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message 1: by Angela (new)

Angela | 1934 comments Stole this from PICK-A-SHELF because I liked the thread... it did not generate a lot of responses, but with all the members in the group it might!

I'm curious, book-wise, how has the year been for you? How many books did you get to read? Did you get to read a lot more or less than the years before, and why, if you don't mind sharing? Did you find any hidden gems that surprised you or was there a book that you wish you'd never have read?

Feel free to share more stories from your 2008 :)

message 2: by Angela (new)

Angela | 1934 comments Here is what I posted in Pick-a-Shelf:

I have been a member of GR for over a year and I am so happy that a friend recommended this site to me!

I have read 140 books this year, and I surpassed my original goal of 120. New goal for 2009: 175!!

I have read so many books that I probably never would have picked up or known about if it had not been for this site or TNBBC. I have expanded my horizens!!! :)

Favorites this year:
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
All of Jen Lancasters (3)
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
Book Thief
All of Ellen Hopkins (Crank, Glass, Burned)

The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Diodan (sp)

Another highlight for me was participating in the Fall and Winter Challenge... I have really expanded my reading tastes:)

message 3: by Catamorandi (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) | 1045 comments I read more books in 2008 than I have in any year I can think of. Unfortunately, I only finished half of them. I am a firm believer in the read 100 pages, then toss it if it hasn't made you want to read it. I was surprisingly pleased with YOU DON'T PUT LIPSTICK ON A PIG and A LONESOME NIGHT IN THE OCTOBER SKY. I wasn't prepared to like either one, but I really liked them both. My favorite book of 2008 was THE BOOK THIEF hands down.

message 4: by Laura (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:32AM) (new)

Laura (apenandzen) I read about 30-35 in '08, but now that I've joined GR and this group, I expect that to at least double in '09. I like it that GR has encouraged me to actually keep track of my reading so I can see how much I'm reading, and I've vowed to watch less TV and read more (and I don't see how you can go wrong w/that decision).

Highlights for me this year:

Extremely Loud
The Myth of You and Me - terrific girlfriends book
Book Thief
Empire Falls
My Cousin Rachel
The Fitzwilliam Darcy trilogy by Pamela Aidan - P&P told from Darcy's point of view and she writes in a style that is AMAZINGLY similar to Austen
Jonathan Strange
oh, and did I mention Guernsey?


I know there were some...thinking....
I usually don't log books I don't finish, so hard to remember these.

The Lottery was one. It was well written, but just sad. The main character is retarded and his family treated him horribly. Maybe if I would have stuck it out to the end I would have found the great Enlightening.

Edgar Sawtelle. I don't know why, I just couldn't get into this one. I usually don't read hyped books, and try to always avoid Oprah books because they're invariably DEPRESSING but I picked this up before Oprah did and just couldn't get past the first 30 pages or so. Maybe I need to give it another try.

message 5: by Kandice (last edited Jan 18, 2009 12:44PM) (new)

Kandice I really never kept track of my reading before GR, which I didn't join until November, so not sure of my total.

My favorite discovery this year was Charlaine Harris. Especially the Sookie Stackhouse series. Love, love, love it! Would never have read it on my own without GR recomendations.

I am incredibly pleased with finding GR at all! I have always wanted to belong to a traditional book club, but the times were never convenient for me. I feel a little less strange, seeing that there really are others in the world with my same interests! That has to be my favorite part.

My favorite read this year would have been Lisey's Story by Stephen King. I love everything he writes, but that particular novel struck me as love letter to his wife. I know that seems strange since it was a pretty intense book, but I can't help seeing that. There is a "longboy with the piebald side" that has haunted quite a few dreams for me this year, mentioned in the book. I don't even know what it really is, but I think that's the point! Scary, thought provoking, and unsettling!!!!

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments this year was great for me because for the first time i was actually able to really read again. through my 4 years in college i barely read anything outside of schoolwork. so this last semester i was living at home and was able to read so much more.

