2010: My Year in Books

Best book of 2010 that I read in 2010: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. A tangled web of characters and events. I was engaged and enthralled.

Second best book of 2010 that I read in 2010: The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachmann. Similar to Goon Squad, but not as ambitious. Disclosure: other than comic books, these were the only two books from 2010 that I read in 2010. But both were excellent!

So nice I read them twice in the same year: History of Love by Nicole Krauss and Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

Thumping good trilogies with strong female heroines with significant things that bugged me: Stieg Larsson’s Millenium and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogies.

Good stuff: The Road by Cormac McCarthy; Lowboy by John Wray (not perfect, but I liked the Hamlet/Raskolnikov parallels); Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card; City of Thieves by David Benioff; Big Machine by Victor LaValle; The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker; Anne Frank: the Book, the Life, the Afterlife by Francine Prose; Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam; Zeitoun by Dave Eggers; The Magicians by Lev Grossman; Cakewalk by Kate Moses

Made me laugh: The Catnappers by P. G. Wodehouse; This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper; Scott Pilgrim v. 1 to 6 by Bryan Lee O’Malley.

Others loved them; I did not: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann; The Help by Kathryn Stockett; A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore; Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel; Little Bee by Chris Cleave

I got hooked on these classics: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, trans. Lydia Davis; Villette by Charlotte Bronte; Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

I discovered The Suck Fairy had got into: Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight.

Related reading: After the Hunger Games trilogy and Tamara Drewe by Posy Simmonds, I read Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, which the latter two pay homage to. After Madame Bovary, I read Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes and Gemma Bovery by the aforementioned Posy Simmonds. After Francine Prose’s book, I read Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, Definitive Edition. After Zeitoun I read the graphic memoir A.D. New Orleans: After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld.

Comic books: I read a lot of unremarkable graphic novels in 2010. Fortunately, I read a lot of very good ones, too: Unwritten by Mike Carey; Incognito and Criminal by Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips; Parker: the Hunter and the Outfit by Darwyn Cooke; Scott Pilgrim volumes 1 to 6 by Bryan Lee O’Malley; Far Arden by Kevin Cannon

And a few remarkable ones: Stitches by David Small; Asterios Polyp by David Mazzuchelli; Tamara Drewe and Gemma Bovery by Posy Simmonds

I read a bunch of books that had been sitting on my shelf for a long time: Little Boy Lost by Marganita Lasky; Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.; Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss; The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier; Desperate Characters and Borrowed Finery by Paula Fox; The Catnappers by P.G. Wodehouse; Quicksilver, The Confusion and The System of the World by Neal Stephenson; Villette by Charlotte Bronte; and Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes.

I did two reading projects: 15 books in 15 days, and Baroque Summer. Only my husband was brave enough to join me for the latter, but I had a great time reading Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver, The Confusion, and System of the World with him.

Just couldn’t bring myself to link each book. Individual links can be found under 2010 books in categories on the right. Happy reading, readers!

3 Responses to “2010: My Year in Books”

  1. Steph Says:

    Your two best books of 2010 are two books that I wanted to read and yet never made the time for (though I have copies of both). In some weird way I feel like I’ll love them both and for that reason I’m holding off on them because I don’t want to “waste” them. Which is crazy, I realize, and yet such has been my motivation thus far.

  2. SFP Says:

    I’m with Steph; I have both the Egan and the Rachmann and I’ve been hoarding them for whatever reason–probably because I buy what I expect will be really good and then get the rest at the library, which has to be read first because it has a due date.

    But, wow, you read a lot of good stuff this year.

  3. girldetective Says:

    Steph and Susan, I recommend reading them in the order I did: the Rachmann then the Egan, because hers is more ambitious and sprawling (yet successfully so!) so reading Egan first might set you up for disappointment. They do make good companions. Yes, this was a very good reading year! I’m hoping that 2011 will be as well.