Friday, January 2, 2009

Books I Read in 2008

Reading is my favorite hobby, and I've read as much as I possibly can, ever since I first learned how to read. In 2008, I set a goal for myself, which was to read more books than I ever have before in one year. (I've been keeping track of the books I've read every year since 1988.) I'm happy to announce that I met my goal! I read 5 books more, and about 1500 pages more than I have in any other year, for a total of 67 books and 21,592 pages. For anyone who's interested, I've listed the books below. A "*" denotes a book I've read before, that I re-read in 2008. My top favorites for the year (that I hadn't read previously) are:

FICTION: The Road, Cormac McCarthy. This book is very disturbing, as futuristic stories about the end of the world usually are, but for some reason I love stories about the end of the world. And this one is probably the best one I've read, because the writing style is utterly beautiful. The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, is a close second for fiction. It's wildly bizarre and well written.

POETRY: National Anthem, Kevin Prufer. A book of poetry about the end of the world. I'm seeing a theme here! Kevin Prufer, in my opinion, is one of the best up-and-coming poets out there.

HOMESCHOOLING: Family Matters, David Guterson. This books is really, really well written. David Guterson is now a best-selling novelist, but he wrote this book before he was known in the world of fiction. I find many homeschooling books have pretty mediocre writing, so it's refreshing to read one by an excellent writer!

MEMOIR: The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls. Not only is this well-written, but Jeanette Walls' childhood was so bizarre, it makes for a fascinating read.

GENERAL NONFICTION: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver. This is a fascinating book about where our food comes from, and one family's quest to grow their own and/or eat only locally. And of course, Kingsolver is a fantastic writer.

The Road, Cormac McCarthy
Missing Mom, Joyce Carol Oates
*Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher
Run, Ann Patchett
Ethan Fromme, Edith Wharton
The Finishing School, Gail Godwin
The Jane Austen Book Club, Karen Joy Fowler
National Anthem, Kevin Prufer
Body Surfing, Anita Shreve
Loving Frank, Nancy Horan
Circle of Three, Patricia Gaffney
Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld
Elephants & Butterflies, Alan Michael Parker
Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama
The Alchemists Daughter, Katharine McMahon
Mad Dash, Patricia Gaffney
Half a Life, V.S. Naipaul
The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
The Saving Graces, Patricia Gaffney
An Indecent Obsession, Colleen McCullough
Generations, Pattian Rogers
*Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
Real-Life Homeschooling, Rhonda Barfield
*The Price of Priviledge, Madeline Levine
Generation Me, Jane Twenge
*Seventh Son, Orson Scott Card
*Red Prophet, Orson Scott Card
*Prentice Alvin, Orson Scott Card
*Alvin Journeyman, Orson Scott Card
*Heartfire, Orson Scott Card
*The Crystal City, Orson Scott Card
*The Other Side of the Sun, Madeleine L’Engle
Home School, Charles Webb
Chang and Eng, Darin Strauss
The Mending Worm, Joan Houlihan
Hold On To Your Kids, Gordon Neufeld & Gabov Mate
Leaping Poetry, Robert Bly
Change of Heart, Jodi Picoult
Carpool Diem, Nancy Star
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
Best Friends, Martha Moody
The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
Love Walked In, Marisa DeLos Santos
Light on Snow, Anita Shreve
A Charlotte Mason Companion, Karen Andreola
The Amateur Marriage, Anne Tyler
The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, Ann Packer
Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv
Dumbing Us Down, John Taylor Gatto
Girls in Trucks, Katie Crouch
Family Matters, David Guterson
Teach Your Own, John Holt & Patrick Farenga
Slam, Nick Hornby
A Nation of Wimps, Hara Marano
*Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot
The Half-Finished Heaven, Tomas Transtromer
Raising Cain, Kindlon & Thompson
Help for the Harried Homeschooler, Christine Field
Homeschooling the Teen Years, Cafi Cohen
Endangered Minds, Jean M. Healy
Too Much of a Good Thing, Dan Kindlon
*The Folk on the Fringe, Orson Scott Card
The Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Taking Back Childhood, Nancy Carlsson Paige
Consuming Kids, Susan Linn
Night, Elie Wiesel
*The Small Rain, Madeleine L’Engle
*A Severed Wasp, Madeleine L’Engle
A Sense of Self, Sheffer
The Plug-In Drug, Marie Winn
The Third Angel, Alice Hoffman
*A Girl Named Zippy, Haven Kimmel
*She Got Up Off the Couch, Haven Kimmel
*A Circle of Quiet, Madeleine L’Engle


5intow said...

What a great idea to keep track of the books you read each year. I know my list would never compare to yours, but it does continue to grow each year. I don't have time for much fiction though, but these great lists are whetting my appetite for something aside from the non-fiction that has become my genre of choice.

Thanks for sharing lots of titles to pursue!

KymPossible said...

Impressive list! That is a good idea to keep track of all the books you read - I wish I'd done it. Guess I can start now!


Ruthanne said...

I just started keeping track of my books last year. I'm so glad I did! It's nice to look back at it and remind myself.

KarenW said...

I used to read a lot of books but never made any lists. Maybe I should start!

Sherry said...

You have quite a list! :D I love being able to find new books so seeing others lists helps. :D

Quinne said...

Hi Marci :) I journal the children's books but really never thought about doing that for me. What a great idea! Have a lovely weekend, Q