My favorites of the year.
What? C'mon. Everybody else is doing it... (I'll leave all of the high-falutin' books to the NYT and the Guardian and the other grown-ups. These are the books that I liked.)
In no particular order:
My favorite (new-to-me) authors:
Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners was awesome. Lovely, strange, surreal short stories. And ZOMBIES!
Steve Almond's The Evil B.B. Chow & Other Stories - Love Steve Almond. Love his stories. If nothing else, go to the bookstore, stand there and read the title story. Not to be missed.
My favorite (new-to-me) series:
Reginald Hill's Dalziel & Pascoe mysteries - Police Procedural Perfection
Andrew Vachss' Burke books - Revenge is Right
Carol O'Connell's Kathy Mallory books - Sociopathic Police Officer by Day, Sociopathic Computer Genius by Night
Perfect YA Voice:
Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now - If you only read one book on this list, read this one.
Chris Lynch's Inexcusable - Okay, read this one, too. Chris Lynch is a genius.
Christopher Krovatin's Heavy Metal and You - I'm now in love with Sam Markus.
Favorite Anti-Consumerism Prank/Best Outline of the Consumer Pyramid:
Scott Westerfeld's So Yesterday - His breakdown of the different types of consumers has weaseled its way into my daily vocabulary. And the prank! Genius.
The Holy-Crap-If-You-Loved-Douglas-Adams-and-Actually-Even-if-You-Didn't-Read-This-Book-Anyway-Because-it-Rules Award:
Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. For real. Even if you don't usually like fantasy, you'll probably dig this book. Because it's perfect and wonderful and I loved it.
Ian McEwan's Atonement - I really thought I was going to die. That's how much I cried. But so, so good.
Deborah Wiles' Each Little Bird that Sings - Yeah. This one made me cry even more. Also so, so good.
Jean Nathan's Secret Life of the Lonely Doll: The Search for Dare Wright - This is a must read for anyone interested in children's literature. If you don't give a hoot about children's lit, it's also an amazing biography.
Reginald Hill's The Stranger House - He just can't be beat. Layers upon layers upon layers. A town covering up a decades-old tragedy, two young people searching for their past. Goosebumpy.
Carson McCullers' Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Months later, I'm still shocked that a 22-year-old wrote this book. She should probably also be in my Favorite (New-to-me) Authors category, but I'm trying not to double up.
Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time - Yes. I still find it shocking that I loved a book by Mr. Bullfight Man. But I did. And now I might even read some of the bullfighting stuff.
Augusten Burrough's Running with Scissors - Everyone and their mom has already read this, but I'm still listing it.
Lisa Crystal Carver's Drugs are Nice: A Post-Punk Memoir - For those of us that were too young to experience the Suckdog shows in real life, this is a must. For those of you that experienced the Suckdog shows in real life, it's also a must. But you probably already knew that.
Fave Guilty Pleasures:
Stephanie Meyer's Twilight - I admit it. Despite the sometimes not-so-hot prose, I read this book in one day. I couldn't put it down.
Libba Bray's Rebel Angels - I've become addicted to this series, regardless of my issues with the bizarro not-very-Victorian language that the girls use.
Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation - What could be better than a book about assassinations? A FUNNY book about assassinations.
Favorite Books for Book-Lovers:
Kathryn Lasky's Memoirs of a Bookbat - Daughter of born-agains learns everything her parents won't teach her from Judy Blume.
Tobias Wolff's Old School - The scene with Ayn Rand is priceless.
I admit that this list is excessive at best, but I still feel like I'm leaving some out.
(I want lists from you all, too. Because we all know that what I really, really need is a longer list of books to read.)