In my last post, Stacy asked me about my favorite books read in 2008. Sticking strictly to the list from my previous post, here is my response. I should mention that not all of these books were published in 2008. They are simply taken from the list of books that I, personally, read in 2008. You can click on some of the titles below for my complete review of that particular book.
I loved The Host by Stephenie Meyer. It was a conceptually creative premise for a book, and it flowed well. Though all of her novels are major bestsellers, I believe it is her best work to date.
I love Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, based upon a character, Rachel Morgan, who happens to be a witch as well as a private detective. The two I read last year were the two most recent in the series at the time. The one I reviewed was The Outlaw Demon Wails, and I also followed up with an author interview. I believe the latest book will be released this week, but you should start with Dead Witch Walking.
I am also a fan of Terry Pratchett and would recommend pretty much anything he’s written over the years. I reviewed several of his books last year, and I believe my favorite was The Illustrated Wee Free Men, a delightfully layered fairy tale to be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
If you’re interested in reading specifically about vampires, I recommend Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, and Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series. Poppy Z. Brite’s Lost Souls and Nancy A. Collins’ Sunglasses After Dark were also vampire novels. Katie MacAlister and MaryJanice Davidson write two series involving vampires that would fall more into the realm of romantic comedy. They take traditional horror archetypes and use them to create stories that are downright hysterical. Katie MacAlister also writes a series about dragons that is even wittier. Laurell K. Hamilton has a popular series about vampires as well.
My favorite nonfiction book read in 2008 was by far and away Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs. It is a collection of short essays that is wildly funny and occasionally a bit tragic. He is an absolutely brilliant writer.
Finally, if you are considering dipping into the realm of graphic novels (which are novels depicted with comic-book style illustrations), Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons is absolutely essential. It made Time magazine’s list of “100 Best Novels of All Time,” and it will soon be released as a movie. The Fables series is also another wonderful example of graphic novels. It is based on the premise that fairy tale characters are hiding out in New York, disguised as regular people, and living amongst us.