BTT: Favorite Books of 2008

It’s a week or two later than you’d expect, and it may be almost a trite question, but … what were your favorite books from 2008?

So I just went back through my monthly lists of books trying to pick out my favorites for you.  I told myself I was only going to pick 10 to share, so the list wasn’t overwhelming.  Then I said, well, 15 might be alright.  Of course, I ended up with 20 and I just can’t get rid of half of them – or even 5 of them.  To make it less crazy, I’m going to break them into categories.  Of the 141 books and nearly 45,000 pages I read between March and December, these were the best.  In no particular order (links go to reviews):

Nonfiction – Memoir

Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway
My Father’s Paradise by Ariel Sabar (More of a family memoir, remember when I met him?)
Tears of the Desert by Halima Bashir

General Fiction

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
Janeology by Karen Harrington

General Fiction/Mystery – these aren’t really what I would consider a mystery, but they aren’t quite general fiction either, so…

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
Alive in Necropolis by Doug Dorst

Short Stories

One More Year by Sana Krasikov
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Dystopian Fiction

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Science Fiction

Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi

Young Adult Fiction (Fantasy)

Far World: Water Keep by J. Scott Savage

Historical Fiction

The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner
Dracula Dossier
by James Reese (this is more of an historical mystery, but we’ll leave it in here for now)
Guernica by Dave Boling
Devil’s Brood by Sharon Kay Penman
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
The King’s Daughter by Sandra Worth
Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper (my review of Mistress Shakespeare will be published in the first week of February 2009 when the book is released)

Can we all tell that Historical Fiction is my favorite genre?

12 comments to BTT: Favorite Books of 2008

  • You’re inspiring, Jen!

  • I have been unable to get hold of Farworld. Not available in India as yet!

    2008 Top reads

    2008 review post

  • Great list. I agree about My Father’s Paradise, and yes I remember your post about him then referring to your review. That was cool. And Guernica is my favourites list too. I do have a copy of Mango Rains to look forward to and I really must read Janeology. I couldn’t keep my answer down to just a few either. Happy reading in 2009.

  • hello, friend. i would like to make a recommendation (not that you have time to carry it out, but maybe put on your list). Have you ever read anything by Gail Tsukiyama? I read “Night of Many Dreams” a couple years ago and it was fab, and I recently bought a book by her (the language of threads) which was a sequel to her first book (women of the silk) that I didn’t have, so I had to check it out from the library…ANYWAY: I also checked out “Dreaming Water,” and while the story wasn’t super compelling, the writing was magnificent. Her other books are more plot-driven and also really well written, but Dreaming Water was just really beautiful, it’s also really short. i know you like jhumpa lahiri for her word-smithing skills, so i thought you might like tsukiyama…

  • Kathy

    Great list! I have got to get Janeology.

  • I will add American Wife to the list. I’m glad you enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale, one of the most chilling novel I’ve read!
    I have posted my selections for 2008 on New Year’s Eve.

    Best New Fiction 2008

    The Future of Love, Shirley Abbott
    Letter from Point Clear, Dennis McFarland
    Finding Nouf, Zoë Ferraris
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
    The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein

    Best Backlist Fiction

    The Birds Fall Down, Rebecca West
    The Uncommon Reader, Alan Bennett
    A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka
    The Dreyfus Affair, Peter Lefcourt
    Kansas in August, Patrick Gale

  • I just bought a book by John Scalzi after hearing good things about him (even though I really don’t like sci-fi) so I’m really glad to see he’s on your list, too! Awesome.

  • This is a great list – I’ve read a few of these and many are on my TBR list.

  • The Gargoyle was my favorite this year. I’m glad to see it on your list.

    Btw, I gave you an award.

  • I’m excited to see a few of my TBR books on your list!

  • I really want to read Janeology and American Wife. I’ve read of few off your list.

    Nice picks.

  • Unlike you, I am not a huge fan of historical fiction but I too loved Guernica. A very good book…