A good list of year-end favorite books.
(I'll definitely do some kind of end-of-year round-up, only I'm too busy to do it quite yet and also I hardly read any books this year! I think I can safely say that my own personal most-anticipated read for 2008 is this--with this running a very close second...)
I read an awfully trashy book on the train home last night from Philadelphia. I was eyeing it covetously in the inferior station bookstore and thinking how much I wanted to read it, I had done exactly the same a week or two ago at a Barnes and Noble and then regretfully concluded that I could not justify spending full hardcover price on something so junky. But finding myself in thrall to it again, and with the special circumstances of holiday train travel, I decided it was a justifiable extravagance. It was actually quite enjoyable--it had a talking cat, which I like, and also Mozart transplanted into the body of a gray parrot as punishment for revealing Masonic secrets!--Mercedes Lackey's Reserved for the Cat. This series is a great idea--vaguely alternate Edwardian England, sort of Little Princessish, with magical Elemental Masters fighting villains of various kinds, lots of good animal stuff--but rather poorly executed, so that the books themselves are almost always a disappointment; this one, however, I found quite satisfactory.
(In retrospect it was certainly worth the money as the journey passed by in a flash, and with the added bonus that I ended up terribly fondly reminded of my beloved English grandmother. It was by sheer virtue of a train of verbal associations--I was thinking to myself that the only word for this kind of book was "pap," a word she always used to describe [as it were!] 'modern' bread--"Awful pappy stuff!")