Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Was Your Favorite Book Published in 2008?

First off, very special thanks to Bob Miller of HarperStudio for dropping by to answer some questions in the comments thread. Bob writes, "In terms of presence in stores, my belief is that our titles will get more prominent display, since the bookseller will have an additional incentive to merchandise them."

There you have it.

Now then -- the very last You Tell Me of 2008! I know, we've all grown up so fast. It seems like just yesterday we were having contests with maybe 100 people entering and the publishing industry was going to change sometime in the future maybe. Well, it done been changed in '08.

But meanwhile, books! There were lots of them published in 2008, many of them quite good. Which one was your favorite?






135 comments:

ryan field said...

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein...who is with the wonderful agent, Jeff Kleinman.

RW said...

How Fiction Works by James Wood. I've read it a few times and have been grappling with its ideas, seeing how they apply to my own writing and arguing back against what he says about some of my favorite writers. It's been a truly engaging book.

Anonymous said...

Jeanienne Frost's Vampire Series (Urban Romance)

Ted Bell's Nick of Time (Kids)

BarbS. said...

The English translation of Roberto Bolano's 2666.

Uh-oh: Wordver is FIENTE. I hope that's not a naughty word in Spanish!

BarbS. said...

In the Oh-for-crying-all-night category:

"Fiente," the wordver for my last post, is NOT Spanish. It's FRENCH--for bird droppings!

BLOGGER: CAN YOU PLEEEEEAAAASE WATCH YOUR LANGUAGES WHEN IT COMES TO WORD VERIFICATION?

Great....Now I've got a pseudo-word that's looks like gibberish but probably means something nasty in Klingon...

Ink said...

I also liked RW's choice of Wood's How Fiction Works, at least for writerly/agently/editorly folk. But if I had to pick something I'd probably go with Elizabeth McCracken's memoir An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, which was truly luminous.

I must say, though, that I always have trouble remembering when something was published. 2006, 2007, 2008? I can usually approximate the decade, but after that things get a little fuzzy.

My best, as always,
Bryan Russell

Ink said...

Barb, 2666 is on my To Get list, right after I read The Savage Detectives... (nice to see another recommendation for it, though)

Dave F. said...

I have two favorite books that I read this year: The first if Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book because it's a fun ghost story. And the second is my summer shallow reading -- Black and White and Dead All Over by John Darnton. It's a giggly summer read that I had lots of fun with.

Jennifer said...

Funny, because I just wrote about a problem I had with this book, but it still, hands down, is my favorite: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. (Collection of 8 short stories.) Even with the one easy stereotype in "Nobody's Business" (and its absurd ending), the first and last stories in this collection are haunting and make up for any disappointments in the middle.

R. Daley said...

World Without End by Ken Follett. Pillars of the Earth still ranks as my all time favorite novel, but this was a very worthy follow-up.

Anonymous said...

I think of books read during the year, but rarely looked for the publishing date.
That must be an agent sort of thing?
Am I missing an important ingredient in passing over that?

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

Maybe it's an agent thing, but I like to give attention to the newly published. If it's a new hardcover or trade paperback it was probably published in '08.

L.C.McCabe said...

The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner.

I also liked Lavina by Ursula K. LeGuin and The Fire by Katherine Neville.

K.S. Clay said...

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. This one kept me up at night turning the pages to find out what happened next. Also, I'm going to cheat and add Tananarive Due's Blood Colony which I haven't actually read yet but judging from the quality of her other books I'm sure will fly to the top of my favorite's list when I do.

K.S. Clay said...

Oops. Just checked. Heart Shaped Box was published in 2007. Well, I read it in 2008. Does that count? It's still recent.

Anonymous said...

Nathan,
Thanks for answering my question.
I really like your answer.
Now, when I look for the date, I will think about how wonderful that is.

Lisa said...

MAN IN THE DARK, by Paul Auster

Just_Me said...

The latest Lost Fleet book.

I'm probably alone in this, but sci-fi books my my favotires list every year.

T-Anne said...

Not sure if it's an 08 although I read it early 08... I enjoyed Duma Key by Stephen King.

I'm sure others will filter through my mind the remainder of the day.

Anonymous said...

Hard to choose between Karen Moning's 3rd-in-series "FaeFever" or George Shuman's 3rd-in-series "Lost Girls".

Can you tell that I'm into series? Only in reading -- not in writing. Maybe.

WandaV

Mark Terry said...

The Ghost Agent by Alex Berenson (I think it was published in the US as The Ghost War, but I read the UK release). Excellent spy novel.

