My 2008 reading is done and it’s time to choose my own picks for best and worst reads of the year. ……or whatever categories I decide upon.
In 2007, I had no problem choosing a favorite from a list packed with amazing reads. But this year’s list has been pretty blah. I read a lot of mediocre books and a few really great ones. Even read a couple books I wanted to toss across the room. Only a handful made me really want to recommend them to other readers, and those are the ones I chose as the best.
Best book read in 2008: Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
This category was a toss up between Case Histories and Into the Woods by Tana French. Both books follow multiple mysteries and the detectives assigned to solve them. Each author is great at creating their main character and turning them into someone you’d like to become friends with or at least invite out for a few drinks at the nearest pub. In the end, Into the Woods lost out because French didn’t let us in on what happened to the kids that went missing. If you’re going to build up a mystery and make the reader anticipate an ending, then at least give them one!
Worst book read in 2008: Girl From the South by Joanna Trollope
I read this earlier in the year so I can’t remember many of the details, other than I was really annoyed with her character names, southern cliches, and pretty much everything else about the book. I wish more writers would at least visit the South and spend some time here before writing cliche ridden crap about the region.
Author that made me fall in love with him again: Stephen King
He lost me there for a while with a string of very sub-par material and I thought he would never get his mojo back. But he came back with Duma Key and Lisey’s Story , both of which made me remember why I love his writing so much. Although I kinda want to punch him for releasing those half-baked stories of Just After Sunset.
Newly discovered author of 2008: Matthew Reilly
Reading a book by this guy is the equivalent of reading a Micheal Bay movie. Nonstop action, explosions, a high body count, strong, silent heroes, and always a crisis averted in the nick of time. Reilly’s books are the ones I enjoyed reading the most this year. Sure, most of the action is highly improbable and there is very little character development, but so what? He’s entertaining! I couldn’t put his books down and usually finished one off in a couple of days. His books are perfect for a trip to the beach or a long plane ride.
Biggest disappointment(s) of 2008: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I had heard so many good things about this book, I was quite disappointed when it was finished. What turned me off wasn’t the organ harvesting controversy, but I simply didn’t like any of the characters. None of them were appealing and I didn’t care if any of them lived or died. I just wanted to finish the book.
That’s it for 2008! Happy reading to all bookworms in 2009!