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Best Books of 2008

Tower Recommends: Our Top 10 Favorite Books of 2008

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Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea (Hardcover) ~ Chelsea Handler Cover Art
Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea (Hardcover)
Chelsea Handler
Gallery Books

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Popular comedian Chelsea Handler shares some of her strange and amusing exploits in this collection of humor essays. Known for her ability to get herself into some rather strange situations, Handler's quick wit and bawdy sense of humor has earned her a spot as a top-ranking female comedian.
Unaccustomed Earth (Hardcover) ~ Jhumpa Lahiri (Author) Cover Art
Unaccustomed Earth (Hardcover)
Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri's exquisite short stories deal with the subtle dramas, crises, and occasional tragedies of Bengali immigrants attempting to assimilate and thrive in America.
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (Hardcover) ~ Michael P ... Cover Art
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (Hardcover)
Michael Pollan
Penguin Press HC, The

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Journalist Michael Pollan's polemic on the inherent and extensive problems with Western food culture argues that people should "eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.," by documenting how the rise of nutritional science in the American food industry is actually the cause of high rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions. Pollan eloquently discusses how the Western diet's focus on low-fat, processed foods filled with nutrients pulled from whole foods is the problem, not the solution.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Paperback) ~ Junot Diaz (A ... Cover Art
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Paperback)
Junot Diaz

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Oscar Wao is an overweight Dungeons & Dragons-playing geek living in a Dominican-American ghetto whose dreams are cut short by the 500-year curse that has plagued his family and his people, "The Curse of the New World." In his first novel since his universally revered collection of short stories, DROWN, Junot Diaz continues to distill the essence of the fractured second-generation experience.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Hardcover) ~  ... Cover Art
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel (Hardcover)
Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

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This warm, inspiring novel originated in the true life stories of Mary Ann Fiery Shaffer, who, upon learning of her terminal illness, contacted her niece Annie Barrows to help her finish the novel. Though Shaffer died in 2008, the year of the novel's publication, her memories of the hardships of war and the resilience of the people of Guernsey live on in this delightful book.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames (Hardcover) ~ David Sedaris (Author) Cover Art
When You Are Engulfed in Flames (Hardcover)
David Sedaris

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The arch and bemused essayist David Sedaris returns with another collection of humorous pieces that delight in the inanity of contemporary life. Topics for consideration include his family's horror at his depictions of them in his books, a randy tow-trucker driver, and his misadventures and misunderstandings in Paris, London, and Japan as he travels around with his lover Hugh. Though his tone is acidic to the point of cruelty, Sedaris' essays are at their finest when elements of desperate pathos and surprising sentimentality break through the witty veneer.
Stori Telling (Hardcover) ~ Hilary Liftin (Author) Cover Art
Stori Telling (Hardcover)
Hilary Liftin (Author), Tori Spelling (Author) and Hilary Liftin (Contributor)

From her over-the-top first wedding to finding new love to her much-publicized--and misunderstood--"disinheritance," sTORI Telling is a juicy, eye-opening, enthralling look at what it really means to be Tori Spelling.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Hardcover) ~ J. K. Rowling (Author) Cover Art
The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Hardcover)
J. K. Rowling (Author)
Children's High Level Group

"The Tales of Beedle The Bard" is without doubt an exciting addition to the canon of Harry Potter. They also reveal the wonderful versatility of the author, as she tackles with relish the structure and varying tones of a classic fairy tale. There are five tales included in the book: 'The Tale of the Three Brothers', which is recounted in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; plus four more-- 'The Fountain of Fair Fortune', 'The Warlock's Hairy Heart', 'The Wizard and the Hopping Pot', and 'Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump'. Each tale has its own magical character and will variously bring delight, laughter and the thrill of mortal peril.
Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) (Hardcover) ~ Stepheni ... Cover Art
Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) (Hardcover)
Stephenie Meyer

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The list could go on and on, but BREAKING DAWN promises to be a page-turner no matter what happens. In the mean time, Twilight fans might enjoy Holly Black’s Modern Faery series or PEEPS by the talented Scott Westerfeld.
People of the Book: A Novel (Hardcover) ~ Geraldine Brooks (Author) Cover Art
People of the Book (Hardcover)
Geraldine Brooks (Author)
Penguin USA

Offered a coveted job to analyze and conserve a priceless Sarajevo Haggadah, Australian rare-book expert Hanna Heath discovers a series of tiny artifacts in the volume's ancient binding that reveal its historically significant origins. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March.
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