I just joined GR this past September so that introduced me to SOO many new authors and books.

the best book of the year for me was: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. i also really loved The History of Love.

a good year all in all because i really began reading again.

message 7: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 9965 comments Mod

Well, I read about 70 books this year, against a goal of 50, so i faired quite well. I am planning to do 75 this year....

I loved Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and would not have picked it up if it wasnt voted as a group read, so thank you to all who voted for it!! I fell in love with little Oskar!

other faves of mine:
Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevsky
The Cave - Saramago
Mysterious Island - Verne
Smashed, Squashed, Splattered... - Carbuncle
Gils All Fright Diner - Martinez
Sookie series - Harris
The Preservationist - Maine

It was a great year for me for new favorite novels, and new authors as well!!

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments I read about 80 books in 2008. The ones I gave five stars:

Dark Fire, by C.J. Sansom
Fortune's Favorites, by Colleen McCullough
The Lion and the Unicorn Gladstone vs. Disraeli, by Richard Aldous
Sovereign A Matthew Shardlake Mystery, by C.J. Sansom
The Complete Pompeii, by Joanne Berry
His Dark Materials Trilogy, by Philip Pullman
Revelation, by C.J. Sansom
The Great Bridge The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge, by David McCullough
One-Skein Wonders, by Judith Durant (great if you knit and have a lot of single left-over skeins of yarn)
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

Four stars, but really enjoyed:

A Gladiator Dies Only Once The Further Investigations of Gordianus the Finder, by Steven Saylor
First Among Sequels, by Jasper Fforde
His Majesty's Dragon, by Naomi Novik
Company of Liars, by Karen Maitland
Nothing Like It In the World The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869, by Stephen Ambrose
Empire of Ivory, by Naomi Novik
The Tainted Relic An Historical Mystery, by the Medieval Murderers
Tears of the Giraffe, by Alexander McCall Smith
Peony in Love, by Lisa See
Virgin Earth A Novel, by Philippa Gregory
Tudor Wench, by Elswyth Thane

It was a good year, reading-wise.

message 9: by Melody (new)

Melody | 564 comments I have read more books this year than previous years as I discovered a local book club in April 08 then discovered Goodreads in September 08. It's wonderful to have books back in my life again as the last few years I had been reading but not so much. Now it is a priority again and I take my books everywhere with me.
My favourites in 2008 were:
Life of Pi
The Book Thief
The Thirteenth Tale

message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 1000 comments I read 57 books in 2008 (13 more than in 2007.) I joined GR in May and TNBBC in July and have been doing the group reads since August. Some of my favorite books of the year:
The Book Thief
My Sister's Keeper
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
A Field of Darkness

The biggest disappointments of 2008:
House of Leaves
The Plot Against America

message 11: by Dorie (new)

Dorie (dorieann) | 430 comments I read 94 books in 2008, which I think is a little less than I usually get through. I don't really set reading goals. Here were some of my favorites:

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger
Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan
A Thousand Splendid Sons by Khaled Hosseini
The Pesthouse by Jim Crace
The Outcast by Sadie Jones
The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The books that most surprised me were "The Outcast" and "Maus". I didn't expect them to be as good as they were, even though they were widely praised.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments Oh yeah - the biggest surprises (in a pleasant sense) were Peony in Love and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

The biggest disappointment was Absolution by Murder, by Peter Tremayne. I was looking forward to a historical mystery with such an unusual setting (7th century Britain), but it didn't live up to my hopes for it. I think I gave it 2 stars.

message 13: by Hayes (last edited Jan 19, 2009 01:24AM) (new)

Hayes (hayes13) After many years of not reading anything new (just recycling things I had in the house, mostly Sayers mysteries) or not reading anything much at all (because of health, work, family), I joined GR in November and started keeping track of books read on Dec. 1, starting with Howl's Moving Castle (Thanks Fiona!)

