Top Tens 2008


These are annual Top Tens from discerning ANZLL readers.  NB Titles are not in any particular order, and the concept of ‘ten’ is flexible.  We all know how hard it is to choose…

2011     2010     2009    2008     2007    2006    2005    2004

Top Tens 2008

Heather’s
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck
Village of Stone by Xialou Guo
Night of Many Dreams by Gail Tsukiyama
The Memory Room by Christopher Koch
Orpheus Lost by Janette Turner Hospital
The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracey Chevalier
Shogun by James Clavell

Narelle’s
Breath – Tim Winton
The Reader – Bernhard Schlink
Of Human Bondage – Somerset Maugham
Mr Pip – Lloyd Jones
Pope Jone - Donna Woolfolk Cross
The Stone Angel – Margaret Laurence
Rush Home Road – Lori Lansens
Diary of an Ordinary Woman – Margaret Forster
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - David Wroblewski
Orpheus Lost – Janette Turner Hospital
Lies of Silence – Brian Moore
The Septembers of Shiraz – Dalia Sofer

Carol’s
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
How Shall We Sing Aline P’nina Tayar
Orpheus Lost Janette Turner Hospital
On Chesil Beach Ian McEwan
The Testament of Gideon Mack James Robertson
The Road Cormac McCarthy

Jenny’s
Breath by Tim Winton
Fred and Edie by Jill Dawson
Engleby by Sebastian Faulks
The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson
Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennon by Maggie O’Farrell
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Chris’s
The Gift of Rain byTan Twan Eng
One Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Breath by Tim Winton
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
Births, Deaths and Marriages by Georgia Blain
Fault Lines by Nancy Huston
Careless by Deborah Robertson
Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones
The Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
The Memory Room by Christopher Koch

Cathy’s
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petersen
Breath by Tim Winton
Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
The one I want to give a second chance to is The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.
The one I am glad I persevered with is Carpentaria – even though I am not sure that I “got” it

Lisa’s
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
Love without Hope by Rodney Hall
Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
The Trout Opera by Matthew Condon
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
The Indian Clerk by, David Leavett
Rites of Passage by William Golding
The Children by Charlotte Wood
On Chesil Breach by Ian McEwan
Scenes from a Clerical Life by George Eliot
Dissection by Jacinta Halloran

Lesleigh’s
The Trout Opera by Matthew Condon
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Love Without Hope by Rodney Hall
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
I liked each of these books so much for their effortless writing style, absorbing storylines, and characters that had me fully engaged. For their page-turnability and unforgettableness I would have to award them a 10.

Rebecca’s
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Germinal by Emile Zola
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster
Ender’s game by Orson Scott Card
Postcards from Surfers: stories by Helen Garner
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
The Snapper by Roddy Doyle
What I Talk about when I Talk about Running by Huraki Murikami
Broken April by Ismail Kadare
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

Margaret’s
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
Breath byTim Winton
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Gilgamesh by Joan London
The Children by Charlotte Wood
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty by Sebastian Barry

Clare’s
Shriver – We Need to Talk About Kevin
Hamid – The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Hall – The Carhullan Army
Crace – Being Dead
Desai – The Inheritance of Loss (not everyone’s cup of tea)
O’Farrell – The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
Diaz – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (again, not everyone’s cup of tea)
Kidman – The Captive Wife
Brooks – People of the Book
Erdrich – The Painted Drum

Lurline’s
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
The Lay of The Land by Richard Ford
Carpentaria by Alexis Wright
The Good Parents by Joan London
The Spare Room by Helen Garner
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide
Breath by Tim Winton
Orpheus Lost by Janet Turner Hospital
Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani

Sally’s

The People’s Act of Love by James Meek
The Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle
Drop City by TC Boyle
The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Breath by Tim Winton
The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty by Sebastian Barry
Song For Night by Chris Abani
The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson
Orpheus Lost by Janette Turner Hospital

Cushla’s

Fiction:
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
Frost in May by Antonia White
All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West

Non-fiction:
All too Human by George Stephanopoulos
Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch
The Second World War by John Keegan
Articles of Faith: A Frontline History of the Abortion Wars by Cynthia
Gorney
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

PS You may have noticed that some of us are not very good at counting up to 10…
Rules – as far as books are concerned – are made to be broken.

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