The year's standouts for a blogger and readers

The Baltimore Sun

Looking back at a year of reading, I noticed that many of my choices were older books. When I headed to Colorado on vacation, I read Willa Cather's My Antonia. I also filled some glaring holes in my reading list; that led me (at last) to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Other favorites from my 2008 list:

* Deadwood by Pete Dexter. The fictional tale of an aging Wild Bill Hickok offers a warts-and-all view of the West. There's little heroism - just mud and blood and early death. And motley characters, including a gunslinger who carries around a human head in hopes of collecting a bounty.

* A utobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid. A touching story about a Caribbean woman's search for independence in post-colonial Dominica.

* Foreskin's Lament by Shalom Auslander. A comic memoir of rebellion against Orthodox Judaism and family dysfunction. But Auslander can never enjoy himself, because he's afraid of cosmic vengeance.

Here's what Read Street readers said:

My favorite book that I read this year was The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon. ... Chabon's ability to turn language into music is just amazing. I would highly recommend this book. - Anne

Since I was off of work on an extended maternity leave (before my son was born), I got a LOT of reading done this month. My favorite reads were: Roots (AWESOME!!), Children's Blizzard, Bell Jar, The March by E.L. Doctorow, Marley & Me, and Isaac's Storm! - Kelly

The Book Thief is probably #1. I was a weeping mess by the end, but it was well worth it. - Lisa

It's hard to pick just one, but I'll go with Chalice, by Robin McKinley. - Charlotte

I didn't get to read as many books as I hoped to in '08, but I really enjoyed Eat Pray Love by [Elizabeth] Gilbert. I loved her narrative voice - spunky, sarcastic, and very honest. - Heather

Dave Rosenthal

As the year went on, my To-Be-Read list grew and grew and grew. One of my New Year's resolutions is to cut it down to size. What's at the top of your TBR list? Let us know in an e-mail or a comment on Read Street. Happy holidays!

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