Per tradition, it's time for my annual wrap-up of all the books I read in 2008. Though I didn't beat my personal high from 2005 (162), I came pretty close. The stats...

Number of books read in 2008: 159
Number of books read in 2007 (for comparison): 158
Average of books read per month: 13.25
Average of books read per week: 3
Daily average:
1 book read every 2.3 days
Percent of fiction read: 90%
Percent of nonfiction read: 10%
Number of audiobooks "read": 21

And now, for the best books of the year (in my humble opinion, of course!), in author alphabetical order...

Allen, Sarah Addison. Garden Spells.

de los Santos, Marisa. Belong to Me.

French, Tana. In The Woods.

Goldberg, Myla. Bee Season.

Green, John. Paper Towns.

Gregory, Philippa. The Other Queen.

Harris, Joanne. Gentleman and Players.

Johnson, Rebecca. And Sometimes Why.

Kimmel, Haven. She Got Up Off the Couch.

Murdock, Catherine. Dairy Queen.

Picoult, Jodi. Change of Heart.

Shaffer, Mary Ann. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Silva, Daniel. Moscow Rules.

Smolinski, Jill. The Next Thing On My List.

Walker, Wendy. Four Wives.

Walls, Jeannette. The Glass Castle.

Weiner, Jennifer. Certain Girls.

It goes without saying that anything written by a Brockmann, Cabot, or Evanovich is automatically on the list. :-)

To check back on the reviews of some of these past titles, or to see what reviews you might have missed, click on "book review index" over in the navigation to the right.

Can't wait to see how I do in 2009! Happy New Year!

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It's time for another yearly "mix tape" of Marissa's favorite songs for the year, those that got the most spin on ye olde iPod...

Some of the songs are new, some are old, some are rediscoveries, and some just f'n rock for all time. ;-) Maybe you'll find one or two to check out...


Echoplex - Nine Inch Nails
(My favorite song off The Slip. What I love most is when Trent plays it on concert, and we all scream and shout the lyrics, and then during the chorus, because of the key arrangement, we all sound like little angels. It makes me swoon in happy.)

- Britney Spears

(I can't help it. It's so damn catchy and fun, and it makes me wanna shake my ass. Sue me.)

Bones Theme (Squints Mix) - The Crystal Method
(I love the opening theme song to Bones, so when I found a fun mix, I snagged it. Rawk!)

Say It Isn't So - Hall and Oates
(How can I choose only ONE Hall and Oates song, after being haunted for many months?? Well, this one will do. Either that, or Sara Smile. *grin*)

Human Love - Dirty Vegas
(This was one of those "if you like that song, try this one" recommendations from iTunes, and by jove, they were right. This song rocks.)

Survivalism (Awake ReMix V 2.0) - TweakerRay
(I swear, I think I like this remix of the NIN song better than the original, if possible. Found courtesy of

Selisona Pi and Unstoppable - E.S. Posthumus
(I couldn't choose between the two, because both are incredible, goosebump-y songs in their own rights. Amazing, amazing orchestral music.)

Hot Blooded - Foreigner
(I heard it one day, then remembered how much fun it is to air guitar to it. It got put on the playlist. You air guitar too. Don't lie.)

Danny the Dog - Massive Attack
(Okay, so the Jet Li movie was not so great, but this song from the soundtrack is. Really, can Massive Attack write a BAD song? No.)

Angel on a Bus Bench - Eric Allaman
(A beautiful piece of piano/instrumental music from the movie Latter Days. So pretty.)

Nomah's Land - Metisse
(I heard this on an episode of Dead Like Me, and was haunted until I downloaded it. Amazingly beautiful song...)

Break the Ice - Britney Spears
(I know, I KNOW, another Britney song. I'm ashamed. But not really, because it's a fun song.)

I Think I'm In Love - Spiritualized
(Finally, FINALLY, I found this song! This song has been played before every NIN concert I can remember, and I absolutely lurve it! Not NIN-like, yet, somehow, it fits the pre-concert...)

Clubbed to Death [Kurayamino Variation] - Rob Dougan
(This is always on the playlist, and has been since 1999.)

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