I struggle to rate “favorite” books that I read. That’s why I don’t have a “rating system” on my blog. Yet I do have favorites, especially after-the-fact, looking back on a year. Here’s the run-down on what I read this year and what I found to be “rereadable.”  (Any book labeled “favorite” or “runner-up” is one that I see myself rereading some day. For children’s books, I can see myself rereading most of them, even if they aren’t labeled “favorite” or “runner-up.”)

I have included all the books I’ve read or reviewed on Rebecca Reads in 2008. There are more books that I read before May, but I wasn’t blogging so I didn’t make a note of them. (I’ve already forgotten!) Titles link to the review post on Rebecca Reads.

I realize that this post is quite long; read any or all that may interest you. In some respects, this is a post for me to look back on 2008.


General Fiction

Favorite rereads in 2008, general fiction

Favorite general fiction of 2008

Other fiction read/reviewed in 2008: 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (no review); 44 Scotland Street Alexander McCall-Smith; Dune by Frank Herbert; The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood; The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton; Life and Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee; March by Geraldine Brooks; The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Alexander McCall-Smith; Portuguese Irregular Verbs Alexander McCall-Smith; The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall-Smith; The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett; Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn; Anthem by Ayn Rand; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith; The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens; The Chimes by Charles Dickens; The Haunted Man and The Ghost’s Bargain by Charles Dickens; The Battle of Life by Charles Dickens

Short Stories

Favorite short stories authors of 2008


Other short story authors/collections reviewed in 2008: Edgar Allan Poe; Washington Irving; O. Henry; Ernest Hemingway; Dubliners by James Joyce; Ivan Turgenev; The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye by A.S. Byatt; selections of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton; Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri


General Nonfiction

Favorite general nonfiction of 2008


Other general nonfiction reviewed in 2008: The Planets by Dava Sobel; The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron; Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman; All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward; The Millionaire Next Door (abridged) by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko; Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn


Favorite biography of 2008

  • Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson (I read this in February, before I began book blogging; the link is to a pseudo-review that explores some concepts in the book. I highly recommend the biography.)


Other biography/memoirs read/reviewed in 2008: The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester; Kissinger by Walter Isaacson; A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (no review)


Favorite memoir reviewed in 2008

Other memoirs reviewed in 2008: Why Women Should Rule the World by Dee Dee Myers; Palestine by Joe Sacco; Three Cups of Tea by David Oliver Relin; The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch; On Writing by Stephen King; The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman; Persepolis and Persepolis II by Marjane Satrapi; A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle; The Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman


Favorite reference books of 2008

Other reference books reviewed in 2008: The Elements of Cooking by Michael Ruhlman; Eats, Shoots and Leaves the illustrated version; 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask by Ilyce Glink; Home Buying for Dummies by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown; Mortgages 101 by David Reed; Mortgage Confidential by David Reed


Favorite speeches of 2008

Other speeches/essays reviewed in 2008A Modest Proposal by Jonathon Swift

Drama and Poetry

Favorite drama or poetry of 2008

  • The Iliad by Homer, trans. by Robert Fagles


  • Lullabies and Poems for Children (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets)

Other drama and poetry reviewed in 2008: Hippolytus by Euripides; poetry of A.A. Milne; Lullabies: An Illustrated Songbook by the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Poetry for Young People: Robert Louis Stevenson edited by Frances Schoonmaker; Christmas Poems (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets)

Children’s Literature

Young Adult/Children’s Fiction

Favorite reread, young adult/children’s fiction

Favorite young adult/children’s fiction of 2008


Other young adult/children’s fiction reviewed in 2008: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling; Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine; Fairest by Gail Carson Levine; Little Women by Louisa May Alcott; The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick; The Jungle Book(s) by Rudyard Kipling; The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame; The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter; Aesop’s Fables (1912 translation with introduction by G.K. Chesterton); The Arrival by Shaun Tan; The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; “The Day Boy and the Night Girl” by George MacDonald (short story); The Life of Our Lord by Charles Dickens; Gay-Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji; The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

Picture Books

Favorite picture books (and rereads) of 2008


Other picture books reviewed in 2008: Alligators All Around by Maurice Sendak; Alphabet Adventure by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood; Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martine Jr. and Eric Carle; Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault; Curious George Learns the Alphabet by H.A. Rey; The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman; Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems; Dr. Seuss’s ABC; Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss (illustrated version); Edwina, The Dinosaur That Didn’t Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems; Fairy Tales and Fables by Eric Carle; George and Martha by James Marshall; I Spy: An Alphabet in Art by Lucy Micklethwait; Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems; Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems; L is for Lincoln by Kathy-jo Wargin; The Monster at the End of the Book (starring Grover) by Jon Stone; Panda Bear, Panda Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Here? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle; Q is for Duck by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom; Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC by June Sobel; Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg; The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle; Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak; Winnie-the-Pooh’s ABCs, inspired by A.A. Milne; The Z Was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg; Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins and illustrated by Richard Cowdrey; Here Comes Santa Claus by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman, illustrated by Bruce Whatley; Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks; My First Story of Christmas by Tim Dowley; Nine Days to Christmas by Marie Halls Ets and Aurora Labastida; Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert Lewis May, illustrated by Daivd Wenzel; Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin; The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader; The Christmas Story from the Bible, illustrated by Gennady Spirin; The Friendly Beasts by Tomie dePaola; The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, illustrated by Carol Heyer; The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell and illustrated by Paul Micich;  The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, illustrated by Ruth Sanderson; The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, illustrated by Mary Engelbreit; The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale by Angela Elwell Hunt, illustrated by Tim Jonke; White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin; The Nutcracker by Michael Hague; The Twelve Days of Christmas illustrated by John O’Brien

Board Books

Favorite board book of 2008


Other board books read/reviewed in 2008:  A to Z and In Between by Sandra Boynton; Eric Carle’s ABC; Let’s Dance, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton; Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton; Richard Scarry’s ABCs; What’s Wrong, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton; How Do Dinosaurs Clean Up Their Rooms? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague; How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague; How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague; My Very First Book of Numbers by Eric Carle

Have you also written a “favorites of 2008” or a “2008 in review” post? Leave a link in the comments and I’ll make sure I’ve read it. (I always need more on my TBR!)

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. What a great list of books!  I’m hoping to read Possession soon, so I’m glad to see it on your favorites list.  I think I’ll also be reading The Glass Castle for my face-to-face book club.  Looks like you had a wonderful year of reading!

  2. Kathy, thanks!
    SmallWorld Reads, thanks for the heads up about Semicolonblog; that’s great to read everyone’s top lists! I hadn’t seen that before.
    Eva, it is my favorite book of all time!
    Trish, it has been a wonderful reading year! Thanks for sharing it with me…

  3. You have many interesting books on your wrap up lists that I am very eager to read. I have a shi**y winter and spring  in front of me as I am going to be very busy and really will not have time for much pleasure-reading, but after June 1., I plan to do something about it. Your lists are very inspiring. Thanks for posting.

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