It was much more difficult choosing favourite fiction for 2009 than choosing nonfiction, plays, or short fiction. I suppose this is partly because I've read more fiction, or that I'm much less likely to read a novel I don't really like than a play or something short I don't like. Really, it was the last book on my list of three that gave me trouble, the other two were rather automatic. What I think distinguishes these books is that they're the ones I wrote the longest posts about. I had a lot to say about them, lots of ideas and impressions, and some very incoherent emotional or subconscious reactions to them, which I attempted to work through by writing. I read all of these books since September, which makes me wonder if they're on the list just because I remember them better. But I'm sure about the first two. I knew when I read them they'd be on the list.
There's little more I can say about these books than I said the first time around, since they're so dependent on impression and they are bigger than anything I could say in a paragraph. So I'll just leave you with the links to the original posts, and the urging that you read these books.
The Children's Book, by A.S. Byatt. I'm so glad I own this now. All three of these books are in my possession, which strikes me as fitting for my favourites. Original post here.
Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh. Original post here.
Someone at a Distance, by Dorothy Whipple. I think it may be a given that if I read a Persephone book it goes on this list. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day was on my list last year. Original post here.
And Happy Hogmanay! (This is me indulging in my joy in amusing Scottish holidays.)