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Books Read 2008

Here’s a reverse-chronological list of all the books I’ve read in 2008. My rating system is out of five stars, but it’s not a comparison system, so all of the five stars aren’t of the same value, all of the four stars aren’t the same, etc. It’s more about my experience as I was reading the book-were there flaws? Did I absolutely love it and wish it wouldn’t end? Did I fear that it never would end? That being said, here’s my rough guideline; in practice, the line between 5s and 4s gets blurred a lot. (5=Extraordinary. I will immediately try to acquire other books by this author, 4=Very strong book, good writing style, really enjoyed, 3=A good read, possibly had one or two really strong areas, but the rest was average OR parts of the book were great and other parts were just miserable, 2=There were some major flaws in the book, but it had some good points as well, 1=I regret ever having even considered reading this book). All titles are linked to Amazon (I’m not an associate or anything, I just always look up books on Amazon). If I’ve discussed it on the blog, that’s noted and linked in parantheses following the author.

  • Le Divorce by Diane Johnson*** (240) (thoughts)
  • The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne**** (thoughts)
  • Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates** (thoughts)
  • To the North by Elizabeth Bowen***** (thoughts)
  • Flapper by Joshua Zeitz*** (thoughts)
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry***** (thoughts)
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo*****
  • Wind by Jan DeBlieu***** (thoughts)
  • Song for the Blue Ocean by Carl Safina**** (thoughts)
  • American Chica by Marie Arana***** (thoughts)
  • The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima***** (230) (thoughts)
  • My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin**** (thoughts)
  • Austenland by Shannon Hale** (on CD) (thoughts)
  • America’s Women by Gail Collins***** (on CD) (thoughts)
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson**** (on CD) (thoughts)
  • West With the Night by Beryl Markham**** (thoughts)
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid*** (thoughts)
  • My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier** (thoughts)
  • The Complete Stories by Dorothy Sayers**** (thoughts)
  • The Wisdom of the Bones by Alan Walker**** (thoughts)
  • Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie***** (220) (thoughts)
  • The Patriotic Murders by Agatha Christie***
  • Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie****
  • The Art of the Personal Letter by Margaret Shephard*** (thoughts)
  • The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie***** (thoughts)
  • Booknotes: Stories From American History by Brian Lamb***** (thoughts)
  • The Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie** (thoughts)
  • 20 Something, 20 Everything by Christine Hassler**** (thoughts)
  • -November-

  • Little, Big by John Crowley*****
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy*****
  • Night Soldiers by Alan Furst***** (210) (thoughts)
  • Dreams of My Russian Summer by Andrei Makine****
  • Emma by Jane Austen*****
  • The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs*****
  • Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer***
  • The Trouble With Boys by Peg Tyre**** (thoughts)
  • -October-

  • The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin*****
  • Wake by Lisa McMann*
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman*****
  • Possession by A.S. Byatt***** (on CD)
  • A Fine and Private Place by Peter Beagle***** (200)
  • -September-

  • The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer**** (thoughts)
  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier**** (thoughts)
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri***
  • A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie***** (on CD)
  • Behind Embassy Walls by Brandon Grove***** (thoughts)
  • Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett**** (thoughts)
  • “Oroonoko” by Aphra Behn*** (thoughts)
  • The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner****
  • City of Masks by Daniel Hecht*** (on CD)
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson**** (190) (thoughts)
  • Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky**** (thoughts)
  • Bomb Scare by Joseph Circione****
  • -August-

  • Pirates! by Celia Rees**** (on CD) (thoughts)
  • The Skull Beneath the Skin by P.D. James*****
  • The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse***** (on CD)
  • Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer**** (on CD)
  • Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman**** (on CD)
  • T. Rex and the Crater of Doom by Walter Alvarez***
  • The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie*****
  • “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad**** (180)
  • Banker to the Poor by Muhammed Yunus*****
  • The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender***
  • Whom the Gods Love by Kate Ross***** (thoughts)
  • The Dream Country by Neil Gaiman****
  • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Earnest Gaines***** (thoughts)
  • Dressed for Death by Donna Leon**** (thoughts)
  • Zel by Donna Jo Napoli**** (thoughts)
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher***** (thoughts)
  • “The Dreaming Place” by Charles de Lint****
  • Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr**** (170)
  • -July-