I had two duds right away, one was really disappointing (If On a Winter's Night a Traveler) as it was a book I had skipped at university and I had been planning to read it for centuries. Just couldn't get into it.


Howl's Moving Castle, of course. Quirky, funky and funny.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first "installment" of Maya Angelou's series of memoirs. Fell apart a bit at the end, I think because she was avoiding being honest about her mother and father, but on the whole very beautiful and fascinating.
The New Yorkers A Novel, which I liked, despite its flaws, perhaps because I am a native NY-er? Don't know; it was inconclusive and strange, but I liked it anyway.

message 14: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 69 comments I just joined GR the end of October - so I don't have a complete list what I read this past year -- definately not as much as most of you! Wow - I'm so in awe of you who read 40-50+ books a year!

My favorites for the year:
Endurance Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
The Shadow of the Wind
Cry, the Beloved Country

My disappointments:
Mirror Mirror A Novel
Wicked The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

My goal for 2009 is to average around 3 per month for a total of 36. We'll see as I might read some longer books like Pillars of the Earth and Count of Monte Cristo. My TBR has definately expanded since joining GR!

message 15: by Katie (new)

Katie I joined GR over the summer. I have no idea how many books I read this past year. I'm actually excited to keep track of the number I read this year :)

This was a great year for me. I took a Victorian Novel class at my university and realized that I love that time period! I finally got around to reading His Dark Materials. Also, several of the books that were picked for the book club I'm in were very good. My best from this year are:
His Dark Materials Trilogy
The Thirteenth Tale A Novel
Water for Elephants
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
Heir to Sevenwaters

These are my disappointments:
#1Breaking Dawn
Eat, Pray, Love One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
PS, I Love You
Titus Andronicus

I haven't really set a goal for 2009. I just want to read as many books as I can (without failing any of my classes haha)

message 16: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 36 comments Jessica wrote: "I read 57 books in 2008 (13 more than in 2007.) I joined GR in May and TNBBC in July and have been doing the group reads since August. Some of my favorite books of the year:
The Book Thief
My Siste..."

What was it about house of Leaves that you didn't like? I found it an interesting and very original read. Just curious.

message 17: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 1000 comments Megan, I felt like many parts of the book read like a textbook. Having graduated from college in May, my brain is mentally done with reading those types of books. I enjoyed some of the format, the one word per page and whatnot, but the endless footnotes...I got bored a little more than halfway through.

message 18: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 510 comments I read 70 books in 2008. It's easy for me to keep track of how many since I keep a reading journal where I list the title and author of the book and a short few comments about the book. 2008 was an especially great year for reading for me. I discovered Ariana Franklin as a favorite author (City of Shadows A Novel of Suspense, Mistress of the Art of Death, and The Serpent's Tale). I found two suprising gems, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, which I didn't pick up thinking they would be such wonderful favorites. I read a couple of great series, The Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris and the Jane Rizzoli series by Tess Gerritsen. I reconnected with the author Nicholas Evans, whose novel The Horse Whisperer I had previously read. I read two another of his books in 2008, The Divide, and have just finished yet another in 2009, The Loop. I finally read The Time Traveler's Wife and loved it. Goodreads prompted me to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which I had been resisting for some reason, and I loved it, too. Well, there's more, but that's a good sampling of why 2008 was a wonderful reading year for me.

message 19: by Liesl (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:26AM) (new)

Liesl (lieslm) | 170 comments I read 40 books in 2008, somwhat shy of my goal of 50. But I went back to work in August and my reading really suffered for it -- dang I hate how the real world intrudes!

I really liked quite a few of the books I read this year. A few of my favorites:

The Crazyladies of Pearl Street: A Novel - I saw this book on the remainder shelf at B&N and DIDN'T buy it, but couldn't get it out of my mind for some reason, so I finally picked up the paperback edition (which I had to pay full price for), and was so glad I did.

The Shack was a pleasant surprise for me. It came highly recommended, but still I had no idea how much I'd like it.

