Thursday, January 15, 2009

Laura's Top 12 Reads of 2008

I'm finally getting around to posting my top reads of 2008. Why 12? Well, I went through the list of books I read in 2008 and wrote down the books I thought were the best. And it happened to be 12. For complete reviews of these books, look back through my blog.

One note is that these are the best of books I read this year, but they didn't have to be published in 2008, just when I read them. I didn't count books that I was reading over again such as To Kill a Mockingbird, as it is obvious that they are among my favorites. In no particular order besides when I read them through the year . . . my top 12 reads:

1. Atonement by Ian McEwan I still find myself thinking about this novel. It was fascinating in its portrayel of perceptions, love, nursing during WWII, and the battle of Dunkirk.

2. The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier A riveting narrative of a 16th century French farm girl with a harrowing secret. The modern day portion of the story was forgettable, but I loved the historical section.

3. Slave by Mende Nazer & Damien Lewis. Horrifying account of modern day slavery. it was eye opening.

4. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. Fantastic account of one book's unlikely journey through history.

5. The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks. One of the most romantic books I have ever read. And it happens to be about a middle aged couple.

6. Push Not the River by James Conroyd Martin. A historical fiction novel based on a diary set in Poland. The Polish history really added to the story. It was very interesting.

7. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. I still want to know why Mortenson wasn't used to help in the war on Afghanistan. His work on building schools in Afghanistan for girls is inspiring.

8. The Twilight Series and The Host by Stephenie Meyer. As Ben says, teenage girls and Laura love the Twilight Series. Edward Cullen is one of the sexiest heros I have ever read about. The Host was an exciting new science fiction book that I really enjoyed. I can't wait for new reads by Ms. Meyer.

9. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. I loved the northern Wisconsin setting and the tale of the boy and his dog. Was not so wild about the ending.

10. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. I loved this book despite my inital misgivings. It even has made me think about Bush in a whole new light. The last section was disappointing.

11. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows. This tale about the occupation of Guernsey by the Nazis was at times heart warming, while at other times terrifying. This in turn made it quite powerful.

12. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. This novel about the brutals of war was not the easiest to read, but gave me much to think about.


  1. I loved Atonement. I'm reading Edgar Sawtelle right now, and have posted my problems with it on my blog. I still have 1/2 way to go and want to be fair. But, I do think it would have benefitted from crisper editing.

  2. I feel the same way. I feel almost guilty that I wasn't wild about it since it has gotten such glowing reviews from everyone. I liked it - but wouldn't say I loved it.

  3. Several of your faves from 2008 are on my 2009 TBR list. I am going to look into Slave. I know some about modern day slavery, including in the U.S. and I am interested to know what this book covers about it. Thanks for the tip! :)

  4. Speaking of which, you might like Sold by Patricia McCormick. Here is the link to it on Amazon:

  5. Rebecca - thanks for the tip! Sold sounds interesting. I'll have to put it on my 2009 reading list!