Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Best of 2008--Books

I posted a list of my favorite Christian fiction reads of the year already, but as you know I read a good mix of Christian fiction and General Market fiction...along with some non-fiction occasionally. I like reflecting back on the reading year. Truly good books become a part of who you are. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't keep track of how many books I read this year, but I'd guess around 125. So these are the ten books that made the deepest impression on me, provided the best entertainment, caused me to see the world in a new way, challenged pre-existing ideas and beliefs, reminded me of God's love.....the list goes on and on! Here they are, in no particular order:

Silence by Shusaku Endo
This is a classic, certainly not a book published in 2008, that explores the presence of intense suffering and persecution in the life of a Christian especially as it relates to their relationship with God--as well as what Christianity looks like in Japan. Having lived in Japan for a short time it's possible I enjoyed this book more than others would, but I wholeheartedly recommend this one if you haven't read it yet.

The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen
A fascinating look at the conflict in a woman's life between following the love of her life and following her dreams. It was riveting and I didn't want to put it down.

A Friend Like Henry by Nuala Gardner
This is both a beautiful dog story as well as a beautiful story of the power of a family's love. I loved and enjoyed this book so much. It's the story of how a dog helped unlock the world of an autistic child, and it really gave me a lot of insight into what life is like for families who have autistic children.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (no review)
I was late to this party but I devoured this book. It rekindled my interest in historical fiction as well as gave me a new interest in reading about monarchs and court life which I previously would have thought to be terribly boring and not as delightfully scandalous as it is.

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White (no review behind!)
Sometimes we read books at just the right time. Karen White is a fantastic writer and this book struck the perfect balance of heart and humor. It had a little bit of everything. It was pure enjoyment.

In Hovering Flight by Joyce Hinnefeld
A novel that was a perfect work of art--beautiful and moving.

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson (no review--was a group discussion)
Jackson has a gorgeous writing style and this book was also thought provoking for me. It really stayed with me for a long time.

A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman
I laughed and cried through this book. I love this huge epic family drama and romance story that Julie is building. Huge bonus is that Julie is a lovely person herself.

The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne
Short but sweet, this little novella will be a Christmas classic for me.

Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan
An examination of the lives left behind after a teen girl goes missing. The characterization was outstanding, I didn't want to put this one down.

(some honorable mentions include The Shape of Mercy, Somebody Else's Daughter, and Wicked Lovely)

I'm interested in knowing if any our lists overlap. What were your favorite reads? Did you dislike any of the books on my list? Are any of these on your TBR for next year?



Julie P. said...

We obviously have very similar taste in books. I just don't seem to be able to do one of these best of lists. It's too hard to narrow it down, but I have to agree with you on a lot of yours. I still have to read THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING!!!

Anonymous said...

I loved *In Hovering Flight* and *The Other Boleyn Girl*; I have *Songs for the Missing* on my TBR shelf, and *The Girl Who Stopped Swimming* and *The Paperbag Christmas* are on my wish list!

Looks like you had a great year in books, Amy! May 2009 be a wonderful year, too.

Literary Feline said...

From your list, I have only read The Other Boleyn Girl (years ago) and The House on Tradd Street. I have Songs for the Missing among my TBR collection. I'm looking forward to reading that one.

Dana said...

Amy, thanks so much for this list. I love, love, love to read but I sometimes have a hard time stepping out of my comfort zone and reading something in a new genre or by an author I've not read before. I was just thinking of asking you to post a monthly book when I found this list. This will get me started. Thanks!

Beth F said...

I have The Girl Who Stopped Swimming in my TBR stack -- somewhere in this house! I should dig it out.

Anonymous said...

Amy, I have two of your books in my book closet. I look forward to reading THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING and THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET sometime this year. My personal challenge was to read only my own books or ones I check out at my library. Happily, I own both of those.

I'm new to your blog and am enjoying it thoroughly!

Robin M said...

Great wrap up. I've not heard of a single one of those books. It will be interesting checking them out. I vowed to be more well rounded this year and read a wider variety. Not get stuck in one genre, which I seem to have a habit of doing.

Have fun reading.


Amy said...

Julie...ha, that doesn't surprise me. Better to have too many choices for a best of list than not enough :)

Thank you Dawn! I'm glad we like some of the same books.

Wendy..I hope you enjoy Songs for the Missing.'re welcome! I'm also thinking of recommending a book a month...we'll see if I can do it. should. It's a good read. :)

Thanks for saying so Kay and I hope you enjoy those books when you get a chance to read them.! Isn't it funny that for as many books as we know about...there are always so many more!

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