Thursday, January 08, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: The Best?

This week's BTT topic:
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?
(It’s an oldie but a goodie question for a reason, after all… because, who can’t use good book suggestions from time to time?)
Good question. I've been meaning to do a little wrap-up of my reading in 2008 – just haven't had the energy. Think I'm still recovering from all that holiday hoopla.

Well, I'm assuming this means the best books, overall – not just those published in 2008. I wouldn't be much good at that question anyway – I only read a few new books last year.

If I had to pick my absolute favorite from the books I read in 2008, it would be a tie between Civil to Strangers by Barbara Pym, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I'm such a Pym fan, I was really expecting to like that one, but the Guernsey book was a total surprise.

After those two, my favorites would be (in no particular order):

Emma, by Jane Austen
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
The Lace Reader, by Brunonia Barry
The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson
Mr. White's Confession, by Robert Clark

All very different books, from several different genres. I sort of judge a book by how fast I get through it. If it keeps me up nights, reading into the wee hours; if it takes me away from the other three or four books I've got going at any one time – then I know it's a really good read. And all of these titles passed that test with flying colors.


  1. I judge books the same way you do - if it's a fast read for me(regardless of the actual number of pages)and keeps me up wanting to read more, than it was a great book.

  2. I keep running across The Guernsey Society (?) in reviews. I think I need to add it to my TBR list!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog.

  3. I haven't read Pym in years! Thanks for reminding me of her. They would be nice to reread on a snowy Saturday.

  4. Thank you for mentioning "Civil to Strangers". I am a new convert to Barbara Pym and it is lovely to find some more of her writing to add to my wishlist.

  5. I loved The Guernsey book too. I've got The Curious Incident on my shelves, time I got to it I guess. The Gargoyle and The Lace Reader sure seem to be popular. I haven't tried Pym but I might now.

  6. I agree on Guernsey and The Gargoyle. I haven't read any of the others, but The Lace Reader is in my stacks.

  7. I definitely agree with you about Curious Incident and The Lace Reader!

  8. I read Emma a few years ago, and I loved it. I also listened to "The Curious Incident..." on audio book while I was at work, and I thought it was very good. Great choices!

  9. I have A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon in my pile. We overlap in the Guernsey book.

    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, Zoƫ 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

  10. There was NO WAY that I could handle today's question--too much thinking! You did well.

  11. Keep trying to get to The Gargoyle. Loved Guernsey too!

  12. I just finished Guernsey and totally loved it!! Curious Incident was fantastic!!! Glad to hear you liked it as well. I've got to read the Lace Reader.

    Great list!!

  13. I've heard alot about "The Guernsey Literary..." Will have to check it out.

    Emma's on the list for sometime after spring or maybe next year. :)



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