Monday, January 5, 2009

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading

So, on to books. Here it's not the best books that came out in 2008, but rather the best books I read during 2008. Why? Because while I do buy a fair number of books each year, I don't necessarily buy new ones.

3. Winter's Tale, by Mark Helprin
A very odd, but fascinating book. A sort of fairytale, but not for children. It's a story about love, time and New York. Not an easy read, but well worth the time. If you have any interest in modern fantastic literature (not fantasy, mind you), read it.

2. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
Outstanding. A punch in the stomach. A man and his son walk down a road through an America devastated by an unspecified catastrophe. It's the first McCarthy novel I've read, but won't be the last. Stunning story, and amazing language.

1. JPod, by Douglas Coupland
Coupland is one of those on/off writers for me. Either I worship what he has written, or just shrug after I put the book down. This is definitely an on. The story revolves around a group of people working at a company that designs computer games, and is brimming with geek references and geek humor. However, it soon evolves into something else, as the main character's pot-growing mother and Douglas Coupland himself are introduced into the story.

I believe that Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close would have made in into the list, but I haven't picked that up since I put it down.

That is all. What did you read in 2008?


ege said...

Oh, man, I've been coming back here all day hoping other people would have chimed in and put a penny on my record, so to speak (and if you don't understand the skipping-vinyl reference there, then I choose to chalk it up to a language problem and not an age differential or a judgment on the relative merits of technological advances). Anyway, the point is...

I can't remember what books I read last year! Which I suppose means they musn't have been very good.

Well, except every play that Shakespeare ever wrote. I plowed through those last year. And you know what I learned? The good ones are the ones you know about and probably read already, and the rest are a just blur of puns, fart jokes, and men in women's clothing. (Hm, sounds like my college years...)

Oh, except for Titus Andronicus, that one was pretty hellified.

(And I repeat, Mr. Word Verification, "trove" is already a word!)

beardonaut said...

Like someone said: "Shakespeare? His books are just a collection of old quotes."

I actually did Shakespeare, on stage, seven years back. "As You Like It", where I played Oliver. Shakespeare villains are fun. No. I take that back. Villains are fun, period.

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彭于晏Eddie said...


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tiger said...