I have always been an avid reader. One of my worries when we moved to Mexico was that I would struggle to find enough quality reading material to satisfy me. I used several strategies to make sure I always had enough to read.
I ordered from Amazon. I used our local English library. I traded with friends. I bought books (a suitcase full) when I went to the US in July. I bought books at Sandi Books in Guadalajara. I downloaded audio books and e-books from BitTorrent sites. I bought books online from Amate Books. And last, but probably not least, I bought books every time I passed through the airport!
I’ve mentioned before that I keep track of what I’m reading, mostly so that I can print out the list once in a while and take it with me when I go to the library or shopping. I am terrible at standing at the bookshelves saying to myself “Who was the author of that book I read last month that was set in India?” I can guarantee I will never remember unless I have a list.
I read 73 books last year. The number kind of shocked me as it seemed to me I’d been knitting and going to the beach and other things quite a bit!
So, here are my top 10 books of 2008, if you are interested: (not in any order, that would be just tooooo hard!) Sorry about the alignment below, it was a pain…
A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
I love anything and everything by Haruki Murakami. His books are strange and thoughtful and interesting
and weird. And smart.And always, always stay with you a long time.
Memoir from Antproof Case by Mark Helprin
This story was very strange. A man has an intense aversion to coffee…that’s one part of the story – and another is the memoir that he writes to his wife’s son.
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver
I love all of her books…and I read several this year. This book stands out because of my interest in
food and gardening. She and her family moved to a small rural property and grew all their own
food or bought it from their neighbors. It started me thinking about where exactly my food comes
from now that I live in Mazatlan.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
These short stories are wonderful and complete. Read them.
I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
A 900 page book of a family where the people really pull you in. A book that you will carry
with you and read every second you can.
Typical American by Gish Jen
A story about Chinese immigrants in America. But that really doesn’t describe it.
An engrossing, funny, and painful read.
Fair Warning by Robert Olen Butler
He is one of my favorite authors, up there with Haruki Murakami and Tim Winton. This book, about the auction world, has a number of twists and really makes you think. I think my two favorite books of his though are Good Scent from a Strange Mountain and Tabloid Dreams.
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
I have even more confidence now that I’ve read this book that he is the right man for the job of
President. He is smart, considerate, thoughtful, and able to see all sides of a problem and bring
people together with a solution. I am so glad I got to know him better.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
This mystery, set in Sweden, was a real surprise. I bought this in Guadalajara and had no expectations. But it is a thoughtful, interesting mystery that I would highly recommend.
The Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
His books are always surprising. This one will change the way you think about time and how we
perceive the world.
So there you have it. I’d love to hear what your favorite books were.