Favorite 5 Fiction Reads of 2008

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Favorite 5 Fiction Reads of 2008

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Edited: Dec 9, 2008, 2:59 pm

We are keeping it to 5 titles so that it is feasible to tabulate all the posts and come up with a final list. I know it is tough, as it certainly is for me, but we can do it! Here are mine:

Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Edited: Dec 9, 2008, 3:18 pm

This is torture !

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman*
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
Saplings by Noel Streatfeild
A l'Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs by Marcel Proust

*does that count for one book ? Please ? I can't choose between the three, it's one story.

I feel like I'm betraying all the other just as excellent reads :(
Christi, it's good to see you here ! It's nice to know I'm not the only one agreeing to this masochistic ranking :p

Dec 9, 2008, 3:21 pm

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud though Ptolemy's Gate was the best IMO
A Prayer for the Damned by Peter Tremayne
Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

ha! easier than I thought. clicked on my 'Read 2008' tag and sorted by Rating. Viola!

Dec 9, 2008, 3:31 pm

By the Sea by Abdulrazak Gurnah
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
The Seasons of the Beento Blackbird by Akosua Busia
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Small Island by Andrea Levy

Edited: Dec 9, 2008, 3:41 pm

The Monkey King by Wu Cheng'en
The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness
Recognition of Sakuntala by Kalidasa
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
A Death in the Family by James Agee

Maybe we should torture Sibylle by asking for top three next?

Dec 9, 2008, 4:04 pm

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Edited: Dec 9, 2008, 4:07 pm

I'm serious, it's horrible. At this point I might as well draw the titles out of a hat, I can't choose ! I just hope that 2009 will be as good as this year.

Dec 9, 2008, 4:15 pm

Five titles from this year:
The brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Song of Solomon
Out Stealing Horses
Then We Came to The End

Edited: Dec 18, 2008, 5:11 pm

In no particular order... (and tomorrow i would probably pick a different five)

Children of the New World by Assia Djebar
Outcast by Sadie Jones
The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi
Sorry by Gail Jones
Where the Line Bleeds by Jesmyn Ward
A Mercy by Toni Morrison

1st runner up - Pillar of Salt by Albert Memmi (a superbly written book but whose story did not touch me quite like these five)

eta to add a title:-)

Dec 9, 2008, 5:23 pm

I agree with everything Sibylle.Night said in #8.

That said, here goes.

Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
Unforgiving Years by Victor Serge
The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric
Petals of Blood by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
Netherland by Joseph O'Neill as a token new book

But this is torture, torture, torture, and I could come up with different, but equal, favorites, tomorrow, and probably the day after.

Dec 9, 2008, 5:24 pm

>8 Sibylle.Night: Sibylie, I'm with you. Maybe we should find ourselves a literary bar and read ourselves into oblivion. . .:-)

Dec 9, 2008, 5:27 pm

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Dec 9, 2008, 5:44 pm

My top five may (just MAY) distinguish themselves from my second five by a hair, or maybe it was just the day I read them, or maybe I put them on the list just because I want other people to read them, and I know Light in August already gets read pretty broadly.

But, all I want out of the exercise is another list of good books that I may not have thought about recently.

Dec 9, 2008, 5:58 pm

The Chosen by Chaim Potok
The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini
The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh

Dec 9, 2008, 7:35 pm

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Dec 9, 2008, 9:02 pm

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
Middlemarch, George Eliot
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Road, Cormac McCarthy
Wise Children, Angela Carter

Dec 9, 2008, 9:54 pm

BeaufortRon Leshem
Fire in the BloodIrene Nemirovsky
Special Topics in Calamity Physics – Marsha Pessl
Duma Key – Stephen King
What is the What? – Dave Eggers

Edited: Dec 9, 2008, 11:40 pm

Yikes - I didn't realize how ridiculously difficult this would be until I actually tried to pick 5. But what a great problem to have!

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
City of Thieves by David Benioff
The Outlander by Gil Adamson
When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson

Dec 10, 2008, 1:34 am

Caving in to the torture:

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Secret River by Kate Grenville
The Girls by Lori Lansens
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie
Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

Dec 10, 2008, 5:31 am

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Three to See the King by Magnus Mills
Fup by Jim Dodge
Naive Super by Erlend Loe
Light of Day by Graham Swift

Edited: Dec 10, 2008, 7:26 am

At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill ( Without question, the best book I have read this year)
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Paddy Clarke Ha ha ha by Roddy Doyle
The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Dec 10, 2008, 7:49 am

Love Over Scotland - Alexander McCall Smith
Pompeii - Robert Harris
Daniel Deronda - George Eliot
Lilith - George MacDonald
Ilium - Dan Simmons

Dec 10, 2008, 8:21 am

Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Angle of Repose - Wallace Stegner
The Egyptologist - Arthur Phillips
In the Woods - Tana French
The Likeness - Tana French

I can't remember the last time I put mysteries, never mind two by the same author, in my best of .. list, but Tana French is that good!

Dec 10, 2008, 9:08 am

Here are mine:

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Collector by John Fowles
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Edited: Dec 10, 2008, 5:55 pm

It is hard to pick out my top 5, and I've already changed my mind in as many times. But I think this is my final list ..... unless I read something excellent before Dec 30 that may displace one or more from the list.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The Wednesday Letters by Jason Wright
The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

Dec 10, 2008, 6:48 pm

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Edited: Jan 1, 2009, 7:38 pm

In the order I read them:

The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson
Ysabeau S. Wilce's Flora Segunda series
Sarah Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinths series
New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear
A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire

(I kind of cheated. This year I have a Top 7 for the very first time, so I counted some of the books by series instead).

Dec 10, 2008, 7:37 pm

The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society Mary Ann Shaffer & Anne Barrows
The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafron
The Killer Angels Michael Shaara
Sweet Smoke David Fuller
The Book Thief Markus Zusak
These are in no certain order.

Edited: Dec 10, 2008, 9:39 pm

Picking 10 wasn't easy but selecting 5 is brutal:

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
The Known Worldby Edward P. Jones
March by Geraldine Brooks

My copy of The Book Thief is on it's way, so maybe it'll make next years list!

Edited: Dec 10, 2008, 8:48 pm

Five is hard! Mine:

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Watchmen by Alan Moore
Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold (I could put just about any of her Vorkosigan books in here, but Memory is by far my favorite.)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Edited: Jan 5, 2009, 6:39 pm

The Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniSnow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa SeeIn a Far Country by Linda HolemanDead Famous by Ben EltonBroken Skin by Stuart MacBrideChoosing 5 is hard - probably would list a different 5 tomorrow!

Dec 10, 2008, 11:01 pm

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
The King's Daughter by Sandra Worth

Dec 11, 2008, 3:14 am

This year my reading list seems to be filled with a lot of easy-read-junk and rereads. Excluding the rereads, the five books I've enjoyed most this year are...

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Dec 11, 2008, 3:15 am

My top 5 for 2008 are:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
1984 by George Orwell
The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The God of Small Things by Aundhati Roy

All of them pop lit I'm afraid... no hidden gems here!

Dec 11, 2008, 6:18 am

I could post about 25 here but I'll stick to five that haven't shown up yet.

Wolf Totem, Jiang Rong
The Brothers K, David James Duncan
Anathem, Neil Stephenson
The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolano
Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts

Ya know, come to think of it, none of the above are very short pagewise. All the authors are wordy. Hmmm......

Dec 11, 2008, 6:42 am

I could definitely post more than five, but here are five that would at least make my top 10:

The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara
Eagle in the Snow, Wallace Breem
Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner
Suite Francaise, Irene Nemirovsky
Lavondyss, Robert Holdstock

Edited: Dec 11, 2008, 10:10 am

Oh, this isn't as easy as it looks is it? But these were probably/possibly my favourites...

Excellent Women- Barbara Pym
The Road Home- Rose Tremain
According to Ruth- Jane Feaver
Runaway- Alice Munro
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont- Elizabeth Taylor

Dec 11, 2008, 7:40 am

Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling
Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling
Pagan's Crusade by Catherine Jinks
Havemercy by Jaida Jones
Vintage by Steve Berman

Okay, it's in a little different order than the list I posted over on the "top 10", but I stand by this! (I think) It's so hard to make decisions.

