Best of 2008

This was a good year for reading - I enjoyed an awful lot of the 60 books I read carefully enough to get around to take notes on. This has something to do with that the fact that I've deliberately narrowed my reading over the years to things that I expect to find rewarding, inspiring, and flat out beautiful, but man, there are a lot of terrific books out there!

Without further ado, these are my choices for favourite reads this year, in order of preference:

Best nonfiction
  1. Harold Rhenisch, Tom Thomson's Shack
  2. John Vaillant, The Golden Spruce
  3. Theresa Kishkan, Red Laredo Boots
  4. ed. Devon Mihesuah & Angela Cavender Wilson (now simply Waziyatawin), Indigenizing the Academy
  5. John Howard Griffin, Black Like Me
Best poetry
  1. Roy Kiyooka, Pear Tree Pomes
  2. Rita Wong, forage
  3. Ken Belford, lan(d)guage
  4. Jan Zwicky, Songs for Relinquishing the Earth
  5. Gillian Wigmore, Soft Geography
Best fiction
  1. Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories
  2. Jeannette Armstrong, Slash
  3. Bus Griffiths, Now You're Logging
  4. Jasper Fforde, The Fourth Bear
  5. Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach
I waffled about whether to hand out a best book award this year. These books are incredibly different from each other, but that's the same for every list, so I sucked it up. Best In Show, 2008: Roy Kiyooka's Pear Tree Pomes edges out Harold Rhenisch's Tom Thomson's Shack.

Of course, few of these books were published in 2008, so this is no "best of 2008" list - it documents my own picks from among those I bumped into this year that I'd like to read again. Some of them, I've already reread or browsed through again. As always, I can hardly wait to get into the next year's worth of books!


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