I kind of did this already when I answered a meme earlier this month: List the authors that were new to you this year, regardless of year of publication. Here's the link to that original entry. This is the blog where I narrow down the list.
I've tossed and turned over who to give the number 1 spot. Two books shone brightly in my mind and I love them both. The #3 spot is secure. However, for book #1, as my original review stated, I'm going for the book that brought a tear to my eye.
1. The Dawn Patrol - Don Winslow
2. Money Shot - Christ Faust
3. Top of the Heap - Erle Stanley Gardner (Cool and Lam)
4. Severance Package - Duane Swierczynski
5. The Godwulf Manuscript - Robert Parker
6. Kiss Her Goodbye - Allan Guthrie
7. Somebody Owes Me Money - Donald Westlake
8. Die a Little - Megan Abbott
9. Cop Hater - Ed McBain
10. Sins of the Father - Lawrence Block
Honorable Mention: William Colt MacDonald's Mascarada Pass is the first western I've ever read. It's a fun story with a great character but the writing is slightly dated and that kept it off my Top 10.
I got to meet Winslow, Swierczynsk, and Bill Crider at Murder by the Book this year. Have to admit it was very cool to be thanked by Swierczynski for the review I posted. It was the first time an author had personally thanked me. And it was interesting to meet Winslow the week after Hurricane Ike hit Houston, what with no power at the store and the debris along the streets. A bit surreal. I hope to attend more author talks and signings in 2009. First up: head guru at Hard Case Crime, Charles Ardai.
I already have many books lined up to read for the next few weeks and months. Some are new, some old. But it doesn't matter. I'm going to have fun. And I hope y'all do, too.
Thanks to everyone with whom I discussed books in 2008. Let's keep up the conversation in 2009.