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Best Books You've Read in 2008?

14 years ago

I love lists, and I always like to see everyone's opinion on their favorite books wrapped up in one spot at the end of the year. What were your favorites and why?

My favorites this year (in no particular order) were:

1) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows. I was very impressed by this, loved the way the story was told, and learned quite a bit as well.

2) Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce (thanks, Vee!). This YA book had everything a childhood fantasy book should have and was balanced and well-written to boot. I loved this.

3) A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz. I will buy and read pretty much anything he writes, he's that good. And it was fascinating to learn how much European activity went on in North America between Columbus and the Pilgrims.

4) The Ladies of Grace Adieu & Other Stories by Susanna Clarke. Since I loved Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell this book was a keeper. Some of the stories link back to JS&MN, but IMO they're all excellent.

5) People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. Though this wasn't perfect (the end was just OK, IMO) it was powerful.

6) The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. I thought this take on the Queen was both quirky and kind, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

7) Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. Another YA I found this year that was well written and a lot of fun, mixing Regency elements of Georgette Heyer with Jonathan Strange-type magic in a very agreeable and original girl's adventure.

What were your favorites this year? Do tell!!

Comments (37)

  • veer
    14 years ago

    Sheri, this hasn't been a great year for books but the ones I enjoyed most were:

    1. The Importance of Being Kennedy - Laurie Graham. A 'warts and all' story about the K family as told through their Irish nursery maid.

    2. Mistress of the Art of Death - Ariana Franklin (who used to be Diana Norman a great historical fiction writer). A who-dunnit about a woman trained in medicine living in twelfth century Cambridge . . . highly recommended.

    3.The Truth Commissioner David Park. Not an 'easy' read but paints an interesting picture of the Ulster of the near future by following the past deeds of a group of politicos/police etc who either caused or tried to sort out the troubles.

    4. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian Marina Lewycka. Funny/poignant tale of an elderly Ukrainian living in the UK and his attempts to find 'true love'. Worth reading.

    5. Empire of the Sun J G Ballard. His early life as an internee in Shanghai during the Japanese occupation. Well-written. You've probably seen the film.

    6, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Winifred Watson. Dated (1930's) account of one day in the life of a failed, down-on-her-luck governess who finds herself 'helping' a nightclub singer with her complicated love-life. A light and 'feel-good' read.

  • christinmk z5b eastern WA
    14 years ago

    -sheriz we think alike! I was going to make a similar post last night but couldn't get around to it. You beat me to it. I am a perpetual list-maker too.
    I have to say, that since comming to RP I have read more this year than any other years. I never realized just how many great books were out there that I wanted to read.

    Here are my favorites this year:

    1. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. I wish I had read it sooner. It is amazing how powerful simple can be.

    2. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen. My favorite aside from P&P. I liked the irony.

    3. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & The A. of Huck Finn. Seperate books, but I read them together. Liked both.

    4. The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I liked his short stories better than the two books of his that I have read.

    5. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen. Unusual for Austen and quite humorous.

    Thats it. I ran into quite a few books this year that I did not enjoy.

    What was the worst book you read this year? The Mermaid's Chair was pretty bad, but I knew it might be. The worst for me was 'Pilate's Wife', by Antoinette May. The whole thing was trite and cheap. There was one scene where Jesus (the very same) was in the temple of Isis and said that he found "power and strength" there. WEIRD. I am not religious myself, but even I felt rather scandalized at this.

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  • martin_z
    14 years ago

    1) The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga - winner of the Booker Prize, and a worthy winner to my mind...but....

    2) The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry - if there were a Booker runner-up, this would have been it. I was sorry it didn't win.

    3) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - a splendid read.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    14 years ago

    The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Hamid

    People of the Book - Brooks

    House of Sand and Fog - A. Dubus

    Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper - Chessman

    Angle of Repose - Stegner

  • lemonhead101
    14 years ago

    "Angle of Repose" was definitely one of my high points in my reading life this year. I will have to check my reading journal when I get home to see what else I have read that I liked. I'm at work and can't remember right now.

  • ccrdmrbks
    14 years ago

    A Thousand Splendid Suns

    Devil's Brood Sharon Kaye Penman

    Still Life

    Cruelest Month

    Fatal Grace all by Louise Penny. Her prose glows.

