,
    Hope I can add my Top Ten for 2009?

    1. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
    2. The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas
    3. Unaccustomed Earth – Jhumpa Lahiri
    4. The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga
    5. The Kite Runner – Khalid Hossein (audio)
    6. Perfume – Patrick Suskind
    7. The Runaway Quilt – Jennifer Chiaverini
    8. Winter Garden – Beryl Bainbridge
    9. Running with Scissors – Augusten Burroughs
    10. A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby


    • Absolutely, Chel, I’m delighted to add them. There’s a Beryl Bainbridge there that I haven’t heard of, I really like her writing.

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