  • The Habit of Being by Flannery O’Connor**** (thoughts)
  • Apartment Therapy by Maxwell GIllingham-Ryan***
  • Ghost Wars by Steve Coll****
  • The X in Sex by David Bainbridge***** (thoughts
  • The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf*****
  • The Questory of Root Karbunkulus by Kamilla Reid**
  • When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale***** (thoughts)
  • Legerdemain by James Heaphey*** (thoughts)
  • Special Assignments by Boris Akunin****
  • Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway***** (160) (thoughts)
  • The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter*** (thoughts)
  • Tamsin by Peter Beagle***** (thoughts)
  • -June-

  • Aunt Dimity’s Death by Nancy Atherton***
  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan***** (thoughts)
  • Not Buying It by Judith Levine** (thoughts)
  • Pyongyang by Guy deLisle**** (thoughts)
  • The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing*** (thoughts)
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray****
  • Girl, 13 by Starla Griffin****
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley***** (150) (thoughts)
  • Housekeeping vs. the Dirt by Nick Hornby*****
  • Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood****
  • Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson***** (thoughts)
  • The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie**** (thoughts)
  • Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout***
  • How I Live Now by Meg Roff**** (thoughts)
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery*****
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys*** (thoughts)
  • Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman***** (thoughts)
  • Ending Slavery by Kevin Bale**** (140)
  • God Lives in St. Petersburg by Tom Bissell* (thoughts)
  • Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie***** (thoughts)
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco**** (thoughts)
  • Book Lust by Nancy Pearl*** (thoughts)
  • The Red Queen by Matt Ridley**** (thoughts)
  • The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry**** (thoughts)
  • Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint***** (thoughts)
  • Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz*** (thoughts)
  • The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee***** (thoughts)
  • The War for Muslim Minds by Gilles Kepel** (130)
  • Pu-239 by Ken Kalfus** (thoughts)
  • “Gigi” by Colette**** (thoughts)
  • A Defense of Ardor by Adam Zagajewski***
  • Killing Mr. Lebanon by Nicholas Blanford*
  • -May-

  • Jane Austen: Her Life and Letters by William and Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh**** (thoughts)
  • Song of the Crow by Layne Mahue*****
  • Voyage of the Turtle by Carl Safina*****
  • Orsinian Tales by Ursula Le Guin***
  • Remembering Babylon by David Malouf***** (thoughts)
  • The Djinn in Nightingale’s Eye by A.S. Byatt***** (120) (thoughts)
  • The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler****
  • Flower Net by Lisa See** (thoughts)
  • “The Ballad of the Sad Cafe” by Carson McCullers****(thoughts)
  • Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers****
  • The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman****
  • Almost French by Sarah Turnbull**** (thoughts)
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson***** (thoughts)
  • A Broken Vessel by Kate Ross***** (thoughts)
  • The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue**** (thoughts)
  • The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean*** (110) (thoughts)
  • Evelina by Frances Burney*** (thoughts)
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver*** (thoughts)
  • Deep South by Nevada Barr****
  • Hearts and Minds by Rosy Thorton**** (thoughts)
  • “Summer Crossing” by Truman Capote*** (thoughts)
  • Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp*****
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen***** (thoughts)
  • Flying Colours by C.S. Forester***** (thoughts)
  • Ship of the Line by C.S. Forester**** (thoughts)
  • Not a Happy Camper by Mindy Schneider**** (100)
  • In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif*** (thoughts)
  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale*** (thoughts)
  • Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson**** (thoughts)
  • Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger***** (thoughts)
  • -April-

  • The Canon by Natalie Angier** (thoughts)
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith***** (thoughts)
  • The Warden by Anthony Trollope****
  • Basin and Range by John McPhee** (thoughts)
  • The Bone Woman by Clea Koff**** (thoughts)
  • Class 11 by T.J. Waters** (90) (thoughts)
  • A Very Long Engagement by Sebastion Japrisot*** (thoughts)
  • Chasing the Flame by Samantha Powers***** (thoughts)
  • Healthy Child, Healthy World by Christopher Gavigan****
  • The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva*** (thoughts)
  • Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery****
  • A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett***** (thoughts)
  • “The Uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett***** (thoughts)
  • Enchantment by Orson Scott Card**** (thoughts)
  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster*** (thoughts)
  • Lost Souls by Lisa Jackson*** (80) (thoughts)
  • -March-

