Inevitably, I forgot some books I enjoyed greatly this year when I wrote my post about books I'd encountered in 2008. Despite my feeling that I hardly read anything in 2008, and that much of what I did read didn't appeal to me, I'm discovering that neither feeling is particularly true, and this is a pleasant discovery. So here are a couple more books I enjoyed mightily this year:
The Situation by Jeff VanderMeer: I forgot this one because I had read a version of it some time ago and so never associated it with 2008. It's marvelously strange and an excellent study of office life, and PS did a great job with the production of the book itself.
Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry by Reginald Shepard: I reviewed this for Rain Taxi, and it was easily one of my favorite books of the year -- I think I forgot it because it's a book that resides in my mind among books that have been around a while, books that made a deep impression, books you repeatedly recommend to particularly discerning readers. I want to say something more, particularly given that Shepard died this year, but all the vast praise I feel impelled to heap upon the book can be summed up as: Read this book, think about it, argue with it, consider how much we have lost with Shepard's early death, and be grateful for how much he accomplished during his life, how much he gave to us, his readers.