The Best Books of 2009

Vikings, asses, and LSD—Voice writers pick their favorite books of the year

The Year of the Flood
by Margaret Atwood
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 434 pp., $26.95

In Atwood's funniest novel in ages, two women have survived a pandemic, one barricaded in a beauty salon, the other sequestered in an endangered-species-themed strip club. In flashbacks, we learn they're both members of an environmentalist group called "God's Gardeners," which doubles as an ecoterrorist cell. Always a brilliant social satirist, Atwood lovingly parodies Christian idealism—or does she embrace it?—while offering a sneaky feminist take on dystopia: The Road as hen party. JULIE PHILLIPS

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