Two thousand and great wasn’t my best year for reading books; I suffered from reader’s block. Or reading-thick-novels-block, then. But I’m glad to say that the few books I read were quality ones. I have become fussy in my reading habits. But not highbrow. Just fussy.

I also didn’t plan to write a post like this; I was going to dream about which books I’d like to read in 2009. And it helps that I started reading a book — Outliers — just yesterday. In Wordsworth, nogals.

The book that pulled me through 2008

I got He’s just not that into you as a belated birthday gift in 2006. It helped me more than ever last year. I used to sneer at self-help books but this one is just so darn good. It got me through … let’s see, now…it got me through 4 relationships and made me realise I want and need better. Hey, it’s Two thousand and mine so things can only get better, right?

The book that I read twice in 2008

I read The color purple for the first time in 2007 and I blogged about it in October last year. My favourite line is “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” — Shug. I read it while on holiday last year and my friend couldn’t understand why I was laughing so much; she couldn’t remember any happiness from the movie. And that’s strange, too: critics accused the movie of being a “Spielbergized” version of the book. I loved both the book and the movie. But the book has a special spot in my heart.

The book that taught me the most in 2008

I think it has to be Troublesome Words by Bill Bryson. I carried it everywhere with me, reading whenever I could. Certain words became stuck in my mind; I learnt the difference between discrete and discreet; I now snicker when someone uses enormity and not enormousness. But I make sure the snicker isn’t audible; the meaning of enormity is changing, after all. Bryson is funny and writes well so I’d read this book every day — pity that my flat mate got hold of it…

The book that I didn’t finish reading in 2008

I gave it so many chances. Seriously. It started in November 2006 when I bought it. I gave it another shot in 2007, I think. And then I gave it another try last month. I even managed to read until page 250 or so. But it’s just not meant to be. Perhaps I’m just not that into Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel. I think it’s time to pass the book along to someone who will appreciate it.

The book that I bought new in 2008

I attended a Michael Stevenson exhibition opening in November 2008 where, after drinking waaaay too much champagne, I bought an art book. Fear of a Black Planet wasn’t expensive but I almost never buy new books; I frequent Cafda in Sea Point. See, I missed Anton Kannemeyer’s exhibition in October so I bought the book to absolve my coloured guilt 😉

The book I didn’t think I’d read *and* finish in 2008

It’s not because it’s a tome, I promise; I just didn’t think I would ever read it. I used to read SciFi and Fantasy books waaaay back when I was in primary school. And then you move on. If you’re a girl. And especially if your mentor gives you Dostoyevsky and Nietszche to read. So I haven’t read much SciFi since I was 13. Anansi Boys was a surprise to me. I found it in my bookshelf and thought ‘Why not’. Instead of buying more books I read something that I already owned. The writing’s not terribly great but I didn’t mind too much: the story kept me going. And I finished it. W00t. It’s a good in-between read.

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