Suspend Your Disbelief

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bring on the lists

It’s December, officially List Season. Those long, all-encompassing ones are fun to bitch about and debate, but my favorite lists are short and specific. A short list demands more careful consideration on the part of the list-maker, and readers have a prayer of actually checking out most or all of its best-of books/films/what-have-you. Today Jessa Crispin (aka Bookslut, here for NPR) offers a concise and enticing list of best foreign (or non-American) fiction of 2008, with links to full reviews and excerpts. I, for one, am adding Metropole to my reading pile; Roberto Bolano’s books are already there, waiting for me to be less busy and more ambitious. Also for NPR, Alan Cheuse offers a list of the 2008 fiction he most enjoyed.

Readers, share your own lists of the five best books you’ve read this year. Feel free to define “best” however you like — and to include books published at any point (so long as you read them in 2008).

Here are my lists (note: quite a few of my friends and teachers published absolutely wonderful books in 2008, but since I can’t list them all, I’ll be fair and mention none of them here):

published in 2008
The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
Dark Roots: Stories by Cate Kennedy
The View from the Seventh Layer: Stories by Kevin Brockmeier
You Must Be This Happy to Enter: Stories by Elizabeth Crane
Away by Amy Bloom

published before 2008 (but read this year)
Watchmen by Alan Moore
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge by Evan O’Connell
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

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