Monday, December 22, 2008

Working on My Best of 2008 Lists

I've started going through my book journal, where I've written info on each book that I've read this year, in order to begin compiling my Best of 2008 reading lists. I usually make two lists of ten books each: one for mysteries, and one that combines all genres. The first thing I do is make a list of all the books I've given A+ ratings to...all the books that made me say, "WOW!" when I finished the last page. I have my work cut out for me in whittling down the list, which now stands at twenty-three. I won't be finishing this or posting the results until the first of the year. (The last book I read in 2007 at 11:30 PM on December 31 turned out to be one of my top reads, so I take no chances!)

Here's the list I have to work from right now (in reading order only):

--Burning Road by Ann Benson (SciFi)
--Mark of the Lion by Suzanne Arruda (Mystery)
--The Dead Hour by Denise Mina (Mystery)
--Slip of the Knife by Denise Mina (Mystery)
--A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley (Historical Fiction)
--You Can Prevent Global Warming by Langholz & Turner (Non-Fiction)
--Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (Young Adult)
--Broken Skin by Stuart MacBride (Mystery)
--All Shall Be Well by Deborah Crombie (Mystery)
--The Stick Game by Peter Bowen (Mystery)
--The Bones of Plenty by Lois Phillips Hudson-- the very first review on my brand-new blog (Historical Fiction)
--The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Fiction)
--Into the Forest by Jean Hegland (SciFi)
--Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie (Mystery)
--Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Young Adult)
--Cruzatte and Maria by Peter Bowen (Mystery)
--Kindred by Octavia Butler (SciFi)
--Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley (Historical Fiction)
--The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Mystery)
--Echoes From the Dead by Johan Theorin (Mystery)
--Confessions of a Pagan Nun by Kate Horsley (Historical Fiction)
--Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien (Non-Fiction)
--No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay (Mystery)

In typing this list, I've already mentally pruned two titles from it. Although they both had the WOW! response, they just don't stack up against the rest. Which two are they? Twilight and Mark of the Lion. That's all you'll get before January 1!

How about you? Do you compile a list of your Best Reads of the year? Do you enjoy the process, or find it painful?


  1. I do not Cathy. But you know what, it seems like a good idea actually and since I do remember all the books that i have read this year I might just do that.

  2. You like Denise Mina, huh? I have to look into her.

    In 2008, I really enjoyed Down River by John Hart, Small Crimes by Dave Zeltserman, Already Dead by Charlie Huston, and The Blonde by Duane Swierczynski.

  3. I keep meaning to get going on this myself. I have my Jan. 1 monthly wrap-up post (for Dec.) started and was hoping to expand that to include a summary of 2008.

  4. I'll post my list - a short one - on Dec. 31. I also need to be thinking about my reading goals for 2009.

  5. I haven't read any of the books on your list, but I do have The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in my TBR pile.

  6. I haven't yet started thinking about my best of list, but I do like to make one. I keep a running list of the books I read along with other details I like to track as I read and so it's not too difficult putting it all together in the end, although it's still a bit of work. I always enjoy looking back at what I've read over the year.

  7. Lilly--I always like to "sum up" my reading at the end of each year. If you decide to do the same, I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for your list!

    C.T. Henry--I love Mina. I have yet to read a book she's written that I didn't like.

    Beth--I'll be waiting for your wrap-up post!

    Corey--yet another list to watch for! I refuse to "do" reading goals because I'm so contrary it seems that I immediately set out NOT to follow any goal I set. Well...I do have one goal: to enjoy reading. THAT one I seem able to stick with!

    Kathy--The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo could've used a bit of editing, but the story hooked me and I enjoyed the ride. I hope you do, too!

    Wendy--I really liked a recent post of yours in which you looked back at what you were reading about five years ago. I've been thinking of doing the same thing. It's one of the main reasons why I keep book journals--it's fun to go back over them a few years down the road.

  8. I'm working on mine as's difficult to choose...

    I wish you the best in this holiday season, full of joy and memories, and a healthy, bookish new year! Merry Christmas! :)

  9. HI Cathy - Merry Christmas! And boy, your 2008 list certainly puts me to shame :P

    I'd never thought of compiling a yearly list but it sounds like a good thing to do. Guess I can start with 2008 first...

    Happy 2009!!!

  10. My list is in my library bag, one of the many pages in my book diary. I'll be jotting down some of your titles to search for, thanks Cathy.

    The only one of yours I've read was the Curious Incident. I really enjoy books where the writer has used such strong point of view. Others that succeeded in this way for me were Lottery by Patricia Wood and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

  11. I haven't read *any* of the books on your list-in-progress. Just goes to show how many great books there are (well, how many books there are anyway; maybe our "worst of 2008" would each be unique, too)

    I don't know if I'll have time to make a "tops" list ...

  12. I'm putting my own list together and I too am waiting until I finish my last book of the year. In fact the book I finished yesterday looks like it will make my list so I'd be annoyed if I'd already compiled my list like others have done. Of your long list only one is also on mine - Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I wonder if it will end up making either of our final lists.


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