Monday, January 12, 2009

Books 2008

Paint it Black - Janet Fitch
The Bride Stripped Bare - Nikki Gemmell
Past Secrets - Cathy Kelly
Thunderstruck - Erik Larson
Bridge of Sighs - Richard Russo
A Place of Execution - Val McDermid
Parenting by the Book - John Rosemond
Taking Charge of Your Fertility - Toni Weschler
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
The Tears of the Giraffe - Alexander McCall Smith
Morality for Beautiful Girls - Alexander McCall Smith
Tweak - Nic Sheff
Beautiful Boy - David Sheff
6th Target - James Patterson
What I Know Now - ed. Ellyn Spragins
Harvesting the Heart - Jodi Picoult
Under the Banner of Heaven - Jon Krakauer
Certain Girls - Jennifer Weiner
Love is a Mix Tape - Rob Sheffield
So Brave, Young and Handsome - Leif Enger
Such a Pretty Fat - Jen Lancaster
Driving Sideways - Jess Riley
Otherwise Engaged - Suzanne Finnamore
I Was Told There'd be Cake - Sloane Crosley
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Christopher Moore
Hold Tight - Harlan Coben
A Wolf at the Table - Augusten Burroughs
The Rabbit Factory - Marshall Karp
Belong to Me - Marisa de los Santos
The Breakdown Lane - Jacqueline Mitchard
The Second Assistant - Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare
I Feel Bad About My Neck - Nora Ephron
Out - Natsuo Kirino
Swapping Lives - Jane Green
The Kalahari Typing School for Men - Alexander McCall Smith
Something Borrowed - Emily Giffin
Something Blue - Emily Giffin
The Other Woman - Jane Green
The Bright Forever - Lee Martin
Then We Came to the End - Joshua Ferris
You Are Not Alone - ed. Sarah Peach
Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea - Chelsea Handler
Heartburn - Nora Ephron
Baby Proof - Emily Giffin
Second Chance - Jane Green
One Good Turn - Kate Atkinson
Love the One You're With - Emily Giffin
Chasing Harry Winston - Lauren Weisberger
Hard-Core Collections - David DeMercurio
Such a Pretty Girl - Laura Wiess
Remember Me? - Sophie Kinsella
Citizen Girl - Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion
The Zygote Chronicles - Suzanne Finnamore
If I am Missing or Dead - Janine Latus
Killing Yourself to Live - Chuck Klosterman
This Charming Man - Marian Keyes
Keeping Faith - Jodi Picoult
Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
Blood Thirsty - Marshall Karp
Agnes and the Hitman - Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
A Hopeless Romantic - Harriet Evans
The Post-Birthday World - Lionel Shriver
The Monsters of Templeton - Lauren Groff
The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
Hardly Knew Her - Laura Lippman
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
Shopgirl - Steve Martin
The Whore's Child and Other Stories - Richard Russo
The Hour I First Believed - Wally Lamb
I Know This Much is True - Wally Lamb
Cutting Loose - Nadine Dajani
The Soloist - Steve Lopez
New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
Out Stealing Horses - Per Petterson
The Quiet Girl - Peter Hoeg
Fun Home - Alison Bechdel
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell - Tucker Max
Undiscovered Country - Lin Enger
All We Ever Wanted Was Everything - Janelle Brown


  1. I just finished The Hour I First Believed and loved it! I couldn't even explain to my husband why I loved it so much, but I still loved it.

    So, why did you hate Tweak? I haven't read it, but have read the one by the dad. I'm kind of fascinated by books about addiction. But I'm curious why you hated it.

    Why are you still reading Twilight if you hate every single one? And why do you hate them? I enjoyed them, but am not the superfan the world expects. Poor editing is distracting.

    I've read a lot of the books on your list, and am always looking for more, so I'm just curious about what makes you like a book and what makes you hate a book.

  2. Nicole - Hi and welcome! To me, that's the hard part about authors like Wally Lamb and Richard Russo - they write so well about real life and their characters are so real, it's hard to say what you like so much.

    Tweak - I think what it boils down to is that I really don't like reading books about unlikeable characters. The boy is an addict and he does all the horrible things that go along with an addiction - lie, steal, con, etc. As a portrait of addiction, it's great. It is a real, no-holds-barred description on what it feels like to be addicted to drugs. But that's not pleasant at all to read. Looking back, maybe "hate" is too strong a word. I didn't really hate it. It was compelling and informative, which definitely has value.

    The Twilight series - why did I keep reading? To see how bad the series could get. Because everyone was talking about the series and I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about. Because I read a synopsis of the whole series that included the unconventional c-section in the last book and I just had to know how that came about, and I'm too much of a nerd to skip ahead to the last book without reading every single page of every book before it. Why do I hate them? Because, as you said, poor editing is distracting, as are crappy descriptions and annoying characters. Because a weak main character can make me hate a book. Because characters who don't learn a damn thing make me furious. (Don't even get me started on Angela's Ashes!) Because I hate novels that enforce stereotypes like, "the woman should be meek and submissive". Because I could see her Mormon values throughout the series and I thought they were ridiculously out of place in a vampire novel. I have no problem with Mormon values, (for other people, not for myself), but I don't think vampires would agree with them. : )

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on the ones you've read. Things that make me like a book: character development, whether it's from a good person to a bad person, or just subtle changes over time and as experiences shape them; plot - storyline is vital. If nothing happens, it's likely to be a very boring book. Observations about the world or human nature - books teach us things all the time. Books have helped me realize how I think and feel on many different subjects. Things that make me hate a book: cop-out endings (My Sister's Keeper, I'm looking at you!), characters who don't learn from their life experiences, books with no likeable characters, authors who use characters or plot developments too obviously - if I feel like the author is just using a character to make something else happen, I just get mad. They should have more skill than that.

    Thank you for the awesome comment! Please come back and visit soon!

  3. You read all these books in 2008! Goodness! How I envy your dedication and love of books. I wish I could read these many but I only read at night before going to bed and like a two-year old, can only get past a couple of pages before I start dozing off! I have to scan your list and make a list of books to keep an eye for.

  4. Hey Rebecca and welcome! Well, I really think I read TOO much in 2008. I scaled back in 2009 and read almost 20 fewer books. But yes, I do really love to read.