Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: The Year in Books

Every year on New Year's Eve, I post a list of the books I've read that calendar year, and every year, the list seems to get shorter and more pathetic. I used to read way more than this and I enjoy it so damn much; seeing my slide into illiteracy actually makes me a bit sad. I need to find a way to allot myself more time to read in 2009. So I'm going to post this list, thin as it is, to keep myself honest. Here are the books I read in 2008:

  • Windfalls [fiction] by Jean Hegland
  • Remains of the Day [fiction] by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The House on Mango Street [fiction] by Sandra Cisneros
  • Girls in Trouble [fiction] by Caroline Leavitt
  • Chrysalis, Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis [non-fiction] by Kim Todd
  • The Wonder Spot [fiction] by Melissa Bank
  • The Stand [fiction] by Stephen King
  • Lost Mountain [non-fiction] by Erik Reece -- See my review here, and find links to numerous other reviews over at The Blogging Bookworm.
  • Messenger [fiction] by Lois Lowry
  • In Defense of Food [non-fiction] by Michael Pollan -- I won this book from a giveaway over at Crunchy Chicken. Thanks again, Crunchy!
  • The Back Road to Crazy [essays] edited by Jennifer Bove
  • For Love [fiction] by Sue Miller
  • Bait and Switch : The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream [non-fiction] by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • The Road [fiction] by Cormac McCarthy
  • When You Are Engulfed in Flames [essays] by David Sedaris
  • An American Childhood [memoir] by Annie Dillard
  • Coming Back to Me [fiction] by Caroline Leavitt
  • Silence of the Songbirds [non-fiction] by Bridget Stutchbury -- I read this book based on Hugh's excellent review over at Rock Paper Lizard.
  • The Midwife’s Apprentice [fiction] by Karen Cushman
I highly recommend Lost Mountain for anyone looking for a captivating non-fiction read; Remains of the Day was the fiction stand-out. What about you? What were your favorites reads of 2008?


Nadine said...

You've definitely got some on here I'd like to take a stab at.

Electronic Goose said...

I'm going to have to steal a few titles from this list myself ... I enjoyed Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri and Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire. Many more, but those two come to mind.

lanes123 said...

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken. Sad and beautiful.

P.S. Happy new year!

Hugh said...

I think that's more than a respectable list. Oh that we all read more books.

Debbie said...

Small list? Gosh. I sadly report that I have not read any of these, but The House on Mango Street caught my eye.

The only one I can remember that made an impression on me is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

BerryBird said...

Thanks for the recommendations, everyone. They all look like great books! Excepting The Botany of Desire, which I have already read and absolutely loved, I added all these books to my wish list. So many good books, so little time.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Interesting list, I like it a lot. I enjoyed the Stand when I read it a number of years ago.

I started out with such good intentions, writing book reviews and keeping track, but I lost track somewhere along the way, dunno if I could reconstruct it.

kale for sale said...

Great list. Blogging has greatly interferred with my reading time which I'll have to remedy this year. The book that stands out for 2008 which I did manage to read was Bottomfeeder [non-fiction but almost travelogue]. Have you read Into the Forest by Jean Hegland? I've read it a couple of times over the years and still think about what I would do in the characters place. Did you like Windfalls?

BerryBird said...

Katrina, I read Into the Forest in 2007, and I loved it! It made me want to read everything Jean Hegland has ever written, which is what lead me to Windfalls, her only other novel. I did enjoy it quite a bit, just not as much as Into the Forest. I loved how the forest was a real character in that book.

I got Bottomfeeder for Christmas after reading your review, and am really looking forward to it -- it will definitely make my list for 2009.