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows

  • friedag
    14 years ago

    Going by how many times I reread a particular book in 2008, my #1 would be The Great Lead Water Pipe Disaster by Werner Troesken. I was stuck on two legs of an airplane trip with just this one book, so I read it twice; then I read it again once I got to my destination -- that's a compulsive reader for you, caught without enough reading material. Actually, it's a fascinating history of what lead water pipes can do to people's health and the corrosive reactions between lead and soft water or hard water. Turns out the harder the water, the better! I learned a lot.

    #2 - Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich - Painful but important, I think.

    #3 - Ten Lost Years: 1929-1939: Memories of Canadians Who Survived the Depression - I just finished this, and it's still fresh but I think I will remember many of these anecdotes for a long time.

  • twobigdogs
    14 years ago

    Sheri, I am so glad you've started this thread. It is the one I most look forward to all year long. It creates a nice meaty TBR list for me as I look at all of our favorites. So thank you!

    My 2008 favorites (so far! Still two weeks left in the year!):

    1. Old Goriot - Honore de Balzac: A re-read. Balzac and Zola are like French George Gissings to me.

    2. Fire in the Blood - Irene Nemirovsky

    3. Gone with the Windsors - Laurie Graham

    4. The Sea, The Sea - Iris Murdoch: a FANTASTIC book. I cannot wait to re-read it!

    5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Schaffer and Barrows: not as good as The Sea, the Sea, but still deserves a place on my list.

    6. The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett: I've read it three times since October. That says something, does it not?

    7. Main Street - Sinclair Lewis: When I started this book, I was feeling rather negative about it. But I stayed the course, and somewhere along the way, the book reached in and grabbed me. I cannot pinpoint exactly when that happened, but it did. And I think about it very often. It deserves a place on my list.

    8. Her Royal Spyness - Rhys Bowen: This book is on this list for the simple reason that it was the first book I read by this author and thus opened my eyes to her three mystery series. Finding a mystery author I enjoy is a big deal to me.

    Thanks friends, I am taking notes and making lists!

  • picassocat
    14 years ago

    1. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
    2. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    3. Desperate Characters by Paula Fox
    4. Breath by Tim Winton
    5. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    6. Hunger by Knut Hamsun
    7. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
    8. Youth by J.M Coetzee
    9. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

    1. Daisy Miller by Henry James
    2. A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
  • georgia_peach
    14 years ago

    The Killer Angels -- Michael Shaara
    Eagle in the Snow -- Wallace Breem
    I, Claudius and Claudius the God -- Robert Graves
    Memoirs of Hadrian -- Marguerite Yourcenar
    Hercules, My Shipmate -- Robert Graves
    Flora's Dare -- Ysabeau Wilce
    Angle of Repose -- Wallace Stegner
    All Quiet on the Western Front -- Erich Maria Remarque
    Suite Francaise -- Irene Nemirovsky
    Lavondyss -- Robert Holdstock

    The Worst Hard Time -- Timothy Egan
    Before the Dawn -- Nicholas Wade
    Shadow of the Silk Road -- Colin Thubron
    The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan -- Russell Shorto
    Mayflower -- Nathaniel Philbrick
    Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay -- Nancy Milford
    Founding Brothers -- Joseph J. Ellis

    Overall, I had a pretty good reading year; only a handful of clunkers and quite a lot of good to exceptional books.

  • frances_md
    14 years ago

    1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I listened to this book -- almost 50 hours -- and thoroughly enjoyed every second. It has to be one of the most satisfying books ever written.

    2. Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens by Douglas Tallamy. This book opened my eyes to exactly why native plants are so necessary in our environment. Excellent book.

    3. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblesky. My definition of "best book" does not necessarily mean the ones I loved the most. This book was so sad that I can't really say I liked it in the end but it certainly made a lasting impression and was very well done.

    I'm cheating a little here because I haven't finished reading these two books yet but I know they are among the best I will have at least started reading this year:

    4. The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed. Very detailed history of the Hemings family and their associations with Thomas Jefferson and others.