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan. The 4th novel in the Percy Jackson series for middle grades.

Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes That Run Our Government by Dana Milbanks. Nonfiction, and if you read it you'd be pretty unsurprised by the Illinois governor's current predicament.

Jonathan Wakeham said...

Non-fiction: Richard Sennett's The Craftsman. The most stimulating book of the year, a celebration of craft in all creative forms. So good I named my blog after it www.mastersvo.com

Fiction: Sadie Jones' The Outcast, which I devoured in an afternoon. Set in 1950s England, it's full of repressed passion, social awkwardness and vivid historical writing.

Sandra said...

The Magician and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett. It's a fantasy set in a quasi-19th century England. The middle section loosely follows the plot of Jane Eyre.

Laura said...

Wow, this is really a loaded a question as there were so many great books that were released this year. In NO particular order:

Ink Exchange, Marr
The Host, Meyer
Rumors: Luxe Novel,Godberson
City of Ashes, Clare
I heart you, you haunt me, Schroeder
The Hunger Games, Collins

Guess, I've got the YA thing going.

plus, I'm sitting on top of some lovely '09 debuts as well (I'm lucky!)

Alexa said...

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'farrel

and

The disreputable history of Frankie Laudau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Books with names in them seem to have appealed to me this year! But both are fantastic reads about strong women/girls.

Anonymous said...

Sophie Kinsella's "Remember Me?" She's so funny, and her writing is so sharp.

Scott said...

So many choices, do I have to choose just one? Seriously, this was a year of great books read (and published).

At this point, A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire. By the end of the month, I might say Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos. I'm only three chapters into Sing Them Home, but I cried by the end of Chapter One. Heck, I sobbed my way through the last third of her first book Broken for You. If Chapter One is any example, I'd better stock up on tissues.

JES said...

The Monster of Florence, by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi; and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris.

Margaret Yang said...

Arrgh, everything I have on hand--even the books I just bought--was published before '08. I have to get to the bookstore!

Raynbow said...

My two favorites were The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater (it's her debut novel)

Bea said...

Audacity of Hope by Obama

MzMannerz said...

I have to check - I don't think I've read anything published this year. The book that stands out among the ones I read this year was published in paperback in 2007 - so I am behind.

At any rate, it was Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

The second one that stands out was published in 2004, egads. It was My Lover's Lover by Maggie O'Farrell.

Slinking away.

Leis said...

Stephen King's Duma Key, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. And currently reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.

I should pay closer attention to new releases by new writers... thanks for the reminder, Nathan.

Karen said...

The Little Book by Selden Edwards. It's a clever novel that has the best elements of a few genres--mostly a mix of scifi, historical and suspense.

stephanie said...

This was the year of non-fiction for me, and most of my reads were pre-08 publications. However, of the 08s, I would say the following two were the best.

In Honor of Fadime: Murder and Shame by Unni Wikan
Katherine Swynford: The Story of John of Gaunt and His Scandalous Duchess by Allison Weir

I'm just beginning The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes by Andrew Lycett, but that may shoot to the top of the list.

Jeanie W said...

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman.

rjkeller said...

"God of Speed" by Luke Davies. Brilliant fictionalized account of Howard Hughes' descent into madness and addiction.

C.D. Reimer said...

I read "Unpacking the Boxes: A Memoir of a Life in Poetry" by Donald Hall. This kick started my interest in writing [really bad] poetry.

A new movie based on a old book would "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" by Toby Young. This guy redefines the definition of failure in the magazine world.

Marilyn Peake said...

I read "The Witch of Portobello" by Paulo Coelho and enjoyed it. I haven't read many other novels published in 2008, as I've been reading mostly research books on time travel and the Havasupai Indians.

Emily Ruth said...

I realize I'm not exactly answering the question... but none of the books that came out this year can compete with my tremendous excitement about The Singing (croggon) coming out in march next year... XD I can't wait for it!
Other than that... maybe Tender Morsels

Penny said...

JES, I must agree. When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris

Dan said...

David Sedaris, WHEN YOU ARE ENGULFED BY FLAMES

A book should either educate me or entertain me! Not to say that a novel can't do that, but I need a reason to go to the movies...

Anonymous said...

The Shadow Year

by Jeffrey Ford

Anonymous said...

nothing to be frightened of - julian barnes. hes such a witty gentleman.

nathan, is this week/the next few weeks a bad time to query you? ive been gathering my courage and now im afraid its a bad time for you.

