January 21, 2009

Top Reads of 2008

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In no particular order, here are my Top Reads for 2008. Click on the titles to read my review.

Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell

The Girl With No Shadow by Joanne Harris

A Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Face of Death by Cody McFadyen

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

The Darker Side by Cody McFadyen

Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

The Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I've been keeping track of my reading stats since 1999. I'm not sure if I included the books I gave up on in my totals in those early years, but I've since stopped. Here's how the past decade has gone:

1999 42 read
2000 60 read
2001 63 read
2002 72 read
2003 88 read
2004 82 read (this is the year I stopped including books I gave up on)
2005 57 read (quit on 12)
2006 73 read (quit on 17)
2007 58 read (quit on 9)
2008 46 read (quit on 6)

So, between working full-time in a bookstore and maintaining 3 blogs (books, cooking and photographs), plus keeping up with all my favorite bloggers, I didn't allow much time for reading. I hope to remedy that in 2009!

A few more stats in 2008, for those who might be interested:

Male Authors 15
Female Authors 31
New-To-Me Authors 27
Epistolary 4
Current Affairs 1
Audio 0
Fiction 39
Nonfiction 7
Historical Fiction 7
Classics 0
Poetry 1
Teen 1
Kids 1
Science Fiction 4
Fantasy 1
Horror 0
Romance 4
Culinary 0
Humor 0
Travel 0
Memoir 4
Mystery/Thriller 3
Re-read 1
Advanced Reader Copy 15 (!!)
Borrowed from Library 5


  1. I like your list! I'm interested to read the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I've heard so many good things!

  2. MaryKate - I'll lend you my copy, if you like. Or, if you want to stimulate the economy, you can grab a copy off my endcap! :) Might be the perfect book to read after that little baby comes along!

  3. When I saw you had a book by Joanne Harris on your list I thought I must have a look at that as I didn't know the title. I must have missed your post on The Girl With No Shadow at the time and as I read the description I thought it sounded familiar - of course it's The Lollipop Shoes, which has been sitting on my bookshelves unread since I bought the hardback copy as I couldn't wait for it to come out in paperback. How time flies! Glad you enjoyed it - now I must read it too.

  4. Anonymous3:01 AM

    How fun to get to publicize your "Best of.." list. I ought to think about that for a display at the library. BELONG TO ME was on my top 10 as was GUERNSEY, of course. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sigh...I always love reading your stats! I'm also interested in the same book as MaryKate...hoping to pick up a copy of it in the US.

  6. What a great idea! :) I look at your list and have fond memories of many of them. I sure hope we have fabulous reads throughout 2009. Happy Reading, Les!

  7. How neat, you get your endcap with your name!

    I love seeing stats so thank you for sharing. Guess what? I finally read Shadow Man by Cody McFadyen. There were a few things that kind of bugged me but on the whole I liked it and will be reading more of his series. One of these days I will read Eat, Pray, Love!

  8. Guernsey was on my list, and many others, too. My sister gave me Change of Heart last weekend. I'm thinking of saving it for my trip to Florida next month.

  9. Great list - gotta bookmark this post. I've only read one of these, but a couple of the others are already on my TBR list. I usually do well with your recommendations so I need to look close at all of these. Thanks!!

  10. Very fun having your top reads as an endcap! I have a few of those already on my wish list. I'm sure I'll be getting The Guernsey Literary ... this year once it comes out in paperback.

  11. I can only imagine how much fun you must have coming up with ideas for your endcaps. Every time you post one I want to walk into the store and see it. There are several more books on that list that I'm adding to my TBR list. Gosh, it's getting frightfully long!

  12. Margaret - Yep, it's The Lollipop Shoes. Not sure which title I like better. I remember first hearing about the book with the UK title and couldn't wait to give it a read. Move it off your bookshelf and put it on your nightstand. Yes, it's a must-read!!

    Kay - It is fun, although I still need to write up my "shelf-talker" blurbs. Funny how the books don't really sell themselves. They do much better when the customers can read why they're on the endcap.

    Bybee - Aww, thanks! I'm glad you enjoy the lists. This one wasn't as involved as past years'. I ran out of time and wanted to get it posted before February rolled around.

    Joy - Isn't fun to look back at the lists and see what you loved, too? I've already had two big winners this month, so I have great hopes for 2009. Happy reading to you, too, Joy!

    Iliana - It's quite fun (and an honor) to be allowed to have my very own endcap at work.

    I'm glad you finally got to read Shadow Man. I'm curious about what bugged you, though. I'll have to read your review.

    JoAnn - Change of Heart will be a great book to read on your flight to Florida. (I read somewhere that you're going to Sanibel!!!! I'm so jealous!) Enjoy!

    Nat - Yes, it is fun, although a bit stressful trying to come up with 2-3 sentence blurbs for the shelf-talkers. I'm better with full-length reviews.

    Booklogged - It's lots of fun. I have a few ideas for future endcaps -- just need to read a few more books so I can give honest recommendations. ;) Hey, anytime you want to come to Lincoln and see my endcap, you're more than welcome! :)

  13. I'm bookmarking this post so I can look closer at some of these. I've only read one on your list, but several others are already on my TBR list. I've learned to pay attention to your recommendations so I need to come back to this list.

  14. SuziQ - Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm glad you've enjoyed my recommendations over the past few years. I know you've led me in the direction of a few winners, too.

  15. You are born to work in that bookstore, and they are so lucky to have you!! That was a real display, right?

  16. Nan - I was, wasn't I?! I think I'm pretty lucky to be working for them, especially in this economic climate. And, yes, that is a real display which is still up. I'll leave it up until March 1st.


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