Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Reading

In the spirit of all of the end-of-year lists that are now thicker than cigarette butts under melting snowbanks (which is to say, unavoidable and a little nauseating), I present to you the List of Books that Jen Read in 2008.

It is not a comprehensive list, as it only includes new books that I actually completed. So, I didn't include any of the books I revisited, and I didn't include any new books I didn't finish. There were more of those this year than ever before. I think having an MFA has made me a bit of a book snob.

Before we get to the actual list, I did a little analysis this year of my genre reading habits:

Sorry for the blurry screen shot. I'm still using the 2003 version of Office and it hates me. Hates. me.

Anyway, so what the data tells me is that I started out 2008 reading a lot of fiction, and ended it reading a lot of crime. I also think it's interesting that my reading rate was relatively low during the months that I was unemployed (July-September, when I was spending my time divided between Six Feet Under and the Winter Cache Garden) and highest during the month I started working again (October, when I was practicing being an overacheiver).

OK, so here's the list. The first ten are my favorites, in no particular order and for no particular reason except that they continue to live in my head for one reason or another. These are the books I'm still thinking about, and most likely I wrote down a couple of quotes from them in my handy-dandy Moleskine.

The rest after that are in roughly the order I read them.

Author Title
Eggers, Dave What Is the What
Brockmeier, Kevin The Brief History of the Dead
Rak, Mary Kidder A Cowman's Wife
Lowenthal, Michael Charity Girl
Larson, Erik Devil in the White City
Whitman, Walt Leaves of Grass
Kyle, Aryn The God of Animals
Thomas, Will Some Danger Involved
Millhauser, Steven Dangerous Laughter
Barlow, Toby Sharp Teeth

King, Stephen Lisey's Story
Updike, John Terrorist
McGuire, Gregory What the Dickens
Shawn, Allen Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life
Lehane, Dennis Coronado
Beller, Thomas The Sleep-Over Artist
Hardinge, Frances Fly By Night
Long, David The Inhabited World
Goodman, Allegra Intuition
McKewan, Ian On Chesil Beach
Halberstam, David Firehouse
Shah, Saira The Storyteller's Daughter
Winterson, Jeannette Tanglewreck
McCarthy, Cormac No Country for Old Men
Ondaatje, Michael Devisadero
Hegi, Ursula The Vision of Emma Blau
Litman, Ellen The Last Chicken in America
Bachman, Richard Blaze
Hawthorne, Nathaniel The Scarlet Letter
Grant, Richard Another Green World
DeLillo, Don Falling Man
King, Stephen Best American Short Stories of 2007
Clark, Joshua Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in its Disaster Zone
Connolly, John The Book of Lost Things
Chabon, Michael Gentlemen of the Road
Breslin, Jimmy The Good Rat
Burroughs, Augustin Running With Scissors
Roth, Philip Everyman
Gaiman, Neil Fragile Things
Burroughs, Augustin Dry
Montiel, Dito A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Burroughs, Augustin Magical Thinking
Boylan, Jennifer Finney I'm Looking Through You
Dully, Howard My Lobotomy
Russo, Richard Bridge of Sighs
Stowe, Harriet Beeche Uncle Tom's Cabin
Henderson, Bill Pushcart Prize XXXI: Best of the Small Presses
Lightman, Alan Ghost
Griffith, Nicola Always
Bloom, Elizabeth The Mortician's Daughter
Erdrich, Louise The Plague of Doves
Creech, Sharon Walk Two Moons
Busch, Frederick Girls
Wolf, Naomi Promiscuities
Flynn, Gillian Sharp Objects
Mosley, Walter Cinnamon Kiss
Curtis, Chistopher Paul Bud, Not Buddy
Kirino, Natsuo Grotesque
Steinem, Gloria Revolution from Within
Dillard, Annie The Maytrees
Smith, Zadie White Teeth
Sinha, Indra Animal's People
Horvath, Patty The Canning Season
Smith, Ali Boy Meets Girl
Meyer, Stephenie Twilight
Meyer, Stephenie New Moon
Marr, Melissa Wicked Lovely
Meyer, Stephenie Eclipse
Thomas, Will To Kingdom Come
Montgomery, Sy The Good Good Pig
Cabot, Meg All-American Girl
Sittenfeld, Curtis Man of my Dreams
Thomas, Will The Limehouse Text
Silber, Joan The Size of the World
Farmer, Nancy Sea of Trolls
Westerfeld, Scott Pretties
Westerfeld, Scott Uglies
Westerfeld, Scott Specials
Gerritsen, Tess The Bone Garden
Palahniuk, Chuck Snuff
Thomas, Will The Hellfire Conspiracy
Welch, Irvine If You Liked School You'll Love Work
Oates, Joyce Carol Blonde
Oates, Joyce Carol Because it is Bitter, and Because it is My Heart
Mosley, Walter Fortunate Son
Skye, Obert Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo
Gerritsen, Tess Gravity
Gerritsen, Tess Bloodstream
O'Neill, Heather Lullabies for Little Criminals
Gilbert, Elizabeth Stern Men
Levine, Gail Carson Fairest
Lowry, Lois The Giver
McCrery, Nigel Still Waters
Mosley, Walter Diablerie
Samarasan, Preeta Evening is the Whole Day
Kimmel, Haven Iodine
Junger, Sebastian A Death in Belmont
Cornwall, Patricia Jack the Ripper: Case Closed
Meyer, Stephenie The Host
Sedaris, David When You Are Engulfed in Flames

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