Dec 11, 2008, 9:52 am

These were my favourites of 2008:-

The Crimson Petal and the White - Michel Faber
The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy
The Sound of Butterflies - Rachael King

Dec 11, 2008, 9:52 am

Dec 11, 2008, 10:58 am

>40 VisibleGhost:, 45 - Ditto for The Brothers K - it was on my top five list last year. Phenomenal book. I sure wish Duncan would publish another work of fiction (though his nonfiction books are stellar too).

Dec 11, 2008, 11:48 am

Hm... I read a lot of good things this year. I left out the ones that were rereads and came up with:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Sweetsmoke by David Fuller
A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford

Dec 11, 2008, 1:12 pm

ok, taking a run at the darn near impossible: picking only 5:

The Master by Colm Toibin
The Leopard by di Lampedusa
Miss Mole by E.H. Young
Embers by Marai Sandor
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Dec 11, 2008, 1:12 pm

Because I rate all my books, my choices were easy this year. These are the five (in no particular order) that I gave 5 stars to (and which weren't a re-read):

The Road
No Country for Old Men
Small Island
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Half of a Yellow Sun

Dec 11, 2008, 4:48 pm

War with the Newts by Karel Capek
The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E. M. Delafield
The Horizontal Man by Helen Eustis
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Hours before Dawn by Celia Fremlin

Dec 11, 2008, 5:03 pm

>pamelad, I have just ordered a novella that features Capek as a character (the previous novella by this same author featured Janacek). It's called The Luminous Depths. You always have such interesting books on your lists.

Dec 12, 2008, 11:48 am

Little Stalker by Jennifer Belle
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Belong To Me by Marisa de los Santos
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Dec 12, 2008, 2:11 pm

It's kind of funny because 2 of my top reads weren't fiction this year. So I couldn't list them here.

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski

Also funny and unintentional is that this list has nothing actually published this year.

Edited: Dec 14, 2008, 8:59 pm

In the order I read them:

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Black Ships
Life as We Knew It
New Moon

If I read another great book in the next couple of weeks, I'll cheat and combine those last two into one.

Dec 14, 2008, 9:02 pm

Like heliophobe above me, the majority of my favorite or "best" reads this year weren't fiction but here are my five fictional favorites:

The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante
Wang in Love and Bondage by Xiaobo Wang
The Classical Novels by Mary Butts
Hell: a novel by Kathryn Davis
Zeroville by Steve Erickson

Honorable mention to Flying to America, a compilation of mostly uncollected and some posthumous stories by the late, great Donald Barthelme.

Dec 14, 2008, 9:40 pm

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Thud! by Terry Pratchett
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Dec 15, 2008, 2:26 pm

By the Sea by Abdulrazak Gurnah
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
Onitsha by Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio
Carpentaria by Alexis Wright

Dec 15, 2008, 5:25 pm

The Deportees and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle
Afterwards by Rachel Seiffert
Sorry by Gail Jones
Restoration by Rose Tremain
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

Dec 16, 2008, 1:40 pm

Although I did read some good books this year, I wasn't enraptured with anything. So I'm having the opposite problem than many of you: finding five books that I think were good enough to make a top five list! It's not for lack of trying--I read 90 books this year. Of those, I suppose these are the top five in fiction:

1. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
2. Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
3. Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood
4. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
5. Family Matters, Rohinton Mistry

Dec 17, 2008, 12:19 pm

Top Five American Fiction

The Wettest County in the World – Matt Bondurant
Lush Life – Richard Price
Dangerous Laughter - Stephen Millhauser
Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri
Shadow Country - Peter Matthiessen

Top 5 Irish Fiction

The Secret Scripture – Sebastian Barry
Country of the Grand – Gerard Donovan
Walk the Blue Fields – Claire Keegan
Yesterday’s Weather: Stories – Anne Enright
The Silence of the Glass House - Martin Malone

Dec 17, 2008, 1:06 pm

Tiffin- that is a very strong list! The leopard would be on my top five of all time

Dec 17, 2008, 1:25 pm

Hmm, I think this is really tough - there is a list of about 20 books that made a deep impression this year. Here are five of them although, other than the first two, I am not convinced that they really are better than the fifteen or so that they leave behind

