Books: A Review of 2008

In 2008 I read only 29 books (down from 40 in 2007, and 46 in 2006). I am quite disappointed by this and plan to aim for my 2006-07 level in 2009. Nevertheless, I did read some really good books in 2008. Of the 29 I read, my favorites were, in no particular order:

I highly recommend any of these books to you. Additionally, if you know  young reader, both Little Brother and Zoe’s Tale are perfect for the YA crowd as well as adults.

This year I also reached the conclusion that I will read anything that Michael Lewis writes. I read The Blind Side and The New New Thing. Both were excellant and just missed my top 5 list. If you are at all interested in business planning, visions for the future, or technology, I urge you to read The New New Thing. The book deals with the height of the tech industy in the late 1990s. In so doing it is an excellant lens to view the vision that the industry pioneers had for us a decade ago and how that compares with the technology that we are currently using.

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

MistbornI know that I am late coming to this party, but I just finished Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, and it is great. My reading tastes are quite varied, however, when given the choice, I usually read thrillers or science fiction. For the most part, I do not read fantasy. However, in anticipation of the launch of, Tor  gave away electronic editions of several of its books. Some of the books I had already read. In other cases, the giveaway introduced me to books that I would not have read otherwise. One of those books was Mistborn.

Once I started Mistborn, I was hooked. The characters are well done and intersting. The story is interesting, plus it contains enough twists to keep you interested and provide surprises. In short, the story is, at its most base level, a heist story with the biggest goal possible, the overthrow of the government.

In addition to the interesting story, the book also contains a logical, well-developed magic system. Sanderson clearly put a lot of thought into the magic system and that shows. On top of this, Sanderson does an excellant job detailing the fight scenes in the book. As I was reading the fights, I could picture the action clearly in my mind.

As an additional bonus, on his website, Sanderson includes annotations for each of the chapters in the book. These provide a great behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the book.

If you are looking for a good book to read, I cannot recommend Mistborn more highly.