Best New to Me Author: Anne Lamott
I enjoyed Lamott's writing. I think we would probably drive one another crazy in person, and I'm sure we have very diverse views on any number of things; still, I like Lamott as a person--as flawed and needy as any of us-- and I hope that if we ever met, we would have a mutual respect for one another.
Best (Modern) Classic: Fahrenheit 451
As an ardent lover of books and knowledge, this story resonated with me. It has aged somewhat, but the core of the story still holds true.
Best Biography: The Hiding Place
This book was the readersrunamok selection that ruthette taught this summer. I had read Corrie ten Boom's story about 30 years ago, but it has held up well. Knowing the outcome didn't lessen the impact of the story. On the contrary, it was even more poignant and heart-breaking knowing what was to befall characters I have come to love well.
Best Inspirational: The Hiding Place
Bravo! The Hiding Place wins in two categories! As a Christian, the faith Corrie and her family display during the worst of times remains a shining example long after their deaths. I've read many Holocaust stories by a number of people, but Corrie's book captures best how people can survive and hold onto hope in the midst of hellacious circumstances.
Best Funny: Wintersmith
Terry Pratchett can make me laugh as no other writer. It grieves me that he is suffering from Alzheimer's, and his creative voice may be silenced in too short a time.
Best Book for Portraying a Condition (autism): The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
This is a strange category to be sure, but what is even odder is that I had this same category last year! The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon is superior novel concerning autism. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a much simpler story and a faster read.
Most Disliked: Life of Pi
I really hated this book. It was well written, and much of it was engaging. I liked the beginning, and I would have loved for the author to expand on Pi's life as a child in India. However, it turned into a fantastical allegory dedicated to exhibiting the depravity of man. I disliked the moral of the story: it doesn't matter what the truth is--all that matters is your perception. I hated that the author thought so little of his readers that he had to explain, ad nauseum, his imagery. As soon as an author begins explaining himself, I know that he either did a terrible job of writing, or he has no respect for the intelligence of his readers. I doubt I will ever read anything by Martel again.
Best Horror: The Twilight series
Best Nonfiction: Eats, Shoots and Leaves
Best Guilty Pleasure: Stephanie Plum seriesBest Science Fiction: The Host
Worst Reads in 2008: Minion, Awakening ( I read the following for class. )
The redeeming factors involved in those two books were the inclusion of vampires and the fact that they were gifts to me from Bojojr and Bumberjean. Bless their hearts, and I will keep the books on my shelves for that very reason, but the award is richly deserved. Hey, they could have been brilliant--one never knows until the reading. And everyone has different tastes.
Introduction to Literature
In 2008, I started taking college classes, and I read the following: