*Caution, my OCD-prone nature is about to rear-it's ugly, Excel loving head.
In 2008, I read/listened to fifty books. Of those fifty books, only one was a re-read; The Sunrise Lands by S. M. Stirling. Which means, needless to say, that book is in my top reads list for the year. But seeing as I wanted to do something different this year with my "top reads" list, I did a "net worth" list instead. I ranked books on how much they were worth compared to how much I paid for them. So, with that in mind, let's cover the worst of the year.
The Three Books I Couldn't Finish:
#1 - Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley (cost $1.64 / value $0 = 0%)
#2 - The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (cost $14.95 / value $0 = 0%)
#3 - Roughing It by Mark Twain (cost $0 / value $0 = 0%)
Now, before you roast me for putting Twain in there, he was free, so chill out. And I love Twain, so chill out some more. But I just couldn't stomach this one, so I had to stop reading it. The Disappeared was, well, hard to get into. And Winterbirth had some way crazy names and characters I couldn't follow.
The Lowest Net Worth:
#1 - Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (cost $49.95 / value $2.50 = 5%)
#2 - Dark Lord by Ed Greenwood (cost $14.95 / value $1.95 = 13%)
#3 - The Ancient by R. A. Salvatore (cost $44.95 / value $9.95 = 22%)
Yes, part of me feels shamed that Salvatore, my once all-time favorite author, is on this list, but I think my reading habits have developed beyond puberty now and I'm ready to expand my horizons. At least a little. Brown's book was by far the most disappointing book. I was so hyped after Da Vinci that this like was a limp noodle next to it.
The Highest Net Worth:
#1 - Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling (cost $5.95 / value $7.95 = 134%)
#2 - Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie (cost $15.00 / value $19.99 = 133%)
#3 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling (cost $39.99 / value $39.99 = 100%)
tie - The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (cost $39.95 / value $39.95 = 100%)
tie - The Protector's War by S. M. Stirling (cost $14.95 / value $14.95 = 100%)
tie - A Meeting at Corvallis by S. M. Stirling (cost $14.95 / value $14.95 = 100%)
tie - The Sunrise Lands by S. M. Stirling (cost $14.95 / value $14.95 = 100%)
Feel free to call me lame on this list, but hey, they were good books. And yes, Stirling is on the list with four titles. So sue me, I like his work. Chabon's Yiddish book is likely the biggest surprise. Never would have figured it would amount to much but the guy is an artist that paints with words and prose. Abercrombie is, well, the king. Rowling's book was okay, but I really needed that ending. Without it, I think I would have given it a much lower ranking.
Books That Are Worth It:
...but didn't make the list (net worth included)
Winter's Discord by John Zeleznik (95%)
Dead to Me by Anton Strout (94%)
Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines (94%)
Last Argument of Kings and The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (85% and 80%)
Beyond Band of Brothers by Major Dick Winters (80%)
Crusade by Taylor Anderson (80%)
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman (75%)
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by the un-related Nathan Hale (75%)