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The award goes to…

December 30, 2008

I thought it would be fun to recap the books I read in award fashion just like I did last year. I read a little over forty books this year (my initial goal was fifty) so I didn’t do too badly. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite (and not so favorite) reads of 2008!  You can see reviews for all the books I read on my 2008 books page or by clicking on the links below.

Best sex scene:
This award, hands down, has to go to Laura Willig’s The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. The scene in the boat along the river in Paris was full of smutty goodness. Second runner up goes to Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. There was plenty of human/vampire love scenes to keep a girl warm at night.

Most anti-climatic ending:
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer went by at a frantic pace, only to peeter out at the end. The big battle scene between the vampires is set up to be great, only to be resolved in like one or two sentences.

Most outlandish ending:
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne was a powerful read and really has a very poignant ending. Having said that though, most people would have to admit that it was highly unlikely.

Most resilient character:
Angel from the book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers has to be one of the strongest, most resilient characters I read about in 2008. The book itself was also one of my favorite reads of the year. Also, Ani of  The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale was a character who developed into a leader and showed strength throughout the story.

Most dissapointing reads:
There were a few books that fell into this category. I couldn’t stand the preachyness of  The Romance Readers’ Book Club by Julie L. Cannon, felt all the characters in The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler were one dimensional (the movie was much better), had a hard time sympathising with the characters in the novel Love and Biology and the Center of the Universe by Jennie Shortridge and could barely choke down English American by Alison Larkin. But Baby Proof by Emily Giffin has to take the cake. I disliked that book with a passion.  

Best books to share with your girlfriends about the power of women and their friendships:
Both The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs and The Wendesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton were well written and heavy on the women/friendship themes and both books I passed on to my own girlfriends.

Most fun to read:
Austenland by Shannon Hale was light and fluffy and had a great romantic ending – I can imagine that this book would be perfect on the big screen. Blind Submission by Debra Ginsberg was a quick but fun read. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation was full of intrigue, sex (see above), action and adventure and left a smile of my face. The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski would make a perfect beach read. Last but not least, The Darcys and the Bingleys by Marsha Altman was the perfect novel to follow Pride and Prejudice.

Book I would never have picked up on my own, but sure am glad I did:
Nicole suggested the Christian Fiction title Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers for our book club in the spring and even though I wasn’t looking forward to it at all, it turned out to be a really great read and fantastic for our discussion!

Hardest book to say goodbye to:
I absolutely adored the world in which John Connolly created in The Book of Lost Things and was so sad when it ended. That book resonated with me for a long time.

My favorite books of 2008:
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt was a slim yet wonderful book, In the Woods by Tana French was a well written thrill ride, Nefertiti by Michelle Moran was historical fiction at its best, The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares was a powerful book, Redeeming Love was beautifully written, Pride and Prejudice lived up to all the hype and The Book of Lost Things was just totally engrossing. All in all 2008 was a great reading year!

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2008 12:58 pm

    Great idea for a post. I love how you broke it all down. Looks like you had a very good year of reading.

  2. December 30, 2008 1:00 pm

    I completely agree on Breaking Dawn, Blind Submission, and Baby Proof. Glad to hear to Pride and Prejudice lived up to the hype.

  3. December 30, 2008 1:04 pm

    What a great way to do a wrap up post. I love it.I really loved Blind Submission and Austenland. Those were fantastic.

    Baby Proof was one of those books that I started with a new-to-me author, and I’m not sure I want to read anymore of her books.

    I agree about Breaking Dawn…the set up was beautiful, the end not so much.

  4. December 30, 2008 1:08 pm

    This is a fantastic idea for a wrap-up post! I totally agree with you on the Jane Austen Book Club – I can’t think of a single other example where the movie is so much better than the book.

  5. December 30, 2008 1:49 pm

    This is a great end-of-the-year post. I love reading about what everyone else read this year.

