"It is always a problem to declare "the best" of something. Mostly if it's a book: you should judge not only the book itself, but also the moment you read it, how it knocked on your personal door and how your life was before and after it. Very difficult. I by the way didn't find this year particularly brilliant, so at a certain point I reached for a lot of masterpieces I haven't read for a long time, and I once again and more than ever felt completely in love with them: War and Peace, Hamlet, The Beautiful and the Damned ... Maybe these should be my choice, but I wouldn't add much to the subject. The book I had never read and that if I think about it mostly drives a smile on my face is What Makes Sammy Run? It is a great book by Budd Schulberg, the same Budd Schulberg who worked as a screen writer with Francis Scott Fitzgerald and wrote a book about it (amazing book, a book that noone who loves Fitzgerald can skip: The Desenchanted). What Makes Sammy Run my choice? It's definitely not one of the best books ever but its main character, Sammy, will stick into you and never get out: to the point that you will start thinking that Budd Schulberg paints a picture of somebody who - even if we don't like the idea - lives in anyone of us."
Eachday until December 24th an author featured at TVFH over the last few years tells us of their favourite read of 2009 in our Author Advent. You'll have to provide your own chocolates and there's no little door to open, but you could try placing your hand over your eyes and then removing it again. Authors include the likes of Julian Barnes, Iain Banks, Paul Torday, Patrick Gale and Marina Lewycka.And for those of you who like lists, we'll list them all on December 29th.