Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Book Review: Best of 2008

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.


Jacob Weaver said...

Hey Scott, I just wanted to give a big Thank You for all the work you put into your Blog. I'm a recent convert to the crime fiction world as well and have spent most of 2008 coming up to speed on the past and present. Your blog was one of the first I came across when I went searching for others like me and I've been reading it ever since.

I've been a silent observer until now but my 2009 New Year's Resolution list includes becoming more active in the crime fiction community. Your blog, as well as others, have really inspired me to give writing a shot and see where it takes me.

Keep up the good work and Happy New Year!


Nice to see Die a Little there - I really liked that one myself. Also I too started reading Robert Parker's Spenser books this year but I started with book 21.

Ed Gorman said...

Excellent list. Glad to see the AA Fair especially. Thanks

Scott Parker said...

Jacob - Many thanks for being a Constant Reader (if I might borrow a term coined by Stephen King). And the writings out here on the web have also inspired me to try writing different things. That's part of my new year's resolutions.

Gary - A book goal for 2009 is to be 'caught up' with Megan's books. Queenpin and The Song is You are, therefore, on The 2009 List. I think, though am not certain, that a new book lands in 2009.

Ed - I consider the A. A. Fair books to be my biggest and happiest surprise of 2009. Might have already mentioned this but I'll state it again. In the box of old non-L'amour westerns, there were two AAF books. Did a little research and realized what they were. Top of the Heap was, I think, the funniest book I read in 2008 with Somebody Owes Me Money a close second. Now, AAF's books are on my Must Find List.

David Cranmer said...

For me, Faust's MONEY SHOT was the big discovery. A new, gigantic talent has arrived.