January 6, 2009


In 2007, I read a grand total of 46 books. You can read the list here.

This year, I managed to squeeze in 78 books.

I discovered that listening to books on CD makes car rides more appealing. And in the case of Stephen King's stories on CD, more scary.

I read A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban several times to learn what makes this book tick. Not a wasted word. It's full of funny and sweet and sad and wonderful. A few other middle grade gems that I read this year are: The Entertainer and the Dybbuk by Sid Fleischman, Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, The Plain Janes (DC Comic Minx) by Cecil Castillucci, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices froma Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz, The True Meaning of Smekday -- an utterly original read by Adam Rex, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg, Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech and The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.

This year, I included a few picture books and short stories on the list because I want to remember that I read them.

My favorite books for adults were: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down -- A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, And the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman, and Grace Eventually (Thoughts on Faith) by Anne Lamott. I also enjoyed some of the essays in Small Wonders by Barbara Kingsolver. (But I didn't finish the entire book, so it doesn't appear on the list.)

New voices in children's literature that I thoroughly enjoyed were E.M. Crane's Skin Deep and Laurel Snyder's Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains. Read 'em; you'll love 'em.

A bookseller at an independent bookstore near Philadelphia -- Children's Book World -- recommended Rash by Pete Hautman. I was so impressed, I also read Hautman's Invisible. Have you read his work yet? Not much of a reader, our youngest son devoured it.

Let's get to it . . .

(Adult titles are noted with an asterisk.)


1. The Opposite of Invisible -- Liz Gallagher
2. * The Elephant in the Playroom -- Denise Brodey
3. Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf -- Jennifer L. Holm
4. Skin Deep -- E.M. Crane
5. A Crooked Kind of Perfect -- Linda Urban (CD)
6. * Wonder Woman -- Jodi Picoult
7. Brett McCarthy Work in Progress -- Maria Padian
8. * America God, Gold and Golems -- James Sturm
9. * Persepolis The Story of a Childhood -- Marjane Satrapi
10. * Persepolis 2 The Story of a Return -- Marjane Satrapi
11. Spanking Shakespeare -- Jake Wizner
12. * 10 Rules of Writing -- Elmore Leonard
13. * Honey From the Weed -- Althea McDowell (self-published)
14. Thirteen Reasons Why -- Jay Asher
15. * Publicize Your Book! -- Jacqueline Deval
16. The Rules of Survival -- Nancy Werlin
17. Before I Die -- Jenny Downham
18. The Revealers -- Doug Wilhelm
19. * The Savvy Author's Guide to Book Publicity -- LIssa Warren
20. Children of the Great Depression -- Russell Freedman
21. Nightjohn -- Gary Paulsen
22. * The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches (A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying LIfe More by Spending Less) -- Jeff Yeager
23. Burned -- Ellen Hopkins
24. Allie Finkle's Girls' Rules: Moving Day -- Meg Cabot
25. The Entertainer and the Dybbuk -- Sid Fleischman
26. * I Am Legend -- Richard Matheson (short story)
27. Things Left Unsaid -- Stephanie Hemphill
28. * Grace Eventually (Thoughts on Faith) -- Anne Lamott
29. Lessons from a Dead Girl -- Jo Knowles
30. Love That Dog -- Sharon Creech
31. The Plain Janes (DC Comic Minx) -- Cecil Castillucci
32. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village -- Laura Amy Schlitz
33. * The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down -- A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, And the Collision of Two Cultures -- Anne Fadiman
34. * The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids -- Madeline Levine
35. * The Last Lecture -- Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
36. * Change of Heart -- Jodi Picoult
37. * New Rules (Polite Musings from a Timid Observer) -- Bill Maher (CD)
38. The Adoration of Jenna Fox -- Mary E. Pearson
39. A Crooked Kind of Perfect -- Linda Urban
40. * Manic -- Terri Cheney
41. Chess Rumble -- Greg Neri
42. Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich -- Adam Rex
43. A Beginning, a Muddle and an End: The Right Way to Write Writing -- Avi
44. The True Meaning of Smekday -- Adam Rex
45. Ten Terrific Authors for Teens -- Christine M. Hill
46. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules -- Jeff Kinney
47. A Very Tight Place -- Stephen King (short story from McSweeney's)
48. Grace for President -- Kelly Dipucchio (picture book)
49. * This Land is Their Land (Reports from a Divided Nation) -- Barbara Ehrenreich
50. Tantalize -- Cynthia Leitich Smith
51. Maniac Magee -- Jerry Spinelli (CD) read by S. Epatha Merkerson
52. Shredderman Secret Identity -- Wendelin Van Draanen (CD) read by Daniel Young
53. * Stationary Bike -- Stephen King short story (CD) read by Ron McLarty
54. Supernatural Rubber Chicken Fowl Language -- D.L. Garfinkle
55. Supernatural Rubber Chicken Fine Feathered Four Eyes -- D.L. Garfinkle
56. * An Unquiet Mind -- Kay Redfield Jamison
57. The Funeral Director's Son -- Coleen Murtagh Paratore
58. Rash -- Pete Hautman
59. Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains -- Laurel Snyder
60. The View from Saturday -- E.L. Konigsburg (CD)
61. Junie B., First Grader Aloha-ha-ha! -- Barbara Park (CD) read by Lana Quintal
62. Many Moons -- James Thurber (picture book)
63. * On Teaching and Writing Fiction -- Wallace Stegner
64. Identical -- Ellen Hopkins
65. Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree -- Lauren Tarshis (CD) read by Quinn Gummer
66. * Here's the Story (Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice) -- Maureen McCormick
67. Invisible -- Pete Hautman
68. Coraline -- Neil Gaiman (adapted and illustrated by P. Craig Russell)
69. Granny Torrelli Makes Soup -- Sharon Creech
70. * The Faith of a Writer: Life, Craft, Art -- Joyce Carol Oates
71. The Princess Diaries -- Meg Cabot (CD) read by Anne Hathaway
72. A Crooked Kind of Perfect -- Linda Urban
73. The Hunger Games -- Suzanne Collins
74. * Not Guilty by Reason of Menopause -- Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant
75. * Water for Elephants -- Sara Gruen (CD) read by David LeDoux and John Randolph Jones
76. * Dewey (The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World) by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
77. * Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America by H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman
78. * Blood and Smoke (three short stories on CD) read by Stephen King

What were some of your favorites from 2008?


Anonymous said...

def loved water for elephants! also my favorite i read this year was identical by ellen hopkins, which u must add to 2009's list! but i must say my list is not nearly as close to yours! i got some catching up to do haha

Wild About Words said...

I read Identical. The ending totally "got" me. I'll bet you'll read more than me in 2009. I'm already off to a slow start. :)

Anonymous said...

Aw, Donna, thanks for the kind words.

The Supreme Court of Awesome said...

What a list! I loved hearing Water for Elephants, at least every other chapter of it.