I set a reasonable goal of 26 books in 2008, or a new book every other week. In reality I read more like 40 books, but do not have an exact tally since I have returned most of them to the library. I probably skimmed or read parts of another 50 or so books.
The best of 2008 includes one novel and five works of non-fiction; this ratio roughly approximates my reading as a whole.
- First Circle by Alexander Solzhinitsin (fiction, although based on true events)
- In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan
- The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
- All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
- The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why by Amanda Ripley
- One Small Boat: The Story of a Little Girl, Lost Then Foundby Kathy Harrison
If I were a good blogger, I would review each of these books in detail. I am not, so take it on my word that each of these five is worth a read. Be forewarned, however, that the final selection is a tearjerker that may make you go out and become a foster parent.
In case this list leads you to believe that I only read serious books, I also read books like
Dean Koontz' Sole Survivor (which drew me in, but had a very lame ending) and 1862 by Robert Conroy (which is offers an intriguing but implausible hypothetical history of British involvement in the US Civil War). I also read my first Jodi Picoult book -- My Sister's Keeper -- which was very good, but not as amazing as I had been led to expect. Unlike many books (Sole Survivor for example), the ending was excellent. The problem was the incomplete character development and utter sappiness. On the other hand, I was unexpectedly impressed with my first Janet Evanovich book -- One for the Money. It was entertaining and did not take itself too seriously.
Anyone have suggestions for what I should read in 2009?