    5. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. A wonderful combination of biography and history -- my two favorites genres.

  • J C
    14 years ago

    My list is pretty long. In no particular order:

    His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman. YA fantasy novels, very entertaining.

    Merle's Door - Ted Kerasote. Dog book!

    Fire in the Blood - Irene Nemirovsky. I look forward to reading more of her work. Most here know the story of her death in a concentration camp and the discovery of new manuscripts decades later. Very powerful.

    Tom's Midnight Garden - Philippa Pearce. Another thanks to Vee! Virtually perfect YA novel. Tight, well-told, compelling story, good characters. Highly recommended.

    Chasing Daylight - How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life - Eugene O'Kelly. Written in the weeks after the auther discovered he would soon die of brain cancer, this is as good a guide to facing difficult situations as anything I've ever run across.

    To Dance With The White Dog - Terry Kay. A novel, but the author based it on his father's own life. An elderly farmer receives solace from a dog that appears shortly after his wife's death. Absolutlely not overly sentimental.

    A Three Dog Life - Abigail Thomas. A memoir, the author's story of how she rebuilt her life after her husband suffered a brain injury that left him permanently disabled.

    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby. Written by a man felled by a stroke in the prime of his life, this had special meaning for me because I work with stroke and traumatic brain injury patients.

    The Book Thief - Markus Zusak. Terrific YA novel.

    Angle of Repose - Wallace Stegner. One of our discussions here and one of the best novels I have ever read.

    Old Filth - Jane Gardam. Despite the title, there is no filth in this book, only a great story.

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I first bypassed this because of the hopelessly twee title, but once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.

    Excellent Women - Barbara Pym. Why had I never read this author before? Wonderful characters, beautifully written.

    Quite a list I have! Definitely a pattern here.

  • lemonhead101
    14 years ago

    OK. Got my list and here it is:

    * Persepolis 1 and 2 - my introduction to the world of graphic novels and also, an introduction to a life very different from my own. Good all around.

    * Q and A - Vikas Swarup. Thanks to Astrokath for this rec. A good story combined with one of my favorite countries to read about.

    * The Year of Living Biblically - AJ Jacobs. An irreverent but still respectful story (non-fiction) of how he lives his life according to the rules of tne bible, both the well-known ones and the not-so-well-known ones.

    * A Kind of Loving - Stan Barstow. Thanks to Martin for introducing to me to this English author. Loved it.

    * Empire Falls - Richard Russo. Just a good story.

    * Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimananda Ngozi Adichie. Good story about a country about which I knew next to nothing.

    * Old FILTH - Jane Gardam - again, just a good well-written story.

    * Last Days of Summer - Steve Kluger. A pastiche of a story about a young boy and a baseball player. Really an excellent read.

    * Bury Me Standing - Isabel Fonseca. Opened my eyes up to a group of people about which there is lots of rumor and not much fact.

    * Moontiger - Penelope Lively. One of my fav authors and you can't seem to go wrong with most of her work.

    * These Foolish Things - Deborah Moggach. An excellent story about a group of English OAPs who decide to emigrate to India to live in a hotel/resthome. Details their adventures and relationships in a very interesting way and I loved how she presented older people in a feisty manner. Plus this led me to other Moggach books which I am really enjoying.

    * Angle of Repose - Wallace Stegner. Great book.

    * The Kitchen God's Wife - Amy Tan. Just a good, well written cross-cultural story.

    So a mix there although mostly fiction for some reason. It just depends on the year as to what combo of fiction/non-fiction I read, I suppose.

  • kren250
    14 years ago

    Mine would be:

    Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller
    What is the What by Dave Eggers
    Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
    Anna Karenina by Tolstoy
    The Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle
    Beloved by Toni Morrison
    A Mercy by Toni Morrison
    Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

  • woodnymph2_gw
    14 years ago

    I just realized I'd forgotten one of my favorites: Barbara Kinsolver's "Prodigal Summer." Loved it!

  • rouan
    14 years ago

    1. The Arrival by Shaun Tan (graphic novel)

    2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer - I really liked this one, as was mentioned by others, I learned things about WWII that I hadn't know before.

    3. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall - an engaging story about 4 daughters and their widowed father renting a house on an estate in Massachusetts for the summer and their adventures.

