2008 in Review

Note: I occasionally accept review copies from the publisher. Posts written from review copies are labeled. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation for any purchased items.

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!)

Reviewed on January 3, 2009

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.

  • 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!

  • 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…

  • 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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