January 1, 2009

A Summary of 2008 in Books

2008 has ended and with it, my book challenge for this past year. I read fifty-nine books in 2008, surpassing my book challenge goal by seven books. I came up with a new challenge once I beat that one later on but knew there was a possibility that too much would be going on for me to complete it. (My new reading challenge was to read a total of seventy books.) Here is a list of what I read in 2008:

1. Holly Black: Modern Faery's Tale, book 3: Ironside
2. Caprice Crane: Forget About It
3. Patrick Carman: The Land of Elyon, book 1: The Dark Hills Divide
4. Melissa de la Cruz: Bluebloods, book 1: Blue Bloods
5. Patrick Carman: The Land of Elyon, book 2: Beyond the Valley of Thorns
6. Louise Rennison: Georgia Nicholson, book 1: Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging
7. Louise Rennison: Georgia Nicholson, book 2: On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God
8. Melissa de la Cruz: Bluebloods, book 2: Masquerade
9. Rick Riordan: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, book 1: The Lightning Thief
10. Louise Rennison: Georgia Nicholson, book 3: Knocked Out by My Nugga-Nuggas
11. Frances Hodgson Burnett: A Little Princess
12. Cornelia Funke: Inkworld, book 1: Inkheart
13. Louise Rennison: Georgia Nicholson, book 4: Dancing in My Nuddy Pants
14. Phillipa Gregory: Tudor, book 2: The Other Boleyn Girl
15. Helen Fielding: Bridget Jones, book 1: Bridget Jones's Diary
16. Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials, book 4: Lyra's Oxford
17. Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Secret Garden
18. Scott Westerfeld: Uglies, book 1: Uglies
19. Rachel Caine: Morganville Vampires, book 1: Glass Houses
20. Rachel Caine: Morganville Vampires, book 2: The Dead Girls' Dance
21. Stephenie Meyer: Twilight, book 1: Twilight
22. Stephenie Meyer: The Host
23. C.S. Lewis: Chronicles of Narnia, (chronologically) book 4: Prince Caspian
24. Scott Westerfeld: Uglies, book 2: Pretties
25. Scott Westerfeld: Uglies, book 3: Specials
26: Michael Middleditch: The New York Mapguide (5th edition)
27: Rachel Caine: Morganville Vampires, book 3: Midnight Alley
28: Ginny Rorby: Hurt Go Happy
29. Melissa Marr: Wicked Lovely, book 1: Wicked Lovely
30. Diana Wynne Jones: Howl's Castle, book 1: Howl's Moving Castle
31. Stephenie Meyer: Twilight, book 1: Twilight
32. Stephenie Meyer: Twilight, book 2: New Moon
33. Stephenie Meyer: Twilight, book 3: Eclipse
34. Stephenie Meyer: Twilight, book 4: Breaking Dawn
35. Ellen Wittlinger: Marisol, book 1: Hard Love
36: Sean Stewart: Cathy's Book, book 1: Cathy's Book
37: Ann Rinaldi: A Break with Charity
38. Jane Elliot: The Little Prisoner
39. PC and Kristen Cast: House of Night, book 1: Marked
40: Patrick Carman: Land of Elyon, book 3: The Tenth City
41: Cinda Williams Chima: The Heir, book 1: The Warrior Heir
42. PC and Kristen Cast: House of Night, book 2: Betrayed
43. Christopher Paolini: Inheritance, book 1: Eragon
44. Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black: Spiderwick Chronicles, book 1: The Field Guide
45. Cinda Williams Chima: The Heir, book 2: The Wizard Heir
46. PC and Kristen Cast: House of Night, book 3: Chosen
47. Christopher Paolini: Inheritance, book 2: Eldest
48. PC and Kristen Cast: House of Night: Untamed
49. Wendy Mass: A Mango-Shaped Space
50. Cinda Williams Chima: The Heir, book 3: The Dragon Heir
51. Ibi Kaslik: Skinny
52. Gabrielle Zeven: Elsewhere
53. Rick Riordan: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, book 2: The Sea of Monsters
54. Libba Bray: Gemma Doyle, book 1: A Great and Terrible Beauty
55. Sarah Waters: Fingersmith
56. Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele: The Enneagram Made Easy
57. J.K. Rowling: (Harry Potter companion): The Tales of Beedle the Bard
58. Vicki Myron: Dewey
59. Lewis Carrol: Alice's Adventures, book 1: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

I've tried to keep a list of which books were my favorite that I read by the month on the side of my blog which I'll list the content of here:

Jan. ~ Caprice Crane: "Forget About It"
Feb. ~ Phillipa Gregory: "The Other Boleyn Girl"
Mar. ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett: "The Secret Garden"
Apr. ~ Scott Westerfeld: "Uglies"
May ~ Stephenie Meyer: "The Host"
Jun. ~ Ginny Rorby: "Hurt Go Happy"
Jul. ~ Diana Wynne Jones: "Howl's Moving Castle"
Aug. ~ Stephenie Meyer: "Breaking Dawn"
Sep. ~ Cinda Williams Chima: "The Warrior Heir"
Oct. ~ Sarah Waters: "Fingersmith"
(Nov. ~ only read one book)
Dec. ~ Vicki Myron: "Dewey"

My mother is likewise a reader and since we both had the day off work wanted to discuss the books we read last year. This is her third year in a row of beating me with eighty-some books read. One of the things she insisted was hearing which one book was my favorite. One book. I couldn't do it. She knows I love to read series and told me I could count complete series as individual books and to come up with a couple. I looked over the books I read, made a short list, and scrambled to my bookshelves. This is what I brought to her:

Cinda Williams Chima's The Warrior Heir was chosen to represent The Heir series for being the first and also possibly my favorite of the series. It has the fantasy thing going on and I am very thankful to all my LibraryThing friends who spoke so wonderfully of it. I loved this series. I've already written about the differences between the Heir and Harry Potter so I won't repeat that but post a link.

Another book I chose to represent a series was PC and Kristen Cast's Marked. The House of Night series is published quickly making it fun to follow not to mention how funny I've found the series. I would for certain call this the lightest vampire series I have read. The dark and scary aren't really all that dark or scary.

Here we get to the books I chose as stand-alones. Two of these I do not own. They are Ginny Rorby's Hurt Go Happy and Vicki Myron's Dewey, both books that I couldn't put down. There were a good amount of books like that for me this year, but only these two succeeded in making me completely sappy. I adore them both, each having an alarmingly touching story of their own.

Rorby's book was close to home to me during a time that I was very far from home - across the country, in fact, and feeling homesick. It includes a great deal of sign language, the silent language I'm constantly unconsciously using, and also partially takes place right in the area that I live in. I was able to connect with the main character as well for her family life at home and the relationship between her and an animal that she loves dearly.

Myron's book is one that is the second to last blog entry before this so I need not go into detail, but it was of course very close to me as well. My mother was surprised by me naming it as one of my favorite books for the year, but why ever would I want to erase everything about my Loofy and pretend as though he never was? His ashes are a way of holding on, but some special books such as this and Rorby's help keep everything there. I never want to forget.

Another book I chose was Scott Westerfeld's Uglies. There are four books to this series and I have only read three of them, however, as a series, I feel that it stinks. I really don't like those books. The first one, on the other hand, as a stand-alone book delivers some very good messages, one of them being to take better care of our planet. I feel teens with eating disorders would also benefit from reading this book. It teaches so much about real and inner beauty!

Patrick Carman's The Dark Hills Divide is a very cute book. As a cat and book lover, I enjoyed it's cozy and adventurous library where even the two library cats held clues to mysteries to be solved. Again, I liked this book better than the rest of the series.

Cornelia Funke's Inkheart is not very fresh in mind at all now but I did very much adore this book. It seems everyone either loves or hates it. My opinion is stated. I don't know why I never got to book two and haven't purchased book three yet. This is one I am planning a re-read of for this new year right after I go to see the movie which should hit theaters this month. Who couldn't love a book in which books are brought to life? I love Meggie's red wooden box of books.

I didn't read many books that weren't YA this year. Two that were adult fiction were Sarah Waters' Fingersmith and Stephenie Meyer's The Host. Both, though one more than the other, are love stories. Waters' book is like Jane Eyre, mystery, and so much more tied into one book. It was the book that never failed to surprise me. Meyer's provided something new other than the series she is well-known for producing and turned out to be a very strong story on it's own. It took me a bit to get into but once I was, I was buried, just as the characters.


Melody /Bella said...

K! I love reading your thoughts lol... I didn't make a list of books last year but I plan on doing it this year and reading your list has just added to my TBR pile. Again. I sad that you didn't like the Uglies as a series but I agree with you about the first book. Thanks for the happy writing wishes! See you on the threads.

Kerian said...

Hey! :)

No list yet? ;) I've been keeping lists for six in a half years. I like that I can go back and see when it was that I may have read a book. It's won me a few bets regarding book releases, too. ;)

I'm happy you see some good books you would like to read! Sorry I don't like the Ugly series very much. I think I'm too old to appreciate it as some others would. It's definitely a unique series though, a quality I admire in all books.

You're welcome for the happy writing wishes. I hope this year brings you a lot of success and happiness! See you! :)