If, On a Winter's Night A Traveller by Italo Calvino
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Loser by Thomas Bernhard (mainly as an introduction to Bernhard)
One, No One and One Hundred Thousand by Luigi Pirandello
The Lost Honour of Katherine Blum by Heinrich Boll

Edited: Dec 17, 2008, 1:39 pm

There are really 7 that I want to list, but limited to 5, I guess this is it (in order read):

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Dec 18, 2008, 9:20 am

My top 5 fiction books for 2008 are:
Beloved by Toni Morrison -- The hands down winner!
A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson

Dec 22, 2008, 4:24 pm

Here are my favorite fiction books for 2008 in the order I read them:
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

Dec 23, 2008, 9:25 am

Oooh...this is like pulling teeth, but here are my 5 favorites in the order I read them:

Book of a Thousand Days
The Name of the Wind
Victory of Eagles
The Shadow of the Wind
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Dec 24, 2008, 11:55 am

I could only pick four from the 70 odd books I read this year:

The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories by Connie Willis
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

However, I did discover two authors whose books I really enjoyed - John Scalzi and Alan Gordon.

Dec 27, 2008, 8:04 am

>68 seitherin: I think you have a windy theme going on in your picks!

Dec 27, 2008, 3:31 pm

Unaccustomed Earth
Dear American Airlines
The Story of a Marriage
Fault Lines

Could have easily given my top 10, so some had to be left out. I kept Sonata for Miriam off my list, given that it wont be released in the US until '09.

Dec 27, 2008, 8:44 pm

Next time just shoot me:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Le Comte de Monte-Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, père
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
The Confusions of Young Törless by Robert Musil
Le Rouge et le Noir by Stendhal

Dec 28, 2008, 7:39 am

Though choice, but here we go:

Shantaram by Gregory Davis Roberts
Helter skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
A question of blood by Ian Rankin
A place of execution by Val McDermid
and the Stieg Larsson trilogy

Dec 28, 2008, 6:11 pm

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Hidden City: The House Wars: Book One by Michelle West
The King’s Shield: Inda: Book 3 by Sherwood Smith
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
Ender's Game by Scott Orson Card

Dec 28, 2008, 8:58 pm

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria-Russell
Frost in May by Antonia White
All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West

Dec 29, 2008, 8:12 am

Pricksongs & Descants by Robert Coover
W, or The Memory of Childhood by Georges Perec (re-read)
Eagles' Nest by Anna Kavan
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Dec 29, 2008, 11:33 am

Well, here's the compilation of the top choices through number 76 above:

With 6, the current leader:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Close on, with 5:
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

With 4, the first little pack behind the leaders:
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafron
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Looks like some Ishiguro fans out there.

Then, with 3:
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I make no guarantees that my count is 100% accurate. There were about 25 with 2, but what I found most interesting was that there really was relatively modest overlap: most books appeared only once on our lists.

I will update this again sometime after the 1st, for a final compilation.

Dec 29, 2008, 12:05 pm

Thank you A_musing! It is interesting.

Dec 29, 2008, 9:32 pm

Yes, thanks A_musing! Isn't it wonderful that we get to enjoy such a variety of books?!? When I think about the junk we are sometimes subjected to on network tv (Momma's Boy comes immediately to mind, and I'm kinda' in that industry) I am so very thankful that the publishing industry can still crank out such a diverse selection of quality books.

Dec 29, 2008, 10:11 pm

I also found the number of works from non-U.S. and non-British authors, well, notable (not surprising, given the crowd here!). That carries through a lot of the favorites.

Dec 30, 2008, 12:16 am

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Edited: Dec 30, 2008, 12:26 pm

These are in the order that I read them (I'm a pretty slow reader - only about 25-30 books per year - so I don't have a vast number to choose from):

Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
Deliverance by James Dickey
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Endless Love by Scott Spencer

Dec 30, 2008, 12:56 pm

Thanks for doing all the collating, A_musing! I think I've managed to be random enough in my reading this year that none of mine are going to affect your wonderful list though :-)

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges
The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Dec 30, 2008, 1:11 pm

De Niro's Game by Rawi Hage
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
My White Planet by Mark Anthony Jarman
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
Nobody's Angel by Thomas McGuane

Dec 30, 2008, 4:29 pm

Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas
Middlesex by Jeffrey Euginedes
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Dec 30, 2008, 4:57 pm

Dec 30, 2008, 10:49 pm

This is very difficult as I had a great reading year. I have to narrow down my best 14 to 5-no- I can't do it- I'll leave it at 7.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak
Conceit by Mary Novik
Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson

Dec 30, 2008, 11:09 pm

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson which technically I'm not quite done with.

