Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best of 08

It's that time of year again... the time to review what I've read this year and do a bit of analysis. This year I read 181 books, the highest number since I began keeping track back in '95. I think it is all the blogging! It's funny that my 'best of' list has changed even since October when I did a preliminary list as part of a Weekly Geeks assignment; if I looked over my year's reading in another few months perhaps my choices would all be different again. I found many of the books I read this year to be satisfying, absorbing reads but here are some of the highlights:

Books Read 2008
181 (182- just finished The Golden Notebook a few hours before midnight on the 31st...)

By Women: 112

By Men: 56
Non-gendered reading (multiple authors etc.): 11

Non-Fiction: 64

Rereads : 4

In Translation: 11
Russian 4; Ukrainian 3; French (from Quebec) 2; Portugese 1; German 1

Challenges undertaken: 7

Challenges completed: 3
And an interesting stat I'm stealing from Joanne at Book Zombie:
Review Copies Read: 18
Library Books Read: 133
My own Books Read: 31
(you can see I use the library a lot!)

The Best of the Year


The Gipsy's Baby / Rosamund Lehmann (short stories with interesting technique)

Three Bags full / Leonie Swann (really enjoyable)

Three Men in a Boat / Jerome K. Jerome with To Say Nothing of the Dog / Connie Willis (these 2 together made the perfect reading combo; pure entertainment)

Saltsea / David Helwig (a beautiful vacation of a book)

And 3 serendipitious reads which I found fascinating for their original storytelling:

Blasted / Kate Story (interview as well)
The Queue / Vladimir Sorokin
Mary Modern / Camille DeAngelis


An Abundance of Katherines / John Green
The Loser's guide to life and love / A.E. Cannon
Wildwood Dancing / Juliet Marillier


Faust in Copenhagen / Gino Segre (a wonderful read discovered for the Science Book Challenge)

The Magician's Book / Laura Miller (and don't forget you have a week in which to win a copy)

The Ancient Tea Horse Road / Jeff Fuchs (the subject of this one was unique and fascinating)

My reading goals for next year are simple: read for the Challenges I've signed up for, but otherwise try to reread some of my old favourites and catch up on classics and older, TBR books. I enjoyed my reading this year, but did feel a bit as if I was neglecting all the books not newly published. I'll be trying to read widely and profitably in the Year of Readers!


  1. WHOA! 181??? And I thought I was doing well with 70-something. I'm totally green with envy, but also very very happy for you! :)

  2. I loved Three Bags Full; it had such potential to be awful, over cute or sentimental or something, and it was none of those. Clever, engaging, and refreshing I thought. What a delightful find!

  3. Andi - keep in mind that I am not teaching 5 classes while taking more of my own, or moving across the country like some people... :)

    Jeff - you are right, despite my misgivings I found 3 Bags Full really charming.

  4. That's an impressive number of books! The Rosamund Lehmann book sounds interesting -- I'd like to read more of her work this coming year.

  5. I haven't read a single one of your bests (though I did linger over The Magician's Book in a bookstore recently)! Several to add to my TBR list...

  6. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I know it's a bit late but I just got back to my computer after a long absence.

    Geez, 181 books. You put me to shame with my piddling count.

    And John Green! I love him! Have you seen his YouTube channel with his brother Hank? They are awesome. He even did a few vlogs about "Catcher in the Rye".

  7. Dorothy - I'm finding Lehmann very interesting reading. I have The Ballad & The Source on the stack for this year.

    Kate - I am finding everyone's lists so different, it's great for finding new books for the ever-expanding list.

    Duck Thief - thanks, Happy New Year to you, too!
    I haven't seen John Green's youtube channel but you just know I'm heading over to it as soon as I'm home from work! :) He is hilarious.

  8. I was just surfing the net and found my book (THE LOSER'S GUIDE) here. May I just say how completely gratified I am? Thank you!!! And happy new year, too.

    Ann Cannon

  9. MY goodness, that is a lot of books! My hat is off to you!

  10. A lot of books, indeed! Now I'm adding The Ancient Tea Horse Road.

    Your word verification is magog. How biblical!


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