There were a lot of books that were released this year. Looking at my shelves, I see quite a few Star Wars novels, and then a good handful of other books which managed to make it into my buy stack that appeared over the last year.
And that's not counting the ones I read from the library, while sitting in the bookstore or just plain never got to read.
Unfortunately, I cant' talk about them all, and this is a BEST OF... series, so of course that means I can only pick one. Out of all these things I've written, this had to have been my hardest choice. After all, books is one of the main reasons I created this blogs. Literature (and yes, genre novels are literature) is one of my biggest passions. I love the stuff. I love the feel of books, their smell, and just reading the things.
As an aside, I can admit that a secondary reason for my hesitance in adopting an e-book reader is the fact that I would no longer have a physical copy of the book. Oddly, I think that's the main reason my wife wants me to get one.
Digression aside, there were 3 books which I ultimately narrowed it down to: Zoe's Tale, Little Brother and By Schism Rent Asunder. What's odd is that two of those are classified as "young adult novels."
While looking for random reasons to cull two of these, I cut By Schism Rent Asunder from the running because it's a sequel novel. So that was one down. The other two were both great, and fun reads. Good stories with good characters.
It was hard to choose.
And I don't like hard. So I got a quarter and flipped it.
Random, I know.
Fortunately, I'm joking. The story I chose to represent the best book from 2008 was Little Brother. After all, Mr. Doctorow's novel had something which Zoe's Tale lacked. Little Brother scared me. Sure that fear was because I can SEE Little Brother happening, but it was still there.
And while I have much love for Mr. Scalzi's novels, Doctorow just won hands down this time out. Earlier this year I had this to say about the book:
This is a novel that combines technology with common, daily events, and then shove them out until you reach their ultimate conclusion. The fact that Big Brother is watching you. Using everything from wifi sniffing to Bayesian statistics, Mr. Doctorow spins a story about the DHS and its crackdown on the civil rights, all in the name of security, in the setting of San Fransisco.I'm still terrified that it's going to come to pass. It scares me on a fundamental level, and that's probably made worse because we're getting another Big Government/Socialist President in office come January.
If you've not read this book yet, buy it. If you don't have the budget to buy a hard copy, or you've never read a Doctorow novel and want to try it first, then go here and download it. Mr. Doctorow has a tendency to give out free electronic versions of his books. He's just that internet savvy that way.