  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis***** (on CD)
  • The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis***** (on CD)
  • Digging to America by Anne Tyler*** (thoughts)
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen***** (thoughts)
  • My Ox is Broken! by Adam-Troy Castro**
  • The Grand Tour by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer****
  • The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer*** (thoughts)
  • The Watermelon King by Daniel Wallace***** (thoughts)
  • Carry On, Jeeves by PG Wodehouse***** (on CD) (thoughts)
  • The Supreme Court by Jeffrey Rosen*** (70) (thoughts)
  • Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon****
  • News of a Kidnapping by Gabriel Garcia Marquez***** (thoughts)
  • Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks**** (thoughts)
  • Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit***
  • Train to Pakistan by Kushwant Singh***** (thoughts)
  • Free for All by Don Borchert***** (thoughts)
  • Snowball Earth by Gabrielle Walker***** (thoughts)
  • Will Storr vs. the Supernatural by Will Storr***** (thoughts)
  • Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood***** (thoughts)
  • King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild**** (60) (thoughts)
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis**** (on CD)
  • The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis***** (on CD)
  • House of Many Gods by Kiana Davenport***
  • The Assassin’s Gate by George Packer*****
  • Peony in Love by Lisa See**** (thoughts)
  • A Billion Bootstraps by Philip Smith and Eric Thurman**** (thoughts)
  • Wild Swans by Jung Chang***** (target)
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett***** (thoughts)
  • If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino**** (thoughts)
  • -February-

  • Cut to the Quick by Kate Ross***** (50) (thoughts)
  • The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs**(thoughts)
  • The Translator by Daoud Hari**** (thoughts)
  • The Other Book by Philip Womack***
  • Memo to the President Elect by Madeleine Albright* (thoughts)
  • Khufu’s Wisdom by Naguib Mahfouz*****(thoughts)
  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt****(thoughts)
  • Persian Lions, Persian Lambs by Curtis Harnack***
  • A Room with a View by E.M. Forster****(thoughts)
  • The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin****(thoughts)
  • Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott*** (40)(thoughts)
  • Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors***** (thoughts)
  • Dressing Up for the Carnival by Carol Shields*** (thoughts)
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison*** (thoughts)
  • Crawling: A Father’s First Year by Elisha Cooper****
  • The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright***** (thoughts)
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett***** (thoughts)
  • Summits by David Reynolds*****
  • Kiss Me, I’m Single by Amanda Ford**** (thoughts)
  • God’s Spy by Juan Gomez Jurado*** (thoughts)
  • Ruined by Reading by Lynne Sharon Schwartz**** (30) (thoughts)
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen***** (thoughts)
  • The Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowther*** (on CD)
  • -January-

  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke**** (thoughts)
  • Inside a US Embassy ed. Shawn Dorman***
  • The Red Passport by Katherine Shonk**** (thoughts)
  • Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon***** (thoughts)
  • The Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card*** (thoughts)
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman*****
  • The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell**** (thoughts)
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green**** (20) (thoughts)
  • Unhooked by Laura Sessions Stepp***** (thoughts)
  • The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters*** (thoughts)
  • That Night by Alice McDermott***** (thoughts)
  • The House at Riverton by Kate Morton*** (thoughts)
  • The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly***** (thoughts)
  • Tested by Linda Perlstein*****(thoughts)
  • The World Without Us by Alan Weisman**** (thoughts)
  • Beat to Quarters by C.S. Forester***** (thoughts)
  • Bury Me Standing by Isabel Fonseca****(thoughts)
  • A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You by Amy Bloom***** (10)(thoughts)
  • Booked to Die by John Dunning***(thoughts)
  • Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll’s House**** by Neil Gaiman(thoughts)
  • The Bookshop** by Penelope Fitzgerald(thoughts)
  • Never Let Me Go***** by Kazuo Ishiguro(thoughts)
  • War and Peace***** by Leo Tolstoy (my thoughts)
  • Nickel and Dimed*** by Barbara Ehrenreich(thoughts)
  • The Spy Wore Red** by Aline, Countess of Romanones(thoughts)
  • Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer***(thoughts)
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne*** (thoughts)
  • 18 Comments leave one →
    1. January 5, 2008 11:58 am

