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:

Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go and When We Were Orphans made me want to read all of his books.  And I will.

William Gibson - Pattern Recognition and Neuromancer rocked.  Keanu Reeves will never be as cool as Case.  And Trinity looks just plain lame in comparison to Molly.

Short Stories:

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.

Mystery Stand-Alone:

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.

Favorite Classic:

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.

Messed-up Memoirs:

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.

Fun Non-Fiction:

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.)