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Mostly Fiction's
Top Fiction Read in 2008

Our Top Fiction is based on the books that we READ this year. It is not limited to those that we reviewed or those published in 2008. This makes the list broader than the few books we were able to review this year and also keeps with our philosphy that a good book never goes out of style. does like to review the new books as they come out -- it is exciting to see what our favorite authors are up to and to discover new ones-- but we never want to pass up a good read, no matter when it was written! (Note: Go here to see all the books we reviewed this year.)


  Mary Whipple:   Poornima Apte:  

1) A Curious Earth by Gerard Woodward

2) The Legal Limit by Martin Clark

3) The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

4) A Mercy by Toni Morrison

5) Little Criminals by Gene Kerrigan

6) Friendly Fire by A. B. Yehoshua

7) When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson

8) Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

9) Between Two Seas by Carmine Abate

10) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

11) Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva

12) Captivity by Debbie Lee Wesselmann

13) Four Days in November by Vincent Bugliosi (non-fiction)


1) The Boat by Nam Le

2) The Dart League King by Keith Lee Morris

3) Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

4) Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O' Nan (amazon )

5) The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt


1) Out of Mao's Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China by Philip Pan

2) State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey (amazon )

3) Traffic: Why We Drive the Way we Do and What it Says About Us by Tom Vanderbilt

4) Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World's Food System by Raj Patel (amazon )


  Guy Savage:   Eleanor Bukowsky:  

1. His Excellency by Zola (amazon )

2) L'Assommoir by Zola (amazon )

3) Swansea Terminal by Robert Lewis

4) The Last Llanelli Train by Robert Lewis

5) The Treatment and the Cure by Peter Kocan

6) A Romanov Fantasy by Frances Welch

7) The Bonnot Gang by Richard Parry (amazon )

8) Narcissist's Daughter by Craig Holden

9) Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye: The Barbara Payton Story by John O'Dowd

10) Eros by Helmut Kraussner

11) The Long Exile by Simenon (amazon )

12) Something to Tell You by Hanif Kureishi (amazon )



1) The Delivery Room by Susan Brownrigg

2) Deaf Sentence by David Lodge

3) Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva

4) Oxygen by Carol Cassella

5) Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie

6) The House on Fortune Street by Margot Livesey

7) Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

8) The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith

9) Friend of the Devil by Peter Robinson

10) Betrayal by John Lescroart

  Kirstin Merrihew:   Tony Ross:  

1) Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn

2) Everything Must Change by Grahame Davies (amazon )

3) Black Olives by Matha Todd Dudman

4) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

5) Abbeville by Jack Fuller

6) The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

7) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by Simon Armitage (amazon )

8) America America by Ethan Canin (amazon )

9) Skin Deep by E. M. Crane (amazon )


1) Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point by Elizabeth D. Samet (amazon )

2) The Things That Matter: What Seven Classic Novels have to Say About the Stages of Life by Edward Mendelson (amazon )



1) Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill (amazon )

2) A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

3) City of Theives by David Benioff

4) The Conjure-Man Dies by Rudolph Fisher (amazon )

5) Gentleman of the Road by Michael Chabon

6) Go With Me by Castle Freeman (amazon )

7) A Grave in Gaza by Matt Benyon Rees

8) Little Criminals by Gene Kerrigan

9) No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

10) The Winshaw Legacy by Jonathan Coe (amazon)

  Chuck Barksdale:   Hagen Baye:  

1) La Requiem by Robert Crais

2) A Stolen Season by Steve Hamilton

3) Tell No One by Harlan Coben (amazon )

4) Fury by G. M. Ford

5) Black River by G.M. Ford

6) Bust by Jason Starr and Ken Bruen



1) The Max by Jason Starr and Ken Bruen

2) Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais

3) The Turnaround by George Pelecanos

4) Money Shot by Christa Faust

5) Nothing to Lose by Lee Child

6) Paradise City by Lorenzo Carcaterra (amazon )

6) Drama Queen by Susan Conley (amazon )

7) The Eighth Day by Tom Avitabile (amazon )


  Mike Frechette:   Terez Rose:  

1) Home by Marilynne Robinson

2) The English American by Alison Larkin

3) A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living by Michael Dahlie

4) Netherland by Joseph O'Neill (amazon ) (see Mike's review here)

5) The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell

6) South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

7) Scandal by Shisaku Endo (amazon )

8) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (amazon )

9) People of the Whale by Linda Hogan



1) Macgregor Tells the World by Elizabeth McKenzie

2) She May Not Leave by Fay Weldon (amazon )

3) Memory by Philippe Grimbert

4) 2008 Best American Short Stories edited by Salman Rushdie

5) The Time it Takes to Fall by Margaret Lazarus Dean

6) The House at Riverton by Kate Morton


  Ann Wilkes:   Stephanie Velasco  

1) The Maquisarde by Louise (amazon )

2) The Key by Pauline Baird Jones

3) Mars Life by Ben Bova

4) Mars by Ben Bova

5) Lord Tophet by Gregory Frost

6) Blackjack by Lee Singer

7) The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers (amazon )

8) Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost


1) In Hovering Flight by Joyce Hinnefeld (a beautifully written and deeply touching first novel, published this fall) (amazon )

2) Ask for a Convertible by Danit Brown (collection of very funny short stories published earlier this year) (amazon )

3) The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (amazon )

4) Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

5) The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

6) Willful Creatures by Aimee Bender

7) Hiding Out by Jonathan Messinger -- (collection of short stories published by an featherproof books, an independent press in Chicago (amazon )


  Lori Lamothe   Judi Clark:  

1) The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

2) Not Yet Drown'd by Peg Kingman (amazon )

3) The Eight by Katherine Neville (amazon )

4) Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

5) Servants of the Map by Andrea Barrett

6) Night Villa by Carol Goodman


9) Passionate Minds by David Bodanis (amazon )

10) Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace


1) The 19th Wife by David Ebersoff (amazon )

2) The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer

3 )The Dart League King by Keith Lee Morris

4) The Legal Limit by Martin Clark

5) Lush Life by Richard Price

6) Atonement by Ian McEwan

7) Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman

8) The Boat by Nam Le

9) Narcissist's Daughter by Craig Holden

10) The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle

11) Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

12) Travels with Charlie: In Search of America by John Steinbeck


  Sudheer Apte:   Neil Chapman:  


1. Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O' Nan (amazon )

2. The Dart League King by Keith Lee Morris

3. A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif


1) Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

2) A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

3) Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

4) Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

5) The Beach by Alex Garland (amazon )

6) Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy

7) Postcards from No-Man's Land by Aidan Chambers (amazon )

8) Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose

9) Sarum by Edward Rutherford (amazon )

10) Tokyo Station by Martin Cruz Smith (called December 6 in the U.S.)

11 and 12)The Necropolis Railway and
The Lost Luggage Porter by Andrew Martin


  Honorable Mentions:      



CHEZ MOI by Agnes Desarthe

SORRY by Gail Jones

THE PLAGUE OF DOVES by Louise Erdrich

THE LAZARUS PROJECT by Aleksandar Hemon

WHITE TIGER by Aravind Adiga

LEATHER MAIDEN by Joe R. Lansdale

  (List of All Books reviewed in 2008)      



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