So I only read 79 books in 2008 which is definitely on the low end for me. Then I checked the numbers and found that I have read fewer books each year since 2004. What’s up with that? 2004 = 114, 2005 = 96, 2006 =87, 2007 = 85 and now 2008 = 79. This is NOT a trend I want to see continuing…but since I’ve already read more than 20 books in 2009 so far…I *think* it may be under control.
As with other lists, this is not necessarily books published in 2008, it’s books I read in 2008, regardless of when published.
My Favorite Ten Books of 2008 Were:
(in chronological order of my reading, with links to my Snip reviews)
- Native Guard, by Natasha Thretheway (poetry) Unlike any poetry I’ve read before.
- The Complete Stories, by David Malouf (stories) My fave Aussie writer. He can write from ANY viewpoint.
- The Monsters of Templeton, by Lauren Groff An excellent first novel.
- Lush Life, by Richard Price This guy can write dialogue like no one else.
- Dark Roots, by Cate Kennedy (stories) Another Aussie. Succinct but intense.
- The Likeness, by Tana French Follow-up to one of my favorite books from last year. So.Damn.Good.
- Dead Boys, by Richard Lange (stories) Engaging, unexpected and truly original.
- Iodine, by Haven Kimmel Possibly her least accessible book. Dark.
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson Spooky pasts. Dark and twisted.
- Tender Morsels, by Margo Langan So good. Poignant and brutal at the same time.
- Belong to Me, by Marisa de los Santos Better than chicklit.
- Deaf Sentence, by David Lodge His characters are aging as he does. But no signs of slowing down.
- Sway, by Zachary Lazar The Morocco interactions with Keith were my favorite parts.
- Absurdistan, by Gary Shteyngart Insanely hilarious.
- War with the Newts, by Karel Capek Truly timeless.
- The Farther Shore, by Matthew Eck A war novel for OUR time.
- Life Class, by Pat Barker Hasn’t lost the magic, if you ask me, despite what other reviews said.
Breaking things down in the manner of Ex Libris, of the 79 books I read:
- 10 were short-story collections, either by one author or by various authors. Part of that was by design (Dad and I read short stories every other month for our 2008 challenge). And part because Elizabeth Crane got me all excited about short stories a couple years ago and I read them much more now than I did in the past.
- Eight were non-fiction, but since five of those were BStarG nonfiction…well, that’s more a TV thing than a “me reading non-fiction” thing. So it’s more like three were non-fiction.
- And two were poetry. But I don’t always put the poetry on the list, particularly if it’s a re-read, so that may not be totally accurate.
- Not counting the BStarG non-fiction, there were eight authors I read more than one book by: five with two reads (Nick Hornby, David Malouf, Dick Francis, Rita Mae Brown, Lee Child); one with three (Paul Park), and two tied for most repeats with six reads, those authors being Harlan Coben and Patricia Briggs. Coben writes the Myron Bolitar mysteries, which I do enjoy, although I find I enjoy them less as the series has gone on (see the last one I read). Patricia Briggs writes truly fantastic sci fi and fantasy, some set in that indefinable middle ages/medieval seeming world so typical of fantasy (try this or this), and some (the Mercy Thompson books) set in the modern day. Everything I’ve read by her I have loved and I would recommend all of it.
You can read reviews of other books I read in 2008 not discussed here if you search for their names on Snip or you can just click on “reading” in the categories list to read any/all comments I’ve taken the time to post. I’m always happy to talk books so feel free to email me (link in right column) if you want more details on one or another or if you want to recommend something you think I’d like!
Now back to the book I started today…