Paula by Isabel Allende is a brave book written from the heart that I really enjoyed even though it is heartbreaking.

My disappointments for the year:

Lolita simply didn't live up to the my expectation.

He Is . . . I Say: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neil Diamond I didn't think it was possible to write a book about someone whose work I love so much and ruin it . . . but it is. This book is just terrible.

The Secret of Lost Things Sorry guys, I know a lot of you really liked this one, but it just didn't work for me.

JG (Introverted Reader) I like this question!

I read 63 book in '08. I thought I read more than that!

My highlights:

The Book Thief--In all honesty, this is probably my new favorite book. Only a sense of loyalty to my old favorites makes me say that it's tied for first place.

Other five star books for the year: The Name of the Wind, The Graveyard Book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, A Game of Thrones, The Thirteenth Tale, Skeletons at the Feast, and So Brave, Young and Handsome.

My lowest point was Ethan Frome. The best thing about it was that it was short. It was one of the most depressing books I've ever read.

Others that disappointed me: The Once and Future King, The Last Kingdom, The Stolen Child, and The Thin Place.

message 21: by Angie (new)

Angie (angiebowen) I finally got back into reading this year after barely reading anything for a couple of years. I had really bad anxiety problems and couldn't focus enough to get into a book. I finally found some meds that helped in August and once my focus was back I started reading again with a vengeance. It feels so good to be able to immerse myself in books again!

From Sept - Dec I read 29 books. I'm really curious what my number will be for 2009 now :D.

Some of my highlights were Bitten, Little Brother, the Twilight Saga and Invisible Monsters

The only book that I absolutely hated and couldn't even finish was Starship Troopers

message 22: by Hayes (last edited Jan 22, 2009 12:12AM) (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Oh JG, I love the Once and Future King. Why didn't you like it? It is a bit long, but I love the way it takes me back to the time. Love the scene at Merlin's house (which was used for the screen play for the Disney movie The Sword in the Stone, btw).

I hear you Angie, I'm back with a vengeance too. Feels good, dunnit?

JG (Introverted Reader) Hayes, the Sword in the Stone section was pretty good. But the whole thing moved waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy too slowly for me. And I got sick of reading about how conflicted Guenevere and Lancelot were. I think that's what it really boils down to--I didn't like the characters. Sorry! I hope that's not too harsh! I do realize that I'm in the minority here and most people would agree with you! :-)

message 24: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) not at all... that's why I love talking about books. Everyone has a different reaction to a book, and sometimes my own reaction to a book will change. (If I'm not liking a book, I'll put it down and pick it up later on. Maybe I'm just not in the mood or something). Sometimes you don't know why, it just is. I hated Catcher in the Rye, after all.

But that's why I asked. I'm interested in the process of reading and why some people - me and everyone here obviously - get so wrapped up in it, and why some people don't.

And I got sick of reading about how conflicted Guenevere and Lancelot were. Do you think that's a "time" problem? I mean, nowadays we don't have patience for that sort of thing in our real lives, but in 1958 maybe it was a big deal and something people talked about.

JG (Introverted Reader) It could be. Normally I don't mind introspection and internal conflict. But in this case it just seemed like it never went anywhere. ********spoilers*************
Lancelot would swear off of her, go crazy, run away, and then show up in time to save her (again), and then the whole cycle would start all over. I obviously already knew the overview of the Arthur story, but this just felt endlessly repetitive. But like you said, maybe it didn't seem that way when it was written.

message 26: by Catamorandi (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) | 1045 comments I am embarrassed to say that I only read 13 to 15 books last year.

There were three that I was pleasantly surprised with:

The Book Thief
A Night in Lonesome in the October Sky

There were several that I couldn't even finish.

Bridge of Sighs
Northanger Abbey
Extremely Loud
Something Wicked This Way Comes
An Irish Country Christmas

message 27: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Operandi - I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy Northanger Abbey. (It's one of my favorites.) How far did you get into it? Personally, I loved the humor, the hero, and the flawed heroine in this book, which made it a bit different from her other books. I do know, however, that NA is one of Austen's least popular novels, so it's apparently not for everyone.

Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) ooo, I just found this!

Of favorites were:
Twilight series
The Shadow of the Wind
The Book Thief
Interred with their Bones
And Only to Decieve (with the rest of the series)

Least Favorites:
Water for Elephants
The Secret of Lost Things
Shipping News

So far in 2009...
Outlander Series, hands down my new favorite books of all time
Pink Carnation Series
Sookie Stackhouse series
The Host

Only bomb I've read so far this year is Certain Girls...HATED it.

Yeah, my husband just started a job where he travels all the time, so I've been reading a lot so far in 2009 to keep myself company!

message 29: by Alisha Marie (new)

Alisha Marie (endlesswonderofreading) | 715 comments I joined GoodReads in October, 2008. Last year, I read about 85 books and I'm pretty sure that's the most I've ever read before.

In 2008, my favorites were:
The House At Riverton
The Thirteenth Tale
The Book of Lost Things
The Spellman Files
Promise Not to Tell
My Sister's Keeper
Plain Truth
And tons more....

Biggest Disappointments:
Twilight (couldn't stand Bella)
New Moon (still could not stand Bella)
Certain Girls (Tainted "Good in Bed")
The Amityville Horror (Crap)
Practical Magic (love the movie and expected more out of the book)

So, yeah, I loved a lot of the books I read last year. Hopefully, the same will happen this year.

Elizabeth (Alaska) Thanks, Alisha, for getting this thread back on the front page, else I'd have missed it. I didn't join GR until 2009, late January I think, and TNBBC only about 10 days ago. I haven't kept track of the number of books I've read at any time in my life, but I know I've really gotten back into reading since I retired in June 2006. Both 2007 and 2008 were fairly heavy reading for me, but a couple of books in 2008 seemed to take forever, so perhaps not the number of books I might have.

I don't recall all the books I read, and will now keep track, but two standouts were:

The Master Butcher's Singing Club, by Louise Eridrich and
The Birth House by Ami McKay

The books that took too long and I don't feel I could recommend are:

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova and
The Known World by Edward P. Jones

I love TNBBC, so I know this will be a terrific year of reading for me.

message 31: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) I read 75 books in 2008. From the new books I've read, the following were very much enjoyable for me:

- Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South
- E.M. Forster's A Room With a View
- Ivan Tugenev's Fathers and Sons
- Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind
- Steve Berry's The Charlemagne Pursuit

Books that I was pretty disappointed with in 2008:

- Paulo Coelho's The Witch of Portobello
- Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian

message 32: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Angela wrote: "Here is what I posted in Pick-a-Shelf:

I have been a member of GR for over a year and I am so happy that a friend recommended this site to me!

I have read 140 books this year, and I surpasse..."

I'm so bummed about your disappointments, both are on my TBR list. In fact, Red Leather Diary is coming up soon for one of my book clubs.

message 33: by Lisa (new)

Lisa I'm not sure exactly how many books I read in 2008--over 20 but not sure beyond that. I joined a book club this summer and it really got me to reading again. I never stopped, always kept a book with me at all times, but didn't devote the hours needed to really get into it.

My highlights this year were:
The Birth House by Ami McKay
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

The one book I really didn't like:
Always by Amy Bloom

message 34: by Alisha Marie (last edited Mar 04, 2009 09:04PM) (new)

Alisha Marie (endlesswonderofreading) | 715 comments Wow, it seems a lot of you were disappointed in The Historian. I haven't read it yet and I plan to read it for the Spring Challenge. I really hope I won't be too disappointed in it. Although, it does seem like one of those books were you either love it or hate it with no type of medium in between.

message 35: by Ann from S.C. (new)

Ann from S.C. | 1395 comments I think I read around 94 in 2008. Some of my favorites were...
and many more.

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