A followup to my Year in Music, here is my Year in Books, along with a top ten (more or less). I read a pretty good sampling of genres, from sci-fi, non-fiction, history, fantasy, mysteries and "literature". Some good, some bad, some I never finished.
According to my 2007 Books collection, I read about 30 books this year, an average of a little more than two per month. I probably started another ten or so books, either giving up due to lack of interest (Lord Foul's Bane), lack of time (Das Boot, The One From The Other), disgust (The Looming Tower) or ones I knew I'd be buying (The God Delusion). I did a pretty good job of reading in 2007, although my greatest disappointment was falling down on my quest to read War and Peace. I got sidetracked and haven't returned to it. My first vow for 2008 will be to finish it.
My ten favorite books of the year were:
- World War Z: An Oral History ( review) is a brilliantly realized "history" of the upcoming war against zombies. Great job done of interviewing the main subjects after the war was won. Really clever and I enjoyed this a lot!
- Trials of the Monkey (review) is a funny and at the same time scary book about traveling through the Bible Belt, by an ancestor of Darwin himself
- Homage to Catalonia (review), a brutally realistic true eyewitness account of the ugly Spanish Civil War, written by one of the Internationals, George Orwell.
- The End of Faith (review) is where a philosopher jumped to the forefront of today's freethinkers with this scathing expose of apocalyptic religious dogma. Harris' follow up, Letter to a Christian Nation (review) was equally entertaining, enlightening and scary.
- The Blonde (review) and The Wheel Man (review) were two great little terse mysteries. Funny, entertaining and tautly written, I really enjoyed these.
- Fiasco : The American Military Adventure in Iraq (review) lays bare just how morally corrupt and visually bankrupt the entire disaster in Iraq is and was. From an unbelievably rosy plan to having absolutely no idea what to do once we got there, Fiasco really lays low the entire administration.
- The Time Traveler's Wife (review) was a really interesting exercise in a time travel novel. Touching and well written, if a tad long, this novel had romance, laughs, tension and mystery.
- Freethinkers (review) is an excellent history of rational thinking since the founding of the United States. Really opened my eyes about some true pioneers of the movement, like Ingersoll and Lucretia Mott.
- The Man Who Would Be King (review) retold the story of Josiah Harland, explorer of Afghanistan. A colorful book of a forgotten niche of history.
I'm not quite done with it, but Kristine Smith's Code of Conduct will almost certainly make this list. An excellent sci-fi mystery featuring an interesting protagonist, I'm really enjoying it and am looking forward to reading the next one in the series.