Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best of 2010

The Best of 2010
It's that time again! Time to sum up my reading for 2010.
It's been an interesting year. While packing to move this spring, I set aside a stack of favorite books and did some rereading. The quandary is if I include them on the list for the best of the year, other new-to-me books will be left out, so to settle this dilemma I'm including a separate category of favorite books I've read again.

Top 10 of 2010:
8. Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler
11. The Bay of Love and Sorrows by David Adams Richards
15. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
22. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
62. The Passage by Justin Cronin
64. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
71.- 72. Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card,
85.- 88. Otherland Series by Tad Williams, Otherland: City of Golden Shadow , Otherland: River of Blue Fire, Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass, and Otherland: Sea of Silver Light
103. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
123. Room by Emma Donoghue

Top 3 Non-fiction:
9. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
42. Lucky by Alice Sebold
96. Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally (based on fact)

All time favorite books I've read and read again, including this year:
27.- 30. The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
35. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
37. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
38. Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi, with Curt Gentry
39. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
43. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
46. Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
52. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
112.- 113. The Sparrow and Children of God by Mary Doria Russell

Most Dissappointing book of 2010:
82. Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost

2010 Books:

126 books; 50,643 pages,
* denotes very highly recommended books
(book, author, pages, date reviewed, rating)

January -14 books, 5120 pages
1. Plague Zone by Jeff Carlson, 318 pages, 1/2/10, no rating
2. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton, 312 pages, 1/3/10, highly recommended
3. Defense for the Devil by Kate Wilhelm, 443 pages, 1/4/10, highly recommended
4. Skeletons by Kate Wilhelm, 378 pages, 1/5/10, highly recommended
5. The Unbidden Truth by Kate Wilhelm , 366 pages, 1/6/10, highly recommended
6. The Price of Silence by Kate Wilhelm, 412 pages, 1/7/10, highly recommended
*7. Impact by Douglas Preston, 364 pages, 1/8/10, very highly recommended
*8. Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler, 277 pages, 1/13/10, very highly recommended
*9. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand, 401 pages, 1/17/10, very highly recommended
10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, 498 pages, 1/19/10, no rating
*11. The Bay of Love and Sorrows by David Adams Richards, 307 pages, 1/21/10, very highly recommended
*12. The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan, 358 pages, 1/25/10, very highly recommended
13. In the Country of the Blind by Michael Flynn, 377 pages, 1/30/10, highly recommended
*14. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, 309 pages, 1/31/10, very highly recommended

February - 7 books, 2965
*15. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, 973 pages, 2/6/10 very highly recommended
16. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, 432 pages, 2/20/10, recommended
17. Legend by David L. Golemon, 490 pages, 2/23/10, highly recommended
18. Primitive by Mark Nykanen, 186 pages, 2/24/10, not recommended
19. Orbis by Scott MacKay, 408 pages, 2/26/10, recommended
20. Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke, 237 pages, 2/28/10 highly recommended
21. Love's Enduring Promise by Janette Oke, 239 pages, 2/28/10 no rating

March - 10 books, 3631 pages
*22. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, 624 pages, 3/3/10, very highly recommended
23. Double Fault by Lionel Shriver, 317 pages, 3/5/10, recommended
24. Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis, 384 pages, 3/10/10, highly recommended
25. The Nanny Diaries by Emma Mclaughlin, Nicola Kraus, 306 pages, 3/11/10, highly recommended
26. Ya-Yas in Bloom by Rebecca Wells, 272 pages, 3/14/10, recommended for fans
*27. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, 288 pages, 3/16/10, very highly recommended
*28. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien, 432 pages, 3/20/10, very highly recommended
*29. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien, 352 pages, 3/23/10, very highly recommended
*30. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien, 432 pages, 3/25/10, very highly recommended
31. The Outlaws of Mesquite by Louis L'Amour, 224, 3/26/10, no rating

April - 10, 3648 pages
32. The Likeness by Tana French, 466 pages, 4/1/10, highly recommended
33. The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett, 357 pages, 4/4/10, highly recommended
34. Disobedience by Jane Hamilton, 273 pages, 4/5/10, highly recommended
*35. Lord of the Flies by William Golding, 192 pages, reread, very highly recommended
36. Pincher Martin by William Golding, 208 pages, 4/9/10, highly recommended
*37. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, 384 pages, 4/13/10, reread, very highly recommended
*38. Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi, with Curt Gentry, 676 pages, 4/19/10, reread, very highly recommended
*39. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler, 310 pages, 4/22/10, reread, very highly recommended
40. By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz, 460 pages, 4/26/10, highly recommended
41. I Feel Earthquakes More Often than They Happen by Amy Wilentz, 322 pages, 4/30/10 recommended