  6. December 30, 2008 2:02 pm

    I just love your awards! Happy reading in 2009 🙂

  7. December 30, 2008 2:21 pm

    How fun! This was great to read. Happy New Year!

  8. eileensblog permalink
    December 30, 2008 5:41 pm

    I loved Baby Proof and all of Giffin’s other novels! (haven’t read Love the One You’re With yet). I think I’m totally in the minority here too, but I hated Redeeming Love. It was the first book we read for a book club I’m in, several years ago, and I had to force myself to read it. Each page was torture for me. All the other book club members loved it. 🙂

  9. December 30, 2008 5:49 pm

    I always love your awards. 😀 I’m with you and Fyrefly-I think The Jane Austen Book Club movie is much better!

  10. December 30, 2008 6:33 pm

    I just love seeing everyone’s lists! This award style post is so much fun! I might have to do something similar.

  11. December 30, 2008 11:25 pm

    This is a great wrap-up post, Stephanie!
    Happy New Year to you! 🙂

  12. December 31, 2008 12:51 am

    The Book of Lost Things was fantastic and like you it has stayed with me for some time. Austenland would make a FUN movie!! I loved The Jane Austen Book Club movie and the book is in my TBR pile. You’ve read some great books and I’ve gotten some great ideas of future to-reads. I love the wrap-up style!! Excellent blog post!! 🙂

  13. December 31, 2008 7:10 pm

    I completely agree with you about The Book of Lost Things – I had a hard time keeping it out of my best of the best list for the year.

  14. January 1, 2009 3:25 am

    What fun categories! I enjoyed reading your list. I am really looking forward to reading The Wednesday Sisters this coming year. And hopefully In the Woods too. I also want to read The Book of Lost Things if I can. So many choices!

    I am glad you enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Nefertiti. P&P is one of my all-time favorites and Nefertiti made my top ten list for this year.

    Have a great New Year!

  15. January 2, 2009 4:00 am

    I enjoy the Pink Carnation series, especially the early books. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

    I think I borrowed Baby Proof three times this year but never did get around to reading it!

  16. January 4, 2009 5:30 pm

    sounds like a lot of great reading. Pride and Prejudice is the only Jane Austen I’ve never finished- maybe I have to give it another try! 🙂

  17. Cat permalink
    January 4, 2009 9:25 pm

    Aside from the Secret History of the Pink Carnation I don’t think I have any books in common with this post! Wow. That always amazes me. So many book, so little time!!

    Great way to break things down and different from many other end of year posts.

    Happy new year!!

  18. January 5, 2009 12:36 pm

    I’m reading The Shack right now and really enjoying it. In fact a lady at the park stopped me and asked about it. She said her sister read it in one day and then sent everyone copies for Christmas but she hadn’t received hers yet. Anyway I think this book, that got a lot of attention, negative and positive, made it on some list.

    Great list by the way.

  19. J.S. Peyton permalink
    January 5, 2009 8:48 pm

    I’m so glad to hear you liked “The Book of Lost Things” so much. It was one of my favorites for 2007. I’m holding out that he’ll write another standalone sometime in the near future. His book of short stories, “Nocturnes” isn’t too shabby either.

    I love your awards! I still need to do my 2008 reading summation. I’ve been kind of dreading it, but something like this might be really fun to do.

  20. January 6, 2009 3:03 am

    Happy New Year!
    I love your categories! I have several of your favourites in my pile to hopefully read this year.

  21. January 6, 2009 7:51 am

    Great post! And that’s one of the reasons I’m giving you the Butterfly Award. See my blog!

    Happy New Year!

  22. January 6, 2009 10:02 am

    What a great list and very interesting categories. 🙂

  23. January 8, 2009 12:18 am

    Interesting!!

    I read Tuck Everlasting a long time ago and loved it too.

  24. January 20, 2009 6:49 pm

    Wow! Do you realize that almost all your winners were by female writers? My favs were just the opposite. Wierd, huh?

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