Enjoy the Best Books of 2008, as chosen by the Materials Selection Team
at the King County Library System. Each section is presented in alphabetical
order by author.
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Adult Books Fiction | Adult Nonfiction | Teen
Books | Children's Books
Greek: a novel by
Peter meets the woman of his dreams on a flight from New York to Los Angeles
but loses her telephone number. Years later, he meets her again, only now
she is the fiancée of his best friend. Will true love prevail?
The Likeness by
In this tightly-written psychological thriller, Irish Detective Cassie
Maddox takes on the identity of a murdered woman to try to find a killer.
Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
Eight delicate and complex short stories explore the immigrant experience.
Ursula K. LeGuin
Given Day by Dennis Lehane
Set against the Boston Police Strike of 1919, this rich, historical novel
depicts the struggles of two families at a time of political and social
Netherland by Joseph O’Neill
An equity analyst rekindles his love of cricket and meets a charismatic
entrepreneur who introduces him to another side of the city in this love
letter to post-9/11 New York.
Lush Life by
A random shooting brings together an ensemble of cops and criminals in
New York’s Lower East Side.
A deeply emotional and clear-sighted story of family and forgiveness by
the winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Author Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a member of an unusual book
club, formed as a way of eluding Guernsey’s Nazi occupiers.
In the far future, a monastery harbors a cloister of scientists, philosophers,
and mathematicians with the knowledge to save the world.
The Big Both Ways by
This tale of Seattle in the 1930’s combines labor unrest, murder, and a
harrowing journey in a small boat on Puget Sound.
Olive Kitteridge by
The life of an outspoken retired school teacher is revealed in these vivid, poignant
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by
A mute boy has a special relationship with the dogs his family breeds on
their Wisconsin farm in this epic reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
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Predictably Irrational: the hidden forces
that shape our decisions by Dan Ariely
Ariely explores why irrational impulse so often trumps logic in human decision
American Lightning: terror, mystery, movie-making,
and the crime of the century
by Howard Blum
On October 1, 1910 the offices of the LA Times were bombed. The trial
became a battleground of management vs. labor, with Clarence Darrow defending
the accused. An absorbing true crime drama.
Ballistics: poems by
Former U. S. Poet Laureate Collins manages to be accessible, humorous and
serious --sometimes all in the same poem.
Hot, Flat, and Crowded: why we need a green
revolution-- and how it can renew America by Thomas
The Pulitzer Prize winning author the The World is Flat takes
on climate change, population growth and the need for American leadership
to counteract their effects.
The Hemingses of Monticello: an American
family by Annette Gordon-Reed
A well-researched and clearly-written portrait of the family descended
from President Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings.
A Voyage Long and Strange: rediscovering
the new world by Tony Horwitz
Part history and part road trip, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist
Horwitz travels to sites in North America that were visited by Europeans
between 1492 and the founding of Jamestown in 1602.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: a memoir by Haruki Murakami
Novelist Murakami talks about the intersection of running and writing in
Beautiful Boy: a father's journey through
his son's addiction by David Sheff
Journalist Sheff’s beloved 17-year-old son sinks into meth addiction
in this honest story of one family’s painful recovery.
Angel of Grozny: orphans of a forgotten war by Åsne
The author of The
Bookseller of Kabul turns her attention to the
war orphans of the Chechnyan conflict.
Your Inner Fish : a journey into the 3.5-billion-year
history of the human body by Neil Shubin
Paleontologist Shubin examines fossils and DNA to show how our internal
organs and body structure are related to other species. Accessible,
lively and informative.
A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by
Tanis, head chef at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, celebrates the simplicity
of home cooked meals served for friends and loved ones.
The Great Emergence : how Christianity is
changing and why by Phyllis Tickle
Tickle believes that current changes in religious and social behavior mark
a “great emergence,” a major upheaval which once in every 500
years results in a new and more vital Christian church.
How Fiction Works by
A pre-eminent literary critic describes the ways and means of reading and writing
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The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing,
Traitor to the Nation, Volume 2: The Kingdom on the Waves by
M. T. Anderson
Set in the American Revolution, 16-year-old slave Octavian has escaped
the College of Lucidity where he was raised and found freedom under Loyalist
British rule. That freedom comes at a cost. He must join the Loyalist Navy
and help beat the American rebels.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Lady Katsa, has a special “grace” is for killing. She balances
the evils she commits with good acts, one of which brings her to the attention
of Prince Po, another graceling who wants her to help him restore peace
to their seven kingdoms.
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
When her little sister is chosen for the deadly Hunger Games, a government-sponsored
event where contestants battle each other to the death, 16-year-old Katniss
volunteers to go in her place.
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison
Crippled from an old injury, 12-year-old Eon is unlikely to win the Dragoneye
competition and become one of the lords who bond with a powerful dragon.
