Thursday, January 29, 2009

Best of 2008

My father likes to claim that in France it’s perfectly acceptable to send holiday greeting cards until the end of January. I don’t know if this is true, but I like the idea and I’ve certainly used it to justify sending cards after the holidays. In the spirit of this idea, I’ve decided that I can still post my “Best of 2008” list of books, since we haven’t reached the end of January 2009 yet. I was hoping I would have finished reviewing all the books I read in late 2008 by the time I posted this list, but some of them are still to come, unfortunately. The lists are in alphabetical order by title, not in order of preference.

Best New Fiction (published in 2008):

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff (read review)
Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott (read review)
The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent (read review)
Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos (read review)
No One You Know by Michelle Richmond (read review)

Best Backlist Fiction:

Artificial Things by Karen Joy Fowler (no review)
Farthing by Jo Walton (read review)
Someone Not Really Her Mother by Harriet Scott Chessman (read review)
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (no review)
Thus Was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell (no review)

Best Non-Fiction:

A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder by Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman (no review)
The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and Other True Stories by Pagan Kennedy (read review)
Storming Heaven’s Gate: An Anthology of Spiritual Writings by Women edited by Patricia Vecchione and Amber Coverdale Sumrall (read review)
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale (review to come)

Best Book Covers:

Aberrations by Penelope Przekop (read review)
The Late Bloomer’s Revolution by Amy Cohen (read review)

With thanks to Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog for inspiring the layout of this post!


  1. Wow...I haven't read any of those books that you have listed, but they have all caught my eye! Especially The Heretic's Daughter, which I did receive as a Christmas gift from my blogging secret santa, but I am trying to hold off on reading that in case we decide to read it in my book club.

  2. I think The Heretic's Daughter was my favourite read from last year, although No One You Know might have tied for first place. I hope you enjoy it, Jo-Jo!

  3. I still haven't posted my best non-fiction reads for this year, so I guess I am in good company.

    I really loved The Heretic's Daughter. There were really obvious reasons that this book was interesting. It's such much mentioned time in American history, but the book was so subtle in the way it told the story and handled the relationships. It was great.

  4. It's never too late to read a Best of List!

    I'm so glad to see No One You Know on your list... I just finished her other book The Year of Fog and was curious about this one. It's going on my radar.

  5. It's never too late for a list of top reads! :P
    I already have all your best new fiction titles in my wish list and some of the others as well.

  6. Oh, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one, Nicole! I figure it's better late than never (and I encourage you to post that list!).

    Thanks for the moral support, Iliana! After reading No One You Know, The Year of Fog is on my list too (plus I keep hearing great things about it too).

    Thanks, Tanabata! I hope you enjoy them all as much as I did. (I'm keeping an eye out for your review of The Lace Reader too. It just barely missed the cut.)

  7. I need to get a copy of the 19th Wife. I keep hearing great things about it.

    I also love your best cover category. I am a sucker for a great cover!

  8. Thanks, Melissa! I was actually kinda surprised that no one else commented on this category. Of course, just because I liked the cover doesn't mean I liked the book! (I did in one case but not the other.)