01 January 2009

2008 Reading Wrap Up

I read 11 fewer books in 2008 than I did in 2007. I don't like that trend. I intend to improve upon that in the coming year. With good (book reading) friends in town for the last 10 days I have managed to acquire through gift and purchase about 30 books. Add this to the stack already in my commodious night stand and I have plenty of fodder for the coming months.

But what of the books for 2008? I was surprised to learn a few months ago that my sister was using my book list on the left column of MyPorch for reading ideas. Not a bad idea, except that my list makes no distinctions about whether or not the books were any good. So I thought I would give you a few of my favorites for the year.

I read almost no non-fiction, but the last book of the year Richistan, was a fascinating, quick read about the lives of the rich in America. Written by Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Frank, it is an amazing tale of excess, the gap between us and them, and the wannabes at all points of the economic spectrum. It also describes a world that may be involuntarily resetting itself as the economy continues to sour.

Looking back at my list for the year I see a lot of titles that I really didn't care for especially in the first half of the year, but there were some good ones.

Favorite books of the year (in no particular order):

  • The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (wrote a post on this one previously).
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Not a typical choice for me, lots of action, but a really great read.
  • Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. Woman decides to make all the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child (over 500 of them) in 365 days.
  • The Way I Found Her by Rose Tremain. A bit of a coming of age tale tied in with a mysterious disappearance set in Paris.
  • Hudson River Bracketed by Edith Wharton. Not Wharton's best but a great story nonetheless.
  • Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico. A 1950s London cleaning lady saves up her money for several years so she can go to Paris and buy a Dior gown. Not much meat to the book but a delightful story.
  • My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler. Raunchy, laugh out loud humor.

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