Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Books: A Year in Review

I can't believe that in just a matter of hours, 2008 will be done. I'll save my reflections on the year for another time. For now, let's talk about books.

I read the. Forty-five to be exact. That's a little less than a book a week. And those 45 books? They had a lot of pages. When all was said and done, I read 15,397 pages worth of words during 2008. That's a lot. And it beats the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year, to read 40 books and 15,000 pages. In comparison, last year I read 44 books and 16,505 pages.

The longest book I read this year was Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, which checked in a 756 pages. The shortest one? Dawn by Elie Wiesel which came in at 85 pages.

So what'd I read? Take a look. And if you get to the end of the list, you might even find a recommendation or two.

1. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
2. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
3. Secret Society Girl: An Ivy League Novel by Diana Peterfreund
4. Under the Rose: Any Ivy League Novel by Diana Peterfreund
5. The Cider House Rules by John Irving
6. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
7. Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope by Jenna Bush
8. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
9. Don't Bet Against Me! by Deanna Favre
10. Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
11. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Triathlon Training by Colin Barr & Steve Katai
12. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
13. Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson
14. Night by Elie Wiesel
15. Dawn by Elie Wiesel
16. What-the-Dickens: The Story of a Rouge Tooth Fairy by Gregory Maguire
17. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
18. Atonement by Ian McEwan
19. Not Quite a Mom
by Kirsten Sawyer
20. Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers
21. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
22. Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI: 1933-34 by 24. Bryan Burrough
23. The Appeal by John Grisham
24. Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
25. Lost by Gregory Maguire
26. Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles by Anthony Swofford
27. A Champion's Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis by Pete Sampras and Peter Bodo
28. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum
29. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
30. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
31. Rites of Spring (Break): An Ivy League Novel by Dianna Peterfreund
32. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
33. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
34. The Other Boleyn Girl
by Philippa Gregory
35. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
36. Pinkerton's Secret by Eric Lerner
37. A Lion Among Men: Vol. 3 in the Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire
38. Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities by Alexandra Robbins
39. For One More Day by Mitch Albom
40. Queen of Babble In the Big City by Meg Cabot
41. Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot
42. Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
43. Marley and Me by John Grogan
44. Slightly Suburban by Wendy Markham
45. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

So what did I think? I really liked Public Enemies. Yes, yes. I know I read it because Johnny Depp was in the City on the Water for a week filming the movie. But it was good. All about bank robbers and other criminals. And remember, I write about crooks for a living. It was right up my alley. The Stephenie Meyer books were good too. But I'd recommend the Twilight series before The Host, which wasn't quite as good. And you can't go wrong with anything by Gregory Maguire - A Lion Among Men was good reading, as was What-the-Dickens: The Story of a Rouge Tooth Fairy.

Was there anything I'd stay away from? Looking back over the list, the only one that really jumps out at me and makes me shudder when I think back to reading it is Love in the Time of Cholera. I guess I'd recommend staying away from it. But that's just my opinion.

So what's on tap for 2009? I guess you'll have to wait until that whole resolutions post arrives.


Jennie said...

Oh, I really liked Love in the Time of Cholera! Ah well. I see lots of the books you read this year are on my "to read" list for next year. I'm really looking forward to Secret Society Girl

Anonymous said...

I did this one year and was shocked at how many books I read! Course, mine weren't nearly as diverse and worldy as your list :)

Raina said...

Ooooh, ooooh!! There's my new year's resolution! To read more books. I am so bad about it, but if I want my boys to have good reading habits, I guess I need to start with me. Thanks for list. I may use it as a "go by". Happy 2009!