Wow-- I could have listed another 5 easily.

Dec 31, 2008, 12:43 am

>Streamsong - We Need to Talk About Kevin - what an intense book! I couldn't read another book after that one for a few days and I usually always have a book going. I tell people about this book often.

Dec 31, 2008, 9:14 pm

He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope
The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Dec 31, 2008, 10:04 pm

Okay, I think I'm ready. And I know I'm not going to finish my current book tonight. After years of reading books I had to read and then books I thought I should read, I decided this year to catch up on more recent authors. I think I did pretty well.

Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
Darkmans by Nicola Barker
Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
A Mercy by Toni Morrison

Dec 31, 2008, 10:52 pm

Another world by Pat Barker
White teeth by Zadie Smith
Igorance by Milan Kundera (touchstone not working)
Under the skin by Michael Faber
Staying on by Paul Scott
The Seige of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell
American Pastoral by Philip Roth

These are in no particular order

Jan 2, 2009, 1:59 am

Alan Booth : The Roads to Sata (not exactly fiction)
Miguel de Cervantes : Don Quixote de la Mancha
Victor Hugo : Notre-Dame de Paris
Alexandre Dumas : Le Comte de Monte-Cristo

Edited: Jan 2, 2009, 10:43 am

So difficult to pick only five, but here's my list...


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The rest in no particular order:

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Ninth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2006: Nineteenth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant
Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles de Lint
The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

Jan 2, 2009, 11:10 am

>92 JolieLouise: JolieLouise Totally agree with you about We Need to Talk About Kevin. It's hard to call it a favorite--I don't think I'll ever reread it. But it left such an impression, I didn't think I could leave it off my list of top 5 books. It was definitely the most memorable of the year for me.

Edited: Jan 2, 2009, 7:04 pm

I've heard so much about We Need to Talk About Kevin on these threads, that I had to Bookmooch it and it's on the way.

Jan 2, 2009, 8:20 pm

I have read so many good ones this year but will try to pare it down to five. In order read:

The Book Thief
On Chesil Beach
A prayer for Owen Meany
Things fall apart

Jan 2, 2009, 8:36 pm

I keep a list of everything I've read, so this wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be! In reading order rather than order of preference:

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M. Homes
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Jan 3, 2009, 10:40 pm

My top Books:

Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling
Tengu by John Donohue
Woken Furies by Richard K. Morgan
The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill
The Shack by William P. young
Mahu Fire by Neil S. Plakcy

Jan 5, 2009, 7:29 pm

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Timbuktu* by Paul Auster
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
The Mystic Arts of Erasing all Signs of Death* by Charlie Huston

*A couple of these I had rated at 4 stars right after I read them, but the reflection required to list them in my top 5 warranted upgrades to 5 stars.

I feel bad for leaving out The Kite Runner, which is my only other 5 star book this year. But I thought I'd just mention it to make it feel better.

Feb 27, 2009, 10:16 am

Hi Hemlok:

I just came across this thread and see at the top you were going to tabulate and come up with a final list? Are you still thinking of that? Perhaps in my quick race through 105 posts I missed it, or further talk about that. And are you still welcoming other people throwing their 2 cents worth in?

Feb 27, 2009, 10:19 am

Oh, I see that in #78 A_Musing compiled a list in progress. Thanks A_musing.

Can I still contribute and are you going to update later?

Feb 27, 2009, 11:40 am

This will not be easy but here goes:

1. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - David Wroblewski
2. America, America - Ethan Canin
3. The Colonie of Unrequited Dreams - Wayne Johnston
4. Restless - William Boyd
5. The Voyage of the Narwhal

Edited: Mar 2, 2009, 5:37 pm

I thought I would focus on newer books, not classics, for this list.

Not in any order:

Toni Morrison A Mercy
Richard Price Lush Life
Dennis Johnson Tree of Smoke
Kirin Desai The Inheritance of Loss
Stewart O'Nan Last Night at the Lobster