Saturday, January 03, 2009

Top 10 Books of '08

Thanks to all of you for following up on my blog :-) Every year I do a top ten list of my favorite books and it's always hard picking my favorite books since I've read so many great books. So here it is, my top ten of 2008:

#10 You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn

Miles and her cousin Laura shared a close bond, as if they were sisters. Miles admired Laura-the smart and pretty girl everyone loved-while Miles despised herself-a not-so-good-looking and not-as-sucessful as her cousin. But when Laura commits suicide, Miles falls into an abyss of drugs and depression and the only two things that can save her is the people she cares about and the strength she never knew she had. This novel resonates with me deeply and I see myself in Miles. A raw and beautiful story.

#9 After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away

by Joyce Carol Oates

For Jenna her life is two parts: before the wreck and after the wreck, in which she survived and her mother didn't. She, like Miles, desents into a self-distrutive addiction of pain-killers and self-pity. But when she meets Crow, a French-Canadian biker will Jenna start the long journey of healing.

#8 The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden

When Dr. Nicholas Garrigan arrive in the scene of an accident involving Idi Amin and running over a cow, he becomes part of Amin's closest confidant. But with this friendship, Nicholas scarifies his innocence and morality as he witnesses Amin's ruthless rampage which results in the deaths of over 300,000 Ugandans. I have yet to see the movie, but from what I know the book is as brutal as it is unforgettable.

#7 Seeking the Sacred: Leading a Spiritual Life in a Secular World

All of us are seeking something better. But in this crazy world filled with violence, wars, and horrors religion can't always offer comfort and hope (Not that I'm offending those whom are religious, just my opinion) This composition of essays based upon a series of lectures combines the voices of great thinkers like Thomas Moore exploring the nature of the soul while former U.N. Commander Roméo Dallaire (author of the book that changed my life ''Shake Hands with the Devil'') describes about his experiances during the genocide in Rwanda and how he struggled with his faith after witnessing so much evil and former U.N. Envoy on AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis tells us how we can make a difference in the world. I highly recommend this little book full of some inspiring advice.

#6 Broken Paradise by Cecilia Samartin

Cousins Nora and Alicia live the good life with plently of parties, endless days at the beach, and loving families. But with Castro's rise to power, takes away any chance of the hopes and dreams both cousins have. Nora and her family flee to the United States, while Alicia stays. Through the years both write to each other and many years later Nora returns to Cuba and is shocked of how much has changed. An amazing tribute to family, love, and the yearing of home.

#5 Coming to Terms: South Africa's Search for Truth

The interest of learning about South Africa during the apartheid years came up when I was watching the music video "Biko" by Peter Gabriel. Steven Biko was an anti-apartheid activist who died in 1977 after being tortured by police officers. This book was an introduction to what had happened and the ground-breaking work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the stories of horror, injustice, and murder of ordinary black South Africans and those who tried to defy the racist government. With a great afterward by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tina Rosenberg on the need for nations to confront their ugly past.

#4 Tie between: Innocence Lost: When Child Soldiers go to War by Jimmie Brings

Journalist Jimmie Brings spent almost sever years traveling to some of the worlds most dangerous countries like Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Rwanda. He sheds light to this tragic way of life for over hundreds of thousands of kids living in war zones and fighting the wars that the adults started. Be warned: Don't read this as a bedtime read!

#4 Finding Iris Chang: Friendship, Ambition, and the loss of an Extraordinary Mind by Paula Kamen

To many people Iris Chang had everything: Beauty, brains, a best-selling book "The Rape of Nanking", and a loving family. When she commited suicide in 2004, her people were shocked on how she could kill herself when she had everything. Iris' friend, Paula Kamen digs deep into Iris life, from her childhood to her final hours. A loving tribute to an amazing women.

#3 Circle the Soul Softly by Davida Wills Hurwin

For Fifteen year old Katie O'Conner, she has alot to deal with: Her father's death, her mom getting remaried, and moving to a new house. Her only refuge is in her Drama class whom is taught by Tess, a fun-loving and caring teacher. When she begins a relationship with one of her classmate, dark memories rise to the surface and Katie has to confront the past and start a journey towards healing. A very tender and emotionally meaningful story that everyone (even us adults) can enjoy.

#2 Cures for Heartbreak by Margo Rabb

Losing someone you love is never easy. Fifteen year old Mia Perlman is dealing with the death of her mother from cancer. As Mia, her older sister, and their father try to move beyond the grief, each discover the many ways of dealing with heartbreak and for Mia is the start of something new. I was really captivated by the humor and the sorrow that make for a poignant and unforgettable read.


#1 Chasing the Flame: Sergio Viera de Mellow and the Fight to Save the World by Samantha Power

When she wrote her Pulitzer Prize winning book "A Problem form Hell: America and the Age of Genocide" little did anyone know that she would become one the world's most devoted advocates for genocide intervention and a fresh new voice for Foreign Policy. Her biography on Sergio Vieira de Mello, a U.N. Diplomat who took part in some of the world's most devastating conflicts in Lebanon, Cambodia, Kosovo, and East Timor among many. He was bold, charming, and above all a fierce believer in the U.N. Samantha Power writes about his early childhood years to his final days in Iraq as a special U.N. Envoy in Iraq where he was killed in a suicide bombing at the U.N. Headquarters in August 2003. Once again, Samantha Power has written about the legacy of humanity from an amazing human being.

If your interested in an of these books, go to your local library and see if they have any of these books of go to and by these book at a very cheap price!!! Happy Reading!

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