Meta-list for best non-fiction books of 2009

I've been reading lots of year-end "best of" lists, from serious outlets that is, and these are the books which I see recurring with special frequency:

1. Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science.

2. Cheever: A Life, by Blake Bailey.

3. David Grann, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon.

4. Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic.

5. Columbine, by David Cullen.

8. By Greg Grandin, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City.

9. Liaquat Ahamed, Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World.

10. Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, by Terry Teachout.

I thought all of those were well done but Lords of Finance was the only one I loved.  My favorites are here and Lords arguably would be third on that non-fiction list of two.  In fairness to the authors I've only browsed Gordon Wood (report coming soon) and I haven't yet read Pops but suspect I might like it very much (report coming soon).

If you wish, you can dig into some of the book source lists I used for this meta-list here.  Have someone ready to throw you a rope.

Here are some "best albums" lists, if you wish to wade through those.  They are harder to aggregate and I haven't found a useful way of doing it.


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