May - 5 books, 2515 pages
*42. Lucky by Alice Sebold, 258 pages, 5/2/10, very higly recommended
*43. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, 402 pages, 5/4/10, very highly recommended
*44. Fever Dream by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, 405 pages, 5/7/10, very highly recommended
45. The Science Fiction Century by David G. Hartwell (Editor), 1005 pages, 5/19/10, highly recommended
*46. Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood, 445 pages, 5/31/10, reread, very highly recommended

June - 14 books, 4950 pages
47. House Rules by Jodi Picoult, 532 pages, 6/4/10, recommended
48. The War after Armageddon by Ralph Peters, 384 pages, 6/6/10, highly recommended
49. Guest House by Barbara K. Richardson, 218 pages, 6/7/10, highly recommended
*50. Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson, 324 pages, 6/9/10, very highly recommended
51. Fierce: A Memoir by Barbara Robinette Moss, 256 pages, 6/11/10 highly recommended
*52. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, 396 pages, 6/12/10 very highly recommended, reread
53. Four-Star Movies: The 101 Greatest Films of All Time by Gail Kinn and Jim Piazza, 324 pages, 6/14/10, highly recommended
54. The Movie Book, Phaidon Press, 512 pages, 6/16/10, highly recommended
55. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007 by Tim Folger (Editor), Richard Preston (Editor), 300 pages, 6/20/10, highly recommended
56. Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons, 357 pages, 6/21/10, recommended
57. Edith's War by Andrew Smith, 380 pages, 6/24/10, highly recommended
58. Halting State by Charles Stross, 351 pages, 6/27/10, highly recommended
59. Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon... and Beyond by Beverly Gray, 336 pages, 6/29/10, highly recommended
60. Flying Sparks: Growing up on the Edge of Las Vegas by Odette Larson, 280 pages, 6/30/10, highly recommended

July - 8 books, 3887 pages
61. In a Perfect World by Laura Kasischke, 320 pages, 7/6/10, recommended
*62. The Passage by Justin Cronin, 766 pages, 7/10/10, very highly recommended
63. The Last Ship by William Brinkley, 616 pages, 7/13/10, so/so
*64. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, 509 pages, 7/16/10, very highly recommended
65. The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson, 301 pages, 7/18/10, highly recommended
66. Omega by Jack McDevitt, 438 pages, 7/21/10, highly recommended
*67. Ancestor by Scott Sigler, 425 pages, 7/24/10, very highly recommended
*68. The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway, 512 pages, 7/28/10, very highly recommended

August - 12 books, 4572 pages
*69. Altar of Eden by James Rollins, 398 pages, 8/1/10, very highly recommended
*70. This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia, 368 pages, 8/4/10, very highly recommended
*71. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, 384 pages, 8/6/10, very highly recommended
*72. Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card, 416 pages, 8/8/10, very highly recommended
*73. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson, 288 pages, 8/14/10, very highly recommended
74. Audrey Hepburn by Barry Paris, 464 pages, 8/18/10, highly recommended
75. Phytosphere by Scott Mackay, 376 pages, 8/22/10, highly recommended
76. The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People by Susan Orlean, 311 pages, 8/24/10, highly recommended
*77. A Simple Plan by Scott Smith, 335 pages, 8/25/10, very highly recommended
78. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, 400 pages, 8/28/10, highly recommended
79. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah, 528 pages, 8/29/10, recommended
*80. Beyond the Body Farm by Dr. Bill Bass & Jon Jefferson, 304 pages, 8/30/10, very highly recommended

September - 11 books, 5628 pages
81. Children of the Flames by Lucette Matalon Lagnado, Sheila Dekel, 320 pages, 9/4/10, highly recommended
82. Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost, 400 pages, 9/6/10, not recommended
83. Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger, 374 pages, 9/9/10, highly recommended
*84. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens, 352 pages, 9/10/10, very highly recommended
*85. Otherland: City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams, 770 pages, 9/13/10, very highly recommended
*86. Otherland: River of Blue Fire by Tad Williams, 634 pages, 9/17/10, very highly recommended
*87. Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass by Tad Williams, 784 pages, 9/20/10, very highly recommended
*88. Otherland: Sea of Silver Light by Tad Williams, 922 pages, 9/25/10, very highly recommended
89. Everything's Eventual by Stephen King, 464 pages, 9/27/10, highly recommended
*90. Just after Sunset by Stephen King, 384 pages, 9/28/10, very highly recommended
*91. Adventures from the Technology Underground by William Gurstelle, 224 pages, 9/30/10, very highly recommended