And, Eon has a secret: she is really Eona, a 16-year-old girl and so forbidden
from becoming a Dragoneye.
Sunrise Over Fallujah byWalter
High-school senior Robin joined the Army after 9/11, and became a soldier
deployed at the start of the Iraq War. When it quickly escalates, Robin
writes home to his uncle, a Vietnam veteran, about the dangers he faces
and how his experiences have changed him.
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Mau escapes the tsunami that ravages his island, but is alone until he
discovers Daphne, a shipwrecked foreigner. Together, despite the language
and cultural barriers between them, they work to unite the survivors from
other islands and rebuild his “Nation”.
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Picture Books for Children Ages 4-8
Traction Man Meets Turbodog by
Traction Man, an action figure, teams up with the high-tech but not-so-bright
Turbodog to rescue Scrubbing Brush, his missing sidekick, from the terrible
underworld of the bin.
The Day Leo Said I Hate You by
Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Molly Bang
Leo, upset that he has been hearing the word "no" all day, lets
three words slip out that he wishes he could take back.
Mail Harry to the Moon by
Robbie H. Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley
Harry's older brother, unhappy that the new baby seems to have taken over,
dreams up imaginative ways to get rid of him.
Old Bear by
When Old Bear falls asleep for the winter, he has a dream that he is a
cub again, enjoying each of the four seasons.
and Bear: two’s company by
Laura Vaccaro Seeger
In three stories, the two dearest of friends celebrate Bear's birthday,
have their first falling out, and take care of each other when Dog is under
The House in the Night by
Susan Marie Swanson, pictures by Beth Krommes
A spare, patterned text and glowing pictures explore the origins of light
that make a house a home, in this bedtime book for young children.
Fiction for Ages 8 - 12
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
The four Penderwick sisters are faced with the unimaginable prospect of
their widowed father dating, and they hatch a plot to stop him.
Uh-oh, Cleo by Jessica
Harper ; illustrated by Jon Berkeley
What starts out as a perfectly ordinary day in the Small house turns into
Stitches Saturday when Cleo gets a cut on the head after her twin brother,
Jack, accidentally pulls down their Toy House.
My One Hundred Adventures by
Hot air balloon rides, a new friendship with a preacher, and an encounter
with an aspiring psychic make 12-year-old Jane's boring summer vacation
an adventure to remember while teaching her a lot about herself in the
Masterpiece by Elise
Broach ; illustrated by Kelly Murphy
After Marvin, a beetle, makes a miniature drawing as an eleventh
birthday gift for James, a human with whom he shares a house, the two new
friends work together to help recover a Durer drawing stolen from the Metropolitan
Museum of Art.
The Magic Thief. Book One by
Sarah Prineas ; illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo
A young thief is drawn into a life of magic and adventure after picking
the pocket of the powerful wizard Nevery Flinglas, who has returned from
exile to attempt to reverse the troubling decline of magic in Wellmet City.
The Dragon's Child : a story of Angel Island by
Laurence Yep; with Kathleen S. Yep
Ten-year-old Gim Lew Yep immigrates from China to America with his
father, whom Gim barely knows, and fears he will be a disappointment to his
family when he arrives at Angel Island.
Nonfiction for Ages 8-12
How We Know What We Know About Our Changing
Climate:scientists and kids explore global warming by
Lynn Cherry. Illus. by Gary Braasch
Describes how and where scientists find evidence of climate change, including
bird migration patterns, checking tree rings, and collecting mud cores;
and offers advice to students on how to make a positive impact on the environment.
African Critters by
A dramatic first-person narrative and close-up photography by a National
Geographic photographer offers a rare glimpse into the struggles for survival
in the African wilderness.
The Wolves Are Back by
Jean Craighead George. Illus. by Wendell Minor
For over a century, wolves were persecuted in the United States and nearly
became extinct. Gradually reintroduced, they are thriving again in the
West, much to the benefit of the ecosystem.
The Way We Work: getting to know the amazing
human body by David Macaulay
A visual exploration of the inner workings of the human body that uses
close-ups, cross-sections, and perspectives to look at the different body
systems and how they function.
We Are The Ship: the story of Negro League
by Kadir Nelson
Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Nelson tells the
story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through
its decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947.
Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by
Marc Nobleman. Illus. by Ross Macdonald
Provides the true story of how the character of Superman came to be through
the creative minds of writer Jerry Siegel and illustrator Joe Shuster and
their determination to see their Man of Steel become a comic book hit.
My Dog May Be A Genius: poems by
Jack Prelutsky. Illus. by James Stevenson
A collection of poems by children's poet laureate Jack Prelutsky that celebrates
the joys of childhood and the wackier side of life.
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September 7, 2012