Why 13 titles? Everyone makes a top ten, and besides, Cindy and I can’t possibly narrow our favorites down that far, so we're giving you a Baker’s Dozen of 2008 favorites. Mine are here and Cindy's are in a separate post. Our first ten are selected on literary merit alone and are in alphabetic order by author. The extra three titles are some of our other favorites of the year, thrown in for free. Let us know what YOUR favorites are!
This was SO hard! Stay tuned for our Top Five Nonfiction and Top Five Picture Books coming soon.
Lynn's 2008 Baker's Dozen
Anderson, M.T. Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. II: Kingdom on the Waves (Candlewick)
Brilliant sequel to an equally brilliant first book. Challenging, thought provoking, emotional, memorable, searing – there just aren’t enough adjectives to describe how much I admire this book.
Dowd, Siobhan. Bog Child. (Random/David Fickling)
Dowd weaves multiple plot threads effortlessly in this beautifully crafted book.
Fleming, Candace. Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary. (Random)
The inviting scrapbook format is perfect for either browsing or immersion in the staggering amount of fascinating information about the time, the Civil War, the important issues as well as presenting admirably complete biographies of both the Lincolns.
Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book. (HarperCollins)
Sweet despite real scariness, Gaiman’s story telling skills shine in this highly original tale.
Horvath, Polly. My One Hundred Adventures. (Random House/Schwartz & Wade)
Horvath’s luminous writing perfectly captures those first itchy feelings of adolescence.
Lanagan, Margo. Tender Morsels (Random House/Knopf)
Lanagan is one of the most original stylists writing today but this book also shines in other categories: extraordinary world-building, thematic depth and vibrant characters as well as fascinating play with fairy tale elements.
Lockhart, E. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Hyperion)
Smart, funny and an oh-so-subtle exploration of gender/power struggles. Frankie is a terrific character!
Pratchett, Terry. Nation (HarperCollins)
I think this is Pratchett’s best ever. The humor and word play is still joyously present but this amazing book also features a remarkable setting, richly developed characters and beautifully explored themes.
Tharp, Tim. The Spectacular Now. (Random House)
Probably one of the best character studies I have ever read! Sutter will stay with me forever.
White, Ruth. Little Audrey. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Smith, Hope Anita. Keeping the Night Watch. (Henry Holt)
I know this is cheating but I simply cannot chose between these two gorgeously written little gems. (It certainly IS cheating, but I'll let you get away with it since I loved them both too!--Cindy)
Lynn's three extras:
This was the year of fabulous page-turners and these three were pure pleasure for me to read!
Cashore, Kristin. Graceling. (Harcourt)
Collins, Suzanne. Hunger Games. (Scholastic)
Goodman, Alison. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn. (Penguin)
One Star Review Guess Who? (#15)
5 hours ago