As promised, here is my "best of" list for 2009. In my humble opinion, these are the best books I read during 2009. Of course, as one would assume, practically all of these are nonfiction. Plus, probably to no one's surprise, many of these books deal with religion, history, or foreign affairs. Well, without further ado, here is my list.
- Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan Jacoby
- The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future by Vali Nasr
- Why We're Liberals: A Handbook For Restoring America's Most Important Ideals by Eric Alterman
- The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church by John L. Allen Jr.
- The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran by Hooman Majd
- Rome Inc.: The Rise and Fall of the First Multinational Corporation by Stanley Bing
- The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism by Ron Suskind
- A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World by Tony Horwitz
- God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question-Why We Suffer by Bart Ehrman
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I would also like to add a couple of "honorable mentions" to my list as well.
- God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
- The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria
- Why I Turned Right: Baby Boomer Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys edited by Mary Eberstadt
Of course you can't take the good without the bad. Of all the books I read over the year, one book stood out among all of them as being the biggest overall disappointment. That unfortunate honor goes to 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance by Gavin Menzies.