October - 15 books, 5709 pages
92. Intruders by Budd Hopkins, 319 pages, 10/1/10 not recommended
*93. I Am Legend (and Other Stories) by Richard Matheson, 320 pages, 10/2/10, very highly recommended
*94. One Door Away from Heaven by Dean Koontz, 681 pages, 10/4/10, very highly recommended
95. Our Little Secret by Kevin Flynn, Rebecca Lavoie, 304 pages, 10/5/10, recommended
*96. Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally, 398 pages, 10/8/10, very highly recommended
97. The Dead Boys by Royce Buckingham, 208 pages, 10/9/10, highly recommended (ages 9-12)
*98. The Children's War by Monique Charlesworth, 367 pages, 10/11/10, very highly recommended
99. Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland by Gerald Clarke, 528 pages, 10/15/10, highly recommended
100. L. A. Nuts: A Collection of the Cult-Hit Columns by Joe Dungan, 268 pages, 10/17/10, highly recommended
101. The Human Stain by Philip Roth, 361 pages, 10/20/10, highly recommended
102. Pandora by Alan Rodgers, 371 pages, 10/23/10, recommended
*103. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, 256 pages, 10/24/10, very highly recommended
104. Fragment by Warren Fahy, 528 pages, 10/27/10, highly recommended
*105. Talk Talk by T. C. Boyle, 416 pages, 10/29/10, very highly recommended
106. Brain Plague by Joan Slonczewski, 384 pages, 10/31/10, highly recommended

November - 8 books, 2902 pages
107. Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer, 304 pages, 11/3/10, highly recommended
108. Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons, 296 pages, 11/6/10, highly recommended
109. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett, 288 pages, 11/8/10, highly recommended
110.Trespassing: Dirt Stories and Field Notes by Janet Kauffman, 165 pages, 11/10/10, highly recommended
111. The Hollow Man by Dan Simmons, 293 pages, 11/11/10, highly recommended
*112. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, 430 pages, 11/15/10, very highly recommended
*113. Children of God by Mary Doria Russell, 454 pages, 11/20/10, very highly recommended
114. Shadowmarch by Tad Williams, 672 pages, 11/27/10, highly recommended

December - 12 books, 5116 pages
115. Shadowplay by Tad Williams, 672 pages, 12/2/10, highly recommended
*116. Shadowrise by Tad Williams, 564 pages, 12/7/10, very highly recommended
*117. Shadowheart by Tad Williams, 730 pages, 12/12/10, very highly recommended
*118. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris, 159 pages, 12/13/10, very highly recommended
*119. The Best American Short Stories 2007, 448 pages, 12/16/10, very highly recommended
120. The Zero Game by Brad Meltzer, 480 pages, 12/19/10, recommended
121. Hand Me Down World by Lloyd Jones, 320 pages, 12/20/10, highly recommended
*122. Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm, 254 pages, 12/23/10, very highly recommended
*123. Room by Emma Donoghue, 321 pages, 12/25/10, very highly recommended
*124. The Help by Kathryn Stockett, 464 pages, 12/26/10, very highly recommended
*125. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson. 320 pages, 12/28/10, very highly recommended
126. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, 384 pages, 12/30/10, highly recommended


Literary Feline said...

You read quite a variety, Lori! I'm so glad to see The Passage on your top ten list. That's one I hope to read this year. I read Room this year as well.

Lucky is definitely a book I want to read at some point. I've had my copy forever.

I hope you have a very Happy New Year!

Lori L said...

Thanks, Wendy! I hope you have a happy New Year too!
It was a good year, but I also think I should have read some more nonfiction.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful top 10 list! I love David Mitchell and Room was my book of the year. I hope to read Pillars of the Earth this year, but it is so long....

Have a great 2011!

Lori L said...

Thanks, Jackie! Room was very, very good. I can never pick one top book, but if I did it would probably be one I read again, either Cats Eye or The Sparrow.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Loved your wrap up and was happy to see Noah's Compass on top. This book was not reviewed that much, but I thought it was great. I also loved Virgin Suicides and many more on your list.

Lori L said...

Thanks, Diane! Noah's Compass is a very good book. The Virgin Suicides is too - that one surprised me a bit.

Anna said...

I'm glad to see Schindler's List made your top reads, as I've pulled it off the shelf to finally read it this year. Wishing you a great 2011!

Lori L said...

You'll be glad you read it, Anna and it will fit into your WW challenge. I wish you the best for 2011 too!