    4. The Penderwicks on Gardam St by Jeanne Birdsall - another tale of the 4 sisters and their father, fun and engaging.

    5. Chalice by Robin McKinley - although not my favorite by her, I still liked it enough to reread it.

    There are several more I could add, but I chose only to list the ones I'd never read before.

  • smallcoffee
    14 years ago

    It's been a challenging year for reading for me. It's been difficult to settle into a book and become absorbed. I'd say the best for me was "The White Witch" by Elizabeth Goudge. Thanks to the RP'ers who mentioned it! I also enjoyed the quilting novels by Jennifer Chiaverini and another series by Emilie Richards. "A Change of Heart" by Jodi Picoult was thought provoking, and for me may be worth another read even though her writing is not subtle.(sp?)

  • vickitg
    14 years ago

    I look forward to this annual list to get some great ideas. Thanks for starting it, sheriz. My favorites for the year were:
    The Girls - Lori Larsons - a wonderful book about conjoined twins - very well done.
    Bad Monkeys - Matt Ruff - a wild, intriguing ride
    Lottery - Patricia Wood - a book with heart
    The Guernsey Literary and PPP Society - I loved this book.
    The Widow's War - Sally Gunning - loved the strong female lead character
    The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman - one of my favorite authors.

  • jlsch
    14 years ago

    What a wonderful thread! My favorites this year in no particular order were:
    'The Pillars of the Earth' - now that its out in paperback I need to read the sequel
    'The Physician' by Noah Gordan - big book that I really enjoyed
    'A Thousand Splendid Suns'
    'The Book Thief'
    'My Cousin Rachel'/'The Scapegoat'/'The House on the Strand'/'Rebecca'/'Jamaica Inn' - I was on a DuMaurier kick and those were my favorites...thanks to recommendations here!
    'The Good Earth' - had never read it and loved it
    'Ladies Maid' - another great read
    'Skeletons at the Feast'
    'Those Who Save Us'
    'A Kiss from Maddalena'
    'In the Memory of the Forest'
    'Old Filth'
    'Peace Like a River'
    And favorite of the year: 'The Count of Monte Cristo'
    Having never reviewed my list of read books at the end of a year like this, it sure stuck home what a good year it was for good reads. Thanks for the idea sheriz6!

  • grelobe
    14 years ago

    The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis
    IÂve always been fascinated by chess, but I have not the right mind to play the game. For the first ten... fifteen minutes I strain myself to follow a pattern, to keep the control of the middle of the board to protect my pawns and so on, but after a little while my mind gives way to my restlessness, and I start charging headlong. Useless to say the outcome is always the same, my pieces are scattered all around the board, as sacrificial prey for the enemy. (Having watched "The Charge of the Light Brigade" when I was a kid, didnÂt teach me anything about military strategy.)
    The QueenÂs Gambit is not only a book describing a chess player mind , as The Defense by Vladimir Nabokov and others, but there are long and detailed descriptions of the game, and even if I couldnÂt figure out the position of the various pieces, while they were moved by the players, I kept on reading , as though I was listening to a football or soccer game on the radio.

    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    This book is really good, , the story is poignant and believable, the characters are all well developped, and the idea of death telling the story is original. But waht captivated me most, maybe because I am not a English mother tongue, was the figurative use of English, I found a lot of expressions, I was sure I wouldnÂt find on the dictionary, but the meaning was plain to understand.
    I would recomend it to foreigner learners to improve their vocubalary and the use of words.

    Pictures from Italy by Charles Dickens
    IÂm reading it at the moment toghether with other stuff. Also if his English is a little challenging for my grammatical and reading skills (I canÂt say I manage to get the whole meaning of a few sentences, sometimes). It is fascinating for me to read about a country where I was born and live, but I had never known. I can immagine the places, at least some of them, as they are now, not as they were, and especially, from a foreignerÂs point of view. Tricky!!!!

  • sheriz6
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    What wonderful lists! I'm making a list of books to read next year ... which is why my TBR pile never gets any smaller, a delightful problem to have.

    Vee, I also really liked The Importance of Being Kennedy and Gone With the Windsors was terrific. I've read some of Graham's other books, as well, but IMO her newer stories are better than her older ones.