Mim said...

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I could not put it down. She did a great job on creating a page turner.

Rebecca Holsen said...

"The House on Fortune Street" by Margot Livesey

nomadshan said...

Story of Edgar Sawtelle

sandralambert said...

Lavinia by Ursula K. LeGuin

Josephine Damian said...

Well, since we have to limit ourselves to 2008 titles:

Washington Irving: An American Original by Brian Jay Jones

The Gift of Rain: A Novel by Tan Twan Eng

Miss Viola Bookworm said...

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Ulysses said...

As an experiment, I've been keeping track of everything I've read this year, and writing small blurbs on them.

My favorite: Making Money, by Terry Pratchett.

Funny, thoughtful and touching. Everything to which I aspire.

Lori Benton said...

The Shape of Mercy, by Susan Meissner

Enusan said...

When I read I'm usually reading non-fiction for a research paper or something written before the 19th century. I'm one of those 'they don't make stories like they used to!' types.

But I picked up ROADS TO QUAZ by William Least Heat-Moon from the university library, and it's almost like reading a modern day Twain. After all those academic papers and scholarly journals I forgot just how amazing the English language is in the hands of a true craftsman. For reigniting in me the love of books after I had been smothered in 'posits' 'contends' and 'interrogates' for a semester, ROADS TO QUOZ gets my vote.

And it's not even fiction!

Enusan said...

Pardon my inability to look things over before I hit the submit button. The correct title is ROADS TO QUOZ, not Quaz. (say it out loud and you won't be able to tell the difference, really.)

150 said...

Huh. None of the novels I read this year was from 2008. Even the ones I thought were pretty recent.

Do graphic novels count? If so, Fables 10: The Good Prince. AWESOME.

Jess said...

I kept track of the books I read this year until around October, but they aren't all published in 2008. Of those that were... tough question! Gah. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson but only because Patry Francis's The Liar's Diary officially debuted in 2007. Those two novels have haunted me this year like none of the others, despite many others (Queen's Bastard, Murphy; Wicked Game, Smith-Ready) being absolutely wonderful for their own reasons. :)

Bloggadilly said...

Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson. That book still haunts me! I vacillated between not wanting to put it down and wanting to read it as slowly as possible, savoring each word. Bravo!

Leatherdykeuk said...

"An Ungodly Child" by Rachel Green. It's only just come out.

irishoma said...

Favorite - THE SECRET SCRIPTURE by Sebastian Barry.

Others: ANCIENT HIGHWAY by Bret Lott, THE FIFTH FLOOR by Michael Harvey and THIS ONE IS MINE by Maria Semple.

Scarlet Page said...

"Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar" by Paul Theroux.

Mira said...

I was thinking of "Making Money" by Terry Prachett, but I was worried it wasn't 'literary' enough. But then Ulysses said it was his favorite. So, now I'll bravely declare it my choice as well.

Not quite as good as 'Going Postal' but still vintage Prachett.

I haven't read Beetle Bard yet, but maybe it's not fair to even mention J.K. Rowling.

Anna Swenson said...

"Paper Towns" by John Green.

lindacassidylewis said...

I'm currently reading Sheri Reynolds' "The Sweet In-Between". She is excellent at pulling you deeply into her pov character.

Yat-Yee said...

This is great! I'm going to check out some of the books mentioned here. I don't think a single book stood out for me this year. Two I enjoyed recently are The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn.

Cara said...

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I'm a huge fan, and I even managed to get my husband, the non-reader, to read this one.

Also, The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I bought the collector's edition and it was nice to read some fun stories in such a pretty package.

It's been a year of light reading for me.

Natalie said...

THE SUMMONING by Kelly Armstrong

Cat Moleski said...

Ten Cents a Dance, by Christine Fletcher. Unusual story, very well written.

Vancouver Dame said...

The Winnowed Woman, by Celia A. Leaman. Celia is from England, but resides on Mayne Island, in British Columbia now. This is one of her most recent books.
***
Invasive Procedures by Orson Scott Card was another favorite, but it was printed in 2007.
BTW - it's snowing here in the Northwest RainForest.

Tom Burchfield said...

I'm in the same boat as some of you: almost of the books I read in 2008 were published in years past, going back to 1897 ("Dracula" in an interesting annotated edition by Leslie Klinger; it was published this year, but I don't think it counts and even if it did, it wasn't up to Leonard --Father of Naomi-- Wolf's groundbreaking 1975 annotated edition).

