I was inspired by Dan Wagner's all-inclusive 2008 list to do something similar. I actually finished 50 books this year, between reading and listening. And looking at some other people's lists, I don't feel like such a slouch anymore. Then I saw Marcus Sakey's list of stuff he really liked reading in 2008, no matter when it was released, and liked the idea. So I'll steal from him, instead.
Subset #1 - Lawrence Block.
I listened to Hit Man and Small Town on disc last year and realized, far too late, that I needed to be reading this guy from the get-go. In 2008, I read all the Keller books and the first Chip Harrison book. I actually met the man in May when he made a trip to Buffalo, and shook his hand. Then he was a Guest of Honor Bouchercon in Baltimore. Got to see him again. What a fantastic guy. And based on all the recommendations flying around the conference, I will be getting to several of the Scudder books in 2009.
Subset #2 - Chicago.
True, I actually read The Blade Itself in 2007, but I happened upon a CD version of it at the library and listened to it in 2008. And I did actually read At the City's Edge & Good People (Marcus Sakey) and Big City, Bad Blood & Trigger City (Sean Chercover) in 2008. All of them are great reads (don't just take my word for it) and both authors are just getting better. You should go out now and buy a copy of each, and then another copy for your local library. And both of these guys are great to talk to, if you happen to meet them at a bar somewhere, say in Indianapolis.
The Last Coyote, by Michael Connelly - My favorite Connelly book of the 8 or so I've read.
Violent Screen, by Stephen Hunter - Interesting film critique from a great thriller writer.
A Hell of a Woman, by Jim Thompson - Another author I got turned onto this year.
On Writing, by Stephen King - and not for the first time. If I read it again this year, don't be surprised.
Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey - Surprisingly good. And more sci-fi than I would have thought going in.
What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippman - Deservedly the winner of many awards. A great book.
Lost Boys, by Orson Scott Card - Already the author of one of my most-read books, Ender's Game, this book reads more like Stephen King. It posits a murder mystery in which none of the main characters are investigating the murder, just the reader. The main characters go about their daily lives and you get to squirm till the end.
Here's hoping for more great reads in 2009!