Booking Through Thursday – 2008 Faves

I took a break from my book blog over the holidays, but not from reading. I’ll catch up soon. Meanwhile, this week’s question from Booking Through Thursday is:

It’s a week or two later than you’d expect, and it may be almost a trite question, but … what were your favorite books from 2008?

I didn’t keep a reading list this year, and I began my book blog toward the end of 2008, but I’d already considered this question. One book stands out.

The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith
I quickly fell in love with the  No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which I discovered in 2007. I’d never heard of the series until I found Celestine Viate’s trilogy. The cover of the third book, Tiare in Bloom, included a quote: “A delightful diversion – redolent of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.”

I bought the first book in the series, then used a 40% off coupon to buy a boxed set of the first five books (and later gave away the first one to a deserving friend.) I was hooked. I listened to a couple of audiobooks of subsequent releases because I read that the audio versions added a delightful new dimension, and it was fun to hear the names pronounced correctly.

Anthony Minghella made a pilot episode for the BBC, which aired on Easter Sunday of last year, only a week or so after Minghella’s death. As I understand it, HBO had contracted a series for U.S. viewers and will show the pilot here this spring. Now that I’ve listened, I can’t wait to watch. I don’t have HBO, but surely a DVD is in the future.

Minghella talks about why he wanted to make the film – and also perfectly describes why I love the books – here. Please take a peek, those of you who enjoy exploring other cultures.

Speaking of other cultures, another favorite of last year was The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I purchased the book when it was first published, but never read it. Finally, I listened to a superb audio version last year.

Other books that I enjoyed, in no particular order and with no description, because they are easy enough to find:

Memoirs
The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer
A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

Fiction
The Girl with No Shadow by JoAnne Harris
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

Fantasy
The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle
The Limits of Enchantment by Graham Joyce
Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Booking Through Thursday – 2008 Faves

  1. Beck

    Vee, I haven’t kept a list this year, but I know I’ve read a lot of good books. One of my favorite quick reads was Sail, by James Patterson. I liked it because it wasn’t one of his usual serial novels. I also read two or three of the Alexander McCall Smith books in the Ladies Detective Series, including Speedy Motors. I just picked up The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday, a new installment in the Isabel Dalhousie series. I just finished The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck. I liked the book (but don’t care for him as a political shock jock). My other read this week was Gringos in Paradise and I loved it! I really like non-fiction based on ex-pat’s experiences in Mexico. I read Testimony by Anita Shreve around Christmas and did not like it. It was like a bad imitation of a Jodi Picoult novel. And I read numerous Jodi Picoult’s this year. Jane Green’s The Beach House. I know I’m leaving out a lot of good reads. I need to start keeping a list!

  2. allthingsarial

    Beck, I didn’t know you also read the No. 1 series. I have one of the Isabel books but haven’t read it. Let me know how it compares.

    I listened to The Beach House not long ago, and it completely sucked me in. I have yet to read Jodi Picoult.

  3. Ann

    Vee–Try Jodi Picoult’s ” Change of Heart” Excellent read –I think one of her best…..I just finished Erica Spindler ” Breakneckk–great mystery with a strong female lead character–I really like her books.

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