The Best from 2008

The Booking Through Thursday blog I recently discovered asks this question today: what were your favorite books from 2008? I love reading lists like this, as it usually gives me some great ideas to read some new ones. So, I’m giving listing the top 5 books I’ve read and really enjoyed this year:

5. “Death Masks” by Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files #5. Harry Dresden is my other favorite wizard named Harry. Unlike the boy wonder, this Harry is also a private eye in Chicago. Butcher writes exciting plots full of great action, heart ache, and joyfully stuffed with humor (you can’t have a talking skull named Bob and still be serious all the time, right?). In this book, Ortega the vampire is hunting Harry to challenge him to a duel, and Harry is enlisting the help of some friends old and new to try and find The Shroud of Turin. Why? You’ll have to read it to find out. It’s good. But start with #1 Storm Front if you haven’t read any of the series.

4. “Sourcery” by Terry Pratchett. This book was hilarious. If you love english humor than Pratchett’s discworld series is something you might want to pick up. A sourcerer arrives on the discworld and wreaks havoc, and it’s up to Rincewind, the completely inept wizard, to save the day. The end is a bit of a cliff hanger, and it always amazes me that Pratchett can write humor/parody that isn’t just stupid humor, but it’s witty and intelligent. And, at times, stupid. That’s what makes it fun.

3. “David Copperfield.” Where to begin with this one? It’s Charles Dickens’ masterpiece, his magnum opus. It was beautifully written, and it drew me in from page 1. The book totalled over 900 pages, and never once did I get bored reading it. The best parts were during the first half when David was a child: Dickens paints this pathetic creature so clearly, that I was near tears at certain parts of the book, (Spoiler: for instance, the chapter when his step-dad beat him made me want to run home and hug my boys!)

2. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. I loved this book. Stoker is a master, and this book terrified me. Now, I have not read a lot of vampire books or seen movies, (I’ve watched “Buffy” and “Angel”, and I think I’ve seen the preview for “Twilight” 😉 ) so I think most of the impact was still fresh with me. The way that Stoker creates a very atmospheric scene, and then adds in creepy characters like Dracula, and then adds the plot…it’s the best. I couldn’t believe I had waited this long in my life to read it.

1. “The Silmarillion” by JRR Tolkien. This one surprised me as much as anyone. I am actually still reading it, but I started it before Christmas. I have two chapters left, but it is one of the best books I’ve ever written. Imagine a bunch of Greek mythology stories rewritten with elves, dwarves, dragons and epic quests, huge battles, and tragedies all around. Many of these stories explores the theme of objects of power, and how that power corrupts the hearts of men and elves. You may have heard that this book is a difficult read, and it is. But if you can make it through to the tales of The Silmarillion (the three jewels that the elf Feanor made from the light of their two sacred trees), then I think the stories just become incredible. I have never read anything like this before, and I am not sure what I will be able to read next! The book is beautifully written, but you need to have your full concentration going, it is difficult. But it’s worth it. And imagine this: Tolkien created all of this from his imagination, including the languages for the different races of elves, men, and dwarves.

There are others I could add to the list, but I need to go and read some of your comments now! What did you find to be a good read in 2008?

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4 Comments on “The Best from 2008”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Wow you read some great books last year. David Copperfield is on my TBR list. I love reading Dickens. Hope you have a wonderful New Years.

  2. JLS Hall Says:

    Interesting list! I love the Dresden Files TV show, but haven’t read any of the books. I’ll have to give them a try. Happy reading in 2009!

  3. Jan Says:

    I have the first three of the Dresden File books and I haven’t read them yet! They are in my ever growing TBR pile! You make Silmarllion sound wonderful. I read Lord of the Rings years ago and loved it. I’ll have to try Silmarllion. I haven’t read Charles Dickens since high school! Thanks for some great book ideas. Good luck with 2009 reading!

  4. Wanda Says:

    Another wizard named Harry, hmm? I haven’t heard of or seen any of The Dresden Files…I’ll have to check these out.

    Thanks for visiting! 🙂

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