1. Wendell Berry, Leavings: Poems
2. Dan Baum, Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans
3. Andrew J. Cherlin, Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today
4. Frederick Barthelme, Waveland
5. Jim Tomlinson, Nothing Like an Ocean: Stories
6. Terry Teachout, Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong
7. Gilbert Meilaender, Neither Beast Nor God: The Dignity of the Human Person
8. Brad Gooch, Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor
9. Eugene Genovese, Miss Betsey: A Memoir of a Marriage
10. John Updike, Endpoint and Other Poems
Remember this is a "non-working" list so I've not included any explicitly theological or pastoral works here. There are lots of books in those categories that would fit in a top-ten list as well.
I'm not saying these are "the best" books of the year. As I look at each one of them, I can see something of how God's providence in my life leads me to resonate with it. These are books I've enjoyed and have made me think or feel something significant in the past year.
I'd love to hear, what were your favorite books of 2009?