    Woodnymph, I read Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper a couple of years ago and thought it was amazing.

    Siobhan, I'm so glad you liked Excellent Women, Pym is one of my all-time favorite authors. Have you read Jane and Prudence or (my very favorite) Some Tame Gazelle?

    Grelobe and Picassocat, it's great to see you here again, it's been a while :)

  • woodnymph2_gw
    14 years ago

    I'm adding one more to my list: "Riding the White Horse Home", a Western memoir by Teresa Jordan.

  • carolyn_ky
    14 years ago

    Swan Peak, James Lee Burke -- This is a very dark book, but I love his writing.
    Where Memories Lie, Deborah Crombie
    World Without End, Ken Follett
    Silks, Dick Francis and his son
    Bull's Island, Dorothea Benton Frank
    City of Shadows, Mistress of the Art of Death, and The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin
    Old Filth, Jane Gardam
    Cranford, My Lady Ludlow, Mr. Harrison's Confession, and short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell
    Careless in Red, Elizabeth George
    Black Ships, Jo Graham
    Revenant, Carolyn Haines
    The Burning Roses, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
    The King of Lies and Down River, John Hart
    Shooting in the Dark, The Romeo Fling, and Blood Relatives by Carolyn Hougan
    The Hundredth Man, The Death Collectors, and A Garden of Vipers by Jack Kerley
    Sweet Life, Mia King
    Antony and Cleopatra, Colleen McCullough
    Prince of Darkness, Sharon Kay Penman
    Still Life, A Fatal Grace, and The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
    We're Just Like You, Only Prettier by Celia Rivenbark -- funny book. My favorite phrase from it, "achey, breaky, big mistakey" referring to a first marriage.
    Numerous books by Peter Robinson -- catching up on all I had missed.
    Same for Priscilla Royal
    Bridge of Sighs, Richard Russo
    Moscow Rules, Daniel Silva
    Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner
    Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
    The Black Hand, Will Thomas
    A Pale Horse, Charles Todd

    These are not all great literature by any means but are books I particularly enjoyed this year--and you should see the length of the list of the ones I didn't include.

  • Chris_in_the_Valley
    14 years ago

    Carolyn, I'm glad you liked Cryptonomicon. While I enjoyed it greatly, I realize it isn't everyone's cup of tea.

    Alas, I've reached the age where I really have to keep a list of what I've read because I'm remembering very little.

    Birds Without Wings by Louis De Bernieres
    The Good Earth by Pearl Buck as with Wig, I just read it for the first time and was amazed.
    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini I think was this year.
    All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren is another classic I read for the first time this year and I absolutely loved it.
    The Book Thief was too heartbreaking and scary for me to love.

  • annpan
    14 years ago

    Chris, I have just realised that my library has been keeping a record of all the books that I have borrowed for some years and I can access this on the net. I am amazed at how many I have taken out! This will jog my memory and remind me of authors I enjoyed but have who have slipped my mind. Also perhaps help me to contribute to this thread as I have not recollected any book that has really had a wow factor for me this year. Sorry!

  • woodnymph2_gw
    14 years ago

    annpan, how interesting that Canadian libraries would keep this record of your check-outs. I wonder if our American public libraries do the same....

  • annpan
    14 years ago

    Woodnymph: Actually I live in Australia! Do I "sound" Canadian? Probably the English spelling I use fooled you :-)
    Thinking over which books I liked best this year, it was the quirky ones that interested and amused me most as I don't read many of the more serious books that RPers recommend.
    Books like "Three Bags Full" with the sheep detective and Reginald Hill's take on "Sanditon" which pointed me to read Jane Austen's minor works, for example.

  • ccrdmrbks
    14 years ago

    In a way, our library does-it shows up under my record as "reading history" when I log in online. However, I can not access another patron's reading history when I am working the circulation desk. I can see what they have checked out at the moment, and what they have requested, but nothing that they have read in the apst and returned-unless it was late and there's an outstanding fine. I'm sure there is a way, but it is not available to the run of the mill volunteer.
    I'm in Pennsylvania.