But the one 2008 book that I did read I also liked -- "Dirty Money," by Richard Stark.

I will also start the new Peter Straub-edited collection of modern horror tales "Poe's Children," soon, right after I finish John Dickson Carr's "The Problem of the Green Capsule" (1939).

Here's an offbeat question: because of all the reading I have to do for my own novel, my selections are sometimes ruthlessly pragmatic, meaning I pass on many books I would love to read, but there isn't time, etc. This year, two books I regret not spending money and making time for: "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher" and "The Monster of Florence." And those are just two.

So: what books did you all walk by, thinking, "Gosh, I'd love to read that, but right now . . . ."

Jenny said...

Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson.

Jay Clark said...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Cheating a little by using the U.S. publication date, I guess. I actually listened to it, and the prose is absolutely mesmerizing. A shame that the author bit it prematurely...

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee. It's a little-known novel published by NavPress. Beautiful writing. Intriguing story.

Becky

Elyssa Papa said...

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Absolutely loved this book.

Adaora A. said...

THE APPEAL by John Grisham.

Because anything John Grisham I love (and this one didn't disappoint).

But A TIME TO KILL still has a special place in my heart.

Madison said...

Sad to say, I have not read any '08 books. I just started Ally Carter's I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU and I have to finish that before I can get to (what I believe was released in '08) CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO SPY. Likewise I have been reading THE INKHEART TRILOGY by Cornelia Funke, but I have to finish INKSPELL before I can get to INKDEATH, an '08 release. Yeah, I know, I'm lame. :)

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Hands down: Barth Anderson's THE MAGICIAN AND THE FOOL. It's a book that can appeal to everyone, and it's one of the cleverest plotting devices I've read in a long time.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Oh, and I already have the answer for 2009. But I'll wait until you ask. :D

slcard said...

Indeed, Mr. Burchfield. Indeed. "I'd love to read that, but...."

crow productions said...

Jonathan Tropper "How to Talk to A Widower" It's easy to make me cry, but can you make me laugh?

Being Beth said...

Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou

jo said...

Queen of Babble Gets Hitched, and proud of it!

Megan said...

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart was brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Definately Brisingr...I love Paolini's books.

Sally F said...

Wow. This list has spawned a bunch of additions to my wishlist! Thanks, everybody.

My fave of '08 was the new Jonathan Carroll, The Ghost in Love.

Kristin Laughtin said...

Oh sheesh, how to choose? Even more confusing is remembering which were published in 2008 and which in 2007 that I just hadn't gotten to...

THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, by Garth Stein
THE IRON HUNT by Marjorie M. Liu
TIGERHEART by Peter David
WE BOUGHT A ZOO by Benjamin Mee

Once I get around to it, ANATHEM by Neal Stephenson will probably join that list. It's next on my TBR list (barring any books I get for Christmas usurping its place).

AmyB said...

LITTLE BROTHER by Cory Doctorow.

Anne-Marie said...

Fiction: THE GIVEN DAY by Denis Lehane

Non-fiction: HOW JESUS BECAME CHRISTIAN by Barrie Wilson

AstonWest said...

I'm shameless...my own (HEROES DIE YOUNG)...

sylvia said...

I've just glanced over my recent additions to LibraryThing and it seems that everything I really liked was published in 2007 or sooner!

Is there a list of 2008 novels that sold decently to check against?

I'm quite enjoying The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: Or the Murder at Road Hill House at the moment, if that counts.

Julie Butcher-Fedynich said...

Jim Butcher's Princeps' Fury

And yes, I'm shamefully plugging my brothers books:) I wouldn't if I didn't love them.

Helen said...

It's a toss-up between THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins, LAMENT by Maggie Stiefvater, and THE SEALED LETTER by Emma Donoghue.

camelama said...

Two faves this year:

"The Wit & Wisdom of P.G. Wodehouse" by Tony Ring (published in the UK - available in the US in 2009)

"How the States Got Their Shapes" by Mark Stein

Lisa Iriarte said...

Shades of Dark by Linnea Sinclair. Science fiction/romance. A wonderful blending of the two genres. Enjoyable for fans of either or both genres. This is the sequel to Gabriel's Ghost.

Colorado Writer said...

When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris

Lorrie T. said...

Standing Still, by Kelly Simmons.

Dawn said...

Sorry, but the only thing I read this year that I've never read before was The Return by Joseph Conrad.

A Paperback Writer said...

