2008 proved to be a busy year and I didn't read nearly as much as I would have liked. However, though I read fewer books than in 2007, the enjoyment factor was much, much higher. Beside novels, there were some good short stories, though I will complain that I didn't read as many quality short stories this year as in past years.
Starting with Novels. In the MUST READ category I came away with three books that were incredibly engaging reading.
Bar none, these three novels were excellent: The Postman by David Brin, Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card, and Watership Down by Richard Adams.
(1) David Brin's The Postman was a riveting adventure story full of thought provoking questions, wisdom, and the richness of a masterful writer. A heroic story of sacrifice set in post-apocalyptic America--this is speculative fiction at its best.
(2) Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow was a gripping read. Cards' characters are fascinating and he digs deep into their psyche's. For those who loved Ender's Game, it was highly enjoyable to see the story unfold threw a new pair of eyes. The Ender's Game series, and all it's companion novels prove to be time and again, excellent sci-fi.
(3) Richard Adam's Watership Down is a fantastical story about Rabbits who go on lupine adventures that are both epic and very personal. There is hardship and tragedy, but there is hope and victory as well. Watership down is a combination of Animal Farm, Lord of the Rings, and The Secret of Nimh. The story of these rabbits will live on in my mind until I am old.
I have only one honorable mention: The Caves of Steel, by Isaac Asimov was a fun sci-fi detective story as told by a master of the genre. Good characters, and an enjoyable mystery.
In the category of Short Story I sadly have only one MUST READ. John Barne's, "Every Hole Is Outlined." This was a deep, moving story set in the far future. The tale of a cargo ship out in deep space and a slave and her apprenticeship to the spacecrafts head mathematician. Ghosts, and brilliant prose haunt this moving piece.
-"The Ghosts," by Lord Dunsany
Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully I'll get to more books and more short stories in 2009. Happy reading!