2008 In Review

For my first post here, I thought I would take a look back at 2008 to review what I read, what I liked, and what I’m really looking forward to in 2009.

full-moon-risingThis was a year of change for me.  I was introduced to Keri Arthur,  by a very good friend, and devoured the entire Riley series in a couple of weeks.  After that, I moved over to Kelly Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, and bittenflew through that just as fast.  All of a sudden, this whole new genre opened up for me, with hundreds of books to be read!  I was in heaven.  I inhaled Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight saga this spring, reading the first three books in one weekend on my kindle.  I was shocked the first time I saw the books in ill-windpaper format – they’re HUGE!  I followed those up with Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series and fell in love with Joanne & David.  I somehow stumbled across the Study series by Maria Snyder, but can’t remember how I found itpoison-study (may have been a recommendation from audible.com?).  Loved the entire series – again reading them all quickly.  I also discovered Kim Harrison, Laurel K Hamilton, Patricia Briggs, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Richelle Mead, Carrie Vaughn and many others to my great joy!

In looking back, series definitely captured my attention this last year.  I love discovering New-To-Me authors that have a large backlist.  I don’t have to wait around for the next one to be published.  I also LOVE having a kindle.  I can’t even count how many times I finished a book at 10:30pm, and downloaded the next in the series without leaving my bed, by 10:32.  By far the best Christmas present I’ve EVER received – thanks mom & dad :)!

I’m having a hard time figuring out how many books I’ve read this last year, although my sd card on my kindle (which only contains those I’ve finished), has 11 pages of titles with 10 books per page.  Add into that the number of paper books I’ve read, and audible.com books I’ve listened to, we’re in the neighborhood of 150 over the last 12 months.

So my list of favorites of the year (those I’ve read in 2008, not necessarily published in 2008 ) include all of the authors above, but also the following:

halfway-to-the-grave

“Halfway to the Grave” By Jeaniene Frost – I truly enjoyed this book, and in fact the whole series.  Published in Oct of 2007, I downloaded it on April 4th, and I believe I finished it the same day.  I love the characters the author developed – the interplay between Cat & Bones, and Cat & her mom are great.  The most recent book in the series (At Grave’s End, 12/30/08 ) was another immediate download/read.   I can’t wait for An Early Grave to be released in July 2009 (per Amazon).

stray

“Stray” – By Rachel Vincent – Another book originally published in 2007 that I discovered in early 2008.   I purchased this one as a download on audible.com.  I fell in love with Faythe, and the unique nature of her species.  I always love strong female characters, and am a sucker for the return of a love interest from the past scenario (especially when he’s the one pining for her!)  All in all, very good read – anxiously awaiting Pride, and Prey, the third and fourth books in the series.

hunger-games“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins was on my TBR list way before it was actually published.  I loved the concept of the book – and really hoped it would live up to my expectations.  It did!  My only complaint is that it wasn’t released in a kindle version (as of 1/7/09 still isn’t available).  Instead of downloading it the day it was released, I was forced to wait for a month or two to see if it would become available – then finally broke down and bought it in paper.

life-as-we-knew-it

“Life As We Knew It” by Susan Beth Pfeffer, just made it in under the wire of 2008.  In fact, I think I bought it my first day of Christmas vacation on 12/20.  This story haunts me.  I found myself starting to buy a lot of canned goods and things that wouldn’t spoil after coming home.  I love the way the story is told, as journal entries by a 15 (?) year old girl.  Very moving.  I went right out and bought the second book “The Dead and the Gone”, and promptly left it on the table at my parents house when we left to come home.  Mail delivery yesterday – can’t wait to finish it!

the-host

“The Host” By Stephanie Meyer is one of my absolute favorite books of the year!  I bought this on kindle, and read it.  Then downloaded it on audible.com so I could listen to it in the car.  I think I listened and read this book at least 4 times this year.  The audio version is wonderful – Kate Reading does an amazing job bringing the characters to life.  The interaction between Wanderer and Melanie is written perfectly, and the challenges they face with Jared and Ian are compelling.

shadow-divers

On a COMPLETELY different note, I became obsessed with “Shadow Divers” by Robert Kurson.  This is another book I listened to this last year, and truly became compelled by the story.  I found myself on the internet searching out sites that provide u-sub history.  I couldn’t walk away from it – which is odd, because I’m not a huge war history buff.  Anyway – I highly recommend the book, in particular the audio version – the narrartor is wonderful.

no-shortcuts-to-the-top

“No Shortcuts to the Top” By Ed Viesturs.  From the depths of the seas to the highest place on earth – yep, I have eclectic tastes.  The men in my family are outdoorsy, at least my father and brother are, and I’ve found myself sitting in front of the tv watching some documentary or other about mountain climbing on more than one occasion.  I knew about Ed Visteurs, and really wanted to read the book he wrote about his experiences.   It was compelling, hard to put down, and very well written in my opinion.  I was taken with his story, and in an arm-chair way, enjoyed the experience of “climbing” the 14 highest peaks.

So I think that’s it – my favorite books of 2008. 

Next up – I will be tackling my TBR pile to put it in some kind of order.  I am checking out a couple of reading challenges that other blogs have posted as well, to see what I can do to whittle that pile down.

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