Books read 2008.

I’m not going to link to my reviews this year, because it takes a long time and I am feeling lazy. Maybe 2009 will be the year in which I am efficient about my book list and I keep a running list all year with the links to the reviews. But I wouldn’t count on it. I always kind of hate typing the list up. All the highlighting for the italicizing. But this entry is not about the creating of the list. It’s about the books. Here we go.

1. 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson (f)
2. Runemarks by Joanne Harris (f)
3. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin (f)
4. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (f)
5. Slam by Nick Hornby (f)
6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (f) (reread)
7. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher (f) (reread)
8. Touchstone by Laurie R. King (f)

9. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (f)
10. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (f)
11. Lulu Atlantis and the Quest for True Blue Love by Patricia Martin (f)
12. White Teeth by Zadie Smith (f)
13. If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson (f)
14. Night Kites by M.E. Kerr (f)
15. The Pigman by Paul Zindel (f)
16. The Gospel According to the Beatles by Steve Turner (nf)
17. The Giver by Lois Lowry (f) (reread)
18. As If Being 12 3/4 Isn’t Bad Enough, My Mother is Running for President by Donna Gephart (f)
19. 30 Days to Getting Over the Dork You Used to Call Your Boyfriend by Clea Hantman (nf)
20. The Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher (f)
21. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen (nf) (bookclub)
22. Little Beauties by Kim Addonizio (f)
23. Monster by Walter Dean Myers (f)

24. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (f)
25. The Other Side of You by Salley Vickers (f)
26. Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler (f)
27. Christ the Lord: Road to Cana by Anne Rice (f)
28. Sweet Valley High: Double Love by Francine Paschal (f) (reread)
29. The Clique by Lisi Harrison (f)
30. Your Own, Sylvia by Stephanie Hemphill (poetry)
31. Troubling a Star by Madeleine L’Engle (f) (reread)
32. Sweet Valley High: Secrets by Francine Paschal (f) (reread)

33. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (f)
34. Ariel and Other Poems by Sylvia Plath (poetry)
35. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan (f)
36. The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum (f)
37. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn (f)
38. Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos (f)
39. I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier (f)
40. Wintering by Kate Moses (f)
41. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (f)
42. Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink (nf) (bookclub)
43. The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith (f)
44. The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer (f)
45. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (f)

46. The Joys of Love by Madeleine L’Engle (f)
47. Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble (f)
48. The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (f)
49. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (f) (bookclub)
50. One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke (f)

51. The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver (f)
52. A Horse of Her Own by Annie Wedekind (f)
53. Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (f) (reread)
54. The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg (f)
55. Hot Mess: Summer in the City by Julie Kraut and Shallon Lester (f)
56. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (f) (reread)
57. Golden Country by Jennifer Gilmore (f)
58. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (f) (reread)

59. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (f) (reread)
60. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (f) (reread)
61. Things Seen and Unseen by Nora Gallagher (nf)
62. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis (f) (reread)
63. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (f) (reread)
64. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (f) (reread)

65. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (f)
66. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (f) (reread)
67. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (f)
68. Saturday by Ian McEwan (f)
69. An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England by Brock Clarke (f)
70. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr (f)
71. A Home on the Field by Paul Cuadros (nf) (reread)
72. The Secret History by Donna Tartt (f)

73. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (f)
74. The Cure for Modern Life by Lisa Tucker (f)

75. Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth (f) (bookclub)
76. QBQ: The Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller (nf)
77. Prayer by Philip Yancey (nf) (reread)
78. The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday by Alexander McCall Smith (f)
79. The Pleasure Was Mine by Tommy Hays (f) (bookclub)
80. Acedia and Me by Kathleen Norris (nf)

81. Paper Towns by John Green (f)
82. The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham (f)
83. The Yellow Leaves by Frederick Buechner (nf) (bookclub)
84. The World According to Bertie by Alexander McCall Smith (f)
85. Death’s Half-Acre by Margaret Maron (f)
86. Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup (nf)
87. Godric by Frederick Buechner (f)
88. My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger (f)
89. 3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares (f)
90. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld (f)

91. Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli (nf)
92. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling (f)
93. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (f)
94. The Perfect Wife: The Life and Choices of Laura Bush by Ann Gerhart (nf)
95. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (f)
96. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini (f)
97. Unnamed Book by Unnamed Author (Listen, I am not going to list this one, and it’s not out of shame or medical reasons or anything. It’s just personal. I am generally pretty transparent on my book lists. You will have to respect my privacy on this one.)
98. The Glorious Impossible by Madeleine L’Engle (nf)
99. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (f)
100. The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett (f) (Battle of the Books)
101. Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa (f) (Battle of the Books)
102. Go With Me by Castle Freeman, Jr. (f)
103. The Cure for Grief by Nellie Hermann (f)
104. The Folded World by Amity Gaige (f)
105. Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse (f) (Battle of the Books)
106. Dovey Coe by Frances O’Roark Dowell (f) (Battle of the Books)

So, Kari? What happened in May and July? And WHAT HAPPENED in September?