I was rather disappointed by Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. I loved chapter 4, but the rest didn't thrill me. Odd, for generally I like his style.
Continuing in the YA category of 2008 books, I loved Tales of Beedle the Bard (Rowling) and really, really loved The Last Battle of the Icemark by Stuart Hill -- fabulous series. I'm also really enjoying Joe Connelly's Jack Flint and the Spellbinder's Curse, which I don't think is available in the US yet. I quite liked Let It Snow by Johnson et al, too. Riordan's 39 Clues was okay, but not great.
I have not yet gotten a chance to read Funke's Inkdeath, but I hope it will be good.
For adults, I loved McCall-Smith's The Unbearable Lightness of Scones-- which may not yet be available in the US. And I think Ian Rankin's Exit Music was FINALLY released in the US in 2008 -- and I can't wait to read that one.
I think that all I read of 2008 books.

Deborah Blake said...

Nonfiction: That would have to be Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring and Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft. By,um, me. Maybe I'll reach a point when I have published so many books that having a new one out doesn't automatically make it my favorite...but I'm not there yet!
Fiction:Mindy Klasky's Magic and the Modern Girl & Candace Haven's The Demon King and I (intelligent, fun and just a spark of magic).
Do we detect a theme here?
Favorite blog for 2008: yours, of course (and you already rejected my query, so this is just practice sucking up).

katycooper said...

This was a tough one, but in the end I went with the one I'm already ready to re-read: BLACK SHIPS by Jo Graham. A very interesting take on the story of Aeneas, narrated by a priestess of Persephone (I think Persephone) who eventually becomes the Cumean Sybil. It haunted me.

Eric said...

One More Year (a collection of short stories) by Sana Krasikov, Doubleday.

Sheryl Gwyther said...

Oh, definitely Neil Gaiman's 'The Graveyard Book' - exciting and different - just like Neil Gaiman!

Annie said...

For my vote I loved the final instillation in the twilight series. Breaking Dawn was enjoyed by all in my family, grandparents parents and childeren. My 12 year old has now discovered there is so much more to be found in a book than you could ever find on a TV screen.

shilohwalker said...

Man, I've done some serious reading this year, but for some reason, I can't remember too many off the top of my head.

One I can remember was a contemp romance by Julie James, The Sexiest Man Alive, slightly hokey title, but a great book. Loved it.

Erika Robuck said...

Anne Rice's
Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana is the most powerful fiction I've ever read.

Michelle Moran said...

The Billionaire's Vinegar, narrative nonfiction by Benjamin Wallace.

Anonymous said...

I confess, I read mainly picture books this year (and there were some really good ones). My favorite book I read strictly for pleasure was Elizabeth Bunce's A Curse Dark as Gold. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a dark fairy tale (and a well-told one at that).

amazoniowan said...

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

Jo Stockton said...

The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon

Teri said...

It may not have been the best book published in 2008, potentially not even my favorite, but I really enjoyed Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking. She managed to be down-to-earth and out-in-space all at once - and funny to boot! Ms. Fisher's trials (and her methods of dealing with them) remind us that the things that are most important in life are family and the ability to laugh at oneself and one's circumstances.

Kathleen said...

Lynn Kurland's The Mage's Daughter. It is positively the most perfect romance story I've ever read. The story is perfect. The relationship development is perfect. The end-result relationship is perfect. The world-building is perfect. The story-telling is perfect. *sigh*

I've only read it eight or nine times this year.

Tara Ryan said...

Unpredictable by Eileen Cook

Polenth said...

I brought books this year, but it seems none of them were published in 2008. Which is good news for those books, as they stayed on the shelves. Not good news for giving suggestions.

JD Knight said...

THE WORDY SHIPMATES by Sarah Vowell
THE BRASS VERDICT by M. Connelly
LULU IN MARRAKECH by Diane Johnson

And I had to re-read THE LAST GOOD KISS by James Crumley (RIP)

Constantine K said...

The Hunger Games.

I could not put it down.

Kate said...

"Attack of the Theater People" by Marc Acito. Marc also launched a play this year called "Holidazed" which is hellarious! But currently only people who live in Portland Oregon get to watch it. Hopefully it will soon be coming to a community theater near you.

Kathleen said...

Better by Atul Gawande.

Gay said...

I can't keep track of when books were published... but standouts for me were The Ha-ha by Dave King, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Loving Frank by Nancy Horan.

Loved all three, each great stories and also pushing the envelope of craft in their own way. The Ha-ha in particular, because it's told in the first person by a mute who can neither read nor write--but it remains believable and charming, never forced. I was amazed.

