The lovely M at EasternMax put together a list of books she read in 2008. I thought I would shamelessly pinch her idea. But now that I have sat down to write, I realise that many of the books I read were from the library and therefore I may have a bit of trouble remembering their names...
* Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I see on this book's website that the publisher says there are now 5 million copies in print. Deservedly so, I think. This book was lent to me by a good friend and once I had read (devoured) it, I too passed it on to a friend. It's that sort of book. I very much enjoyed the writer's candour and the whole meditation/discovering self is very much up my alley. This would have to be my book of the year.
* Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting - The Power of Positive Feelings by Lyn Grabhorn. Picked this up at the library. Only because it had a fluoro yellow cover and I kinda couldn't miss it. Parts of it were a bit roll-your-eyes, but I have to say that I tried out the positive thinking tactics she writes about and - whoa - they have had AMAZING results for me. I honestly believe we have so much untapped potential within ourselves and this book really gave me an exciting glimpse into what is possible.
* The People Of The Book by Geraldine Brooks. Not technically a book of 2008 because I am still reading it, but I did start it in 2008 when I was lucky enough to find it in a Christmas parcel (thank you Lyn! - I love it). I am quite enamoured. For me this book is perfect. It has a Jewish thread running through it - and I am obsessed with anything and everything that pertains to Jewish culture - and it reminds me a little of my very favourite book ever: Possession by A S Byatt.
* Encyclopedia of Jewish Cooking by ???. Another library book, so I'm not sure of the exact name or the author. And Google is no help. All I know is that this book takes all manner of Jewish dishes and traces their origins. There's lots of fascinating historic photos too. Naturally I didn't make a single recipe; the food for thought was rich enough.
* A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khlaed Hosseini. I read this one while we were overseas and enjoyed it even more than The Kite Runner.
* Sex And The City by Candace Bushnell. I've long been a fan of the show but I'd never bothered with the book before this year. Spied it at the library, gave it a shot ... underwhelmed, really.
*New Baby and Toddler Cookbook by Annabel Karmel. Excellent book (from library again), great kiddie meals. E wouldn't touch even one of the many I tried. Sigh.
*The Beach by Alex Garland. This one landed on my desk at work as one of the new 'retro-styled' Penguin releases - you know, in the classic orange and white design. I liked the movie, so I thought I'd give the book a shot. Enjoyed it. Didn't love it, but worth reading.
* Persepolis by Marjane Satrpai. My second foray in the world of the graphic novel, which looks at Iranian extremism through the eyes of a young Iranian girl. This is a pretty sensational read - but not as good as the first I read, which was Maus by Art Spiegelman.
* Zoli by Colum McCann. Golden find at the library. A spectacularly good read that fed another of my obsessions: an interest in gypsy culture. It's the story of a Roma girl in the 1930s who becomes a singer and is convinced by an Englishman to write her songs down. They are then used against the gypsies and she is forced into exile.