Well, in May I was finishing up two spring classes and then my summer class started, and I just got kind of crazy busy. All the King’s Men took me a while, though I really liked it. And in July we were moving and painting and pulling down wallpaper and even though we were on vacation, I just didn’t get a lot read when we were at home.

And in September, well, I don’t know. I just was overwhelmed with life. Oscar Wao took me forever, and Sacred Hunger (which I finished in October) took me forever. I just couldn’t get through either of those. (I really disliked Oscar Wao, by the way.)

I read a lot of YA literature this year, both for classes and work. I also read a lot of articles that weren’t listed and some textbooks that I didn’t read completely, so they didn’t count. That accounts for some of September, actually, those articles and textbooks. Those three months, especially September, put me way off my normal mark. Here’s hoping for a more consistent 2009.

Here are my books of note for the year.

Best Fiction: Christ the Lord: Road to Cana by Anne Rice
Best Non-Fiction: Acedia and Me by Kathleen Norris
Best Book Featuring a Severed Ear: Go With Me by Castle Freeman, Jr. (black comedy, very short, very enjoyable)
Biggest Surprise, Good: Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
Worst Book (I considered calling it Biggest Surprise, Bad, but . . . it wasn’t really a surprise, just a disappointment): Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Best Violent Book Not Featuring a Severed Ear: No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Best Reread, Fiction: Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (although I did enjoy my Harry Potter reread quite a bit)
Best Reread, Nonfiction: Prayer by Philip Yancey (this one helped me get unstuck, I think)
Best YA Book: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (though I read a lot of great ones)

And here are some of the books I want to read in 2009:
War and Peace (It’s on our shelf and people always ask if one of us has read it. I thought Mike had, but he hasn’t. So I am going to.)
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (I really wanted to read it in 2008, but this will be the year.)
The Name of the Rose (Christmas gift)
The Host by Stephenie Meyer (I am a sucker for punishment, I suppose.)

Did you post your book list? What are you planning to read in 2009?

2007 List. 2006 list. 2005 list.

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  1. […] Through a Glass, Darkly ยป Books read 2008. Continuing a long-standing joke about this between myself and Kari. (tags: gfmorris_comment) […]

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    Books read 2008. – Through a Glass, Darkly


  1. Here’s mine:

    I swear I am going to finish Jonathan Strange this year as well! (I’m afraid I might have to re-start it though…)

    Posted 12/31/2008 at | Permalink
  2. Kari

    I’ve really only read about 10 pages in it. I bought it for my school’s library over the summer, and a few students have come to me and said things like, “I LOVED IT.” In all caps. Just like that. So I really really want to actually read it.

    Posted 12/31/2008 at | Permalink
  3. I am sorry to say that your shorter list makes me feel slightly less inferior than I did last year. I’ve only read 81 unique books (a total of 84 reads) this year. Which breaks my record from last year, but is still about half what you read last year.

    I don’t think I’m going to finish my current book before the year ends. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 12/31/2008 at | Permalink
  4. Bravo, Kari. And I’m happy for you that you forwent (forgoed? forgewed?)…didn’t put all the links. It makes me tired just thinking of that. I kind of hate that one of the only books I’ve read this year on your list won in the worst book category. oh well.

    Posted 12/31/2008 at | Permalink
  5. Kari

    I am sorry that I had to put it in the worst book category. I know some people really liked it. I read some disappointing books this year, but that one really stands out.

    Posted 1/1/2009 at | Permalink
  6. I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed The Host. Hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised by it this year too.

    I get a ton of inspiration from your book lists and look forward to pulling titles from it again this year!

    Posted 1/1/2009 at | Permalink
  7. Kari

    Thanks, Lydia! I need to reread The Woman in White – it’s been years since I have read it. And I bought some Sarah Dessen for my school, but I haven’t read any myself. I will have to check her out this year.

    Posted 1/1/2009 at | Permalink
  8. I get a ton of inspiration from your book lists and look forward to pulling titles from it again this year!

    And you think no one cares about your book posts. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Posted 1/1/2009 at | Permalink
  9. Good luck with Jonathon Strange! It’s one of my husband’s absolute favorites, and he’s been begging me to read it for quite some time. I finally started and got about half way through and never finished. I can’t explain why I didn’t finish since it really is quite good. Maybe this is just the inspiration I need to finish….although I worry I’ll have to start over at the beginning.

    Posted 1/1/2009 at | Permalink
  10. Kari

    That’s what happened to Mike, too, Claire. He hasn’t finished it, but he really liked what he did read.

    Posted 1/1/2009 at | Permalink
  11. I get a ton of inspiration from your book lists and look
    forward to pulling titles from it again this year!

    And you think no one cares about your book posts. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Seriously? OK now I have to ‘fess up. I’ve been reading Kari’s book posts (and Gilmore Girls posts) since months before I signed up on the .net. There have been more times then I can count where I walked into the library with a list of 15-20 books all pulled from her lists/reviews. So thank you, Kari! And keep inspiring!

    Posted 1/2/2009 at | Permalink
  12. Is this the meeting of Kari anonymous? Every year I get inspiration from Kari’s book list. Last year I kept ratings because of it. This year there were no ratings. I don’t know how to proceed. I think I need professional help.

    Posted 1/3/2009 at | Permalink

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