Wrapping Up A Year in Reading

December 24, 2008 | 14

With the year drawing to a close, so too is our Year in Reading series. We at The Millions would like to thank all of those who contributed to the series as well as all the helpful folks who assisted us in putting together such a great group of participants.

Though we are undoubtedly biased, it was a thrill to watch the series unfold this year. We discovered that Joshua Henkin liked a book by Charles D’Ambrosio, who liked a book by Nam Le, who liked a book by Toni Morrison. We discovered that two highly regarded authors (named Charles) were fans of Slash’s memoir this year. And we saw that many of our most admired writers were rediscovering (or discovering for the first time) literary legends like Saul Bellow, James Cain, Richard Brautigan, Anthony Trollope, Dostoevsky, Melville, and the aforementioned Toni Morrison.

We’d also like to thank all of our readers for a great year at The Millions. It was another year with more visitors than we’ve ever had before, but the numbers alone shed little light on the best aspects of The Millions this year, which came through in the edifying and enlightening discussion spearheaded and spurred on by our readers, guests, and regular contributors.

We’ll do a little roundup of some of the best posts at The Millions this year in a few days, but in the meantime, we’re going to take a breather from the breakneck pace of A Year in Reading.

As we enjoy the last few days of 2008, we invite all of you to take part in A Year in Reading by finishing this sentence in the comments or on your own blog: “The best book I read all year was…”

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.


  1. The best book I read all year was… also Never Let Me Go by Kasuo Ishiguro. And the best new book was Netherland by Joseph O'Neill.

  2. Fiction: Stoner by John Williams.
    Non-Fiction: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.
    Poetry: Ooga-Booga by Friedrich Siegel.

    year of publication irrelevant!

  3. …not yet determined, because the year isn't over yet. I probably have another two books to go, and either of those could be brilliant.

  4. Non-Fiction: American Shaolin by Matthew Polly
    Fiction: His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman. (Ignore the movie.)

  5. The best book I read [for the first time] all year was Ann Patchett's "Bel Canto"; the beest book I read [again] all year was Dickens's "Bleak House."

  6. The best book I read all year comes out of this group:

    The After Life by Kathleen Stewart
    The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island by Chloe Hooper
    The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
    The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
    Disquiet by Julia Leigh
    The Liars' Club by Mary Karr
    The Other Side of You by Salley Vickers
    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

    Sorry, can't separate them, all unforgettable.

    Cheers to The Millions!

  7. Fiction:
    #1 Edgar Sawtelle, then in no order
    Lush Life-Richard Price
    Cellist of Sarajevo – Steven Galloway
    Out Stealing Horses-Per Petterson
    The Other – David Guterson
    all 5 Ripleys – Patricia Highsmith
    Tenderness of Wolves – Stef Penney
    The English Major – Jim Harrison
    Katherine Weber – Triangle and The Music Lesson
    St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves – Karen Russell
    Desertion – Abdulrazak Gurnah
    currently: The Quiet Girl by Peter Hoeg–so far very good
    Non Fiction:
    The World Without Us – Alan Weisman
    The Ghost Map – Steven Johnson
    The End of Food – Paul Roberts
    The Soloist – Steve Lopez
    Enrique's Journey – Sonia Nazario
    The Good Good Pig – Sy Montgomery
    The Zookeeper's Wife – Diane Ackerman
    Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
    A Spring Wihtout Bees-Michael Schacker
    Deep Economy – Bill McKibben
    To See Every Bird on Earth – Dan Koeppel
    The Horses of Proud Spirit – Melanie Bowles

    I retired this year and my dream came true–unlimited reading time, averaging 13 books a month. Is this heaven or what?

  8. My ten favs from '08:
    1) Revolutionary Road
    2) The Human Stain
    3) The End of Vandalism
    4) The Things They Carried
    5) The Prince of the Marshes
    6) On Chesil Beach
    7) His Dark Materials trilogy
    8) Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs
    9) Mountains Beyond Mountains
    10) The Audacity of Hope

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