James Klousia said...

All My Holy Mountain by LB Graham. It's the fifth and final book in his Binding of the Blade series, and the ending definitely didn't disappoint.

Jan B. said...

The Philosopher's Apprentice by James Morrow was my only current-year purchase not already listed here. (Another was Edgar Sawtelle.)

I habitually wait for softcover versions; the price, the comfort and space savings all matter. I might not wait for Ghost In Love, however.

martha said...

Stieg Larsson - THE GIRL WITH THE BUTTERFLY TATTOO
Ian Rankin - EXIT MUSIC
Also, one of my favorite books this year was Michael Chabon's THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN'S UNION which I realize was published in 2007 - but it did win the Hugo and Nebula Awards this year - not bad for a book that I didn't see as SF.

Kimber An said...

Oh, gosh, that's hard because I have a book review blog.

PRINCES OF THE GOLDEN CAGE by Nathalie Mallet

Gorgeous world-building, intriguing hero I cared about, and a riveting storytelling style.

I posted my Top Ten at Enduring Romance last week, in case anyone needs some gift-giving ideas. Despite the name, we review all genres there except Horror and Erotica.

Jo said...

Michelle Paver's OUTCAST; William Nicholson's NOMAN; Eva Ibbotson's THE DRAGONFLY POOL in middle-grade, young adult fiction and
Alison Gaylin's HEARTLESS in thrillers and Abigail Thomas's THINKING ABOUT MEMOIR.

jnantz said...

DEVIL BONES, by Kathy Reichs.

A close second (but disqualified because it came out in 2007 and I didn't know that) was THE WATCHMAN, by Robert Crais. Pike and Elvis kick ass, no matter who takes the lead spot.

Dutch said...

Howdy all,
Now before you all jump to any conclusions about my choice, NORA ROBERTS’ - TRIBUTE – And yes I love Nora Roberts, but I cut my teeth on Louis L’Amour. I’m also a huge Terry Johnston, and John Hillerman fan. And the list of terrific Western Writers I enjoy is longer than a windy preacher’s sermon on a cold winter’s day. Johnny D. Boggs spins a heck of a tale, an example of Western Writers still with us.

But let’s think about Westerns and Romance, so I can tie in my affection for Ms. Roberts. ALL good Westerns are really Romances. Don’t believe me? Read a few. Need suggestions, ask me. Yea, some great westerns have a fair amount of rough stuff, but hang; they have beautiful settings, horses, rugged heroes, really good lookin’ and smart women, usually more than one fella is makin’ a play for the girl, but the right man always comes through. Saves the day, the ranch, or town and rides away into the sunset, a heart stopping hero, or dies in the arms of his lady. A lot of times the hero IS the lady!

Anyway, my favorite novel published this year is TRIBUTE. As an older fella though, I gotta tell ya, I skip the racy scenes. I think the hottest portrayal of a romantic scene builds the reader up to it, takes them right up to where a polite fella would cover his eyes, and then lets it up to the reader’s imagination.

Gitty up - Dutch

Anonymous said...

Breath and Bone, Carol Berg.
Alphabet Juice, Roy Blount Jr.

Scott said...

I'm never on season with my clothes, or my reading. Late to the party always, me.

But I'm taking notes, folks, which means I'll get to them in 2009, causing me to miss next year's list.

Thanks anyway.

Signed,

Hopeless

Lorelei Armstrong said...

Louise Erdrich's The Plague of Doves.

Amanda said...

Well, I tend to read classics rather than new books, so of the 80-something book i've read this year, only six of them were published in 2008 (5 if you don't count the Tales of Beedle the Bard). So of my very limited number, I'd have to say Jeanne DuPrau's The Diamond of Darkhold tops my list, followed closely by Eoin Colfer's Airman.

Anonymous said...

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. Because, honestly, it's Neil Gaiman

mumblemoose said...

Dennis Lehane's The Given Day was great, and Child 44 by Tom Robb Smith was extra cold war creepy, but my favorite book read this year is technically an 09. If you're a Dan Simmons fan then be excited, because the galley for Drood is incredible!

Zoe Winters said...

The Proviso
by: Moriah Jovan

Moira said...

The Forever War by Dexter Filkin. This book should be required reading for anyone living in the U.S. today.

Jena said...

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson.

fibitz said...

Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow. It's a YA novel the way Alice in Wonderland is a YA novel.

freya said...

Destiny Kills by Keri Arthur (Urban Fantasy Romance)

Shape shifting sea dragons. very cool.

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