Amy’s Top 10 Book List – 2008

Time to geek out over books, at least the ten that made my annual Top 10 Book List. For those of you who are new to the book list tradition, welcome. It’s pretty simple: I rank the best books I read and offer up some commentary. The books do not have to be published in 2008; they can be classics or titles that have been on my wish list for years. The books can be fiction, non-fiction, or short story collections.

For a few years, I refused to select any of Oprah’s picks, mainly because those authors were already getting their fair share of publicity. I kept my list to lesser-known writers who deserved just as much praise. I’ve slacked off that rule in recent years but still firmly believe that, while Oprah is a tastemaker in the literary world, there are plenty of writers she doesn’t select who deserve our undivided attention.

New this year — I listed all the book recos that came my way after people received the list. Let’s keep that part of the tradition. I discovered some fantastic authors because of you.

And finally, please continue to buy and read books. The publishing industry, like ever other industry, is suffering from the economic crisis. If you don’t have the extra cash for books, head to your local library. There were nearly 200,000 books published in the U.S. in 2008. Surely there’s something you’ll find more interesting than watching Seinfeld or Top Chef re-runs.

Here’s the list (pdf):


#1 Ann on 01.03.09 at 2:18 pm

Love the list, as always. I’m thrilled to see ‘Lush Life’ on there, as I suspect it will be my number 1 book of last year.

#2 mair on 01.04.09 at 5:40 pm

always love the list – and a big BOOOO to Sony for making books absolete with that E-book thing. Richard has one and Emily, Kim and I are all in agreement that nothing is better than tucking a book under your arm and turning pages.

#3 mair on 01.04.09 at 5:41 pm

sorry for the typo-getting used to a new keyboard

#4 Sissy on 01.07.09 at 6:10 am

Love the list–glad to see Russo and Kingsolver making your top10–your conservative sister loves Kingsolver’s truth and logic–Biology rocks! Looking forward to reading the short stories. Great short stories are perfect for those who feel they have no time to read.

#5 John Ettorre on 01.13.09 at 5:59 pm

Interesting list, Amy. Thanks.

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