Monday, December 29, 2008

Jenn's Favorites (and Not-So-Favorites) of 2008

I usually read somewhere between 50 to 60 books a year, and this year I've read about half of that (not counting books like Karen Katz's Where Is Baby's Belly Button? which I read at least ten times a day)... something about having a one year old, no hour long lunch breaks, a new online subscription to DVD rentals, and too much on my DVR.

ANYWAY, considering all that, I don't really feel it's too fair to my books to rank a top and bottom ten... that just leaves seven or eight feeling really lonely in the middle there.

So here are some of my favorites of this year:

  • Dirty Secrets Club ~ this isn't even the best of Meg Gardiner, but it reminded me of why I love her so much. I am making it a goal next year to get back to her Evan Delany novels (I had to give her up when I was pregnant, as I had concentration issues). I can't recommend this author enough! Review: The Dirty Secrets Club
  • Breaking Dawn ~ the conclusion of the Twilight Saga. I was very impressed with Stephenie Meyer's conclusion for this series. This series isn't perfect, but it is fascinating and worth the hype. I really felt the series started and ended strong. Hopefully one day soon I'll get to see the movie and can post a book-to-movie review too! Review: Breaking Dawn
  • Devil Bones ~ the latest installment of Kathy Reichs's series about forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance Brennan. I love Reichs and was slightly disappointed with the book prior to this in the series, Bones to Ashes. This was a return to all the things I love about Reichs. Such great writing! Review: Devil Bones
  • Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before ~ David Yoo's clever Young Adult book about teenage love and obsession. This was a delightful find and I thank the publisher for sending it my way! Review: Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before
  • Fault Line ~ Barry Eisler's new novel that breaks away from his John Rain series. This was a LibraryThing Early Reviewers book (available March 10, 2009) and I'm always glad to discover a new favorite author. I'll be going back and reading his original series. Review: Fault Line

While I can't say that I've never read a book I didn't like, there are very few I truly dislike. That said, here are some of my least favorites this year:

  • Plum Lucky ~ Why do I bother with your in-between-the-number-books, Janet Evanovich? Why? Why?

  • The Secret Scroll ~ This was a debut novel for Ronald Cutler, and while I would be interested in trying another of his novels, let this one fall to the bottom of your 'To Be Read' pile.

  • A Great and Terrible Beauty ~ While I still intend to forge ahead with this series, this one fell short of the mark. Next year, I'll see what else Libba Bray has in store for me.

  • Before You Know Kindness ~ "For the kind of people who like that sort of thing, this is just the sort of thing those people will like," a politically correct response attributed to Lincoln when an author asked Lincoln about his book, I think it applies for me here too. Chris Bohjalian is just not the author for me.

  • Dedication ~ From the writing team that brought us The Nanny Diaries, which I know was a huge success, I was expecting more from this. But I'd be willing to give the authors another shot.

New Year's Resolution: Make more time to read!!!


Anonymous ,  December 29, 2008 at 9:19 PM  

I too thought A Great and Terrible Beauty didn't live up to all the hype - I really wanted to enjoy it but just ended up bored.

Serena December 30, 2008 at 10:59 AM  

I haven't read Plum Lucky, but the Visions of Sugar Plums Audio we are listening to is pretty funny.

Jenn December 30, 2008 at 11:13 AM  

I own the rest of the Libba Bray series so I will forge ahead in hopes they get better.

As for Evanovich's "In-Between-ers" listening to them might be the way to go. I imagine they might be quite funny on tape.

I buy them to complete my Plum collection, but really, they're more like sorbet between courses. (Like if I need to switch from reading YA to Adult Crime...) They're good for a lark, but really, I should stop wasting money on them.

Julie December 30, 2008 at 2:28 PM  

I read A Great and Terrible Beauty a few years ago and still have not made it to Rebel Angels....guess that says something eh?

Anonymous ,  January 7, 2009 at 10:08 AM  

I'm confused. Here you say that Chris B is not the author for you, but you raved about him in your earlier post. Is it just this particular book you didn't like?

Jenn January 7, 2009 at 1:06 PM  

Nope, it's Julie that likes him (and Lisa too). I'm the 'odd lady out' of the three of us, so to speak.

Julie and I have been getting that a lot lately. It must be a "J" thing. :)

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