Edited 1/1/09: So I managed to finish one more book right before the end of the year, and I’ve added it to the list (at #10). So only three David Mitchell books after all. Yay.
This year was a little unusual for me when it came to books. There were two reasons. First, much like my experience with music this year, I haven’t really read anything since before I joined the Obama campaign in September. So my overall numbers were down a bit this year.
And second, of all of the books I read, about 2/3 of them were written by one of two authors – Haruki Murakami and David Mitchell. In fact, I went through both authors’ entire collected novels in the past year. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I’ll be damned if most of Murakami’s stuff doesn’t all blur together for me now.
So I’ll do my best to try to put these books in some sort of order. I’ll gonna leave out the Murakami books that don’t really stand out for me. I liked them all quite a bit, but I figure if I can’t remember much about them, then that means they don’t really have a place on the list. Right? Right.
So, without further ado, the books I read in 2008, in order of how much I liked them.
1. Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami
2. Ghostwritten, David Mitchell
3. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
4. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami
5. Number9dream, David Mitchell
6. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Michael Chabon
7. The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
8. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
9. Wild Sheep Chase, Haruki Murakami
Black Swan Green, David Mitchell Gun, With Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem Notably, I’m also in the middle of two other books right now – Gun, With Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem; and Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson. There’s a chance I finish one (but not both) of them before the end of the year, and if I do, I reserve the right to stick it into this list if so no other reason than to drop the list down to just 3 David Mitchell books.
Oh, and one quick honorable mention goes to Nick Hornby’s Slam. It wasn’t great, but it didn’t suck either, and coming after A Long Way Down, that’s saying a lot. Here’s hoping his next book continues the upward trend.