  • phaedosia
    14 years ago

    I keep a reading journal and it has a place to rate your reads on a scale of 1-10. So, I'll list the books I read this year according to how I rated them. (I know this message is way too long, but hey--I hardly ever get a chance to post, horrible lurker that I am, so a once-a-year overly long posting isn't too horrible, right?)

    10-Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
    Sentimental 10 rating--remember reading it as a child and it held up. Good fun.

    10-Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
    What a mind-blowing book with so many layers and connections. LOVED IT!

    10-Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
    Such a beautiful and contemplative book that examines aging, new life, regrets, families, grudges, grace and God. Particularly loved how the main character finds beauty in sunlight catching a sprinkler's spray or birds roosting on a phone wire (two things that would have been impossible to see in the 1800s).

    10-Gonzalez and Daughter Trucking Company: A Road Novel with Literary License by Maria Amparo Escandon
    This is the "One City, One Book" pick for 2009 in our town. It is such a page-turner! The main character is in a women's prison in Mexico for a crime that remains a mystery for most of the book. She starts a reading group for the inmates, only she doesn't actually read the text, rather tells her story.

    10-I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
    This book has been mentioned time and again on this forum and I finally got around to reading it this year--THANK YOU to whoever recommended it. I loved it so much!

    10-There is Room for You by Charlotte Bacon
    Such beautiful descriptions of India, both in the 40s and the 90s. Loved the two intertwining narratives of mother and daughter, both outsiders in India but at two different times. A very lush book.

    10-The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
    I'm sure everyone in the world had read this but me. Written in the 1960s, it imagines the story of Mrs. Rochester (Mr. Rochester's crazy wife that he kept locked in the attic in Jane Eyre.) It was hard to read and I gave it a 10 not because I loved it, but because it did perfectly what it meant to do. It said so much about patriarchy, post-colonialism, feminism, and madness in ways I'd never thought of. I need to re-read.

    10-The Woman I Kept to Myself by Julia Alvarez
    This book of poems was so great that I am going to buy the book. There's one poem in the particular about how she can tell who her husband is talking to on the phone by the tone of his voice. Another one talks about how she can't bear to throw out her headbands, even though she has short hair now, because they are such a symbol of her girlhood. You have to read these poems out loud so that you can hear the sound of them.

    9-Five Skies by Ron Carlson
    Loved this book! Three men out on the plains building stuff and eating really good food. I have no idea why I related so strongly to them! It was downgraded to a 9 because of the...

  • friedag
    14 years ago

    phaedosia, I for one enjoyed every word of your post!

    I'm agog at the long lists. I'm lucky if I can recall ten best books, or even five, in any year.

  • carolyn_ky
    14 years ago

    Frieda, you have to keep lists! I read books like eating popcorn, but how else can I tell you all how many I've read in a given year if I don't write it down? In fact, I don't remember much of anything these days if I don't write it down.

  • rambo
    14 years ago

    My reading list is sad this year. No time to read. I look forward to some quality reading time over the holidays. My top books of 2008, in no particular order:

    FocaultÂs Pendulum  Umberto Eco
    Breakfast of Champions  Kurt Vonnegut
    Memoirs of a Geisha  Arthur Golden
    Brown Girl In the Ring - Nalo Hopkinson

  • sheriz6
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Phaedosia, what a fantastic list! I'm adding more books to my TBR list ...

  • picassocat
    14 years ago

    Every month, there is a programme on Australian television, called the First Tuesday Book Club, where a regular panel, as well as some invited guests, discuss (usually) a couple of books. Last month they debated 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'. So given many people here at RP enjoyed this book, I thought, if you like, you can watch the show online of download the podcast.

    Here is a link that might be useful: First Tuesday Book Club

  • vickitg
    14 years ago

    Thanks, picassocat, what a great site. I've bookmarked it. I watched several of the episodes and enjoyed them. I don't know some of the titles, but I looked them up on Amazon.

    Thanks for posting this.

  • ccrdmrbks
    14 years ago

    Forgot one-at least-but saw it while I waited in the three-curl checkout line at Borders this evening-Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

  • J C
    13 years ago

    I hope no one minds if I bring this thread back to Page One. I need to either print it out or make some serious notes!