      Oh, I love this page! What a good idea. I think I might steal it! xo

    2. January 5, 2008 7:11 pm

      Dew, steal away! I was looking for you list of books read the other day and was very confused that I couldn’t find it. ;)

    3. February 1, 2008 10:03 am

      Wow! Anytime someone tells me I read a lot, I’m going to point them to this page. You’re my hero! :-) I usually read 100+ books per year when all is said and done, but 28 in one month is incredible! (I managed to get War & Peace under my belt this year, too. Whew! It was great, wasn’t it?)

      Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

    4. February 1, 2008 1:00 pm

      Lezlie, thanks so much! War and Peace was definitely great-it left me a bit lost afterwards, trying to figure out what to read next. :) I’ll have to check out your blog as well.

    5. February 6, 2008 9:40 pm

      I can’t believe you read 28 books in a month!!! that was close to my total – sadly – for last year. One of my worst years….How did you read War and Peace and 27 other books??? I’m glad you were able to, it is fun to read as much as we can. I will have to think about making a page something like this for my blog, if i can figure out how to. I’m just happy I can get my blog to work!

    6. February 13, 2008 12:58 pm

      And I thought I was an avid reader! You definitely have me beat, and I will definitely bookmark your site as a place to visit the next time I can’t decide what to read next. Thanks!

    7. February 13, 2008 10:22 pm

      Susan, I’m not sure how I did it, but it doesn’t look like February is going to be the same!

      Gwenelle, thanks for visiting. :) I had a holiday for a bunch of January, which helps!

    8. February 26, 2008 2:47 pm

      Oh Eva – I didn’t like to ask, and now I see it on this list. Have you published your thoughts on War and Peace?

    9. February 26, 2008 3:25 pm

      Julie, nope-not yet. I keep forgetting now, since I’ve read so many other books. I’ll try to get it up the first week of March. :)

    10. March 23, 2008 8:42 pm

      Oh and I thought I was doing so good this year. How in the world do you get so much read!!!??? I am feeling quite envious!

    11. March 31, 2008 4:20 pm

      Maw Books, I’m still not sure-it helps that my life isn’t too busy right now. :)

    12. April 5, 2008 11:33 am

      Yikes! I think I read a lot, but you ceterainly read more!

    13. April 5, 2008 11:36 pm

      Katherine, I don’t always read this much. But it’s been fun!

    14. May 5, 2008 2:10 pm

      Holy crap, you read a lot!!!!!!! No wonder you can participate in so many challenges. Wow, I am really knocked out by how much you’re able to read. I’m guessing you have no tv and no children in your house, am I right??

    15. May 6, 2008 5:02 am

      Lisa, I live with a two-year-old, but she’s my niece so I can ignore her if I’m desperate to read. :) And I do have a TV and I have a few shows that I watch: I go through phases, but I probably average 6-7 hours of TV a week! I never used to read this much, and I’m not quite sure how I’m doing it now, but I have a feeling when I start grad school it’ll all stop. lol

    16. October 24, 2008 10:08 pm

      I am a reading wimp; I think that I’ve read less than one book this year. My sincere question is: how do you find the time? Where do you find it? Please give me some pointers.

    17. December 4, 2008 6:25 pm

      I am impressed with the quantity and variety of your book list for the year. Even in my best year I know I don’t come close to this. You must not own a TV!


    18. December 14, 2008 2:33 am

      Sofia, I’m sorry it took me so long to get back to you; I’ve had a chaotic month or two. It’s not so much an issue of finding the time as making the time. Why don’t you start promising yourself to read ten pages a week? When that becomes automatic, you can up it further. Hope that helps! :)

      Thomas, thanks for the visit! I do own a TV, and I watch it probably more than what’s good for me. ;) But I don’t have kids, which I think is a great help.

    Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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