Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Best Books I Read in 2010

I looked at my Google Reader in the wee hours of this morning (I got an entire 45 minutes of sleep last night!) and almost had a heart attack – Holy Mary Mother of God, I haven’t posted anything in a WEEK! I don’t even have a good excuse; I’m at my parent’s house and am doing absolutely nothing. Anyways, I decided I didn’t want to post another plain old book review (probably because I don’t have any new ones handy), and since it’s nearing the end of the year, I decided to spotlight my ten most memorable reads of 2010.

(Now used for Top Ten Tuesday!)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Since I’d heard so many good things about this one in the book community, I just knew I had to pick it up. I’m so glad I did, as it’s one of my favourite books of all time now. I read it during the summer, but have yet to come up with a decent review that accurately represents my feelings, it’s just that good.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – Truth: big books scare me. I willingly read plenty of them, but a little shiver of intimidation goes down my spine every time I see a book over 600 pages. This was one of them, yet every single one of the 1,000 pages was absolutely worth it. I love stories that span many, many years to watch the character progression. It’s also a great historical fiction story.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – I couldn’t believe I’d never read this book before! For some reason, it was never assigned to me in high school. Stories dealing with WWII absolutely break my heart and I tend to stay away from them. This one played with my emotions even more so, as it’s obviously a true story. I remember staring at Anne’s last entry trying to imagine her life at that moment, quickly coming to a close. I couldn’t.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. Even though it wouldn’t seem like it, I really do enjoy fantasy-esque books, I just don’t know where I would start (suggestions?!). This was a nice ease into the genre, along with some YA elements, and mystery/horror. I’ve recommended this one to a lot of my non-book loving friends.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – I finished this one just a few days ago and my head is still swimming with the story. The characters are so colourful and vibrant, but to me, the culture is what fascinated me most. Myself, a white girl in 21st century America can live through the characters in WWII Japan. It was an awesome reading experience.

Atonement by Ian McEwan – While not quite the literary masterpiece as some of the others on this list, Atonement sure was entertaining as hell. Yet ANOTHER WWII era book, and another story spanning many years, along with the fact that James McAvoy was in the movie adaptation, it’s definitely a story I’ll be reading again someday.

Murder Most Royal by Jean Plaidy – In 2010, I found my favourite historical fiction author, Jean Plaidy. Being an Anglophile historical fiction nerd, her books (more than 100 of them!) are a bonanza for someone like me. Murder Most Royal was the very first book I read by her and I fell in LOOOVEEE. I read several others by her this year, but I still like this one best of all (Anne Boleyn & Katherine Howard! <3).

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly – A genre I rarely venture into: Young Adult. When I was in the YA target group, I didn’t read. I read as a child and simply skipped to adult fiction. I was hesitant to pick this one up, but ended up loving strong, determined and book-loving Mattie. I hope to read more by this author in the near future (Revolution!).

Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier – I gush over this one a lot, on both this blog and The Broke & the Bookish. It’s just so perfect. I picked it up by chance, a little obscure historical fiction book by the author of Girl with a Pearl Earring. It was a short, easy read that stuck with me for a long, long time.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides – This one’s admittedly not going on any long-term favourites list, but who could honestly just dismiss this book? The character of Cal/Callie demands your attention and will grab at your memory forever.

So there they are.  They are 1/7th of what I actually read this year, but they far outshine some of the other rubbish I read (Eat, Pray, Love and Confessions of a Shopaholic, barf!). I'd feel silly saying anywhere else, but I truly feel I'm a better person for reading these books! Some of them changed me in profound ways.

What was your most memorable read of 2010?


  1. Many great books on this list. Memoirs of a Geisha is one of my all-time favorite books ever. Atonement is on my TBR pile - heard good things, but haven't read it yet--now I have renewed interest!

  2. Also, wanted you to know that I used your blog for my Holiday Break Reading Challenge "recently discovered blog." Here's a link to my post:

  3. You've read some great books this year! I also read Pillars of the Earth and The Book Thief in 2010 and LOVED both. I've never been able to get into Anne Frank's Diary, but maybe that's because I tried to read it when I was about 9 years old.

  4. Thanks so much Annette, that means a lot! :) Memoirs definitely is now one of my all time favorites too.

    Glad you like Pillars of the Earth too Daisy! I reallllyyyy want to see the miniseries adapted from it too.

  5. You have a great list. I have The Book Thief waiting on my kindle to read- it sounds amazing. I read Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and now want to check out A Northern Light as well. Thanks for sharing & happy reading :)

  6. Top 10 Books I Read in 2010

    1. The Trophy Bride's Tale by Cyrilla Barr
    2. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
    3. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
    4. Ghost Hunt: Chilling Tales of the Unknown by Jason Dawes & Grant Wilson
    5. The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner
    6. A Man and His Maniac: The Bunkie Story by Charles Franklin Emery III
    7. Citizen Mitten by William Voedisch
    8. High on a Mountain by Tommie Lyn
    9. Expiation by Greg Messel
    10. A Season of Seduction by Jennifer Haymore

  7. Wonderful list!

    Here is my Top Ten of 2010 post:

  8. I loved The Lovely Bones and Memoirs of a Geisha. Great picks!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads
    My Top Ten Tuesday

  9. I've watched the mini series, though it's not as good as the book (but really, is a tv series or movie ever as good as the book was?), it was really enjoyable. And I got to show my boyfriend what story had me closed off from the outside world for about a week :) he doesn't read.

  10. Falling Angels has been one of my favorite books for years. I am so glad to see someone else love it!

  11. So many great books on your list! I love Memoirs and Middlesex, they both make lists that aren't restricted to a single year of reading for me for sure. Also really like The Book Thief. Atonement is on my TBR shelf

  12. Middlesex made my list, too. Had no idea if I'd like or toss it against the wall after a couple pages. But I loved it. You're right, Cal is not easy person to forget.

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